A verse that is commonly taken out of context is Colossians 1:15. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons use the scripture Colossians 1:15 and Revelations 3:14 to drive their point home that Jesus was a created being. Colossians 1:15 in the King James Version says, “(He) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Because this verse says firstborn, the organizations that want Jesus to be created say that “firstborn” refers to Jesus as a creation, the first being God created. Jehovah’s Witness teach that God simply created Jesus, but Mormons teach that God had relations with his heavenly wife to birth Jesus as the first spirit creature. Mormons also believe that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer, and that both Lucifer and Jesus at one point presented a plan of salvation to Father God. When Father God accepted Jesus’ plan over Lucifer’s, Lucifer became angry and decided that he would rebel. Lucifer took one third of the spirit beings with him in his rebellion and became Satan. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that only Jehovah God is to be praised, and they teach that Jesus is not the greatest God, but only a god. Jehovah’s Witnesses also tell us that Jesus, is now and was before, Michael the Archangel.

The teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon’s are both false for several obvious reasons. First, the Greek word for firstborn is prōtotokos. The word prōtotokos is referring to Christ in this context. The literal translation means ‘first begotten’ and is only used in this context in one other verse, Revelations 1:5. Revelation 1:5 reads, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (prōtotokos) of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…” Clearly in Revelation 1:5 prōtotokos is referring to Jesus as the first person to rise from the dead. We see that in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we know that His resurrection ensures our future resurrection. Also notice that in Revelation 1:5 Jesus is given three titles; (1) the faithful witness, (2) the first begotten and (3) the prince of the kings of the earth.

Second, another indicator that Colossians 1:15 is not referring to Jesus Christ as a created being is the Greek word archē in Colossians 1:18. Colossians 1:18 reads, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning (archē), the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.” The Greek word archē means beginning and once again is referring to a title. Jesus is given three titles in Colossians 1:18 which are (1) the head of the body, (2) the beginning (archē) and (3) the firstborn from the dead. The firstborn from the dead does not mean that Jesus was the first created being, since the title given to Him in the exact same verse says that He is the absolute beginning, but once again is referring to Jesus as the first one to rise from the dead. Revelation 3:14 also refers to Jesus as the absolute beginning in one of three titles which are: (1) the Amen (2) the faithful and true witness and (3) the beginning (archē) of the creation of God. Looking at these verses and reading the Greek as it lies, it is clear that Jesus is, was, and always will be. He was not created in a spirit relationship or by any other means.

Third, teaching that Colossians 1:15 (or any other verse) refers to Jesus as a created being contradicts multiple Old Testament and New Testament passages. Take Isaiah 43:10-11. The ESV says, “You are my witnesses, declares the Lord… Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.” Is God a liar? Certainly not. God does not contradict Himself, nor can He. God is perfect, and He does not lie. Or how about our man John, certainly he must have been confused when he wrote John 1 and 1 John 1 referring to Jesus Christ’s eternal existence. John said that Jesus always existed and that He is the only God.

Fourth, the Jews were monotheists, meaning they believed in one God and only one God. To them, Jesus claimed to be this God in John 10. John 10:22-39 is a great example of Jesus’ deity. When Jesus says that He and the Father are one, the Jew’s knew He was saying that He was God, and they thought that was preposterous. John 10:33 says, The Jews answered him (Jesus), “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” They knew what Jesus was saying, He was saying that He was God, the only God, and they had no concept of the Godhead (Trinity). If Jesus were to say that He was some other god, the Jew’s would have dismissed Him and told Him to go to the pagans who had multiple god’s. Also, if Jesus were to say he was a pagan god or some created god, the Jew’s would not have said that He was blaspheming, and they would not have crucified Him later on. They would not have given a rip if Jesus were claiming to be some other god, because to them (the monotheist Jews), there were no other gods. The concept of Jesus as a created being does not make sense, because it would not have made sense to the Jew’s, the people who crucified Him for claiming to be their one and only God.

I hope this helps the reader in his or her studies to see the truth of the scriptures. Jesus was not created, nor could He have been created, or else God is a liar and the whole Bible collapses on itself like a deck of cards. We have to have the right Jesus, not some created one. Only God could pay for our sins, not a god with a little g.

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

No other name pisses so many people off than the name of Jesus Christ.

For example, Tim Tebow, a now famous NFL quarterback (who is not exactly the greatest quarterback in the world, yet still manages to win football games) talks about Jesus all the time… so much that his own teammates tell him to tone it down. Tone it down… really?

