Tag Archives: fellowship bible church

Simon Schama’s lack of faith in Old Testament Prophecy (Plus Gervais and Dawkins on Religion)

Richard Dawkins & Ricky Gervais on Religion

Trailer | The Story of the Jews | PBS

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Robert Lewis noted that many orthodox Jews believed through the centuries that God would honor the ancient prophecies that predicted that the Jews would be restored to the land of Israel, but then I notice the latest film series on the Jews done by an orthodox Jew seemed to ignore many of these scriptures. Recently I watched the 5 part PBS series Simon Schama’s THE STORY OF THE JEWS, and in the last episode Schama calls Israel “a miracle” but he is hoping that Israel can get along with the non-Jews in the area. Schama noted, “I’ve always thought that Israel is the consummation of some of the highest ethical values of Jewish traditional history, but creating a place of safety and defending it has sometimes challenged those same ethics and values”. There is an ancient book that sheds light on Israel’s plight today, and it is very clear about the struggles between the Jews and their cousins that surround them. It all comes down to what the Book of Genesis had to say concerning Abraham’s son by Hagar.  

Genesis 16:11-12

New International Version (NIV)

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward all his brothers.”

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The first 90 seconds of episode 5 opened though by allowing us all to experience the sirens and silence of that day in Spring, each year, when Israel halts to mark the Holocaust and I actually wept while I thought of those who had died. Schama noted, “”Today around half the Jews in the world live here in Israel. 6 million people. 6 million defeats for the Nazi program of total extermination.”
After World War II Schama tells about the events leading up to the re-birth of Israel.  Here again Schama although a practicing Jewish believer did not bring in scripture to shed light on the issue. David O. Dykes who is pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas has done just that:
The nation of Israel was destroyed in 70 A.D…Beginning in the early 20th century Jews started trickling back into Palestine at the risk of their lives. Then after World War II, the British government was given authority over Palestine and in 1948, Israel became a nation again through the action of the United Nations…This should not have come as a surprise to any Bible scholar, because this regathering of Israel is predicted many times in scripture. The prophet Amos wrote in Chapter 9:

14 And I will bring back the exiles of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them.

15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be torn up out of their land which I gave them, says the Lord your God.

Some people think the Amos prophecy was referring to the return of Israel after their Babylonian captitvity in 586 B.C. But the nation was uprooted in 70 A.D. And notice God said they would “NEVER AGAIN TO BE UPROOTED.”

Even the preservation of their language is a miracle. For centuries, Hebrew was a dead language spoken nowhere in the world. But within the last century, this dead language has been resurrected and now millions of Israelis speak Hebrew...Have you noticed how often Israel is in the news? They are only a small nation about the size of New Jersey.

I have checked out some of the details that David O. Dykes has provided and they check out. Philip Lieberman is a cognitive scientist at Brown University, and in a letter dated in 1995 he told me that only a few other languages besides Hebrew have ever been revived including some American Indian ones along with Celtic.

Also Zechariah 12:3 also verifies the newsworthiness of Israel now:  And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples; all who lift it or burden themselves with it shall be sorely wounded. And all the nations of the earth shall come and gather together against it.

I do think that Isaiah also predicted the Jews would come from all over the earth back to their homeland Israel. Isaiah 11:11-12 states, “And in that day the Lord shall again lift up His hand a second time to recover (acquire and deliver) the remnant of His people which is left, from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam [in Persia], from Shinar [Babylonia], from Hamath [in Upper Syria], and from the countries ordering on the [Mediterranean] Sea.  And He will raise up a signal for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Amplified Bible)

 I was reading  THE BOOK OF DANIEL COMMENTARY (Cambridge University Press, 1900) by the Bible critic  Samuel Rolles Driver, and on page 100 Dr. Driver commented that the country of Israel is obviously a thing of the past and has no place in prophecy in the future and the prophet Daniel was definitely wrong about that.  I wonder what Dr. Driver would say if he lived to see the newspapers today?

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In fact, my former pastor Robert Lewis at Fellowship Bible Church in his sermon “Let the Prophets Speak” on 1-31-99 noted that even the great Princeton Theologian Charles Hodge erred in 1871 when he stated:

The argument from the ancient prophecies is proved to be invalid because it would prove too much. If those prophecies foretell a literal restoration, they foretell that the temple is to be rebuilt, the priesthood restored, sacrifices again offered, and that the whole Mosaic ritual is to be observed in all its details, (Systematic Theology. [New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1871; reprint Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1949], 3:807).

Portrait of Charles Hodge by the studio of Mathew Brady, Washington, D.C., 1865-1878.

