Should Christians Listen To Secular Music?

Music is a gift from God with the capacity to lift up the human spirit as well as down it. It can spark sublime emotions in us, as well as stir up base ones. Christians are used to worshipping God with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (“gospel music”), but generally frown at singing any other genre of music. Does the Bible condemn listening to all non-gospel music? Are there certain types of secular music that are permissible for a Christian to listen and dance to? Let’s turn to Scripture for guidance as we seek answers to these questions.

St. Luke 7:31 ” How shall I describe this generation? ” Jesus asked. ” With what will I compare them?

St. Luke 7:32 They are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and you weren’t happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren’t sad.’ (NLT).

From the passage above, we see the Lord recognising the necessity of playing different types of music for different occasions. The music played at a funeral service is expectedly different from the one played at a wedding feast. It would be most inappropriate to play a mournful music during a wedding celebration, as it would be to play a joyous music during a funeral service! The important lesson here is this: the genre of music to be played is determined by the occasion and the mood of the moment!

Thus, the activity we’re involved in determines the kind of music to play. When we’re involved in the praise and worship of God, the music should reflect the majesty of God and his glorious attributes, which should be extolled to the highest heavens. Such music should glorify God only. Only gospel music is appropriate for such moments. Now, what if a Christian is in an intimate moment of love-making with their spouse? What kind of music will be appropriate for such a moment? At such moments of intimacy, we’re expected to be romantic, to say and do things to our spouses that spark romantic emotions and make their hearts leap and their heads spin with emotions and desire. It wouldn’t be appropriate to sing worship songs at those moments! What we need to capture and heighten the mood at such a time is music whose lyrics is purely romantic! Now, listen to some of such music from the Bible.

Song of Solomon 1:1 The song of songs which is Solomon’s.

Song of Solomon 1:2 Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth; for Your loves are better than wine.

Song of Solomon 1:3 For Your ointments have a lovely fragrance; Your name is as ointment poured out; on account of this the virgins love You.

Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me; we will run after You. The King has brought me into His chambers. We will be glad and rejoice in You; we will remember Your loves more than wine; the upright love You.

Song of Solomon 1:13 A bundle of myrrh is my Beloved to me. He shall lie between my breasts.

Song of Solomon 1:14 My Beloved is to me like a cluster of henna in the vineyards of Engedi.

Song of Solomon 1:15 Behold, you are beautiful, My love. Behold, you are beautiful; your eyes as doves’.

Song of Solomon 1:16 Behold, you are beautiful, my Beloved; yea, pleasant. Also our couch is green (LITV).

Song of Solomon 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, My love. Behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are as doves’ from behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats which lie down from Mount Gilead.

Song of Solomon 4:2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep which come up from the washing place; of which they all are bearing twins; and barrenness is not among them.

Song of Solomon 4:3 Your lips are like a cord of scarlet, and your speech is becoming; your temples are like a piece of pomegranate behind your veil.

Song of Solomon 4:4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built for an armory; a thousand bucklers hang on it, all the shields of the mighty men.

Song of Solomon 4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, feeding among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 4:7 You are all beautiful, My love. There is no blemish on you.

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have ravished My heart, My sister, My spouse; you have ravished My heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck.

Song of Solomon 4:10 How beautiful are your loves, My sister, My spouse! How much better are your loves than wine, and the scent of your ointments than all spices!

Song of Solomon 4:11 Your lips, My spouse, drip like the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue. And the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon (LITV).

Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal on Your heart, as a seal on Your arm. For love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as Sheol; its flames are flames of fire, a flame of Jehovah.

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor will the rivers overflow it. If a man would give all the wealth of his house for love, they surely would despise him (LITV).

Yes, these songs are in the Bible! These are like some of the romantic secular music we hear today. From beginning to end, the Songs of Solomon focus on the love and romance between a couple. There’s no mention of God, no praise of God, no declaration of God’s majesty, and no falling down before his throne! From beginning to end, the songs focus on the spouses and their love and romance. These songs can be considered secular music, because they are not gospel music. They don’t praise God, they don’t extol God’s virtues and they don’t magnify his name. They just celebrate the love between a couple. Yet, they are included in the canon of Holy Scriptures!

What Scripture is teaching us here is that, God is not a sadist, and that he delights in his children being romantic and loving in their marital relationships. God expects Christian couples to be romantic and to celebrate and enjoy their relationships as married people. Part of the love-making God expects between couples is to play with each other, to be romantic with each other, and to sing songs of love and romance that praise and extol each other’s love and virtue! God expects Christian couples to sing romantic songs to their partners and make them feel giddy with love! He expects us to celebrate our spouses and our love for them with romantic music! One of your responsibilities as a married person is to please your spouse. And, doing that entails extolling the virtues of your spouse through songs that praise them and reaffirm your love! Sing and play romantic secular songs for them!

Proverbs 5:18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 5:19 She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.

Proverbs 5:20 Why be captivated, my son, with an immoral woman, or embrace the breasts of an adulterous woman? (NLT).

1 Corinthians 7:32 In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.

1 Corinthians 7:33 But a married man can’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit, while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband (NLT).

Proverbs 31:28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:

Proverbs 31:29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Proverbs 31:31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise (NLT).

A Christian is not to sing or dance only to songs that praise God. There are songs for every occasion. There are songs for wedding feasts, for funeral services, for romantic celebration with one’s spouse. There are songs that teach about nature, about moral values, about relationships, etc, without praising God directly. Yet, such songs are appropriate on various occasions, and can be lawfully and legitimately sung and danced to by Christians. When we celebrate nature and natural values and virtues like love, courage, bravery, etc, we’re equally celebrating the Maker of nature, who is God! When we sing about justice, liberty, mercy and human rights, we are promoting values that God cherishes. You can praise God directly by extolling him, or you can praise him indirectly by extolling his works and the things that are dear to him. By praising the works of an artist, you’re praising the artist!

Psalms 19:1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.

Psalms 19:2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.

Psalms 19:3 They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies;

Psalms 19:4 yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it.

God’s people can sing songs that celebrate victory in battle by praising warriors, or songs that celebrate fallen heroes, without mentioning God in those songs. The women in Israel sang songs to celebrate the warriors of Israel in their victories, as a way of encouraging them and boosting their morale. David composed and sang a song of lamentation in memory of Saul and Jonathan who died in battle, and taught Israel to immortalise them through that song. Yes, David was the sweet psalmist of Israel that composed almost the whole of the psalms (Israel’s hymn book), yet he composed and sang what would be considered secular music (“blues”), music that did not have any direct bearing to the praise and worship of God. But, that song celebrated friendship, love and courage. These are all things that God loves. That secular song of David found its way into the Holy Scripture.

1 Samuel 18:6 But something happened when the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed Goliath. Women came out from all the towns along the way to celebrate and to cheer for King Saul, and they sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.

1 Samuel 18:7 This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” (NLT).

2 Samuel 1:17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan.

2 Samuel 1:18 Later he commanded that it be taught to all the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar.

2 Samuel 1:19 Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills! How the mighty heroes have fallen!

2 Samuel 1:20 Don’t announce the news in Gath, or the Philistines will rejoice. Don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the pagans will laugh in triumph.

2 Samuel 1:21 O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you or your slopes. For there the shield of the mighty was defiled; the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil.

2 Samuel 1:22 Both Saul and Jonathan killed their strongest foes; they did not return from battle empty-handed.

2 Samuel 1:23 How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan! They were together in life and in death. They were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions.

2 Samuel 1:24 O women of Israel, weep for Saul, for he dressed you in fine clothing and gold ornaments.

2 Samuel 1:25 How the mighty heroes have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies dead upon the hills.

2 Samuel 1:26 How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan! Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women!

2 Samuel 1:27 How the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead (NLT).

Thus, we see from Scripture that people of God are not expected to sing and dance to only gospel or sacred music. We’re not only to sing hymns, psalms and spiritual songs. Because we’re also carnal beings that participate in carnal activities, we can talk and sing about those activities as we live and celebrate the life God has given us. There are times and occasions for everything under the sun. There’s a time to worship and praise God. There’s a time to praise and celebrate our spouses. There’s a time to celebrate our heroes. There’s a time to mourn the dead. In all these times and seasons that represent the length and breadth of the human existence and experience, we’re expected to have an appropriate song for each occasion. Some of these songs may be sacred, while some of them may be secular. And God is perfectly okay with all of them!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

Ecclesiastes 3:4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecclesiastes 3:8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace (ESV).

What Christians should be more concerned about with secular songs is their lyrics. The lyrics of any song we sing must be devoid of vulgarity and baseness. We must avoid songs that inspire or promote violence, vulgarity, debauchery, lewdness and all forms of ungodliness. In all things, we must consciously choose to listen to, and meditate on, things that are pure, wholesome, honourable, just and commendable. Even as we listen to secular music, we must be careful to discern between good and evil and shun evil!

Philippians 4:8 For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honour, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things (BBE).

In conclusion, Scripture does not mandate Christians to listen and dance to only gospel music. While gospel music is used in the worship and praise of God, some secular music are permissible for Christians as we celebrate love with our spouses, and as we celebrate nature and eternal values, virtues and relationships with others. Some secular music that capture these themes and moments can be legitimately enjoyed by Christians. However, we must be careful to judge the lyrics of such music, to ensure they’re not vulgar, base, lewd, violent or ungodly. Whatever we listen to must be honourable, lovely and commendable.

Trusting After Forgiveness: The Biblical View

A lot of people are confused about how to trust again after forgiveness of wrongs done to them. Some people teach that once you forgive someone, you have to act towards them as if the hurt or betrayal didn’t happen, and restore the relationship to the level it was before they offended you. Such people believe that not only must you forgive, you must also forget the offences committed against you. What does the Bible teach about trust after betrayal? Does Scripture actually mandate us to forget about offences committed against us? We shall examine the Bible to answer these questions.

The Hebrew word translated as “trust” in the Old Testament is “batach“. Its various meanings include ‘to hope in’, ‘to have confidence in’, ‘to be sure of’, and ‘to take refuge in’. Biblically speaking, to trust someone implies being sure of the person, or having confidence or hope in the person. The Scripture is unambiguous about the need to forgive all offences without reservation. Forgiveness is a commandment and not a choice. To forgive someone simply means to pardon them for their transgression and not to hold it against them; it means not to hold malice or grudges against people who offend us. However, the issue of trusting someone again after you’ve forgiven them is a different ballgame altogether. We’re not commanded to continue to place confidence in the person, in the area he or she has betrayed us. That’s entirely our choice. The choice to trust someone again or not, depends on a lot of factors which we will now consider. Let’s examine David’s relationship with Saul to see how trust should be applied to people who continually plot evil against us.

1 Samuel 26:1 The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?”

1 Samuel 26:2 So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search there for David.

1 Samuel 26:3 Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there,

1 Samuel 26:4 he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.

1 Samuel 26:5 Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him.

1 Samuel 26:6 David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?” “I’ll go with you,” said Abishai.

1 Samuel 26:7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.

1 Samuel 26:8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”

1 Samuel 26:9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?

1 Samuel 26:10 As surely as the LORD lives,” he said, “the LORD himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.

