Turkey hunters use a call that sounds just like a female turkey. When the male bird (the gobbler) hears it he thinks it is a female bird. He is lured by the sound he hears and is completely unaware that it is really an ambush in which he will die. The gobbler cannot see the source of the sound, he can only hear it, but he comes to investigate the female bird he thinks is there. When the gobbler comes within range the hunter shoots him and takes him home for dinner.
Likewise, the devil uses many calls in this world to allure Christians away from following Christ. There is an amazing assortment of voices that call each and every day. These voices are very enticing, attractive, and effective.
The call of mammon. Jesus spoke of mammon when He said, “Lay not for yourselves treasures upon the earth...” and that “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:19, 24). Mammon refers the things of his world, i.e. riches, houses, lands, jewels, clothes, luxury items, etc. You know that the devil is going to use this call on you, don’t you? There have been many that have heard this call and like a gobbler they go running after mammon instead of putting spiritual matters first (Matt. 6:33). The devil has bagged many people with this call and these will he take home with him.
The call of man-made doctrines. The devil has multiplied thousands of false prophets in this world teaching every kind of doctrine imaginable (1 John 4:1). Every kind of sect is available and seeking to pull people into their fold. There are religious organizations that allow multiple wives, other groups permit gambling, drinking; and dancing. Some sectarian groups are extremely strict with dress codes (i.e. Amish), while others are very loose and teach universalism (everyone is going to heaven). They are constantly calling people by way of the internet, radio and television. Millions of people are attracted to them because they use the Bible and claim allegiance to God. But it is only another ploy of the devil as he gathers victims into his snare.
The call of sensual lust. The devil is calling each of us by way of movies, television, music videos into sexual sins. Many are running like a chicken with his head cut off straight into this trap. He just keeps calling, and calling, and calling day after day knowing that many will come. Are you answering the call of the devil??
The call of God. But God is also calling men. He is calling with the truth of the Gospel. God calls people into the life that will lead people to heaven. It is the life of spiritual and moral purity. It will lead us away from worldly ambition, man-made doctrines and sensual lust. God and the devil are both calling us—to which call will we heed??
How often have we heard a parent tell a child to say “thank you” for something that was received? We seem to be living in a time when good manners are a thing of the past. Many never seem to acknowledge any of the blessings they enjoy. The words “thank you” are all to often left out of the modern day vocabulary. Sadly, this trend has spilled over into man’s relationship with God. Not only do some forget God altogether, some never stop to thank Him for the many blessings and benefits that are enjoyed each and every day. The Bible tells us to be thankful (Psalms 50:14 “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”)
In his letter to the church at Corinth Paul wrote, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). The word thanksgiving is used three times in 2 Corinthians 9:11-15. The passage emphasizes the fact that God should be honored and thanked for all that is made possible by Him. Psalms 100 should cause us to acknowledge our need and dependence on Him, “it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalms 100:3). We praise and honor His name because He is the creator of all. One of the highest forms of God’s power and authority is revealed in His act of creation, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14). It seems that even Christians today often forget the many blessings from His hand. Sometimes men only think about their our own personal problems. Israel was like that. They had been set free from the bondage of Egyptian slavery, yet, they forgot the blessings they had been given and begun to murmur and complain, “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness” (Exodus 16:2). This attitude brought punishment to the Israelites (Numbers 11:1, 4-6, 21:5). They grumbled and were not at all thankful.
We should continually thank Him for the “unspeakable gift.” The word “unspeakable” is defined as “indescribable or not expressed fully.” The apostle states that are no words that can adequately describe this gift. The mind of men cannot comprehend the greatness of the gift of Christ which was given to the world (John 3:16). How can we understand the cruel death that Jesus endured to save sinners? Every person needs the blessing found in this “unspeakable gift” because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We should continually give thanks to God because He gave the precious gift of His Son who brought the hope of salvation to all men. Paul wrote, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Our words fail us when trying to express the beauty and value of the Father’s gift. However, we can continually thank Him daily for the blessings of His love.im for His "
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:37.