Have you ever read the lips of an NFL player after they do something good? Or something bad? It usually looks like they are saying FU*& or SH^% or DA%$ or some other swear word over and over and over.

But that’s ok… lets just get Tim to stop talking about Jesus… We want him to tone it down, but trying to get the team to tone the cussing, forget it.

It’s ridiculous. If he were talking about Muhammad or Buddha or any other religious figure they would not give a rip, but the name of Jesus offends people, and they don’t want to hear it.

Why do you think that is?

There are multiple answers to that question, but most of the people who don’t want to hear about Jesus have not taken the 3 L’s quiz. They have not decided if Jesus is Lord, Liar or Lunatic (and He can only be one of those three).

If they had, they would say it.

They would say, “Stop talking about Jesus, he was mentally disturbed,” or “Jesus was a liar, I don’t want to hear about a liar.”

Instead, most people sound pretty… stupid.

The usual response I get is, “Jesus was a good man, I just don’t want to hear about Him.”

Let me tell you, that the ones, who do not want to hear about Him, cannot even tell you why they do not want to hear about Him.

If I want to talk about cars, trucks, motorcycles, beer, women, you name it, I will be welcomed with open arms.

I can drink beer with my military buddies every day, and no one is ever going to say, “hey quite talking about beer will ya.”

No one ever says that. No one ever says, “Hey stop talking about hot girls,” or sex, or anything else.

We understand earthly things, but not heavenly things.

When we start to talk about something that we do not understand, that is when we are confused, and usually refuse to hear or talk about it.

That’s where we are with Jesus Christ (or where many people are).

Lord, Liar or Lunatic, those are your choices with Jesus Christ.

1) Jesus is Lord

No one ever spoke like Jesus Christ.

Take the example from Matthew on the issue of forgiving sins.

Matthew 9:1-7
So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own town. Just then some men brought to Him a paralytic lying on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the scribes said among themselves, “He’s blaspheming!”
 But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts? For which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-then He told the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” And he got up and went home.

C.S. Lewis said, “a man who says something like this (if He is not God) is so preposterous it is actually comic. Surely a man can forgive someone who sins against him personally, you tread on my toes I forgive you and so forth… but what do we make of a man who forgives the sins that are done to other men? (i.e. I forgive you for wronging Tommy, ext)… Asinine fatuity is the only way to explain this if the person forgiving the sins is not God.”

Asinine fatuity by the way is not a curse word, it means something really, really, really, really stupid!

Jesus said He could forgive Sins? He is either telling the truth, or lying.

Which brings us to option number 2…

2) Liar

Was Jesus lying when He said He could forgive sins?

Was Jesus lying when He claimed to be God?

John 10:24-33
Then the Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long are You going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish-ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which of these works are you stoning Me for?” “We aren’t stoning You for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because You-being a man-make Yourself God.”

Some of you have maybe heard that Jesus never said He was God, but that is not true. This is just one of the times He either calls Himself God, or lets others call Him God and does not rebuke them.

Jesus tells the Jews that He is the Messiah, and then He calls Himself God! Do you believe Him? Or do you think He was a Liar?

He certainly is not a good man if He is telling people He is God and He is not…

Do you think a good man leads millions and billions of people to follow a lie? How good could He be?

Does a good man tell people that He is the only way to Heaven when He is not? John 14:6 I am the way, truth, and life, no one comes to the Father except through me… Would a good man say this?

HES NOT GOOD IF HES NOT GOD! He’s a horrible sinner, or a devil if He is not God.

So He is either telling the truth, or He is lying. Do you think that He is lying?

3) Lunatic

The only escape for Jesus if He is not God is that He must have been crazy. Only a lunatic would tell people He could forgive sins when He could not… Only a lunatic would claim to be God and not be God…

It is possible for someone to be sincere and also wrong, so maybe Jesus just thought He was God.

Some have suggested that possibly Jesus was a schizophrenic, someone who wants to escape the reality of the world. They say that Jesus could have been under the impression that He was God and did not realize He was not because Jesus wanted to escape reality.

But there is a problem with that…

Jesus gave the most profound sermons on earth. 2000 years later, we base our calendar on the death of Jesus Christ. He was able to keep a small following, have conversations with religious leaders, and so on.

Somewhere along the line, someone would have stopped and said, “this man is obviously crazy, lets go home.”

But no one did that did they?