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Robert Lewis went on to point out that the prophet Amos 2700 years ago predicted the destruction of Aram, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab and Israel, but at the end of the Book he said Israel would one day be returned to their land and never removed. We saw from Isaiah 11:11-12 that the Lord “will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” And that certainly did happen after World War II.  I corresponded with some secular Jewish Scholars on this back in the 1990’s such as Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell but they dismissed these type of Old Testament prophecies. In his letter of September 23, 1995, Daniel Bell wrote, “As to the survival of the Jewish people, I think of the remark of Samuel Johnson that there is nothing stronger than the knowledge that one may be hanged the next day to concentrate the mind–or the will.”

After looking at the accuracy of Old Testament, I want to turn my attention to the accuracy of the New Testament. Recently I was reading the book GOD’S NOT DEAD by Rick Broocks and in it he quotes Sir William Ramsay who was a scholar who originally went to Palestine to disprove the Book of Luke. Below is some background info on Ramsay followed by his story.

From Wikipedia:

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (15 March 1851, Glasgow –20 April 1939) was a Scottish archaeologist and New Testament scholar. By his death in 1939 he had become the foremost authority of his day on the history of Asia Minor and a leading scholar in the study of the New Testament. From the post of Professor of Classical Art and Architecture at Oxford, he was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity (the Latin Professorship) at Aberdeen. Knighted in 1906 to mark his distinguished service to the world of scholarship, Ramsay also gained three honorary fellowships from Oxford colleges, nine honorary doctorates from British, Continental and North American universities and became an honorary member of almost every association devoted to archaeology and historical research. He was one of the original members of the British Academy, was awarded the Gold Medal of Pope Leo XIII in 1893 and the Victorian Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1906.

Sir William Ramsay

William Mitchell Ramsay was born on March 15, 1851 in Glasgow, Scotland. His father was a lawyer, but died when William was just six. Through the hard work of other family members, William attended the University of Aberdeen, achieving honors. Through means of a scholarship, he was then able to go to Oxford University and attend the college there named for St. John. His family resource also allowed him to study abroad, notably in Germany. It was under one of his professors that his love of history began. After receiving a new scholarship from another college at Oxford, he traveled to Asia Minor.

William, however, is most noted for beliefs pertaining to the Bible, not his early life. Originally, he labeled it as a ‘Book of Fables,’ having only third-hand knowledge. He neither read nor studied it, skeptically believing it to be of fiction and not historical fact. His interest in history would lead him on a search that would radically redefine his thoughts on that Ancient Book…

Some argue that Ramsay was originally just a product of his time. For example, the general consensus on the Acts of the Apostles (and its alleged writer Luke) was almost humouress:

“… [A]bout 1880 to 1890 the book of the Acts was regarded as the weakest part of the New Testament. No one that had any regard for his reputation as a scholar cared to say a word in its defence. The most conservative of theological scholars, as a rule, thought the wisest plan of defence for the New Testament as a whole was to say as little as possible about the Acts.”[1]

It was his dislike for Acts that launched him into a Mid-East adventure. With Bible-in-hand, he made a trip to the Holy Land. What William found, however, was not what he expected…

As it turns out, ‘ole Willy’ changed his mind. After his extensive study he concluded that Luke was one of the world’s greatest historians:

The more I have studied the narrative of the Acts, and the more I have learned year after year about Graeco-Roman society and thoughts and fashions, and organization in those provinces, the more I admire and the better I understand. I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it here [in the Book of Acts—KB]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment, provided always that the critic knows the subject and does not go beyond the limits of science and of justice.[2]

Skeptics were strikingly shocked. In ‘Evidence that Demands a Verdict’ Josh Mcdowell writes,

“The book caused a furor of dismay among the skeptics of the world. Its attitude was utterly unexpected because it was contrary to the announced intention of the author years before…. for twenty years more, book after book from the same author came from the press, each filled with additional evidence of the exact, minute truthfulness of the whole New Testament as tested by the spade on the spot. The evidence was so overwhelming that many infidels announced their repudiation of their former unbelief and accepted Christianity. And these books have stood the test of time, not one having been refuted, nor have I found even any attempt to refute them.”[3]

The Bible has always stood the test of time. Renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck put it like this:

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which conform in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”[4]

1) The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (1915)
2) Ibid
3) See page 366
4) See page 31 of: Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev (1959)

Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian

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Adrian Rogers: An Old Testament Portrait of Christ

Published on Jan 27, 2014

I own nothing, all the rights belong to Adrian Rogers (R.I.P.) & his website http://www.lwf.org. Story of Abraham is told.

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Adrian Rogers: Why I Believe in Jesus Christ

Adrian Rogers: The Biography of the King

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Robert Lewis, creator of “Men’s Fraternity” nominated for President’s Citizen Medal

Men’s Fraternity – Introduction

Uploaded on Mar 14, 2011

A great introduction to Men’s Fraternity with clips of Robert Lewis, the creator of Men’s Fraternity.