1 Samuel 26:11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

1 Samuel 26:12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep.

1 Samuel 26:13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them.

1 Samuel 26:14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?”

1 Samuel 26:15 David said, “You’re a man, aren’t you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king.

1 Samuel 26:16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the LORD lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the LORD’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”

1 Samuel 26:17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, David my son?” David replied, “Yes it is, my lord the king.”

1 Samuel 26:18 And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of?

1 Samuel 26:19 Now let my lord the king listen to his servant’s words. If the LORD has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the LORD! They have driven me today from my share in the LORD’s inheritance and have said, ’Go, serve other gods.’

1 Samuel 26:20 Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the LORD. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea —as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

1 Samuel 26:21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”

1 Samuel 26:22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it.

1 Samuel 26:23 The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed.

1 Samuel 26:24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the LORD value my life and deliver me from all trouble.”

1 Samuel 26:25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.” So David went on his way, and Saul returned home (NIV).

King Saul made several attempts on David’s life, motivated by envy and jealousy. One each occasion, God miraculously saved David. David had several opportunities to kill Saul who was pursuing him unjustly, but he spared Saul on every occasion. David readily forgave Saul for his hatred and murderous attempts on his life, and continued to show him unwavering loyalty. However, the more David forgave Saul, the more Saul hatched even more devilish schemes to eliminate him. It finally dawned on David that Saul could not be trusted. David finally realised that he couldn’t be safe around Saul. He had forgiven Saul, but to trust Saul and re-establish the warm relationship they once enjoyed was to invite his untimely death.

Envy and jealousy are not traits that are easily expunged from the human heart. Once they grab someone and inspire the person to plot harm and evil against you, flee from that relationship! David realised it late, but it was better late than never. He had to flee from Saul to save his life, though he had forgiven Saul who appeared to have repented. Don’t trust someone who deliberately tried to kill or harm you, even though they appear to have repented and you’ve forgiven them! Saul “repented” and “felt sorry” so many times for trying to kill David, but that didn’t stop him from continuing with his evil plots! It was only when David fled out of Israel, out of Saul’s reach, that Saul stopped seeking after his life. Cut off any close relationships with anyone found to have plotted evil against you, even after they’ve apologised and appear to have repented. For all you know, they may just be feigning repentance to lull you into complacency about your security. They may just be acting like Saul, to give you a false sense of security. If you trust such people readily again, you may just be signing your death warrant!

1 Samuel 27:1 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”

1 Samuel 27:2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath.

1 Samuel 27:3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.

1 Samuel 27:4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him (NIV).

Next, let’s examine the issue of trust when someone has defrauded us and we have forgiven them. Are we obliged to trust such persons again with our finances and other resources? How should we deal with people who have deceitfully taken advantage of us and cheated us? Let’s turn to Scripture to find the mind of God on this issue.

St. Luke 16:1 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions.

St. Luke 16:2 So he called him in and asked him, ’What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

St. Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

St. Luke 16:11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

St. Luke 16:12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (NIV).

Someone who has displayed dishonesty in the management of resources, especially money, should not be trusted easily in that regard. If someone is dishonest in little things, he’ll be dishonest in big things. You should forgive people all offences, but you’re not obliged to trust them in such matters again, till they prove themselves trustworthy. Like the rich man in the parable above did to his dishonest manager, quickly relieve any dishonest person of the responsibility of managing whatever you’ve committed into their hands. If you keep them, they will commit greater fraud. The wise thing to do is to refuse to trust them again in that capacity, until they earn your trust. Trust, unlike forgiveness, should be earned. The prudent thing to do is to test people in little things first, before committing greater responsibilities to them. If they prove trustworthy in small things, then they can be trusted with bigger responsibilities. That’s what the Scripture teaches.

1 Timothy 3:8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

1 Timothy 3:9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

1 Timothy 3:10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons (NIV).

In terms of emotional/ romantic relationships, trust should be carefully separated from love. Love can exist without trust in certain areas of the relationship. Loving someone is not the same as trusting them. In relationships, like in every other aspects of life, trust should be earned. If your partner has a weakness or fault in an area, love him/her despite his/her faults or weaknesses, but don’t trust them in their weak area until they’ve proved themselves worthy of trust in those areas. Don’t expose them to temptations in their areas of weaknesses. They may love you alright, but because of weaknesses and besetting sins, they may betray your trust in their areas of weakness, if you trust without proof of trustworthiness. You can’t safely trust a spouse who’s not virtuous!

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband does safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Proverbs 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (AKJV).

Love your partner and be ready to forgive their shortcomings unreservedly. However, do not place unjustified confidence or trust in anyone. Don’t let emotions blind your sense of judgement. That you love your wife doesn’t mean you should trust her with your money if she’s a spendthrift who has proved incompetent in managing money. That you love your husband doesn’t mean you should trust him with the housemaid or your female friends, if he’s an inverterate womaniser. Wisdom is profitable to direct. Trusting a goat to take care of your yam is not wisdom, however much you love the goat. Be wise!

Matthew 7:6 Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you (ESV).

It’s true that people can change for the better (just as they can change for the worse too). It’s true that people can repent and be converted. It’s true that the Holy Spirit can transform people. However, when such changes occur in people, they should be visible, palpable and demonstrable for all to see. Pray and make room for positive changes in people, and hope for the best for them. However, until you see hard evidence of change, don’t trust people who have failed you in the past. Test people first before trusting them. Trust should be earned and not handed out on a platter, without proof of trustworthiness! Trusting without proof is living in fantasy land! That’s like building your house on sinking sand.That house is headed for a monumental collapse! Learn from the way the disciples were cautious in trusting Saul, the persecutor, when he converted to Christianity. They had to be sure he was truly converted before trusting to have fellowship with him, because of his antecedent as the greatest persecutor of Christians! That’s wisdom!

The Acts 9:26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.

The Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.

The Acts 9:28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord (NIV).

Finally, though we’re commanded to forgive all offences, we’re never told to forget them, simply because we can’t! Except you’re suffering from some form of amnesia, you can’t forget people’s betrayals. You’re not supposed to forget, even though you’re not to hold it against them or bear malice or grudges towards them. And certainly, you’re not to repay evil with evil. But, you must not forget the lessons you learnt from the experience. The most important lesson to learn from offences and betrayals is that, humans are imperfect creatures with capacity for both good and evil. We learn from people’s shortcomings to trust cautiously, so as to mitigate the harm others can do to us. Our dealings with people is the greatest source of education in human psychology we can ever have. People’s past actions and behaviours, especially in their unguarded moments, are a better predictor of their character than anything they say about themselves. Every encounter should help us define people with respect to who can be trusted in what area. That knowledge is invaluable in minimising future conflicts with others, as well as in mitigating the injury they can do to us.

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.

2 Timothy 4:15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message (NIV).

In conclusion, we must forgive all men their trespasses, but we are not obliged to trust all again. Trust, unlike forgiveness, must be earned. People must demonstrate trustworthiness before we place our confidence in them. To do otherwise is to be imprudent, and we may suffer dearly for such lack of wisdom in dealing with people. We must learn from betrayals, and apply the lessons learnt in order to prevent or mitigate future occurrences. To forgive is not to forget!

Forgive Unreservedly, Trust Cautiously And Don’t Forget The Lessons Learnt: The Biblical Guide To Dealing With Hurts, Betrayals And Disappointments

1Peter 4:8 And most of all be warm in your love for one another; because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number (BBE).

Relating with other people exposes us daily to the risk of being hurt, simply because all humans are imperfect and all are capable of both good and evil. This is the consequence of the fall. Yet, we can’t recluse from others and live solitary lives, because our success in life, as well as our happiness, depends on our common humanity and our relationships with others. The people we love the most (and who also love us) are capable of hurting us the most, yet we can’t do without them. Because offences abound and because we can’t do without each other, we must learn to absorb hurts and forgive those who hurt and offend us. Forgiveness is a necessary part of life, simply because we can’t live without offending one another.

Understanding the principles of forgiveness and trust is thus extremely important in navigating through life. If we fail to master these relationship skills, we’ll end up frustrated and defeated. How should we forgive those who have hurt us? How should we deal with the issue of trust after it’s been betrayed? Is forgetting possible after forgiveness? We shall revert to Scripture to answer these pertinent questions.

Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread,

Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,

Matthew 6:15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (ESV).

In the model prayer for his disciples (popularly known as the Lord’s prayer), the Lord Jesus taught us to forgive people’s sins against us, even as we petition God to forgive our own sins. And then the Lord makes our forgiveness of other people’s sins a requirement for God’s forgiveness of our own sins: if we don’t forgive the sins of others, God won’t forgive ours! Think about it! When we forgive others, we’re not just setting them free, we’re setting ourselves free also! If we refuse to forgive, we’re blocking our fellowship with God, because our sins will remain unforgiven!

Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (ESV).

The point was repeated here again by our Lord. Our prayers are in vain if we don’t forgive those who sin against us. Each time we pray with unforgiven grudges in our hearts, we’re hurting ourself. We’re denying ourselves divine forgiveness for our own sins, as well as fellowship with God. Above all, we’re denying ourselves answers to our own prayers! When you refuse to forgive someone, you’re literally opposing divine forgiveness for your own sins!

How often are we to forgive? Is there a limit beyond which we’re to stop forgiving anyone? We’ve heard people say, ‘I can’t take it anymore, this is too much. I can’t forgive him or her again’. The disciples of Jesus were confronted with the same situation and wanted to know the limit of forgiveness, if any. They asked him the number of times one needed to be hurt before refusing to forgive. Let’s hear Jesus’ response.

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?

Matthew 18:22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven (ESV).

According to Jesus, we’re to forgive someone seventy times seven (490 times) in a day! What Jesus is actually saying here is that, there’s no limit to forgiveness! Now, that should be good news to our ears if we apply it the other way round: God is not tired of forgiving us! He’ll keep forgiving us as long as we keep repenting and coming back to him. God doesn’t give up on us! Now, isn’t that good news? Because God doesn’t give up on us and isn’t tired of forgiving us, we shouldn’t be tired of forgiving others! We shouldn’t give up on others!

What are the logical steps in dealing with people who offend us? When someone sins against us, we should confront them and let them know how they’ve hurt us. Sometimes they may not even be aware of the wrong they’ve done to us. A sincere person who hurt us unintentionally will apologise, and that should end all hurts and repair the relationship. However, some people will stubbornly refuse to even accept the fact that they’re wrong. In such cases, we should exhaust all means of dispute resolution by involving mutual friends/colleagues and then the church, if we’re dealing with fellow Christians. We’re still to forgive those who refuse to repent. However, we’re advised to sever all close relationships of trust with such people! Forgiveness does not imply automatic restoration of relationships to their previous levels! It just means we won’t seek vengeance against the person or seek to retaliate against them. Forgiving means we won’t repay the person with evil if we have the chance to do so. It means we won’t bear malice towards them. However, it doesn’t mean we should go back to the same level of trust or relationship that existed previously with the person. That’s what Jesus taught!

St. Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

St. Matthew 18:16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ’every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

St. Matthew 18:17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector (NIV).