Jesus never gave any indication that He was a crazy person. He answered confidently and didn’t flinch.

A man who acted the way that Jesus did could not have been a crazed man.

So you must make your decision.

He is either Lord (yours or someone else’s), Liar or Lunatic.

But we must not say that He was a good man, or a prophet, or just a carpenter, because He has not left that option open for us.

The most important choice of your eternity is the answer to the question: who is Jesus Christ to you?

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

Royal Flush

Posted: March 4, 2012 in Forgiveness, Grace, guest post

Post by Jesse Newell

At a particular time of day in a particular place in the state of Virginia a man decided to end someone’s life. The victim is 32 years of age, husband, and father of three. Reading a article about murder always makes thoughts careen through my head. Who was the victim? What was the confrontation about? Could it have been avoided? Sorrow for the widowed wife, and concern for her children. The most prominent thought is; where is the justice for the family? Justice, a word that every Christian ponders, whether they know it or not. We’ve spent most of our Christian lives pondering over our past sins and what the consequences will bring, secret or known. Will we get the justice we deserve? The answer to this question will lead us down two distinct paths: truth, and a lie.

If you’ve been to any Christian small group you will know that usually they are safe places to tell another brother or sister what you are struggling with. The Bible says to boast in our weaknesses, to acknowledge them and seek help. However, there are times where this turns away from the scriptures and parallels with our own selfish hearts. Every one of us has done things we’re not proud of and wish we could hop in a flux capacitor and punch our old self square in the jaw. But we can’t, and we settle with guilt that squeezes the very joy out of us. We play this game with other Christians comparing our sins to their sins. Conversations that go like this: “you think what you did was bad? Let me tell you about this-” or “no man I’ve hurt people, you don’t know what it means to hurt someone.” We play this psychological game of poker with each other thinking our sin was greater than our buddies sin. That somehow we have the straight flush and we’ve collected the chips of who’s sin hurt the most. It sounds exactly like grown men comparing each others cars, houses, jobs, status, and bank account. That we somehow have to win, when winning at this game leads to death. This attitude leads us down a road that undermines what Christ did on the cross. It leads us to a false gospel. Belief that even though Jesus forgives us, yet we can’t forgive ourselves is not humility it’s pride. Forgiveness of one self is important for it shows humility and trust in Christ. Saying you can’t forgive yourself is akin to putting your sin above God’s grace. Our perception is altered in the belief that we know Jesus suffered for us, but we too have to suffer, struggle, to pay for our sins. It’s telling Jesus that yes he died on the cross, but it wasn’t enough. This goes completely against the Gospel of grace.

“When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” Romans 4:4-5

The truth is we don’t need to suffer, feel ashamed, and ultimately die because Jesus already did.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

One of the heaviest things in the world is guilt. I get a mental image of a man in chains, in a jail cell, hungry, and parched with thirst. The above verse calls it a yoke of slavery. Young Christians, including myself, struggle with laying before Jesus everything. Our concerns, problems, health, and shame. Yes, shame. Because the beauty of the cross was that Jesus not only took our sins but also our shame. Regardless of how light or how dark your sin is, Jesus trumps our straight flush with a royal flush, he declares us pure and holy. While sin is powerful to destroy relationships, bring pain, sorrow, misery, and ultimately damnation. It is powerless against God’s grace.

“This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”
Colossians 1:21-22

I’m writing about this topic because I’ve struggled myself with it for so long and have seen its draining attributes. Holding back forgiveness destroys effective repentance and limits our ability to serve God in the church.The last few months I’ve continued to be overwhelmed with God’s freedom he wants in my life. The joy in serving him has now exploded for the shackles of my guilt have been thrown off. I’ve walked out of the jail cell, and from the kindness of Jesus, not because I deserved it. He told the Judge, I love this man, and I’ll pay his fine.

Father God, thank you for putting this on my heart, and showing me the areas of my life that you want to intercede in. I ask that you humble me so I can get beyond myself. Forgive me for my self-pity and anxious heart. Thank you Lord for your Son, and the freedom that He brings. In Jesus name. Amen.

Recently in my area, I have run into several cults. These cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of God are teaching to worship on Sunday is a sin, and this sin is punishable by Hellfire. They say that we must keep the Sabbath, and failure to do so means we are part of the great whores church. I tell you this as someone who has had several 2-3 hour debates with a Jehovah Witness and have had no success changing their minds. To them, we are not part of the Lord’s church, and one of the reasons is because we are not keeping the Sabbath.

