CAN A PERSON BE SAVED WHO HAS CALLED JESUS “SATAN”?

Answer: Yes. This sin is very similar to the sin of the Pharisees. Although they did not directly call Jesus the devil, they accused Him of being demon-possessed. (See John 8:46.) So for all practical purposes, they were saying that He was energized and controlled by Satan, which comes very close to calling Him “Satan.”

There are two things worth noting about the particular sin of calling Jesus “Satan.” First, such a person has been thoroughly deceived. He is living proof that the devil is a master deceiver. The Scriptures tell us that Eve was deceived by the serpent (2 Cor 11:3). For thousands of years Satan has been honing his skill, and nothing would give him greater pleasure than hoodwinking someone into thinking that Jesus, God in human flesh, was really the devil. What joy such a person must bring to Satan!

Second, as bad as this sin is, God will still forgive it. In 1 John 1:7, we are told that the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin! The Apostle Paul is a living demonstration of such forgiveness, for he describes himself as “once a blasphemer,” but he was shown mercy through coming to faith in Christ (1 Timothy 1:13,14). It is not too late to stop calling Jesus “Satan” and to start calling Him your Lord and Savior. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved,” no matter what you have been guilty of calling Jesus in the past (Acts 16:31).

AFTER A PERSON GETS SAVED, DOES HE STILL POSSESS A SINFUL NATURE?

The answer is  “yes!”  Every person is born into the world with a corrupt nature (inborn tendency to sin).  This nature comes from our father, Adam (Jeremiah 17:9).  When a person comes to faith in Christ, however, he receives a new nature, which the Bible calls being born again (1 Peter 1:23).  The new nature continually inclines us to follow God in our lives.  As Paul said, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”  It is obvious that the old nature is still present after conversion and is a force to be resisted.

Paul said, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, urging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work in my members (Rom 7: 22,23).  It is clear that both the old and new natures are competing forces of control in the believer’s life.

Paul also taught the Ephesian believers to put off “your old self” (old nature) and put on “your new self” (new nature).  Why would the believers in Ephesus need to put off the old nature, if it no longer was present in their lives?  “Putting off” and “putting on” are metaphors for yielding to conflicting forces in life.

In Galatians 5:17, we again see that the old nature is in conflict with the Spirit in the believer’s life, but that doesn’t make sense if the believer no longer has an old nature.

The best way to interpret 1 John 3:9 is to understand that no one who is born of God will practice sin in a habitual, life dominating way.  The Greek present tense has a durable meaning in this passage, rather than a single action meaning.  It refers to doing something as a dominant pattern.  Someone born of God no longer will have sin as the driving force of his life.  He will still trip and stumble, but will no longer practice sin as an unsaved person practices sin.

If 1 John 3:9 meant that one born of God does not sin even once, then 1 John 3:7 would mean anyone who does one righteous deed is righteous, for the present tense is also used in this verse.  The obvious meaning of 1 John 3:7 is that a person who habitually practices righteousness is righteous.

I do not think Hodges, the author of the commentary under discussion, actually believes that the believer does not have a sinful nature.  For example, on page 894 of The Bible Knowledge Commentary, N.T., he wrote, “The Christian will experience a genuine struggle with the flesh and overcomes its impulses only by the help of the Holy Spirit.”  He then cites Galatians 5:16-26, which clearly depicts more than just physical urges, but also impulses of the old nature, i.e., idolatry, witchcraft, discord, jealousy, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, etc.  The term “flesh” refers to the old nature.  Hodges is teaching that the believer will experience a genuine struggle with the flesh, which refers to the impulses of the old sin nature.  I believe Hodges believes in the ongoing presence of the old nature in the life of the believer.

It also should be noted that Hodges believes that when a believer sins, it does “not stem from the believer’s regenerate nature, God’s seed,” but rather from the believer’s old nature (p. 895).

I believe Hodges made an unfortunate statement when he wrote, “the child of God does not sin.”  It is confusing and subject to  many misunderstandings.

 

 

 

HOW LONG WILL GOD TOLERATE MAN’S REBELLION?

As we look at our current world, we can’t help but notice the rapidly growing cesspool of iniquity that threatens to engulf American culture. What is significant is that people are glorying in things that should properly bring them shame. Sexual immorality, sexual perversion, abortion, and the flippant disregard of the permanence of marriage, all spell a culture growing ripe for the sickle of judgment. Genetic attempts to clone human beings is also a sign of degenerate thinking, which degrades the sacredness of God’s handiwork in the creation of human beings. In Psa 139:14, we read that we should praise God that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Note the making of human beings is God’s prerogative. God makes people according to His plan and deserves the high praises of those whom He has made. We are to kneel before our Maker (Psa 95:6). Cloning make man the maker of human beings rather than God, the Creator. Someone’s clone must praise man for the way he is. Such things should never be.

How long will God tolerate such rebellion? According to His pattern in the past, it is only a matter of time before judgment falls. Perhaps it already has, because for a decade we have faced one calamity after another. People challenge those who entertain the idea that as a country we are perhaps under the judgment of God. They say, “How can you say with certainty that we are experiencing the judgment of God?” We can’t, but can they say with certainty that we aren’t under divine judgment?

One thing is certain, God hasn’t delivered the knock out blow yet. He appears to be patiently waiting. Why? He is giving people the opportunity to repent (2 Pet 3:9). Now is the day of salvation!

Where did Cain get his wife?

Answer:  Cain married a sister, or a niece, or perhaps a grandniece.

This question was popularized by the famous Scopes-Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925, which pitted Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan.  Bryan failed to answer the question about Cain’s wife posed by Darrow.  Ever since skeptics have accused the Bible of error, because it says that Cain had a wife, who bore children (Gen 4:17), when it is assumed that no other women existed besides Eve at this point.

There is a very obvious and reasonable answer to the question: “Where did Cain get his wife?”  Cain obviously married a sister, or a niece, if Abel had also married a sister.  Someone might object by saying, “But the Bible doesn’t mention Adam and Eve having any daughters.”

The Bible, however, does state that Adam and Eve had some daughters.  In Gen 5:4, we read, “After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had sons and daughters.”  It is reasonable to conclude that he also had some daughters in the time period related to Cain and Abel.  So Cain and Abel would have been able to marry sisters.  That the Bible does not specifically mention them by name is not unusual, as the Bible often only mentions key players in a narrative.

Something that is often overlooked is the age of Cain and Abel when Cain murdered Abel.  They must have been at least 100 years old, for Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born shortly after Abel’s death (Gen 4:25).  So there was plenty of time for Cain and Abel’s sisters to grow up and marry.  It would have been very unusual for Adam and Eve, probably the most fertile couple ever to live, to only have two boys over the course of 100 years.

Another objection to Cain marrying his sister is the danger of marrying a close relative.  Such marriages usually produce serious birth defects.  However, in the beginning days of the human race, there were no defective genes.  Defective genes gradually polluted the human race over thousands and thousands of years.  Today when close relatives marry, the chances of them having common mutant genes is great, but in the beginning there was no such risk because the gene pool was still perfect.

According to Gen 20:12, Abraham married Sarah, who was his half sister.  It was only later that marriage to close relatives was forbidden, after defective genes had significantly polluted the gene pool of the human race.

We also need to remember that Moses had a Ph.D. from the University of Egypt (Acts 7:22).  He was clearly an intellectual giant.  If he, the author of Genesis, said that Cain married a woman and had children, and if the only person he could have married was his sister, then that’s what happened.  Surely Moses wasn’t so dull that he goofed on such a basic fact!