An important fact we need to understand as Christians is that, all things work together for the good of a child of God. Others may wish and plan evil for us, but God will turn it around for our good. Others may seek to destroy us by their evil schemes and manipulations, but God will work through their evil plans to ensure we benefit in the end. Thus, the people who hurt us and schemed to destroy us and our visions may be the very instruments that will catapult us to our destiny! The story of Joseph is a clear example. His brothers schemed to destroy him and abort his dreams, but God used their very scheme to bring about the fulfilment of his vision concerning Joseph! If we understand this fact, it will be easy to forgive those that sin against us and plot our downfall.

Genesis 50:15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.

Genesis 50:16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, Your father gave this command before he died,

Genesis 50:17 Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you. And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father. Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

Genesis 50:18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, Behold, we are your servants.

Genesis 50:19 But Joseph said to them, Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?

Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Genesis 50:21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones. Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them (ESV).

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (AKJV).

Similarly, those who schemed to kill Jesus intended to destroy him and forever extinguish the liberating truths he taught. They were envious of his ministry and sought to exterminate him by any means possible. Supposedly religious leaders lied, schemed, contrived and formed unholy alliances with their enemies, just to get rid of Jesus. However, little did they know that by killing Jesus they were helping to foster his ministry and fulfil his destiny. If Satan and his cohorts had known that killing Jesus would lead to mankind’s redemption and the salvation of billions of sons and daughters of God, they would have left Jesus alone! They meant it for evil, but God turned it around for good, to save lives by a great deliverance! No wonder Jesus asked for forgiveness for his murderers while he hung dying on the cross.

1 Corinthians 2:6 However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing:

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him (AKJV).

St. Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals —one on his right, the other on his left.

St. Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots (NIV).

Understand this once and for all: people who have hurt and offended you have only been instruments to teach you some important lessons in life. If a close friend or relative didn’t backstab you or betray you, how would you have learnt to be cautious in trusting human beings, because of their fickleness and unreliability? How would you have known that it’s vain to trust unreservedly in human beings? A key and vital lesson in life is to learn not to trust any person without reservation, because no mutable mortal is worthy of such trust! Every man has been corrupted by the fall (including those who are born again!) and so none should be unquestionably relied upon or trusted. Every man is capable of failure, even the best among us (let him that thinks he stands take heed, lest he falls!). Only God is unfailingly and immutably trustworthy! Only God cannot change and cannot fail! If we grasp this important lesson, we will enlarge our hearts and make room for disappointments, failures, betrayals, hurts, etc. We will provide forgiveness readily for everyone in advance! Jesus, being God, knew this much about man.

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men,

John 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man (AKJV).

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.

Jeremiah 17:6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land (ESV).

Re-establishing trust after forgiveness is a different ballgame altogether. We’re not under any obligation to trust people we’ve forgiven. Forgiveness is a commandment but trust is a choice! To trust someone with our hearts, our resources and our secrets again after they’ve betrayed us is entirely up to us. That said, let me state that it would be foolishness to trust anyone without prior evidence that they’re reliable and can be trusted in that regard. Also, someone who has betrayed your trust in a sensitive area shouldn’t be trusted in that area again, until there’s hard evidence of change. Still, even with evidence of change, you should trust them cautiously. People’s actions and history tell more about their character than their words. People should be tried and tested first before they’re entrusted with sensitive information, resources, positions or responsibilities.

1 Timothy 3:8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.

1 Timothy 3:9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

1 Timothy 3:10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless (ESV).

Do people really forget after forgiving? Is it even possible to do so? Does God himself really forget after forgiving us our sins? Yes, he said he’ll remember our sins and iniquities no more. But, does that mean he has actually forgotten them? What it means when God is said to remember our confessed sins no more is that, he doesn’t hold them against us anymore. He blots them from our records, even though they remain in his knowledge, for God does not forget, being all-knowing. We see that in God’s enumeration of Israel’s past sins (in the Law and the Prophets), even though he had forgiven them and didn’t hold their sins against them anymore. It was simply to teach a lesson to present and future generations. And so, we too shouldn’t forget the lessons learned from sins committed against us even after forgiving them (thankfully, we simply can’t forget because it’s not possible to do so!). We would have to suffer some form of amnesia to be able to do that! However, even though we remember the evils done to us, we shouldn’t count them against the people we’ve forgiven. We’re not to hold it against them. But, we’re to learn from them so that, as much as possible, we don’t allow others to use us in that same way again.

1 Corinthians 13:5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs (GNT).

Forgive every trespass committed against you quickly, but don’t forget the lessons. Learn from past disappointments and betrayals to minimise future occurrences.
And above all, be stingy and cautious with your trust. Trust only those who have been tried and proven worthy, and that too should be done with caution! Like the Apostle Paul admonished, in keeping malice, be like children who don’t hold grudges; but in understanding, be mature and reasonable! Emulate children in not keeping malice, but don’t be childish in not learning lessons from disappointments and betrayals, in order to minimise future betrayals and hurts. Learn from the past to make the present and the future better!

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, be not children in understanding: however, in malice be you children, but in understanding be men (AKJV).

In conclusion, let’s hear the summary of the whole matter of forgiveness from a parable given by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Let’s hear from the Master, take heed and be blessed!

Matthew 18:23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.

Matthew 18:24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

Matthew 18:25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Matthew 18:26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.

Matthew 18:27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

Matthew 18:28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, Pay what you owe.

Matthew 18:29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, Have patience with me, and I will pay you.

Matthew 18:30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

Matthew 18:31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place.

Matthew 18:32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

Matthew 18:33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?

Matthew 18:34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.

Matthew 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart (ESV).

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, drop a comment and share with others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Partaking In The Religious Feasts And Celebrations Of Other Faiths: The Biblical View

In our multicultural societies with multiplicity of religions, Christians are confronted daily with other religions and their practitioners. Scripture teaches us to love and tolerate people of other faiths. However, Christianity’s belief in religious exclusivism means that other religious faiths must be wrong in their beliefs for Christianity to be right. The Bible teaches that the Judeo-Christian faith is the only true faith, and that all other religious faiths are false and idolatrous. How are Christians to love people of other faiths while distancing themselves from their erroneous beliefs? How are we to relate to people with contrary religious beliefs when they celebrate their religious festivals? We shall examine Scripture to find out how we ought to comport ourselves in ways that show love and tolerance for our neighbours, without compromising our faith in Christ.

The first two commandments are uncompromising in their declaration of Jehovah as the only God deserving of worship. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, any god other than Jehovah is false, as is any mediator between Jehovah and mankind other than the Lord Jesus Christ! The worship of any god beside Jehovah is therefore idolatrous, while salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ. These are the self-evident truths of Christianity.

Exodus 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying:

Exodus 20:2 I am Jehovah your God, who has brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Exodus 20:3 You shall not have any other gods beside Me.

Exodus 20:4 You shall not make a graven image for yourself, or any likeness in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth;

Exodus 20:5 you shall not bow to them, and you shall not serve them; for I am Jehovah your God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of fathers on sons, on the third and on the fourth generation, to those that hate Me;

Exodus 20:6 and doing kindness to thousands, to those loving Me, and to those keeping My commandments (LITV).

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (ESV).

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time (ESV).

The participation of a Christian in the religious festivals of other faiths is considered by Scripture as identifying with those faiths in their idolatrous practices. To celebrate a heathen religious festival is to participate in the worship of a heathen god. Some Israelites were invited to participate in the religious festival of the Moabites who did not worship Jehovah, and God was angry with them and sent a plague upon them that killed thousands of Israelites in one day!

Numbers 25:1 While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab.

Numbers 25:2 These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

Numbers 25:3 So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Numbers 25:4 And the LORD said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.

Numbers 25:5 And Moses said to the judges of Israel, Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.

Numbers 25:6 And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

Numbers 25:7 When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand

Numbers 25:8 and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped.

Numbers 25:9 Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand (ESV).

That example of Jehovah’s fierce anger with his people, for participating in the religious celebrations of an idolatrous nation, is held out for Christians in the New Testament as an eternal warning: if Jehovah punished Israel severely for taking part in the celebration of an idolatrous festival, he won’t spare us today if we do the same! Let’s take heed and beware! Our God is a jealous God who doesn’t tolerate spiritual adultery (idolatory) from his people!

1 Corinthians 10:1 I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,

1 Corinthians 10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

1 Corinthians 10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food,

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.

1 Corinthians 10:7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

1 Corinthians 10:8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

1 Corinthians 10:9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

1 Corinthians 10:10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (ESV).

It’s worth remembering that the Moabites and the Israelites were cousins. The Moabites were the descendants of Lot, Abraham’s nephew, while the Israelites were the descendants of Abraham through Isaac. Even though Israel and Moab were blood relations, they worshipped different gods. The Moabites worshipped the idol chemosh, while Israel worshipped Jehovah, the only true God. Even though Israel and Moab were cousins, Israel was forbidden by God from celebrating with Moab in their religious festivals, because Moab was an idolatrous nation! Anyone who doesn’t worship Jehovah through his son Jesus Christ is an idolater, even if they are close family relatives! As God warned Israel to stay away from the religious ceremonies of their idolatrous cousins, so are Christians called upon to keep off the religious celebrations of idolatrous kith and kin.

We may not be invited today by our idolatrous kith and kin to celebrate with them in idol temples. We may not be called to the sacrifices of idol worshippers. But, what happens when we are presented with meals that have been offered as sacrifice to other gods? What should we do when adherents of other religious faiths offer us their sacred religious meals as part of the celebration of their religious festivals, like when Muslims distribute meals to their Christian neighbours during their religious festivals? Let’s look at Scripture to see how we’re supposed to respond to such a scenario.

1 Corinthians 10:14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

1 Corinthians 10:15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am about to say is true.

1 Corinthians 10:16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the benefits of the blood of Christ? And when we break the loaf of bread, aren’t we sharing in the benefits of the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 10:17 And we all eat from one loaf, showing that we are one body.

1 Corinthians 10:18 And think about the nation of Israel; all who eat the sacrifices are united by that act.

1 Corinthians 10:19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that the idols to whom the pagans bring sacrifices are real gods and that these sacrifices are of some value?

1 Corinthians 10:20 No, not at all. What I am saying is that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want any of you to be partners with demons.

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.

1 Corinthians 10:22 What? Do you dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy as Israel did? Do you think we are stronger than he is?

1 Corinthians 10:23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is helpful. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial (NLT).

The spiritual implication of participating in sacred religious meals is profound. Religious meals offered in worship to idols unite the partakers in a spiritual way to their objects of worship. Like those who partake in the Lord’s supper become united with Christ at the Lord’s table, so do idol worshippers become united with the demons behind their idols during their religious feasts! Sacred meals offered during religious festivals are not ordinary meals! They are not things to be treated with levity! The sacred meals of pagans are offered to demons, and participating in those meals imply fellowship with demons!

Now, it’s a different thing if you don’t know a meal was offered as sacrifice to an idol as part of a religious feast. Eating such a meal ignorantly does no harm to a Christian. If a Christian is invited to the house of an unbelieving friend or relative, he/she should eat whatever he/she is offered without asking questions as to whether or not such food was offered as sacrifice to an idol. Giving thanks and praying over the food sanctifies it, even if it was part of a sacred religious meal offered to an idol. However, if we’re told the food was part of a meal to celebrate a non-Christian religious festival, we should not eat it! Eating such a meal with the knowledge that it was sacrificed to an idol means accepting to fellowship with the demons behind those idols. Don’t think it means nothing! God says it means something and we shouldn’t take it lightly!