The Quest for Authentic Manhood

Uploaded on Mar 14, 2011

Clips with Robert Lewis from Men’s Fraternity “The Quest for Authentic Manhood”

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The Men of Semper Fidelis: “The Quest for Authentic Manhood” Course (Part 3)

Published on Apr 28, 2012

“Be a Man”, How many men really know what that means? How, if asked, would one define what a man really is? How should a man act? How does a boy grow into a man? How does he understand what an authentic man is? How can I raise my son into the biblical standard of a man? What are the standards that my son can measure himself against to know if he is going down the right path? The Godly path? When the world says he is one thing or peers are leading him to be something other, “The Men of Semper Fidelis and it’s new training program prepares men to be a real man so they can train their sons and other boys to have a visual picture that he can look and back remember and say “No, this is who I really am.”

The Quest for Authentic Manhood was developed by Dr. Robert Lewis, it’s a teaching series that enables men to understand masculinity from a biblical perspective. It is our belief that the difficulties that many men experience in life comes out of a lack of bondedness with other men and a lack of connection to God. Throughout this series, men are presented with the message that they can experience a changed life through relationships with themselves, their families, other men and God.. The Quest for Authentic Manhood is developed to be used in seven 90-minute sessions. There are seven sessions to the program:

Session One- “The Manhood Maze”
Session Two- “The Call to Authentic Manhood”
Session Three- “Manhood Maps”
Session Four- “Wounds Men Must Resolve”
Session Five- “Five Remedies for the Father Wound”
Session Six- “The Importance of Having a Mentor”
Session Seven- “Increasing Your Manhood Vision

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I have written hundreds of letters and emails to President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. The White House answered concerning Social Security (two times), Green Technologies, welfare, small businesses, Obama care (twice),  federal overspending, expanding unemployment benefits to 99 weeks,  gun control, national debt, abortion, jump starting the economy, and various other  issues.   However, his policies have not changed, and by the way the White House after answering over 50 of my letters before November of 2012 has not answered one since.

Since the White House has emailed me several times I have received some interesting emails about things President Obama’s White House has been up to and on  Friday March 22, 2013 I received an email  from the White House asking if anybody in my community deserved the “Citizens Medal.” (There is an easy form to fill out to nominate a candidate and there is a link below in the White House email.)

I responded with a 700 word response recommending Robert Lewis who used to be my pastor at Fellowship Bible at the same time that he created international ministry “Men’s Fraternity.”

This program has encouraged men to reject passivity and accept responsibility in their family relationships. Moreover, it has been used throughout this nation by our prison ministries to reach men and help them repair their “father wounds.”

The White House Friday, March 22, 2013

Who deserves the Citizens Medal?

Each year President Obama honors a handful of extraordinary Americans with the Citizens Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors. The Citizens Medal recognizes Americans for exemplary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs — people who feed the needy, who take care of our veterans, or who support our children.

Is there someone in your life who deserves to be recognized by President Obama?

There are 9 days left before we close nominations on the 2013 Citizens Medal. Complete this easy nomination process before the public submission period closes:

Will you nominate a hero in your community?

Submit a nomination

Last year, people like you nominated over six thousand Americans from across the country and staff at the White House reviewed every single submission. Here are just a few examples:

  • Mary Jo Copeland has offered a safety net for Minneapolis families since 1985 — offering food, clothing, shelter, and medical assistance to the needy.
  • Adam Burke, an Iraq combat veteran, runs “Veterans Farm,” a 19-acre, handicap-accessible farm that helps returning veterans.
  • Janice Jackson founded a Baltimore nonprofit to serve women with varying degrees of disabilities.

Citizenship is fundamental to who we are as Americans. That’s why, at the last award ceremony, President Obama stressed the role it plays:

“We’re home to 315 million people who come from every background, who worship every faith, who hold every single point of view,” he said. “But what binds us together, what unites us is a single sacred word: citizen.”

There are thousands of people across the country making a difference, but we need your help to find them. Nominate a hero in your community today:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/citizensmedal/submit-a-nomination

Stay Connected

I read on the White House website the following:

Submit a Nomination for 2013

Deadline: March 31, 2013

To nominate someone for the 2013 Citizens Medal, please review the criteria for this year’s medal and fully answer questions to the right. Additional awardees may be selected outside of the public nomination process.

In order for an individual to be considered for the Medal:

  • Nominees must be citizens of the United States, as required by the 1969 Executive Order.
  • The nominee’s service must have been performed outside of their regular job.
  • All questions on this form must be fully answered.
  • Nominations must be received by Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Learn more about the 2011 Citizen’s Medal winners.

Criteria for Nomination

The 2013 Citizens Medal will recognize “citizens of the United States of America who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.” Executive Order 11494 (Nov. 13, 1969). It is generally recognized as the second highest civilian award of our Government.

The 2013 Citizens Medal will recognize U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs, including individuals:

Who have a demonstrated commitment to service in their own community or in communities farther from home. Someone who has engaged in activities that have had an impact in their local community, on a community or communities elsewhere in the United States or on fellow citizens living or stationed around the world.