The Church of God also teaches this, but they do not like to come right out and tell you. On one occasion I was in a heated debate and I kept asking if the couple attempting to convert another fellow if they thought I was going to Hell for not keeping their Saturday Sabbath. After saying the same question 4 or 5 times, I told them I would no longer listen to them unless they gave me an answer. They reluctantly told me I was Hell bound for worshipping on the wrong day.

But who are you to tell me that if I worship on a Sunday I am going to Hell? Only the authority of the Bible could tell me that, so to the Bible we will go.

Rev 1:10 I (John) was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day

John, the early church leader, one of the 12 disciples, received the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ on what day? A Sunday! Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Why would Jesus come to John on a Sunday, when the Holy day is on a Saturday? Because it is not the Holy day any longer? Or is Jesus confused as to which day He should have came? Or is John confused as to which day it is?

So you say that this is not evidence of church on Sunday, and that Constantine was the one who switched the Holy day in the fourth century? Ok, Let’s look into church services in the New Testament after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight.

On what day? Sunday! They assembled to have communion and Paul taught a sermon until midnight because he was leaving soon. Sounds like a church service to me! Here’s another one.

1 Cor 16:2 On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he prospers, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.

On what day? Sunday! When were they meeting together? Sunday! When were they collecting an offering for Paul? Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Was the writer of half the NT sinning by holding a service and worshiping and praying and teaching on a Sunday? Certainly not. We can meet on any day of the week, but the early church meet on a Sunday.

Ok, you say that there is no proof outside of the Bible until Constantine switched the date, and your sticking with that eh? Well let me tell you friend, that Constantine, or any other Pope for that matter, does not have the right to switch God’s laws, or change anything. He is a mere man who is claiming to be perfect, and that right there is a sin. I do not give a rip that Constantine said we ought to change the date from Saturday to Sunday. Nor do I care that Gregory invented Purgatory along with Augustine, nor do I care that the Papacy thinks they are infallible, nor do I care that they teach the Virgin Mary is divine, nor do I care that they added the Apocrypha to their cannon of scripture, nor do I care that they invented the doctrine of free will, nor do I care about anything they do, I do not give a crap what they teach. I care about what the Bible says, and about what history bears witness to, and history bears witness to the fact that long before Constantine took office, the early church was celebrating their church services on Sunday.

Pliny the younger (61-113 AD) was a Roman historian who wrote a letter to the emperor. In his letter (that is severely slanted against the Christians by the way) he wrote some of the things he observed about the early Christians, one of which was the fact that they worshipped and had a service on the Lord’s day, Sunday. This is 200+ years before Constantine “switched” the “Sabbath” which by the way as I have already said who cares, he does not have authority to switch anything.

Justin Martry (105-165 AD) was a Christian apologist who wrote his now famous First Apology. Here’s what he wrote about when they held a church service:

On the day commonly called Sunday all the believers… gather in their meetings… (and) read the memoirs of the apostles and the prophets (OT and NT)… after this we stand as one and pray…take communion… and take up offerings. We hold this meeting on Sunday because it is the first day in which God created the world, and also the day which Jesus, our Savior, rose from the Dead.

It is obvious, from the three examples provided in scripture and the two examples of early church formation, that the early church worshipped on a Sunday.

Having said that, there is no need to only worship on Sunday, you can worship any day you like. Sunday was just the day they had service. Let no one tell you otherwise, the early church, right after Jesus left and in the Bible, worshipped corporately on Sunday.

I might add that if you truly believe that those who worship on Sunday are Hell bound, you do not believe that Jesus died for every sin. If Jesus died for every sin (and he did) and we are under the new covenant of grace (which we are) and grace forgives trespasses (which it does) then even if we were all deceived and worshipping on the wrong day (which were not) then Jesus would forgive us anyways. We could worship on the wrong day our whole life and Jesus would forgive us. Jesus forgives sins, past present and future. He died for every sin right? So the people who are worshipping on the “wrong day” are not forgiven? Well did not our Lord Jesus Christ die for all sins? Then how can we say these “wrong” worshippers are Hell bound? Clearly using this logic Jesus could not have died for all sins, if there is a sin in which He cannot forgive right?

But there is no wrong day friends. We can worship on ANY old day of the week.

Col 2:8-17 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.
 Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.

Rom 14:5-10 One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat [it], yet he thanks God. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God.