1 Corinthians 10:24 Don’t think only of your own good. Think of other Christians and what is best for them.

1 Corinthians 10:25 Here’s what you should do. You may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace. Don’t ask whether or not it was offered to idols, and then your conscience won’t be bothered.

1 Corinthians 10:26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

1 Corinthians 10:27 If someone who isn’t a Christian asks you home for dinner, go ahead; accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you and don’t ask any questions about it. Your conscience should not be bothered by this.

1 Corinthians 10:28 But suppose someone warns you that this meat has been offered to an idol. Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.

1 Corinthians 10:29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person. Now, why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?

1 Corinthians 10:30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:32 Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God.

1 Corinthians 10:33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved (NLT).

We may have faith enough to believe an idol is nothing, and therefore eat anything we’re offered, even with the knowledge that it was offered in sacrifice to an idol, since the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. However, what about weaker Christians who believe an idol is something? Such may be emboldened by our actions to eat foods sacrificed to idols and defile their weak conscience thereby. We would have caused a brother or a sister to stumble and wound their weak conscience. That’s not walking in love!

1 Corinthians 8:4 So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other.

1 Corinthians 8:5 According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

1 Corinthians 8:7 However, not all Christians realize this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.

1 Corinthians 8:8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t miss out on anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.

1 Corinthians 8:9 But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble.

1 Corinthians 8:10 You see, this is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat this food will see you eating in the temple of an idol. You know there’s nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to the idol.

1 Corinthians 8:11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak Christian, for whom Christ died, will be destroyed.

1 Corinthians 8:12 And you are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong.

1 Corinthians 8:13 If what I eat is going to make another Christian sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to make another Christian stumble (NLT).

In the first church council in the book of Acts, the apostles and elders, led by the Holy Spirit, agreed on the portions of the Mosaic Law that are still relevant for Gentile Christians to observe. Part of what was agreed in that historic council was that Gentile Christians should abstain from foods sacrificed to idols. We are to shun meals that are part of the religious feasts of other religious faiths. Eating foods sacrificed to idols was forbidden in the Old Testament, and it remains forbidden in the New!

The Acts 15:23 This is the letter they took along with them: “This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!

The Acts 15:24 “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but they had no such instructions from us.

The Acts 15:25 So it seemed good to us, having unanimously agreed on our decision, to send you these official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
The Acts 15:26 who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 15:27 So we are sending Judas and Silas to tell you what we have decided concerning your question.

The Acts 15:28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these requirements:

The Acts 15:29 You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.” (NLT).

Whenever we celebrate with idol worshippers as they celebrate their idols, we strengthen their faith in idolatory and become complicit in their practice. Even wishing them happy celebration during their idolatrous festivals is encouraging and strengthening them in their faith. As Christians, even though we should love, respect and tolerate people from other religious faiths, Scripture forbids us to celebrate their faiths or encourage them in it. We should not hesitate to tell them they’re spiritually wrong, rather than wish them well in their error! Wishing them happy religious celebrations is wishing them happy idolatory! Anyone who does that is a partaker in their idolatory! That’s what the Bible teaches!

2 John 1:7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world. They do not believe that Jesus Christ came to earth in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 1:8 Watch out, so that you do not lose the prize for which we have been working so hard. Be diligent so that you will receive your full reward.

2 John 1:9 For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God. But if you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son.

2 John 1:10 If someone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite him into your house or encourage him in any way.

2 John 1:11 Anyone who encourages him becomes a partner in his evil work (NLT).

The word of God is against eating foods sacrificed to idols. The Holy Scripture condemns not only eating food sacrificed to idols, it also condemns those who teach that it is alright to do so. Christian leaders who teach that it’s permissible to eat meals sacrificed to deities of other religions, as part of religious worship, are provoking God’s wrath upon themselves and those they minister to! Such teachers are enticing Christians to sin by encouraging idolatory which is spiritual fornication! By participating in the worship of idols, Christians are being unfaithful to their vow to worship and serve only Jehovah as their God!

Revelation 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.

Revelation 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols (NIV).

In conclusion, a Christian participating in or encouraging the religious practices of other religions is committing a sin and violating the word of God. Such a person is guilty of idolatory by association. Such idolatrous practices frowned upon by Scripture include the eating of meals used in the religious feasts of heathens, as well as wishing heathens happy religious celebrations. To avoid God’s wrath, Christians should stay clear of practices and actions that aid and abet idolatory.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, drop a comment and share with others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Is Premarital Pregnancy Testing By The Church For Intending Couples Scriptural?

A lot of churches today conduct premarital pregnancy tests on ladies who are about to get married, with a view to ascertaining the conceptional status of the woman. The aim is to refuse to wed a woman who is pregnant. Is it biblical for the church to conduct prenuptial pregnancy tests on women? Is it scriptural to refuse to wed a pregnant woman? We shall examine the Bible to find the scriptural position on these issues.

I’ll be upfront about the fact that premarital sex is condemned by the Bible. God’s ideal scenario is for people to marry as chaste virgins. In the Old Testament, if a woman lost her virginity before marriage, she would be considered to have played the harlot in her father’s house, and she would be stoned to death! That’s how sinful God considers premarital sex!

Deuteronomy 22:13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her

Deuteronomy 22:14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,”

Deuteronomy 22:15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin.

Deuteronomy 22:16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her.

Deuteronomy 22:17 Now he has slandered her and said, ’I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town,

Deuteronomy 22:18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him.

Deuteronomy 22:19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

Deuteronomy 22:20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found,

Deuteronomy 22:21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you (NIV).

Thankfully, no one gets stoned again for marrying as a non-virgin (at least in Christianity and in Western-style democracies). However, remaining a virgin till one marries is still a highly desirable virtue, because it not only protects one against unwanted pregnancies and a host of sexually transmitted diseases (including incurable diseases like HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer), it also preserves reproductive health and prevents sexual bonding with too many people. Above all, it’s an act of obedience to God’s commandment! Sex sins are the only sins one commits against one’s own body. Your body directly bears the consequences of sex sins, be it sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies or damages to one’s reproductive organs. It pays to keep your virginity till you’re married, because the moment the sexual dam is broken and you experience sex, the moral, emotional, psychological and health implications of sexual relationships can be destructive, apart from the bonding with each sex partner that can affect your marriage later! God isn’t joking when he commands single people to flee from fornication! Fornication can negatively impact your life in so many ways!

1 Corinthians 6:15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are parts of Christ’s body? Should I take the parts of Christ’s body and make them parts of a prostitute’s body? That’s unthinkable!

1 Corinthians 6:16 Don’t you realize that the person who unites himself with a prostitute becomes one body with her? God says, “The two will be one.”

1 Corinthians 6:17 However, the person who unites himself with the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Stay away from sexual sins. Other sins that people commit don’t affect their bodies the same way sexual sins do. People who sin sexually sin against their own bodies (GodsWord).

Despite God’s preference for people to marry as virgins (which is for their own good), God does forgive sex sins, like all other sins, and the blood of Jesus cleanses from all unrighteousness, including the unrighteousness of premarital sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is not the unpardonable sin! Christ’s atonement covers sex sins too, and his blood can blot them out if we place our faith in his complete redemptive work at Calvary.

1 John 1:8 If we say, “We aren’t sinful” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:9 God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong (NIV).

Now, let’s get back to the issue of premarital pregnancy testing by churches. Churches who insist on premarital pregnancy testing want to make sure a lady is not pregnant before marriage. If she is, the church will not wed her, because they don’t want to wed two people (the woman and the baby in her womb) to the man! So, the pregnant lady is denied wedding until after childbirth. Do churches who act this way have any biblical mandate for such practice? There is absolutely none! To the contrary, the Old Testament taught that having sex with an unengaged virgin (with the possibility of pregnancy resulting from the encounter) was reason enough for the man who violated her to marry her immediately!

Exodus 22:16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife.

Exodus 22:17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins (NIV).

Deuteronomy 22:28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,

Deuteronomy 22:29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives (NIV).

In the Torah, a man must immediately marry a virgin he seduced or raped, and the rapist/seducer was forbidden from ever divorcing the woman so married! Such sexual encounters from rape or seduction of a virgin carried the possibility of getting the woman pregnant. Apart from the danger of marrying as a non-virgin stated earlier, the practice of compelling a rapist/seducer of a virgin to marry her immediately was probably also to prevent any resulting pregnancy from being extra-marital, and so save the lady from the shame of siring children in her father’s house. No one will advocate for a rapist to be so punished these days. Rape carries a more severe and just penalty of prolonged imprisonment nowadays. No one also will be compelled today to marry a lady just because he seduced her and had sex with her. But the point is that, having premarital sex that could lead to pregnancy was a reason to marry off a lady, and not a reason to prevent her from being married!

Let’s now consider a strikingly similar scenario in the New Testament, to buttress the fact that God is not against the marrying of a couple when the bride is pregnant. We’ll examine the circumstances of the marriage between Joseph and Mary, Jesus’ foster parents, as recorded in Matthew’s gospel.

Matthew 1:18 This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:19 Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately.

Matthew 1:20 While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived.

Matthew 1:21 She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:22 Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet,

Matthew 1:23 “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).

Matthew 1:24 So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to.

Matthew 1:25 But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus (GNT).

Here’s the clincher! Mary got pregnant (by the Holy Spirit) after her engagement to Joseph, but before they were married. Joseph decided to cancel the engagement and put her away, on perceived grounds of sexual immorality and unfaithfulness, having never had sexual relations with her. However, an angel of God appeared to him and reassured him about Mary’s faithfulness, and the supernatural nature of her pregnancy. The angel further encouraged him to go ahead and marry Mary. Joseph, having had his doubts about Mary cleared, went ahead and married her in her pregnant state! Joseph married Mary while she was pregnant, according to the instructions of God’s angel! The angel didn’t tell Joseph to wait until the child was born before marrying Mary. He told him to marry her right away, in her pregnant state! If God will authorise a couple to marry when the bride was pregnant, who are the churches to forbid people to marry when the bride is with child? What an affront to God, that supposedly men of God will enact traditions that stand in stark opposition and rebellion to the word of God?! If God approves a practice, who are mere mortals to say otherwise? How dare you challenge your Maker? How dare you portray yourself as being more righteous than God? Let God be true and let every man be a liar!

Let’s examine the implications of this policy of some churches with regard to premarital pregnancy testing. A number of ladies have been known to induce abortions of unplanned pregnancies for men who were ready to marry them, just because they didn’t want to be denied a church wedding! The church is complicit in such abortions conducted to meet its stringent requirement of pregnancy-free brides at the altar. Next, traditional marriage rites have usually been completed for such couples who were just trying to fulfil all righteousness with the church wedding, which is only ceremonial in value, since the traditional and court marriages are the real marriages in Africa. Why will the church deny a ceremonial marriage to a couple who have already been married traditionally and legally? That’s not only absurd, it’s actually senseless! The validity of a church wedding that requires a prior traditional wedding is being rightly questioned, as church weddings have no basis in Scripture. To now add an unscriptural roadblock to an unscriptural ceremony makes the whole practice comical and clownish! We’re making the modern day church a real laughing stock among people with common sense, with our unbiblical and unreasonable practices! With such unbiblical practices that put the traditions of men above the word of God, we end up making hypocrites out of believers!