Who have helped their country or their fellow citizens through one or more extraordinary acts. Individuals who have demonstrated notable skill and grace, selflessly placed themselves in harm’s way, taken unusual risks or steps to protect others, made extraordinary efforts to further a national goal, or otherwise conducted themselves admirably when faced with unusually challenging circumstances.  

Whose service relates to a long-term or persistent problem. Individuals who have made efforts to combat stubbornly persistent problems that impact entire communities, for example those who have taken innovative steps to address hunger, homelessness, the dropout crisis, lack of access to health care, and other issues that plague too many Americans.

Whose service has had a sustained impact on others’ lives and provided inspiration for others to serve. The ideal nominee for a Citizens Medal is a person whose work has had a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of others.

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This was my recommendation on March 26, 2013 and I emailed it to the White House:

Robert Lewis retired several years ago as our pastor here at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, but when he was our pastor he used biblical principles to overcome the wounds he had in his heart from his troubled home broken by alcohol abuse and he started a worldwide program for men called “Men’s Fraternity.” Here is a portion of an interview from him in 2002:

Robert Lewis is calling men and fathers to a higher standard. “The men” are the Men’s Fraternity, the 1,100 who gather at the church Wednesday mornings at six to hear Lewis teach on what it means to be a man. Some are members of his church, Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas; many are not. Many are not yet Christians.

“We had a car dealer in town bring all his salesmen,” Lewis says. “He opened the paper and saw our ad: Learn how to be a man. He said, ‘We’re all going to go.’ And you know what, they did. They stuck with me the whole year and finished, too.”

The men haven’t crowned Lewis king, but they hold him and his teachings in high regard.

With fractured families and alternative family forms increasing, and the traditional family in the minority, Lewis’s approach is changing his church and his community. He’s helping harried working parents to cut back their kids’ overprogrammed schedules and to take charge of their moral and spiritual development. He’s taking well-to-do suburban men into the inner city where there are few fathers and giving kids a hope and a future. And with his wife, Sherard, he’s raised four children. Their youngest son is in high school.

What is noble masculinity?

I love that term. Guys stick out their chest when I say the word noble. We still live in a time of dumbed-down masculinity. Nobody knows what it means to be a man, or if it’s okay to be a man. I think guys want to step up and be men, in the way that knights were men.

(Fellowship Bible is an evangelical church.)

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SECOND QUESTION: WHAT IMPACT HAS MEN’S FRATERNITY HAD?

From a 2002 interview with Robert Lewis:

If men aren’t reclaimed, you can say good-bye to the family…Our men know what a man is; they know what up is. It has energized our church to be a force in the community… Then we saw men investing in fatherless boys and girls within the church.

Men and their families started going into the community. Eastgate, which was one of the most violent neighborhoods in Little Rock, is one example…We started reading readiness programs and sports programs. Church members started working down there, and today we’re operating a gymnasium and teaching all kinds of life skills. We take the kids to summer camp. And we’re offering college scholarships for those who finish high school. Now a bunch of men involved with Men’s Fraternity have started Sportsman’s Quest. They mentor young boys from single-parent homes and take them on duck-hunting weekends with the guys. And those are just a few of the ministries our men are leading….One single mother spoke to our church recently. Her son was about to go into high school. She said, “I want to recognize the male mentors who carried me through the last eight years with my son. He looks up to all these guys.”

Another woman walked up to me the other day and said, “I hated men till I came to this church. And I still struggle some. But,” she said, “I’ve been in a small group, and I’ve watched how respectfully the men treat their wives. I’m beginning to believe there could be a man like that.”

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I guess I will just have to wait and see if the White House chooses Robert or not.

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Mens Fraternity Workshop Session 1

Published on Sep 19, 2012

No description available

Here is a short bio from the Men’s Fraternity website:

Dr. Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis was a Teaching Pastor and Directional Leader for Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas for over 20 years. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Leadership Network, and is on the Board of Fellowship Associates, a church consulting and leadership training organization.

Graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1971 with a degree in Management, Robert went on to obtain both an M.A. in New Testament Greek and M.Div. degree from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon in 1977, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Talbot Theological Seminary in LaMirada, California in 1985.

Robert is passionate about helping men discover the biblical principles of authentic manhood. He founded and developed Men’s Fraternity in 1990, and today this significant area of ministry is reaching men worldwide in churches, on college campuses, in corporate boardrooms, and in prison cellblocks via his three one-year video curriculum published by LifeWay: Quest for Authentic Manhood; Winning at Work and Home; and The Great Adventure. In response to great demand, Robert developed the feminine counterpart to Men’s Fraternity, The New Eve. Robert was awarded Pastor of the Year in 2001 by the National Coalition of Men’s Ministry headed by Patrick Morley.