The Bible clearly tells us that because of Biblical truth families may be divided. The Bible also tells us that when it comes to spiritual truth or following our families and friends, we must be careful which we choose. Have we forgotten about the numerous commands about putting God first? This includes putting God before our families and friends. There are congregations today who have people that know what the truth is, and that it is not being taught where they are attending. Congregations have members who know that they will gain no spiritual knowledge if they continue where they are currently attending. If you are one of these people, I ask you: Why are you there? If the truth is not taught we must go, for the sake of our eternal souls, to where the truth IS taught!
What did Christ say in Matthew 10:37? “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” So what is Christ saying? We do not need some deep theological explanation to explain the verse to us. Christ is saying if you put anyone before Him, even family members and friends then you are “not worthy of Me.” Many of us may have family members who do not realize that the Bible is not being taught where they attend. Does this mean we should stay there so that we do not hurt their feelings? Of course not! While we do not intend to hurt people’s feelings we must do what is right. If someone becomes upset with us because we have left a certain congregation what do we do? We wish they weren’t upset but do we sacrifice or should we sacrifice Biblical truth in order to please them? How far will we go to please our own family members? Will we even go so far as to deny what the Bible teaches so long as we do not upset our loved ones? If we will go that far then we truly are “not worthy” of Christ!
Part 3 Mechanical Instruments of Music
As we continue to answer the question: “Where does the Bible say that?” We come to the next topic of study: Mechanical Instruments of Music. “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” Eph 5:19 (NKJV). In this verse the New Testament tells how we are to give praise to God and by omission how we are not to praise Him.
Some use the argument that David used mechanical instruments in the Old Testament thus it is acceptable for us to do so today. It is also true that in the Old Testament sacrifices were offered up to God, lighting incense, multiple wives and concubines were also tolerated. We can see that it is not consistent to accept mechanical instruments of music in our worship services but reject other aspects of the old law. The Bible tells us that we are no longer under the old law (Law of Moses) but are under the new law (The Law of Christ, Col 2:11-14). We do not follow the Old Testament law today so why would one use an Old Testament example to prove what they do in worship today?
The question surrounding the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship is a matter of authority. Has God given us the authority in the New Testament to use mechanical instruments of music in worship to Him? Since we know we are under the New Testament law (Rom. 7:4; Gal. 3:24-25; Col. 2:14) we turn to the New Testament to find authority for everything we do. There is an instrument that must be used to worship God and we find it in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. The instrument we use is the heart. We are to praise God from our hearts through our lips. In the Old Testament when instruments are used they are mentioned by name and the same is done in the New Testament. The instrument is the heart and not a mechanical instrument.
Other justifications we often hear for using mechanical instruments of music are; 1) “I like it in my worship”,2) “I don’t see anything wrong with it” or 3) “this is how we’ve always done it”.
Let’s consider the first two arguments together. Notice how the worship of God is described in these first two arguments. God is not mentioned in either argument! Who is the worship service centering around in these arguments? The person and not God. On whom should the worship serviced be focused on? God. Who are the arguments for mechanical instruments of music focused on? Self. Is it not true our worship is focused on God and not on ourselves? If this is the case why use such selfish arguments for something that is not supported in New Testament scripture.
The final argument “this is how we’ve always done it” is a false statement. The use of mechanical instruments of music in worship was added long after the establishment of the church in Acts 2. Notice some statements by popular men of denominations who today use mechanical instruments of music.
John Calvin one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church made this statement: “Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law.”
Adam Clarke a well known Methodist commentator says this: “Music as a science, I esteem and admire: but instruments of music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity.”
John Wesley a founder of the Methodist church says “I have no objection to instruments of music, in our chapels, provided they are neither seen nor heard.”
Martin Luther a reformer called the instrument an “ensign of Baal” which means a tool of evil or of the devil. Also note that Charles Spurgeon a popular Baptist preacher who preached in London, England for 20 years in front of thousands of people did not have mechanical instruments of music in worship. We can clearly see the mechanical instrument has not always been around but was added by man to please man. Where there is no authority we cannot do things that would go against God and His Word. Let us always remember worship and praise in our services are about God and not about us. Let us put God 1st and worship and praise Him as He has authorized and to do so with our whole heart.
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