A couple who engage in sex after being married traditionally have committed no sin, because they’ve been married lawfully, having been married according to the only way the Bible prescribes. Such a marriage is honourable, blessed of God and the fruit thereof should be celebrated by all! Even if the lady got pregnant before she got married traditionally, all she requires is confession of her sin of premarital sex to God, and the Lord will forgive her. Having been forgiven of her sins, the Lord does not hold the pregnancy resulting from her sin against her. Why should any man of God hold a sin against someone whom the Lord has forgiven?

1 Corinthians 7:1 Now about the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life.

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband (NLT).

As we can see from the Scripture above, to avoid sexual immorality, people should be encouraged to marry, and not have obstacles put in their way of marriage! The church should be making it easier for people who want to get married to do so, so that people avoid sexual immorality! Rather than doing worthless pregnancy tests to determine who should be married or not, let’s obey scripture and marry off those that are ready to get married. It’s better to marry off an intending couple immediately, so they can have a legitimate outlet for their sexual passions, than to allow them burn with lusts and keep committing sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 7:8 Now I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.

1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust (NLT).

Let me summarise the utter hypocrisy of some churches on this issue for all to see: a couple who cannot keep their passions under control and had been having illegitimate sex now decides to get married inorder to have lawful sex. The lady has gotten pregnant along the way. The couple is disqualified from getting married because the lady got pregnant before the church wedding. What the church is saying is, ” keep living in sexual immorality till the woman delivers, we’ll wed you after she has put to bed”! Isn’t that the height of hypocrisy and violation of God’s word by a stupid tradition of men? After delivery, the church will not hesitate to conduct naming ceremony and child dedication for the baby they’ve allowed to be delivered out of wedlock. The only thing that comes to mind at this point is Jesus’ withering rebuke of the hypocritical Pharisees!

St. Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “’These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

St. Mark 7:7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’

St. Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

St. Mark 7:9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! (NIV).

The reason churches give for refusing to wed a pregnant woman is to avoid wedding the baby in the womb also to the man! Can anything be more absurd or more comical? By marrying Mary while she was pregnant, did Joseph also marry Jesus who was in her womb? When a man has sex with his pregnant wife, does he have sex with the baby in the womb too? When an employer hires a pregnant woman, does he employ the baby in her womb also? When people stop acting based on the word of God and common sense, they will soon start believing any myth! When you depart from the word of God, you’ll give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Before long, such a church will become a pillar and ground of fables!

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth (AKJV).

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

2 Timothy 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (ESV).

In conclusion, premarital pregnancy testing has no basis in Scripture. Worse still, the idea of forbidding pregnant women from getting married while they’re pregnant is unscriptural and unreasonable. Sexual intimacy between an unmarried couple is a compelling reason to hurry them to get married. And if a pregnancy has resulted from such sexual encounter, we should hasten the marriage procedure, rather than prevent them from getting married! Joseph married Mary while she was pregnant for Jesus, following the instructions of an angel of God, forever settling the matter that marrying a pregnant lady is scriptural and approved of God. Therefore, for as long as a couple continue to live in sexual immorality because the church declined to marry them on account of the woman being pregnant, the church is an accomplice in their sexual immorality! And should a pregnant woman induce an abortion in order to be allowed to wed in church, the church too bears responsibility for the murder of the innocent baby.

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Praying For Those In Authority Does Not Preclude Civil Disobedience Or Speaking Truth To Power!

We are admonished in Scripture to honour and respect those in authority and to pray for them, because they are ordained of God and are God’s servants. However, there are circumstances under which Christians are to lawfully disobey those in power and disregard decrees and laws of governing authorities. There is also a time to speak truth to power. We shall examine Scripture to know when it’s lawful in the sight of God to disobey those in power, as well as when it’s appropriate to speak out against rulers.

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,

Romans 13:4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Romans 13:5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Romans 13:6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.

Romans 13:7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (ESV).

Scripture makes us understand that governments are God’s delegated authorities to ensure peace and good behaviour, through the making and enforcement of good laws. All governments derive their authority and legitimacy from God, and all are to rule on his behalf. Governments are therefore to make laws in line with divine laws, and are to enforce such laws strictly, to ensure God’s will is done on earth. To the extent that human governments align with God’s government and make laws that are in accord with God’s laws, Christians are to support such governments and obey laws made by them. Support for government comes in various forms: respecting and honouring government officials, payment of taxes to maintain government officials, and obedience to laws made by government officials.

Governments are ordained of God, but not all governments act in God’s interest at all times. There are times when governments step beyond the bounds of the authority given them by God, and begin to act contrary to God’s will. At such times, they are are no longer acting as God’s agents. At such times, they have become rebellious to God! When government authorities become rebellious to God and make laws that are contrary to the laws of God and of nature, how are Christians to respond to such governments and such laws?

Daniel 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king.

Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?

Daniel 3:15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

Daniel 3:17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up (ESV).

Nebuchadnezzar, appointed by God as king of Babylon and of the known world at that time, had overstepped his delegated authority and made a law that compelled God’s people to worship idols. He made a law that compelled all in his kingdom to worship an image or be put to death. Now, it was time for true believers who had hitherto obeyed and served Nebuchadnezzar to show him where their true allegiance lied. Babylon was a pluralistic and multi-cultural society with different religions co-existing peacefully up till this moment. God’s people tolerated other people practising their different religions in that multi-cultural society, as long as they themselves were not compelled to worship other gods. The moment a law was made to compel them to worship anything other than Jehovah, the only true God, it was time to rebel against a rebellious delegated authority. The three Hebrew children refused to bow down before Nebuchadnezzar’s image, even at the threat of death. They defied the king in their obedience to the King of kings! When it comes to choosing between obeying a king or obeying the King of kings, there should be no hesitation for a Christian! We should rather die first than choose to obey a mortal king instead of God! Civil disobedience becomes the right thing for a Christian to do at such a time! And God will stand by you at such a time, when you stand for him!

Exodus 1:15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

Exodus 1:16 When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.

Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.

Exodus 1:18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this, and let the male children live?

Exodus 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.

Exodus 1:20 So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.

Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families (ESV).

The Hebrew midwives were given a commandment by the king of Egypt that was contrary to the commandment of God. They were instructed by the king to kill all male children born to the Jews, whereas the King of kings forbade them to commit murder! As God-fearing midwives, they placed God’s commadment above that of the king of Egypt. They refused to kill those innocent baby boys born to the Hebrews. They preserved those innocent lives at the risk of their own lives. God saw their allegiance and rewarded them accordingly.

The Acts 4:18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

The Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,

The Acts 4:20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.

The Acts 5:26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

The Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,

The Acts 5:28 saying, We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

The Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, We must obey God rather than men.

From the portions of Scripture quoted above, the apostles were threatened and warned by the Jewish leaders not to preach in the name of Jesus. However, Jesus had given the Apostles the commision to preach his Gospel to every creature and to deliver men from the powers of darkness through his name. I love the apostles’ response to the threat not to preach anymore in Jesus’name: “we must obey God rather than man”! When the laws of a human government conflict with those of heaven’s government, we must obey God rather than man! It didn’t matter that the apostles were threatened, beaten, imprisoned and humiliated. It didn’t matter that their very lives hung in the balance. Where the word of God was involved and the Gospel of Christ was at stake, their lives didn’t matter to them! They were ready to hazard their lives for the sake of the gospel! They were literally obeying the command of their Lord concerning losing their lives for his name and for the sake of gospel.

Mark 8:34 And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mark 8:35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

Mark 8:37 For what can a man give in return for his life? (ESV).

Paul taught Christians to pray for rulers and kings and those in authority, so that we may live in peace and preach the gospel freely. Some have taken that passage of Scripture to mean that Christians are not to oppose or speak against any form of government authority. Let us carefully examine Paul’s instruction concerning praying for those in authority to see the extent of subservience required of a Christian towards worldly rulers.

1 Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people —

1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

1 Timothy 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (NIV).

According to the passage above, the purpose of praying for kings and those in authority is so “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”. We pray for kings and those in authority so that they will make good laws and create the enabling environment for us to live in peace and practise our religion without hinderance. Our prayer is not for God to prosper them in evil ways or to sustain them in ungodliness. But praying for political leaders to do the right thing and govern justly is not enough. Servants of God are to stand up to evil rulers and speak truth to power, in order to resist evil and check social injustice and ungodliness in government. From Samuel through Elijah to John the Baptist, we see prophets of God rising up against evil rulers and condemning ungodliness among kings, even at the cost of their lives. We ought to follow the example of Samuel in his relationship with king Saul. Samuel rebuked Saul harshly in public for his rebellion against God, but continued praying for him privately for mercy and repentance. Though appointed king by God, Saul had abandoned God and was no longer God’s agent! God was angry with him, and so should every loyal servant of God!

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

1 Samuel 15:24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.

1 Samuel 15:25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”

1 Samuel 15:26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!”

1 Samuel 15:27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore.

1 Samuel 15:28 Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors —to one better than you.

1 Samuel 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.” (NIV).

When Christians don’t speak up against evil policies and social injustice, when Christian leaders fail to speak truth to power, they fail God and disappoint their calling as preachers of righteousness. You cannot be a preacher of righteousness and look the other way when political and social leaders act unjustly and ungodly, in ways that undermine God’s purpose on earth! Christians are the moral compass of any nation. We are the light and salt of the earth. To fail to lead or guide a nation morally is to fail God and society. As we pray for God’s will to be done on earth and for his kingdom to come, we should also not hesitate to condemn anything that’s contrary to his will and that opposes his government. The Christian is to be both a prayer warrior and a moral crusader, combating evil forces both by prayers to God and by rebukes to men!

The entire Old Testament was a continuous history of true prophets standing up to ungodly kings, while false prophets cozied with them and looked the other way, at the height of national idolatory, immorality and social injustice. John the Baptist confronted king Herod for his ungodly lifestyle and for snatching away his brother’s wife while his brother was still alive. Herod hated him for that and eventually had him imprisoned and killed. The bulk of Jesus’ message was against the hypocritical Jewish leaders who had made the word of God of none effect by their ungodly traditions. He just couldn’t stand to see the moral decadence and injustice in his day! He never missed an opportunity to speak truth to power!

St. Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

St. Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

St. Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices —mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law —justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

St. Matthew 23:24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

St. Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

St. Matthew 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

St. Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

St. Matthew 23:28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

St. Matthew 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

In conclusion, the command to obey those in authority is predicated on the assumption that the authority is itself subject to God. As long as an authority does not go contrary to God’s will, but seeks to maintain law and order and create an enabling environment for peaceful and godly living, such a power should be respected, honoured and obeyed. However, the moment an authority becomes ungodly and makes laws that are inimical to the Christian faith and the principles of natural justice, such power should be disobeyed and resisted. Above all, governments are run by human beings who can easily lose focus; they should be constantly reminded of their godly duties by Christians who should not hesitate to speak truth to power always.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, drop a comment and share with others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Submission In The Workplace: The Key To Peace And Prosperity At Work

Submission of Christian workers to their bosses, and of Christian masters to Christ, is key to peace and prosperity in the workplace. With subordination to our various heads and recognition of the authority of those placed above us, even menial work becomes joyful service. On their own part, Christian bosses have a biblical responsibility to treat their subordinates humanely and kindly, and to make the work of those under them easier and more pleasant. It is easy to accept the authority of good bosses and to submit to them. What of wicked and evil masters? How are we to relate to them? We shall examine Scripture to answer this question, as well as explore the prescribed relationship between Christian employers/bosses and their employees/subordinates in the workplace.

Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;

Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:25 But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done: and there is no respect of persons (AKJV).

Servants are enjoined to obey their masters in all things, and to do their work as unto the Lord. Every Christian is to do his or her job as though they’re working for God directly. Whether you’re working as a cleaner, a janitor, a messenger, a clerk, or a nanny, see yourself as working directly for God! How would you do your job as a cleaner if you were directly employed by God? How would you do your job as a janitor if you were maintaining God’s apartment? I’m sure you’d do it with more commitment, more zeal and more dedication. Now, that’s exactly how God expects you to work for your boss! See yourself as working for God in that job, however tedious and menial the work is. See your work as a form of service or worship to God! Yes, worshipping God is not only when you pray or sing praises to God. Worshipping God is not only done in the church or in prayer houses. You also worship God at your place of work! You also serve God at your duty post in whatever work you do! Whenever you perform a lawful duty heartily, you are serving God!

It’s easy to appreciate a good boss and work happily for those who treat us kindly and appreciate our efforts. How about wicked and evil superiors? How about those who make our lives a living hell in the workplace? How are we to relate to them? How are we to work for them? The natural human instinct is to be mean to superiors that treat us badly, to try to sabotage them whenever we have the opportunity. The default mindset towards difficult bosses is to wish them evil, and pray for their downfall or removal. That’s only being human! We love the ones who love us and hate the ones who hate us! But, what does the Bible say? How does God expect us to relate with superiors that treat us badly in the workplace?

1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.

1 Peter 2:19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God (ESV).

Servants are to be subject not only to good and gentle masters, but also to the unjust. We are to be submissive to bosses who don’t treat us justly and are mean and unfair to us. It is a gracious thing when we endure unjust treatment for the sake of God. We are ambassadors of Christ even at our places of work. Even in our menial jobs, we’re to display the qualities of Christ for all to see. We’re to repay evil with good. We’re to bless those that curse us and pray for the good of those who use us despitefully and persecute us. We’re to overcome evil with good. That’s the example Christ set for us, and that’s what the Bible admonishes us to do.

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1 Peter 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (ESV).

Luke 6:27 But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you (ESV).

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.

Romans 12:20 To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (ESV).

As a worker, do not expect praise from your boss. The reward for your work is your wage/salary here, and God’s reward later, not praise from men. A boss or a superior has a right to talk you anyhow he wishes. Don’t let that get to you. Win such unappreciative masters with your godly behaviour, Christ-like dedication to duty and uncommon subordination and respect. Even the Lord warned servants not to expect praise for the work they’re being paid to do!

Luke 17:7 Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and recline at table?

Luke 17:8 Will he not rather say to him, Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink?

Luke 17:9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?

Luke 17:10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty (ESV).

Don’t use your employer’s time for personal work. Give your employer your total and unalloyed attention while at work. Your time at work is for your employer. You’re paid to work for your boss, not to do any other thing outside your job description. Do not use your time at work for praying, Bible study, evangelism or such other things. Give to your employer the full service he has paid you to offer. Work as conscientiously when your boss is not there as when he is there. Working hard when your employer is present, and idling away when he’s not there, is being hypocritical and displaying eye-service. God watches you at all times and is not pleased with hypocritical eye-service!

Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

Ephesians 6:6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

Ephesians 6:7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

Ephesians 6:8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free (ESV).

Luke 20:25 He said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (ESV).

You should obey and honour those above you at your place of work because it’s not only the right thing to do as required by the word of God and by your conscience as a Christian, it’s also to prevent the punishment that comes with disobedience and disregard for superior authority! There are laws governing superior-surbodinate relationship in the workplace. Violating those laws usually incur punishment. To avoid being humiliated and disgraced, be on the right side of the law. By allowing yourself to violate the law and be punished, you not only disgrace yourself, you also bring Christ’s name to disrepute, because you’re an ambassador of Christ! Your behaviour and actions at the work place have implications for your ambassadorial role as a Christian!

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,

Romans 13:4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Romans 13:5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Romans 13:6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.

Romans 13:7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (ESV).

1 Peter 2:16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.

1 Peter 2:19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1 Peter 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (ESV).

Christians should always pray for the good and prosperity of their places of work. Your prosperity depends on the prosperity of the organisation you work for. If the organisation does well, your wages and allowances are likely to increase; if they don’t do well, you too are likely to suffer. If your workplace folds up, you will suffer unemployment for sometime, till you find another job. So, take care of your workplace as though it’s your own. When you manage other people’s business well, God will give you your own in due time.

Jeremiah 29:7 Work for the good of the city where I’ve taken you as captives, and pray to the LORD for that city. When it prospers, you will also prosper (GodsWord).

1 Corinthians 9:7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? (ESV).

Luke 16:12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? (ESV).

On the other hand, Christian employers of labour and Christian bosses have a biblical responsibility to treat their workers well. They are not to maltreat those that work under them. Masters, treat your subordinates with dignity and fairness, and avoid threatening them. You too have a head, Christ, who will judge you according to the way you treat those under you!

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?

Luke 12:43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Luke 12:44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

Luke 12:45 But if that servant says to himself, My master is delayed in coming, and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,

Luke 12:46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.

Luke 12:47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.

Luke 12:48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more (ESV).

Ephesians 6:9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him (ESV).

Colossians 4:1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven (ESV).

When you treat your workers unkindly and cruelly, when you don’t care for their welfare and well-being, you’re sabotaging yourself and your work! A dissatisfied worker or subordinate can undermine your work and your organisation and sell you out to your competitors! A disgruntled servant can leak out vital secrets of your organisation that can lead to your downfall! Look at this example from Scripture and be properly guided in the way you treat your subordinates!

1 Samuel 30:11 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink,

1 Samuel 30:12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights.

1 Samuel 30:13 And David said to him, To whom do you belong? And where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago.

1 Samuel 30:14 We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.

1 Samuel 30:15 And David said to him, Will you take me down to this band? And he said, Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.

1 Samuel 30:16 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.

1 Samuel 30:17 And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled.

1 Samuel 30:18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives.

1 Samuel 30:19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all.

1 Samuel 30:20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, This is David’s spoil (ESV).

If you treat your servants and subordinates well, you win their loyalty and make them subservient to you for the rest of their lives. If you take good care of your servants’ welfare, they too will take good care of your own interests. A servant who is loved and treated well by his master will go to any length to protect his master’s interests. His master’s wish will be his command, even if the venture entails great risk to his own life.

2 Samuel 23:14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem.

2 Samuel 23:15 And David said longingly, Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!

2 Samuel 23:16 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the LORD

2 Samuel 23:17 and said, Far be it from me, O LORD, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives? Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did (ESV).

Christian employers of labour should endeavour to pay their workers just and fair wages in a prompt and timely manner. God hates the defrauding of workers and the withholding of the wages of employees. Remember that your position of authority today is a privilege derived from God. Be a boss with a human heart. If you deliberately hold back the wages of those who have worked for you, when they cry out to God against you, God will hear and answer, and it won’t be for your good! If you unjustly use the wages of workers to build yourself up, you’re placing yourself under a curse! Your prosperity will not last, for God will visit you in his wrath, in due time!

Leviticus 19:13 You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning (ESV).

Jeremiah 22:13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages,

Jeremiah 22:14 who says, I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms, who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion (ESV).

Malachi 3:5 Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts (ESV).

James 5:4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts (ESV).

In conclusion, the relationship between employers and employees is based on subordination and responsible leadership: the employee respects and honours his boss and does his job with commitment and honesty, while the boss treats him fairly and justly and pays him his due wages promptly. When respectful subordination is coupled with humane leadership, there will be peace and prosperity in the workplace and God will be glorified.

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Don’t Neglect Your Parents For Any Reason: Parental Dishonour Attracts Curses!

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother (AKJV)

Some men of God encourage their followers to dishonour their parents, through teachings that de-emphasise the honour and reverence due to parents, as well as the responsibilities children have towards their parents. Also, some ministers make some people believe their parents are witches and wizards working against their prosperity, and therefore should be kept at bay, or in some cases not allowed to live! How should believers in Christ treat their parents? What does the Bible teach about responsibility to one’s parents? We shall revert to Scripture to answer these pertinent questions.

Parents play the most important role in the lives of children, next to God only. As partners with God in creation, parents are God’s instruments of creation in bringing forth children into the world, as well as the most trusted agents in nurturing them to maturity. It is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children in the ways of God, and to guide them in the path of righteousness. It is for this reason that God commands children to obey and honour their parents in all things. The Bible teaches absolute submission of children to parents and unquestioned obedience to parental authority.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (NIV).

Deuteronomy 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you (ESV).

To live long on earth and do well in life, we are enjoined to honour our parents. Disobedience to parental authority carries grave consequences in Scripture. To dishonour one’s parents or curse them was a death penalty offence in the Old Testament! To disobey one’s parents or be stubborn and rebellious against them was also punishable by death under the Law.

Leviticus 20:9 For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him (ESV).

Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,

Deuteronomy 21:19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives,

Deuteronomy 21:20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.

Deuteronomy 21:21 Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear (ESV).

Yes! That’s how serious it is in the sight of God to dishonour one’s parents! Our parents are literally the god we see. Their role in our creation (as God’s partners and instruments of our creation), and their responsibilities over us as caretakers to care, protect, nurture, train, direct and guide us in life, make them venerable figures to be revered and honoured for life. To resist them is to resist God. To rebel against them is to rebel against God. To disobey them is to disobey God. Parents are God’s delegated authority over children to ensure perpetuation of the species in the ways of God! Parents are the first teachers and pastors a child gets to have, and they remain teachers and guides throughout their lives!

Proverbs 1:8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

Proverbs 1:9 for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

Proverbs 4:2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

Proverbs 4:3 When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,

Proverbs 4:4 he taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.

Proverbs 4:10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.

Proverbs 4:20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.

Proverbs 4:21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.

Proverbs 4:22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Proverbs 15:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent (ESV).

Submission of children to parental authority is taught everywhere in Scripture. The stability of the family structure is hinged on children deferring to parents and respecting and honouring them. Even Jesus as a child subjected himself to his earthly parents and honoured them. He is our example in all things and we are to follow his footsteps as our role model.

Luke 2:48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.

Luke 2:49 And he said to them, Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?

Luke 2:50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.

Luke 2:51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart (NIV).

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.

Ephesians 6:3 And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, “you will live a long life, full of blessing.” (NLT).

Jesus not only submitted to his parents as a child, he also honoured, respected and took care of them as an adult. At the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee for instance, he honoured his mother’s request to miraculously provide wine for the people when they ran out of wine. It wasn’t yet time for Jesus to manifest himself in that manner, but because of the respect he had for his mother, he honoured her by granting her request and performing the first miracle of his ministry.