He has authored a number of publications including Raising a Modern-Day Knight (Focus on the Family), the Raising a Modern-Day Knight Video Training Series with Dennis Rainey (Sonlight Productions), Rocking the Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage (NavPress), Real Family Values (Multnomah Press) and The Church of Irresistible Influence (Zondervan). Robert’s most recent book is Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church From the Inside Out published by Jossey-Bass. He is also a contributing author to Building Strong Families edited by Dennis Rainey and Faith Factor in Fatherhood edited by Don Eberly.

Robert has been featured on radio programs such as FamilyLife Today and Focus on the Family, and in a number of magazines including Leadership, Real Man, and Stand Firm.

Married since 1971, Robert and Sherard Lewis reside in Little Rock and have four children.

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Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

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Gene Simmons and his son Nick (Refer to end of post for more on Nick and Gene) 28 July 2011 Gene Simmons has proposed to long-term girlfriend Shannon Tweed. The Kiss bassist – who claims to have slept with over 2,000 women and has for a long time vowed never to marry – popped the question […]

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Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed John McArthur The Truth About Divorce, #2 (Mark 10:1-12) On the show Gene Simmons has been arguing the point that he admits that he is selfish, but he still feels he has the right to be selfish. In the conclusion of the final episode of the year on July 24th […]

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Gene Simmons Proposes To Shannon Tweed Kiss singer/bassist Gene Simmons proposed to his longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed in Belize recently, TMZ reports. The couple has been together 28 years and share two children, 22-year-old son Nicholas and 18-year-old daughter Sophie. Simmons popped the question on the A&E reality show ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels,’ which has followed the life of the Simmons brood since […]

“Is God Enough?” Fellowship Bible sermon outline by Mark Henry July 8, 2012

Many times as Christians we look at the world and we notice that many of the righteous are suffering and many of the wicked are prospering. It may cause a believer to question that there is a just God. It really gets us back to the basics. What is true success? Is God enough for the believer?

Our pastor Mark Henry brought a fine message to our church from the 73rd chapter of Psalms on July 8, 2012 and here is the outline of it:

MORE THAN ENOUGH

First, Mark talked about the lyrics in the Chris Tomlin song “Enough”

Enough

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
And still more awesome than I know

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love

And all I have in You is more than enough

Youre my sacrifice
Of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
Youre the coming King
You are everything
And still more awesome than I know

More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know
More than all I can say
You are more than enough for me

Here is the scripture reading for the day which is Psalms 73:1-28

1-5 No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
   But I nearly missed it,
      missed seeing his goodness.
   I was looking the other way,
      looking up to the people
   At the top,
      envying the wicked who have it made,
   Who have nothing to worry about,
      not a care in the whole wide world.

 6-10 Pretentious with arrogance,
      they wear the latest fashions in violence,
   Pampered and overfed,
      decked out in silk bows of silliness.
   They jeer, using words to kill;
      they bully their way with words.
   They’re full of hot air,
      loudmouths disturbing the peace.
   People actually listen to them—can you believe it?
      Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.

 11-14 What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch?
      Nobody’s tending the store.
   The wicked get by with everything;
      they have it made, piling up riches.
   I’ve been stupid to play by the rules;
      what has it gotten me?
   A long run of bad luck, that’s what—
      a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

 15-20 If I’d have given in and talked like this,
      I would have betrayed your dear children.
   Still, when I tried to figure it out,
      all I got was a splitting headache . . .
   Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
      Then I saw the whole picture:
   The slippery road you’ve put them on,
      with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
   In the blink of an eye, disaster!
      A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
   We wake up and rub our eyes….Nothing.
      There’s nothing to them. And there never was.

 21-24 When I was beleaguered and bitter,
      totally consumed by envy,
   I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
      in your very presence.
   I’m still in your presence,
      but you’ve taken my hand.
   You wisely and tenderly lead me,
      and then you bless me.

 25-28 You’re all I want in heaven!
      You’re all I want on earth!
   When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
      God is rock-firm and faithful.
   Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
      Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.
   But I’m in the very presence of God—
      oh, how refreshing it is!
   I’ve made Lord God my home.
      God, I’m telling the world what you do!

Outline of Sermon:

LIFE QUESTION: “Is God enough?

v25-26 ESV:

(AH)Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 (AI)My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is (AJ)the strength[b] of my heart and my (AK)portion (AL)forever.

THE PROSPEROUS LIFE OF THE WICKED:

1. Healthy life

v4 EST For they have no pangs until death;
    their bodies are fat and sleek.

2. Wealthy Life

v. 12 ESV Behold, these are the wicked;
    always at ease, they (N)increase in riches.

3. Happy Life

V 5-10 ESV They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not (G)stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is (H)their necklace;
    violence covers them as (I)a garment.
Their (J)eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and (K)speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
    and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them,
    and find (L)no fault in them.[a]

 

THE “SANCTUARY” PERSPECTIVE

1. The ultimate insecurity of the wicked.

v 18 ESV: Truly you set them in (X)slippery places;
    you make them fall to ruin.

