What saith the word?
An Abuse of Acts 2:21
Acts 2:21 (KJV) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter stated: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). In view of this statement, some have has asked: Why do you insist that the sinner’s prayer is not scriptural when Peter plainly teaches it. First, we cannot assume that calling upon the Lord’s name, and being baptized, are mutually exclusive obligations. The two expressions complement one another, yet have nothing to do with the “sinners Prayer”.
Just calling “Lord, Lord” is not enough. The scriptures make it clear that merely “calling” on the name of Christ is not sufficient to give salvation since Jesus Himself declared in Matthew 7:21 (KJV) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Clearly, therefore, “calling” on Christ involves more than a mere prayer. Calling on the Name of the Lord Includes Repentance and Baptism. In Acts 2, the same apostle who promised salvation to all who “call on the name of the Lord,” also commanded: “Repent ye, and be immersed each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to obtain the forgiveness of your sins” (2:38). Since the “shall be saved” in Acts 2:21 is equivalent to the “forgiveness of sins” in Acts 2:38, it mandates that “calling on the name of the Lord” includes both repentance and baptism. One cannot just pick their favorite verse to support their own method of salvation. “Calling on his name” is clearly Defined. Later writings from the New Testament authors make it apparent that the person who submits to baptism in order to receive forgiveness is calling on the name of the Lord. Notice Acts 22:16. Ananias instructed Saul (Paul) as follows: “And now why do you tarry? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” We can then understand that all who wish to enjoy the remission of past sins will call on the name of the Lord by obeying the gospel plan of redemption. In no other way is one promised the forgiveness of sins. Furthermore, if calling on the name of the Lord could be the “sinner’s prayer”, why is there not one Biblical illustration of how to pray this prayer? Further support is found in the fact that every conversion account in the Scriptures includes Baptism as the final act of becoming a Christian?
Paul, as a preacher and teacher, concentrated on strategic cities and looked for opportunities, and specifically cities which were chief cities of the area. This would allow him to make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort. We too as teachers and preachers of the Gospel have to look for opportunities where we can make the biggest impact, and sometimes this is teaching one soul in a living room.
Paul was a team worker and had many co-workers. We need to be team workers (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) also when possible. There is strength in numbers. Remember when the Lord sent the disciples out, he sent them out in pairs (Mark 6:7). It is always best, if possible, to have more than one person present when teaching the Gospel or door knocking. This provides safety first, but also allows someone with another perspective to help the work.
Paul was not arrogant, however he had confidence. Remember the confidence of Paul as he stood before King Agrippa and taught the Gospel. Paul never gave the impression of arrogance, because everything he did was in love. If we as preachers and teachers follow Paul’s example, we will be unwavering in the teaching of the faith, yet will do it in a manner which does not promote arrogance but rather love for lost souls.
Paul continued contact with churches he planted and prayed for their continued faithfulness. Notice, Paul did not make all the decisions for those churches. Yet, he often left workers behind to help those congregations. Paul desired those churches to stand on their own feet. We as promoters of the Gospel must not make the same mistake as many, which is to teach and then leave. Paul did not lead them about by the hand, yet he made sure they had what was needed to continue in their growth as Christians. We must make sure that we don’t abandon new converts, and while not leading them by the hand, offering the resources for their continued growth in the faith.
Paul was unbending in doctrine but flexible in opinion. He had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3), but refused to let Titus be circumcised (Gal 2:3). Timothy was circumcised to prevent the hindering of the Gospel to the Jews, while Titus was not in order to teach that circumcision was nothing more than an outward sign and not necessary under the new law. We as Christians must be like Paul, unbending in doctrine yet flexible in the matters of opinion.
A recent study found that 39 percent of Americans stated marriage was becoming obsolete. Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete? Let’s ask a couple of questions: What is Biblical Marriage? Is marriage failing, or are people simply ignoring the timeless truths that are necessary to make a marriage work?
Below are some verses which describe what marriage should be, as opposed to what the world thinks marriage should be.
1. The man gives happiness to his wife: Deut. 24:5 - This is accomplished in a number of ways. A husband must know what his wife needs both physically and spiritually and help her to be fulfilled in those areas.
2. The man lives joyfully with his wife all his days: Ecclesiastes 9:9 - This can be difficult due to the differences in preferences, desires, and thoughts. Yet, a husband and wife must strive to make their spouse feel joyful in the marriage bond..
3. The man is intoxicated with his wife: Proverbs 5:19 - The husband must rejoice in his wife and the physical closeness which can only be enjoyed between them as husband and wife. He must ward off all temptations which compete for her affection.
