The Tree of Life

Revelation 22:1-2 illustrates the tree of life growing on both sides of the river of life which proceeds out of the throne of God. Verse three states that “there shall be no more curse.” The child of God has access to the tree of life today where spiritual death is no more. On the other side of the river, in eternity, the tree of life symbolically grows where all the redeemed can partake and have immortality in the presence of the Lamb of God.

Theology Statistics

77% of all Americans believe that personal salvation is a result of good works.
52% say good deeds help earn a spot in heaven.
60% believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice which
can remove the penalty of sin.
The State of American Theology, LifeWay Research, 2016

65% of all “Christians” believe there are multiple paths to Heaven.
U.S. Religious Landscape Study, Pew Research Center, 2014

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

All debt is not created equal. Good debt is referred to as debt that helps generate income and increases net worth such as education, business ownership, real estate, and investing. Even “good” debt is not guaranteed and can have a downside.

“Bad debt” refers to debts incurred to purchase depreciating assets such as vehicles, clothes, consumables, and other goods and services. Credit card debt is one of the worst due to high interest rates if not paid in full monthly.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Thou shalt not kill. —Exodus 20:13

Some translations use the word “kill,” but the word is better translated “murder” in this passage. Murder is the unlawful, intentional taking of a life with malice.

Right after this command was given, God instructed the Levites to take up the sword and kill people who had turned to idolatry. God was not being contradictory under the law He had just given to Moses, for the killing was administered justice.

While the Bible places great value on human life, this specific command is not the foundation of New Testament, biblical nonresistance.

Lent

Lent, in the nominal Christian world, is a special time of prayer, fasting, penance, sacrifice, and good works in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection.

Lent, observed by many for forty days, is not a Biblical doctrine. Some promote Lent fasting as commemorating the fast of Christ in the wilderness, but this does not align with the practice of the primitive church. There is more evidence that the early church fasted for the approximate forty hours in which Jesus lay in the grave—but even this is debatable from early writings in the church. Some taught that the fasting should be one day, some two, etc. The historical development of Lent is uncertain, although its practice was solidified following the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The forty hours became forty days of fasting and even then, the definition of fasting became liberalized and included abstaining from things other than just food.

God’s people are not bound to the foolishness nor bondage of man’s religion; rather, saints of God are to live a continual life of devotion to God. ■