John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

John 2:2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.

John 2:3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine.

John 2:4 And Jesus said to her, Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.

John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you.

John 2:6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

John 2:7 Jesus said to the servants, Fill the jars with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

John 2:8 And he said to them, Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. So they took it.

John 2:9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom

John 2:10 and said to him, Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.

John 2:11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him (ESV).

Even while dying on the cross, Jesus still had the presence of mind to make plans for the upkeep and care of his mother. He was so concerned about his mother and her welfare that he ignored his pains and agony, and summoned his last ounce of strength to give instructions to one of his disciples to take Mary under his charge and ensure she was well taken care of! What an example the Lord set for us, on how to take care of our parents!

St. John 19:25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

St. John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”

St. John 19:27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home (NIV).

During his ministry, Jesus reserved one of his most stinging rebukes for hypocritical religious leaders who sought to divert people’s attention away from their parents. The Pharisees had contrived to undermine God’s law that required children to honour and take care of their parents. They rather made laws that relieved people of the responsibility to take care of their parents, as long as whatever gifts people would have given to their parents were brought to the church instead! This devilish business of bewitching gullible followers to neglect their parents and focus their love and attention on pastors instead didn’t start today! It’s been around for some time, and it’s one of the hallmarks of wolves masquerading as shepherds in the house of God!

St. Matthew 15:1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus.

St. Matthew 15:2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?” they demanded. “They ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

St. Matthew 15:3 Jesus replied, ” And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?

St. Matthew 15:4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’

St. Matthew 15:5 But you say, ‘You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.’

St. Matthew 15:6 And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God.

St. Matthew 15:7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said,

St. Matthew 15:8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away.

St. Matthew 15:9 Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.’ ” (NLT).

Christians are to first demonstrate their piety at home, by taking care of their households, including their parents. Charity should begin at home! The practice of religion should start with one’s family. To ignore your parents and other members of your household while taking care of pastors and people outside is not only hypocritical madness, it amounts to denying the faith! Such a person is worse than an infidel! That’s what the Bible says!

1 Timothy 5:3 The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her.

1 Timothy 5:4 But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much.

1 Timothy 5:8 But those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers (NLT).

One of the duties of a true servant of God is to reconcile families, to seek to bring parents and children together, and not put them asunder. The ministry we have as Christians is a ministry of reconciliation, to reconcile people to God and to one another. To turn the hearts of children to their parents and vice versa, is a ministry of the Holy Spirit. Any minister who schemes to pitch children against their parents is satanic and anti-Christ! Flee from such a pastor!

Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.

Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” (NIV).

2 Corinthians 5:17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him.

2 Corinthians 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” (NLT).

Some pastors and prophets teach their followers to see their parents as witches and wizards who are working to subvert their destinies. Now, even if the people that gave birth to you are witches or wizards, the fact that such wizards or witches did not abort you, did not kill you as a vulnerable child, suffered to provide for you, trained you and saw you through school to the stage you are presently, should make you honour and respect them! They may have used their witchcraft for evil towards others, but certainly not towards you! How can you now repay their good towards you with evil in their weak and vulnerable old age? Even if your parents are witches and wizards who did you evil, the Bible forbids you to repay their evil with evil. As a Christian, you’re to forgive those who hurt you and bless those that curse you and wish you evil. You’re to overcome evil with good!

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (AKJV).

Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.

Romans 12:20 To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (ESV).

If you have parents who are genuine witches and wizards, don’t reject them. Don’t cast them out. Pray for their salvation and deliverance. Stand in the gap for them. Show them love. Don’t you ever dishonour them! They are still your parents, no matter their level of enslavement by Satan. Jesus has the power to deliver them from the spirit of witchcraft and set them free from the bondage of Satan. Don’t give up on them and don’t abandon them! Your parents are your flesh and blood and the instruments of your creation!

Finally, let me remind us that parental blessings and curses are real and effective! God has empowered parents with the authority to bless and curse their children, and God takes care to ensure such blessings and curses take effect! Heaven honours the prayers and cries of parents, as well as their benedictions and curses towards rebellious children! Examples of parental curses for dishonouring parents abound in Scripture. Let’s take heed and beware! Honour and treat your parents well so that they will bless you, and not curse you!

Genesis 9:20 After the Flood, Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard.

Genesis 9:21 One day he became drunk on some wine he had made and lay naked in his tent.

Genesis 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers.

Genesis 9:23 Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, walked backward into the tent, and covered their father’s naked body. As they did this, they looked the other way so they wouldn’t see him naked.

Genesis 9:24 When Noah woke up from his drunken stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done.

Genesis 9:25 Then he cursed the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham: “A curse on the Canaanites! May they be the lowest of servants to the descendants of Shem and Japheth.”

Genesis 9:26 Then Noah said, “May Shem be blessed by the Lord my God; and may Canaan be his servant.

Genesis 9:27 May God enlarge the territory of Japheth, and may he share the prosperity of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.” (NLT).

Genesis 49:1 Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what is going to happen to you in the days to come.

Genesis 49:2 “Come and listen, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father.

Genesis 49:3 “Reuben, you are my oldest son, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first on the list in rank and honor.

Genesis 49:4 But you are as unruly as the waves of the sea, and you will be first no longer. For you slept with one of my wives; you dishonored me in my own bed (NLT).

In conclusion, God has commanded that children obey and honour their parents, for that is well pleasing to him. It is a commandment that has the promise of long life and prosperity attached to it. To be disobedient to parents or rebel against them is a grievous sin in the sight of God. Dishonouring one’s parents attracts curses and punishment from God. Jesus showed us an excellent example by being submissive to his earthly parents as a child, and by honouring and taking care of them as an adult. Christians should demonstrate piety at home by taking care of their households, including their parents. Anyone who fails to take care of their parents is worse than an infidel. To give what is meant for one’s parents to the church or to a pastor is violating God’s command. A true servant of God aims to reconcile children with their parents. Any pastor or prophet who sows seeds of discord between parents and their children with the aim of turning children against their parents is evil and satanic. Let’s be careful to take good care of our parents so that we will be blessed by God. Let’s avoid dishonouring our parents to avoid curses, for parents have the powers to bless as well curse their children.

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Submission In Christian Homes: The Key To Peace And Prosperity In The Family

The family was the first institution God designed for the purpose of fulfilling his vision and mission for mankind. It is the basic unit of the church and society, as well as the primordial training ground for God’s children. The success of the church and society at large depends on the success of the family. In this expository study, we shall examine the Bible to discover God’s ordained government in the home, as well as the submission required of the various components of the family unit, in order to achieve God’s purpose for the family. This article will focus on the relationship between husbands and wives. The relationship between parents and their children, and between servants and their masters, will be discussed in subsequent posts.

The family unit consists of the husband, wife, children and household servants. Each member of the family has a head he or she is answerable to, and to whom he or she is expected to submit. The various heads are appointed by God, and rebellion against one’s head is considered rebellion against God who delegated authority to that head. Submitting to our various heads is a sign of obedience and reverence to Christ!

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Let us examine Scripture to see the heads of the various subunits in the family. We will find out God’s original design for leadership in the home, and by extension the church. Adhering to God’s order is the only way to avoid chaos and confusion. Only God’s order will ensure stability and prosperity of the family unit, the church and society at large.

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God (ESV).

From the passage above, we see that the head of the wife is her husband, while the head of the husband is Christ, and the head of Christ is God the Father. The idea of co-equality of the husband and wife in marriage is a lie from the pit of hell! It’s a product of the feminist movement designed by satan to topple God’s ordained government in the home. From the very beginning, God created the man to be the head, and the woman to be a helper who would be subject to the man.

1 Corinthians 11:8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.

1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man (ESV).

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

Genesis 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (ESV).

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you (ESV).

Yes, God created the woman to be a helper to the man, and placed the woman under the headship of the man. God made the man the ruler of the home and head of the family unit. The husband is God’s delegated authority over the family, and all members of the family are to submit to him. Rebellion against the husband’s authority in the home is the beginning of anarchy in society, for where there is no order, chaos and confusion reign!

Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands (ESV).

Colossians 3:18 Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority. This is appropriate behavior for the Lord’s people (GodsWord).

The wife is to submit to her husband’s authority as though she’s submitting to the Lord himself, for the husband’s authority over the wife comes from the Lord himself. Think about it: the wife is to submit to her husband the same way the Church is to submit to Christ! We honour God when we honour and respect his delegated authorities. Now, wives are not to be submissive only to godly husbands who obey the word of God; they are also required by God to subordinate themselves to the authority of those husbands who do not obey God!

1 Peter 3:1 IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

1 Peter 3:2 When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband] (AMP).

Yes, wives are to obey and subject themselves even to those husbands that don’t obey God. It’s not a wife’s business whether the man is subject to his own head or not- God will hold him accountable for that. Don’t tell your husband what he must do first before you’ll submit to him. You’re not his head. Your duty is to submit to him, not to argue and lay down pre-conditions for obedience and submission. Your very act of submission and your godly behaviour towards him, even in his rebelion to his head, can win him over to God, without you uttering a word! That’s what the Bible teaches!

1 Peter 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,

1 Peter 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening (ESV).

It is thus against Scripture to see a woman putting someone else above her husband! Sisters, your husband is your head, not your parents, not your pastor and not your prophet! To submit to a pastor and serve him subserviently, while ignoring and relegating your husband to the background is unbiblical! To bow down or kneel to greet a pastor, while grunting out greetings reluctantly to your husband is rebellion! To serve other men with fawning attention, while treating your husband like scum is the height of foolishness!

Some married women abandon their homes and husbands to go and take care of pastors’ homes, cooking for and taking care of pastors, while their own husbands and homes are neglected! Shame on such women! That is the same as unfaithfulness and infidelity! If a pastor teaches you to place him above your husband, that pastor is usurping the position of your husband! That pastor is already luring you into marital unfaithfulness! Your loyalty and submission are to be to your husband, and not to any other man! The moment you transfer your loyalty and submission to any other man, you have become unfaithful. You’re as good as an adulterous woman!

A warning against dangerous extremes of submission! The submission Scripture prescribes for the wife in the husband-wife relationship is not mindless, slavish subservience! The wife is not to be a muted doormat to be trampled upon, with no say in the home! To the contrary, a Christian wife is a Spirit-filled believer, has a mind of her own, is to be listened to, and is to actively make contributions in the decision-making process in the home. She has a lawful right to disagree with her husband when the man makes an unlawful, an unscriptural or an unwise decision, or when he tries to take the place of Christ in her life. The husband is only an adminstrative head to the wife, not her spiritual head! The spiritual head of every believer is Christ! When it comes to choosing between the commands of Christ and those of a husband, a woman should not think twice to disobey her husband! If a husband requests his wife to disobey the word of God in order to obey him, he has made himself an anti-Christ! The woman shouldn’t hesitate to disobey him in such circumstances! The husband’s authority is derived from Christ, and is legitimate only to the extent that the man himself is subservient to Christ! If obeying Christ rather than an unbelieving husband will make him depart, so be it! A sister is not under bondage in such circumstances. Your relationship with Christ is to be treasured above relationship with husband or anyone else for that matter! You’re to obey God rather than man, if you have to make a choice between the two! But, let your disagreement be done in a wise, humble, and respectful manner.