There is no set day to keep a Sabbath, in fact Jesus, nor Paul, nor Peter, nor any of the apostles tell us we have to keep a Sabbath. Jesus reintegrated all of the commandments, except the Sabbath day commandment! I dare you to find me a scripture that tells us we have to keep the Sabbath in the NT… I double dog dare you!

Whatever day you worship, whatever day you want to hold as Holy, do it to the Lord, and leave these old practices behind you. We might as well begin reciting food laws and sacrificing pigs if we really want to be under the Old Covenant. Jesus freed us from that, we can now Live a free life in Christ. Not to abuse this great gift, but to live for Him daily and not get so wrapped up in what someone thinks about a Sabbath or a Holy Day.

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

How does everyone feel about judging?
Should we judge anyone?
What does the Bible say about judging?

When people here the word judging, judgmental or judge, its like they almost automatically say something along the lines of, “I judge no one,” or “I hate it when people judge others.”

It’s like a four letter word… people hate to feel judged.

But, what if I told you that it is perfectly ok to judge? Would you think I was judgmental?

What if I told you that you make judgments all the time? Would you think I was crazy?

I guarantee you that you do make judgments, and you do it more often than you realize, you just call it something else, but in the definition of whatever you call it, lies a judgment.

Lets take a look at the term judging, and what it means according to the dictionary.
Judging-Verb: to form an opinion or conclusion about something or someone.

To form an opinion or conclusion about… well I don’t like that term, so I’ll use another. Lets go with Opinion.
Opinion-Noun: a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

Nope… no way, I judge no one… lets pick out a different term… I am a discerner… that’s how I roll, I discern, I do not judge. Well here’s the definition of discernment
Discernment-Noun: The ability to judge well.

AHHHH… I do not judge, I hate judging and judgmental people, there has got to be a term that agrees with me…. I know, I am making decision, I am really just a decision maker…
Decision-Noun: the act or process of deciding; determination, as of a question or doubt, by making a judgment.

Friends, you cannot get around it, it does not matter what you call it, it does not matter if you believe it or not… you make judgments every day!

So, why does the Bible say not to judge? It doesn’t… people just say it does… Let me explain.

The passage most people use is Matthew 7:1, which reads: Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged.

Now, if you just read that one verse, it sounds like Jesus is saying that we can never judge anyone, but lets read the whole passage and see what the Lord was saying.

Matt 7:1-6
“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.

Now we see a clearer picture. Verses 1-2 are saying that we cannot say that someone is guilty before God; only God can do that. It is also saying that we should not have an impossible standard for people.

Have you ever meet someone like that? You can do everything perfect, but when you make one mistake, they treat you like dirt!

Their standards are too high.

Maybe your standards are too high!

Jesus said that with the judgment you use, it will be used against you. So, don’t go saying, “can you believe that,” or “at least I am not as bad as such and such…” because you are setting yourself up for a harsher judgment.

Ok, back to business.

Jesus says do not judge, but then says that we should fix ourselves first, before we attend to others. First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

How can we see if there is a speck in our brother’s eye? By discernment, by forming an opinion, or by judging the character of that individual.

Jesus tells us to judge once in this passage, and then again.

Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces. How can you know who the dogs are or the pigs if you do not discern their actions? Are you not casting a judgment?

Jesus never said not to Judge, He said to judge with righteous judgment.

Jesus on Judging John 7:14
Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.

So, as you can see, it is ok to judge.

Now that I have set that up, I want to ask about your friendships.

Do you have non-Christian friends who are bringing you down?

Have you began doing thing you don’t want to do, or are you wanting to stop doing something, but cannot because you friends won’t let you?

You need to make a righteous judgment, and see if that relationship is worth holding on to.

If you want to know how to know who is an unbeliever, here’s a pretty good list.

Gal 5:19-21 HCSB sums up the works of the unbeliever
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance-as I told you before-that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If these are the characteristics of the people we are hanging around, we are more likely to stoop to their level than lift them up to ours.

1 Cor 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

I know you have some non-Christian friends, but are they really your friends?

If you told them tomorrow that you are not going to go out and party with them, would they talk behind your back about you?

Do they talk behind your back now about you?

If they were truly your friend, they would accept the fact that you are choosing to live a better life instead of making empty stabs at happiness through alcohol and drugs, and chasing some man or woman.

They would accept you for who you are, without trying to make you stoop to their level.

Choose your friends wisely people!

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.