2. The ability to see himself as he truly was.

v. 21-22 ESV: When my soul was embittered,
    when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was (AC)brutish and ignorant;
    I was like (AD)a beast toward you.

3. The presence of God is his eternal treasure.

v. 23-28 ESV:

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you (AE)hold my right hand.
24 You (AF)guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will (AG)receive me to glory.
25 (AH)Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 (AI)My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is (AJ)the strength[b] of my heart and my (AK)portion (AL)forever.

27 For behold, those who are (AM)far from you shall perish;
    you put an end to everyone who is (AN)unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to (AO)be near God;
    I have made the Lord God my (AP)refuge,
    that I may (AQ)tell of all your works.

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Everyone is wondering if this amazing fourth quarter comeback streak will end for the Denver Broncos and their quarterback Tim Tebow. At the December 11, 2011 early service at Fellowship Bible Church, pastor Mark Henry (who himself was an all conference Arkansas Razorback football player) noted: How many of you have been watching the drama […]

 

 

“Tip Tuesday” Advice to Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed

John McArthur

The Truth About Divorce, #2 (Mark 10:1-12)

On the show Gene Simmons has been arguing the point that he admits that he is selfish, but he still feels he has the right to be selfish. In the conclusion of the final episode of the year on July 24th he drops to his knees and proposes marriage to Shannon. However, before doing that he apologizes for the selfishness that he so long thought he deserved to have. As we have learned through the episodes this means that he has had numerous affairs through the years while on tour with his band KISS.

He may have thought these other ladies had positive things to offer him but the Bible makes it clear that we are to be committed to our one spouse.

Brandon Barnard in his message on sexual purity at Fellowship Bible Church on July 24, 2011 makes much of this issue. He points out THE PATHWAY OF IMPURITY IS PROMISING BUT DECEIVING. Then he read these scriptures below:

Proverbs 5:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

4but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
    sharp as a two-edged sword.

Proverbs 7:18-20

English Standard Version (ESV)

18Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
   let us delight ourselves with love.
19For my husband is not at home;
   he has gone on a long journey;
20he took a bag of money with him;
   at full moon he will come home.”

What is God doing with Tim Tebow? Fellowship Bible pastor of Little Rock ponders…

Everyone is wondering if this amazing fourth quarter comeback streak will end for the Denver Broncos and their quarterback Tim Tebow. At the December 11, 2011 early service at Fellowship Bible Church, pastor Mark Henry (who himself was an all conference Arkansas Razorback football player) noted:

How many of you have been watching the drama behind Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow is the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Some of you may remember that he had a great career at the University of Florida. He won the Heisman and was a real high draft choice. Recently he was named the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. What has been interesting to watch is the incredible amount of controversy and criticism that has come  against Tim Tebow both as a player and a Christ follower too. It is as if Tim Tebow has a thorn in his flesh and it is called the media.

You know there is website out there and the whole website is set up to mock Tim Tebow for praying before, during and after football games. People all across the world send pictures to this website and they have coined a word for him praying called “Tebowing.” People all around the world send pictures to this website making a mockery of Tim Tebow for praying.

It doesn’t stop there, just recently another NFL quarterback came out and publically  criticized Tim Tebow and said Tebow talks too much about Jesus.

Then Mark Henry, who was an all-conference football player at Arkansas in 1991 and had his own chance to pursue a NFL career, pointed to Tebow’s response in the USA Today article below.

USA Today reported on November 23, 2011:

A day after former Broncos QB Jake Plummer said in a radio interview that he wished the man currently taking the snaps in Denver, Tim Tebow, would curb his references to Jesus Christ and his faith, Tebow responded.

QB Tim Tebow could have the Broncos in first place by the end of Week 12.
By Kirby Lee, US Presswire

Asked about Plummer’s remarks in an interview on ESPN’s First Take, Tebow said:

“If you’re married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife ‘I love her’ the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity?

“And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ is that it is the most important thing in my life. So any time I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I’m gonna take that opportunity. And so I look at it as a relationship that I have with him that I want to give him the honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity. And then right after I give him the honor and glory, I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory.

“And that’s how it works because Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates. I respect Jake’s opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner. But I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise, he is due for it.”

Plummer had this to say Monday on XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix:

“Tebow, regardless of whether I wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates, I think he’s a winner and I respect that about him. I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ, then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff.

“Like you know, I understand dude where you’re coming from … but he is a baller.”

Asked by ESPN’s Skip Bayless if God makes him a better football player, Tebow would only grant that his faith gives him peace and comfort on the field.