1 Corinthians 7:13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.

1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace (NIV).

The Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,

The Acts 4:20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard (ESV).

Now, let’s turn to the man and his head to whom he’s to submit. We’re told Christ is the head of the man, even as God is the head of Christ. The husband is to subject himself to Christ, to obey his word and precepts, and to lead his family in the ways of God. The husband is to follow Christ as his family follows him. God expects every husband to be the family head, priest, pastor, shepherd, and guide, as he provides for his family spiritually, materially and emotionally.

Genesis 18:17 The LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Genesis 18:18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him (ESV).

The man is to command his household to keep the ways of the Lord, by doing righteousness and justice. He’s to teach and display for his household the ways of God. His family is to follow him as he follows Christ his head. His authority over his household is a delegated authority from Christ. He would be failing in his duties and responsibility if he fails to follow and obey his head, who is Christ. The husband leads his family as he is led by Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (NCV).

The husband is to love his wife and family even as Christ loves his bride, the Church. Christ laid down his life for his wife and family, and the husband too, as the head of his household, is to love his family to the same degree! The mystery of the union and relationship between the husband and the wife is a type and reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church! The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, and the wife is to submit to the husband as the Church submits to Christ.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

Ephesians 5:26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

Ephesians 5:27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,

Ephesians 5:30 because we are members of his body.

Ephesians 5:31 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

Ephesians 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (ESV).

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (ESV).

Finally, when a family unit discovers and follows God’s prescribed leadership, there will be peace and harmony. Wars and strife will cease. Contentions will be minimised. Inevitably, prosperity will follow, as the family will be united in purpose, vision and mission. When there is only one recognised captain in the family ship from whom everyone takes orders, and to whom everyone submits, there will be nothing that that family will not be able to achieve under God.

Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.

Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them (ESV).

However, when a family is divided and there are multiple and divergent leaderships in the home, confusion and chaos will result. That family cannot stand. A foolish woman who fails to submit to her husband’s authority in the home will only destroy her home with her own hands. Rebellion against God and his delegated authority can never end well for anyone, especially in the home.

Mark 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

Mark 3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand (ESV).

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands (AKJV).

In conclusion, the family is the basic unit of the Church and society at large. The relationships among the various subunits in the family should be based on love and submission. There’s a hierarchy of authority in the family: children are subject to their parents, wives are subject to their husbands, while husbands are subject to Christ. The various heads are God’s delegated authorities to ensure there’s law and order at home. Without loving leadership and reverential submission in the home, there will be chaos and confusion. Rebellion and disregard for the people God has placed above us is rebellion and disregard for God. However, when children obey and submit to their parents, when wives submit to their husbands and when husbands submit to Christ, God’s will will be done in families and there will be peaceful coexistence, harmonious living and prosperity at home, in the Church and in the larger society.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, drop a comment and share with others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Don’t Be Duped By The Scam Of Curse-breaking And Family Liberation: The Blood Of Jesus Alone Delivers From All Curses!

Prophetic churches abound in Africa, with prophets and prophetesses dotting every nook and cranny of the continent’s spiritual landscape. One of the prominent features of the prophets we see in Africa is their mimicry of Old Testament prophets in the usage of diverse substances as instruments of deliverance and curse-breaking. We see such prophets making use of items like salt, sand, water, oil, candles, incense, colanuts, fruits, eggs, animal sacrifices, etc, while conducting deliverance and curse-breaking. What’s the view of Scripture on the use of such substances and methods for prayers and deliverance in the New Testament Church? We will examine relevant portions of Scripture to answer this question.

We understand from Scripture that curses result from disobedience to God and rebellion against his will. The first curse came upon our fore-parents, Adam and Eve, for directly violating God’s command. That was the beginning of all curses, and the instigator of the chaos that was unleashed on nature.

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;

Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (NIV).

Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV).

That original sin opened the door for all curses to come upon mankind, bringing about sickness, hardship, painful child-bearing, heartbreaks, and ultimately death. Superimposed on these universal curses are specific curses occasioned by specific acts of disobedience to God’s commands, rebellion and disobedience to parents and violations of contractual agreements ratified under solemn oath. We see examples of all these in Scripture.

Deuteronomy 28:15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

Deuteronomy 28:16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country (NIV).

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” —which is the first commandment with a promise —

Ephesians 6:3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (NIV).

2 Samuel 21:1 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

2 Samuel 21:2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) (NIV).

In the Old Testament, we find prophets of God using various means and methods to break curses and free people from their grip, inspired by the Spirit of God. Bathing in a river, sprinkling salt in water, offering sacrificial animals, as well as killing some people were some of the remedies inspired by the Holy Spirit under the Law, to break and abolish curses.

2 Kings 5:9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.

2 Kings 5:10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

2 Kings 2:19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”

2 Kings 2:20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.

2 Kings 2:21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ’I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’”

2 Kings 2:22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken (NIV).

2 Samuel 24:15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.

2 Samuel 24:16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

2 Samuel 24:17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

2 Samuel 24:18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”

2 Samuel 24:25 David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped (NIV).

Deuteronomy 17:2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant,

Deuteronomy 17:3 and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky,

Deuteronomy 17:4 and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,

Deuteronomy 17:5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

Deuteronomy 17:6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

Deuteronomy 17:7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you (NIV).

So, we see all kinds of methods used in the Old Testament to break curses upon a people or a land, with the aim of restoring back God’s blessings. Each method used was as inspired by the Holy Spirit for the occasion. Now, what must not be forgotten is that, all the prophetic acts in the Old Testament were types and shadows of Christ’s ministry. For instance, the lifting up of a bronze serpent on a pole to heal the people bitten by poisonous snakes in the wilderness was a type of Christ being lifted up on a tree to save men from the curse of sin and death.

Numbers 21:5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Numbers 21:6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.

Numbers 21:7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

Numbers 21:9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived (NIV).

St. John 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

St. John 3:15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (NIV).

Every Old Testament ordinance or practice was a type and shadow of Christ, who is the full revelation of God. Every Old Testament prophet was a type of Christ’s prophetic work as the ultimate Prophet. Every sacrifice offered in the Old Testament was a type and partial reflection of Christ’s all-encompassing sacrifice: all pointed to the coming Messiah, his ministry and his complete redemptive work.

Hebrews 10:8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” —though they were offered in accordance with the law.

Hebrews 10:9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Hebrews 10:12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

Hebrews 10:13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool (NIV).

Thus, we find Christ’s sacrifice of himself on Calvary was perfect and complete in its ability to deliver mankind from all the curses of sin and death, what the types and shadows displayed by prophets and priests in the Old Testament could not achieve. In Christ’s substitutionary and propitiatory death on the cross, we find the solution to all of mankind’s curses and sufferings.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (NIV).

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (NIV).

Having paid the complete price for man’s redemption from the law of sin and death and redeemed mankind thereby, faith in the name of Christ alone becomes the only instrument of deliverance from all curses henceforth! We don’t need animal sacrifices anymore to appease God inorder to remove curses from us. We don’t need to bath with salt or sprinkle salt in our water for curse breaking or healing of the land, like Elisha did. Cleansing baths for curse breaking and healing are no longer required, as was recommended for Naaman. We don’t need to pay money to anyone for family liberation or deliverance. The only thing required to break all curses, liberate anyone and secure total deliverance is faith in the blood of Christ that was shed sacrificially on our behalf on Calvary!

The Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

The Acts 4:9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,

The Acts 4:10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

The Acts 4:11 Jesus is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

The Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (NIV).

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Mark 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Mark 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]] (ESV).

When one confesses and repents from his sins and places his faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour, his sins are pardoned and he becomes justified in the sight of God. He is immediately delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom. He becomes a new creation and old things in his life pass away. All ancestral, generational and familial curses he’d been living under disappear! That’s how all curses are taken away! All curses were broken at Calvary and they become broken in our lives the very moment we appropriate the blessings of Calvary upon ourselves by faith.

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;

Colossians 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;

Colossians 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (NIV).

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (AKJV).

Thus, any prophet or pastor who teaches curse breaking or family deliverance through any means other than repentance and faith in the finished works of Christ is peddling dangerous lies and falsehood. Anyone who belittles what Christ did on Calvary as being insufficient to break all generational and familial curses is trampling underfoot the Son of God, dishonouring the blood of Christ and insulting the spirit of grace. Such a person is an apostate, a heretic and an anti-Christ!

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (NIV).

1 John 2:18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

1 John 2:21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist —denying the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also (NIV).

When Christ sets someone free through the knowledge of himself and by the merits of his own perfect sacrifice, that person is free indeed! When the blood of Christ delivers someone from a curse, that person is delivered indeed! The blood of Christ is the perfect all-encompassing sacrifice which alone satisfies God’s righteous requirements and releases God’s blessings upon mankind. The blood of Christ saves and delivers completely!

St. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

St. John 8:33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

St. John 8:34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

St. John 8:35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

St. John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (NIV).

Hebrews 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest truly meets our need —one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

Hebrews 7:27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself (NIV).

Furthermore, as long as a person remains in Christ, he or she is safe and secure, and beyond the reach of any curse. In Christ, you’re far above all principalities and powers, and above every name that can used to invoke curses. When you’re in Christ Jesus, the devil is under your feet, as you have power to trample upon serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy! Nothing shall by any means hurt you! The name of the Lord is a strong tower; as long as you remain under the shadow of his wings, no evil shall come near you! No one can curse someone that God has blessed!

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name.

Luke 10:18 And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (AKJV).

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe (AKJV).

Psalms 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalms 91:3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (NIV).

Numbers 23:7 Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ’Come,’ he said, ’curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’

Numbers 23:8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? (NIV).

Finally, let me debunk one of the favourite lies that merchants of curse breaking and family deliverance use in deceiving gullible people. These con artists usually tell children of God that even though they’re born again, they are still subject to familial and generational curses, because God visits the sins of the fathers unto their children, to the third and fourth generations. What these confidence tricksters don’t want you to ever know is that, God stopped punishing children for the sins of their fathers a long time ago. No longer do children pay for the sins of their fathers; now, each person bears responsibility for his own actions. A righteous child is no longer punished for the sins of unrighteous and wicked parents or grandparents.

Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the LORD came to me:

Ezekiel 18:2 What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

Ezekiel 18:3 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

In conclusion, curse breaking and deliverance from all powers of darkness for people in the New Testament is by the name of Jesus Christ alone. All the acts and instruments of deliverance and curse breaking we saw in the Old Testament were types and shadows of Christ as the all-in-one sacrifice. Every Old Testament prophetic work foreshadowed Christ’s work on Calvary. In Christ, we find the all-encompassing sacrifice that fulfilled all the types of sacrifices of the Old Testament. Christ took away all mankind’s curses upon himself and died so that all can be free of curses and receive God’s blessings. And, when Jesus delivers someone he delivers them completely from all sins and from all curses. Any act of curse breaking and deliverance in the New Testament that does not invoke the name and blood of Jesus Christ only is heretical and anti-Christ. Such acts trample underfoot the blood of Jesus and insult the spirit of grace. Deliverance from sin, bondage, curses and all satanic powers is only to be done in the name of Jesus Christ only!

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Philippians 2:11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (NIV).

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