4. The man rejoices always in this relationship: Proverbs 5:18 - We are heirs together of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7) and must live as a team trying not only to get to heaven ourself, but also to help our spouse get to heaven.
5. The man is willing to sacrifice himself for her: Ephesians 5:25 - The husband has a supreme dedication to the protection of his bride and puts her needs, safety, and security above his own.
6. The man nourishes and cherishes his wife: Ephesians 5:29 - The husband is required to love his wife, and she should be confident of that love. Many marriages today are nothing more than two roommates living together. A cherish and nourished wife will help will support her husband and help to build a secure marriage which can endure the tempations and trials of this world.
7. The man dwells with her according to knowledge: 1 Pet 3:7 - Peter’s point is the husband is to become an expert on bringing out the best in his wife. He should know her so well that he can anticipate all of her needs and desires so that he can fulfill them and encourage her in those areas where she needs affirmation.
8. The man treats his wife with honor: 1 Peter 3:7 - The wife is placed above everyone else, including the children. The husband is not to use words (especially to others) which degrade or hinder the honor his wife is due.
9. The woman supports her husband: Genesis 2:18 – The husbands “help-meet” is to support him in his roles as the husband and to encourage him to be the spiritual leader.
10. She does her husband good all the days of his life: Proverbs 31:12 - Just as a husband does the best to provide for her needs and desires, she does the same for her husband.
11. She respects him: Ephesians 5:33 - The husband should be respected and honored as the spiritual leader and provider of the home.
12. The man and the wife are to become so close they are described as being one flesh: Ephesians 5:31 - This closeness is both physical and emotional and is fulfilled in different manners for the husband and wife. It is the responsibility of each to find out what their spouse needs, and then to provide in alignment with the above verses.
When I look at the above description of marriage, how could such a beautiful institution become obsolete if one obeyed the scriptures. If two people are sacrificing for each other, dwelling in mutual love, supporting, communicating, honoring, nurturing, and nourishing each other forever, then nothing could destroy that relationship!
Genesis 1:7 (KJV) And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Have you ever wondered about the firmament in Genesis 1:7. Does science actually confirm the Bible as accurate? This firmament had waters below and above. A valid question is why is it gone now? Another valid question is how did it allow the people to live so long? The “water” was able to stay in the air above the firmament, and this would necessitate that the water was in the form of a vapor. Therefore there was a water vapor canopy above and surrounding the earth. Scientists suggest this canopy would have been approximately 10,000-20,000 feet above the surface of the earth. Today, many modern day scientist suggest this is not possible. However, Venus has a canopy around it like the one the Bible discusses in Gen 1:7, so why couldn’t the earth at the time of creation? Today, our atmosphere only holds about two inches of water around the face of the earth. This vapor today gives some protection from the damaging rays of the sun and helps hold in heat. This massive canopy which existed at the time of creation and prior to the flood would have made the earth a greenhouse or tropical paradise, and would provide the main source for the waters of the flood. This greenhouse effect would have also made the North and South Poles virtually the same temperature. This is called the “Taylor vortex” and has been tested and verified. This is the exact same case as Venus which has a canopy around it. All four sides of Venus are virtually identical in atmosphere including the equator. With a tropical paradise there would be no seasons because of the canopy holding in the heat. The “seasons” in Genesis 1 are not climactic seasons but instead are seasons for the marking of time (Gen 1:14). Obviously without protection from the ultra violet light we would not live very long. The current ozone layer protects us from these lights, but not near as well as the canopy that existed prior to the flood.
Now for the question why did the longevity of life decline after the flood? The reason the average life expectancy began to decline was the lack of protection from the ultraviolet light when the canopy was lost during the flood. The atmospheric pressure would have been significantly increased prior to the flood because of the canopy. This increase in atmospheric pressure would have significantly increased the amount of available oxygen for breathing. Interestingly, this explains how some winged dinosaurs, such as the Pteranodon and Pterosaur were able to fly due to this increased atmospheric pressure. Additionally, the lung capacities of many dinosaurs have been noticed to have been too small to supply sufficient oxygen to their bodies. This increased atmospheric pressure prior to the flood (approx. 2.18 ATM) would have been sufficient to supply the needed oxygen to these dinosaurs. This higher atmospheric pressure would also increase the healing capacity for humans, as well as slow the aging process. Hopefully, this explains why the canopy is no longer present as described in the Bible (due to floodwaters), and also helps to explain why people lived so long prior to the flood.
These are provided for your personal study and growth.