______________________

Then Mark Henry commented:

What a powerful statement (by Tebow). (Audience claps.) Here is what I would say about that. Here is this “if only” situation in Tim Tebow’s life, this constant critique and criticism from the media and from players and it is constant,  yet in the midst of it all God is doing something in Tim Tebow. Through His words and His actions He is on the move. What God is doing is He is showcasing Himself to a watching world and in the end God will not be mocked and I have to wonder and it is just speculation on my part because Tim Tebow has not even being playing very good, yet he has been winning games. You tell me who may behind that right.

(Listen to whole message at http://www.fellowshiponline.com/resources/sermons/#/!/if-only/ )

At this point I get in my car and my 15 yr son Wilson tells me, “Dad you said that God doesn’t pull for one team over another.” I respond that is right then I go home. I remember that Harry King wrote on Saturday:

Tied for first in their division, the Broncos have games remaining against Chicago, New England, Buffalo, and Kansas City. They might lose their next two. If they do, the experts will gloat with “told you so.”

Therefore, I thought the Broncos great run was probably coming to a close on Sunday but I go home and watch this happen below:

Uploaded by on Dec 11, 2011

The Chicago Bears were about to win the game by running out the clock when veteran running back Marion Barber runs out of bounds stopping the clock, and thus giving Tebow and the broncos a shot to make another great fourth quarter comeback. Tebow performed his Magic again in regulation, which forced the game into overtime! This video shows the Magical overtime drive! There is also a link to the game tying driving inside of the video.

___________________________

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“Tip Tuesday” Advice to Gene Simmons

Gene-Simmons-tvae-24.jpg

Gene Simmons Family Jewels

Gene-Simmons-tvae-24.jpg

Gene Simmons Family Jewels

Adrian Rogers – [2/3] How to Cultivate a Marriage

The series I have been doing on “Advice to Gene Simmons” that I am starting what I am calling “Tip Tuesday.” For the next few months we will be looking at the Simmons family.

On July 19th on Gene Simmons Jewels, in a meeting with his marriage counselor, Gene stated, “There is never enough money. Money is the implantation of love.  It begins there and it is only money that provides the walls of your fortress.” Dr. Ann Wexler responds, “Only money? In the pursuit of all this money, in the pursuit of all this fame, aren’t there things that you have missed?”

Gene responded that he missed his daughter’s graduation, but that is life. 

___________________________________________

My advice to Gene Simmons is very simple. Ann Wexler mentioned to him that there is a point where you have enough money and should turn your attention to other important things in his life like relationships. She implies that Gene is being selfish. 

_____________________________-

Many times when a marriage is falling apart there is lots of selfishness that comes out in the open. It may be that a love of money is exposed or it may be a desire to satisfy carnal desires. 

Here are some important points.  First, we are to be married and faithful to one lady. Gene has been having occasional affairs and deep down thinks he deserves the right to do this. However, that is not the plan that God has for us. 

Second, we are to love our wife as Christ loves the church and that means we love her more than anything even money. 

Brandon Barnard in his message “The Battle for Purity” at Fellowship Bible Church on July 24 said there were two paths. The path of impurity and the path of purity. Last time we looked at the path of impurity and today we want to look at the path of purity.

THOSE ON THE PATHWAY TO PURITY WILL PURSUE ALL PLEASURE IN CHRIST AND TAKE GREAT DELIGHT IN THEIR SPOUSE ALONE AND DRINK WATER FROM YOUR OWN CISTERN AND REJOICE IN THE WIFE OF YOUR YOUTH.

Proverbs 5:15-20 states:

15Drink water from your own cistern,
   flowing water from your own well.
16Should your springs be scattered abroad,
   streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
   and not for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
   and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

 19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
   be intoxicated[a] always in her love.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
   and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?[b]

Adrian Rogers – [2/3] How to Cultivate a Marriage

“Tip Tuesday” Advice to Gene Simmons

Gene-Simmons-tvae-24.jpg

Gene Simmons Family Jewels

In the sermon at Fellowship Bible Church at July 24, 2011, teaching pastor Brandon Barnard made a great point about the two choices that you have. You can walk down the pathway of purity or impurity. The pathway of impurity is both persuasive and inviting. 

Proverbs 5:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

3For the lips of a forbidden[a] woman drip honey,
   and her speech[b] is smoother than oil,

Proverbs 6:24

English Standard Version (ESV)

24to preserve you from the evil woman,[a]
   from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.[b]

Proverbs 7:10-20

English Standard Version (ESV)

  10And behold, the woman meets him,

    dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.[a]
11She is loud and wayward;
    her feet do not stay at home;
12now in the street, now in the market,
   and at every corner she lies in wait.
13She seizes him and kisses him,
   and with bold face she says to him,
14“I had to offer sacrifices,[b]
   and today I have paid my vows;
15so now I have come out to meet you,
   to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16I have spread my couch with coverings,
   colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
   aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
   let us delight ourselves with love.
19For my husband is not at home;
   he has gone on a long journey;
20he took a bag of money with him;
   at full moon he will come home.”

___________________________

After his marriage to Shannon will he be faithful? Is Gene Simmons going to continue to have affairs with other women that are evil? However, the Bible calls her an “evil woman.” What kind of future will have with an evil woman that is not your the wife of your youth?  Later in chapter 7 Solomon says, “All at once he follows her,    as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast[c 23till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare;    he does not know that it will cost him his life.27Her house is the way to Sheol,    going down to the chambers of death. ”

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“Tip Tuesday” Advice for Gene Simmons

Last Tuesday night I watched Gene Simmons Family Jewels and I commented how I  was struck by the good advice that his son Nick gave him. He told him that he grew up thinking that his father was the best. However, now that the marital infidility has come out, it has made Nick think long and hard about what other things in his father’s life are not like he thought they were.

In today’s sermon at church I heard our pastor say that Randy Alcorn said one of the main reasons he did not want to have an affair was:

  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT NICK SAID IN THE PROGRAM LAST TUESDAY!!!!HE GREW UP THINKING HIS FATHER HUNG THE MOON AND NOW HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IS AUTHENTIC ABOUT HIS FATHER’S LIFE ANY MORE.

Today I went to my church, Fellowship Bible Church and heard one of our teaching pastors, Brandon Barnard, deliver a message on Sexual Purity.

He started off the sermon by reading three chapters from Proverbs. Here are the verses:

Proverbs 5:1-23

English Standard Version (ESV)

Proverbs 5

Warning Against Adultery

1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3For the lips of a forbidden[a] woman drip honey,
and her speech[b] is smoother than oil,
4but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to[c] Sheol;
6she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it. 7And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”

15Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated[d] always in her love.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?[e]
21For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and he ponders[f] all his paths.
22The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Proverbs 6:20-35

English Standard Version (ESV)

Warnings Against Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they[a] will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24to preserve you from the evil woman,[b]
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.[c]
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,[d]
but a married woman[e] hunts down a precious life.
27Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
30People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
32He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

Proverbs 7:6-27

English Standard Version (ESV)

 6For at the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
7and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense,
8passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
9in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.

10And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.[a]
11She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
12now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
13She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
14“I had to offer sacrifices,[b]
and today I have paid my vows;
15so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
19For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
20he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”

21With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
22All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast[c]
23till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
26for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.

Then Brandon made several points concerning the scriptures. Probably the most powerful point he made was referring to the exercise that Randy Alcorn had challenged all men to make. This below is my advice to Gene Simmons.

In light of all the sexual immorality and high profile infedility, Randy Alcorn shares with us his list that counts the cost of Sexual immorality.

As Christians, this is a timely reminder.

The original link is at http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2009/06/counting-cost-of-sexual-immorality.html

Here is the excerpt:

Personalized List of Anticipated Consequences of Immorality

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ’s sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci’s respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • Shame to my family. (The cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)
  • Shame to my church family.
  • Shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. List of names:
  • Shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I’ve led to Christ and discipled. List of names:
  • Guilt awfully hard to shake—even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
  • Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.
  • Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.
  • Surrender of the things I am called to and love to do—teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.
  • Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.
  • Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community “this is a hypocrite—who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?”
  • Laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).
  • Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.
  • Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed adultery with.
  • Possible diseases (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)
  • Possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications.
  • Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.

I’m older now, turned 55 a few days ago. My daughters are grown, with children of their own. But the list of consequences of immorality is larger than ever. I have two sons-in-law and four grandsons. Many people have read my books, so the circle of people I would be letting down has grown. (For resources on this subject, see my book The Purity Principle, and my booklet Sexual Temptation: How Christian Workers Can Win the Battle.)

It would still break my heart to let down my Lord Jesus and my wonderful wife. That’s why I’m more careful than ever to avoid the little compromises and indulgences that could lead to moral disaster.

If we would rehearse in advance the ugly and overwhelming consequences of immorality, we would be far more prone to avoid it.

Other related posts:

Advice to Gene Simmons Part 3, Fellowship Bible Service July 24, 2011

Last Tuesday night I watched Gene Simmons Family Jewels and I commented how I  was struck by the good advice that his son Nick gave him. He told him that he grew up thinking that his father was the best. However, now that the marital infidility has come out, it has made Nick think long and hard […]

Does Gene Simmons need advice? (Part 2)

Last night I watched Gene Simmons Family Jewels and I was struck by the good advice that his son Nick gave him. He told him that he grew up thinking that his father was the best. However, now that the marital infidility has come out, it has made Nick think long and hard about what […]

Advice for Gene Simmons

I watched with great interest the first episode of Gene Simmons show two days ago when his wife left him because of his repeated unfaithfulness. Nerve editors are divided on the subject of Chelsea Handler, by which I mean that I find her kind of funny and Ben made a barfy face when I said […]