Monthly Archives: May 2023

1 Corinthians 16- The Lords Day

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time. 1 Corinthians 16:2-12

I can’t tell you how many people reach out to me to argue over Sunday worship, The Lord’s Day. The argument is always “Constantine created Sunday worship from paganism” 

 When somebody makes a statement like that to me, it’s clear to me this person has very limited knowledge of Church history and the Bible. Many people see these statements online and just parroting them, without actually doing any research or study for themselves.

The recorded words of the Apostle Paul are very significant here for Church history and practical application for the Church today. Paul says “Upon the First Day of the week” Paul gives significance to the gathering of Christians on The Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10) which is Sunday. The term “Lord’s Day” was used by the Apostle John in Revelation, it’s apparent this was already established as a term for Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead.

 Now if you go back one verse Paul mentions the “Churches of Galatia” also. This was not just a commandment for the Church of Corinth, this appears to be a standard practice for the early Church to gather on Sunday morning for worship.

In the book of Acts it mentions meeting on Sunday multiple times,” Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. “ (Acts 20:7)

So why did the early Christians worship on Sunday? Well what happened on Sunday morning? Yes Jesus Christ rose from the dead, all 4 gospels tell us it happened on “The First Day of the Week (Sunday) in the morning (Mark 16:9, John 20:1-2, Matthew 28:1, Luke 24:1) There is no paganism or mystery about gathering on Sunday morning if you read your Bible, the resurrection of Christ changed everything.

So what happened at the council of Nicaea? Constantine just established what the Christians were doing since the first century, The Church always revered Sunday as The Lord’s Day, and gathered and worshiped, because Jesus Christ is our Lord and rose from the dead! Amen!

1 Corinthians 16- Tithing in the New Covenant

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 1 Corinthians 16:1

As we come to the last Chapter of 1 Corinthians, many might glance over it and see nothing really significant to learn here, but at a second glance, Paul gives us very valuable teachings and  early Church history that we can apply to the Church today. Here we see the topics of tithing  for the New Covenant Church.

The topic of “tithing” has always been confusing when applying it to the Church, the questions arise how do we apply the tithing command from the Old or Mosaic Covenant to the New Covenant? I emphasize this because Christians need to remember you are in the New Covenant with Christ, you are not an Israelite in the Mosaic Covenant, otherwise you would still be dead in your sins.

The Tithe was a commandment of God and a tax to support the Levitical priest line. The priest line, who were from the line of Aaron, didn’t inherit any land or have an occupation other than serving God and the Temple. Therefore the Priests couldn’t financially support themselves or their families, so God commanded a tithe be given to them. Now the “Tithe” wasn’t just money either, it was also food, as the Priests didn’t have any land to farm for themselves. So God provided for the Priests through the people, as all things are provided by God anyway

Now applying this to the New Covenant, obviously we don’t have a Levitical Priest line anymore, however we are all Priests through Christ (1 Peter 2:5) However not all Christians dedicate their full lives to serving God, many Born Again Christians also work and can support themselves. There are many Christians who do dedicate their lives to serving God and the Church, such as a full-time Pastor or Bishop, we should financially support them, as Jesus said “Freely give, as you have freely received” (Matthew 10:8)

We see in the book of Acts, the entire Church community supported each other, “and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” Acts 2:45   The Apostle Paul said this to the early Church quoting The Lord Jesus Christ “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35) As Christians we should have a heart of generosity, willing to support the Body of Christ, or those who are in need. 

The Apostle Paul also says this about supporting your Church leaders “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18)

While in the New Covenant, there is no longer a “Tithing Law of 10%” in place, with regenerated hearts, we should have a giving and generous heart. But when Churches require Christians to give 10%, there is actually no Biblical law for that in the New Testament. Here we see the Apostle Paul taking up a collection for the saints (Christians), As Paul also said  we as the Body of Christ need to support each other, to fulfill our work in The Lord, the Great Commission, Amen!

1 Corinthians 15- Be Strong and Courageous

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

As we journey through the epistle of Corinthians, we worked through alot of difficult teachings and sparked alot of conversations, which is a good thing! It’s the Holy Spirit working through us and in us to sanctify us in the truth of God’s word. The Apostle Paul closes Chapter 15 with this wonderful benediction that is too good to just passover

Brothers and sisters, be steadfast or stand firm , other translations say be strong and immovable! Regardless of what your position is on some of the doctrines we discussed, the main point is don’t waver in your faith in Christ. Be rooted in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7) Don’t allow a disagreement or a different point of view, throw you off your path with Christ

Part of spiritual maturity is to be able to have discussions and conversations about spiritual things, including doctrines without being triggered by a disagreement. I see way too many Christans, they are great when you agree with everything they say, as soon as you have a difference of opinion, you are called a heretic. This is spiritual immaturity, but it’s also insecure faith. Be immovable in your faith, Be steadfast in your faith, be strong in your faith in Christ

Next Paul mentions “Always abounding in the work of The Lord” Stay busy in Christ! If a Christian has time to argue with everyone who disagrees with them, they are probably not abounding in the work of The Lord. What is our work for Christ? Jesus said “ Go and preach the gospel to everyone “(Matthew 28:19) This should be our main focus, to share the good news and make disciples, is arguing all day about the Rapture sharing the gospel? 

The last is a refreshing reminder to the Church, “You know that your labor is not in vain in The Lord” If you spend countless hours evangelizing on the streets, sometimes it can feel like a losing battle. When Satan is attacking you at every corner , you wonder what is the point? But we can’t lose our focus, none of our labor will be in vain. Everything we do for Christ, is noticed by Christ and will not be in vain

Just as God reminded and commanded Joshua to continue pressing on into the Promised Land filled with giants, Christ is commanding and encouraging us to press on into the Harvest field! Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God will be with you always, Amen!

1 Corinthians 15- Victory in Jesus

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54- 56

One of my favorite hymns is “Victory in Jesus” , no matter what mood you are feeling at the beginning, by the time you’re finished singing that song, you can’t help but feel rejuvenated and hopeful. Because the message is true, we have Victory in Jesus Christ! 

Recently John Macarthur did a sermon about “We lose down here”, and I objected to this idea, and received major criticism for that. The scriptures above are my BIblical defense for my stance, but also I think we are not looking at this from an eternal perspective.

When Jesus died on the cross, did he lose? Of course not, Christ willingly laid down his life for us and defeated sin and death forever. From a worldly perspective , it might look like Christ had lost, however we know from an eternal perspective Jesus Christ is victorious, as Christ walked out of the tomb on Sunday morning. As the Apostle Paul said “O death, where is your sting?, O grave, where is your victory? Our greatest enemy death was defeated, there is nothing possible on this Earth that can defeat us when we abide in Christ

Did the Apostle Paul lose while being beheaded? Absolutely not, Paul finished the race, Paul completed his calling and mission from God, and said “To depart from the body, is to be present with The Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8) This idea or concept that a Born Again Christ could ever lose makes no sense to me. Regardless of what happens to me, even if I get killed for my faith, I have victory in Jesus Christ, period. Whether I live or die, I have Victory in Jesus, whether I’m rich or poor, I have Victory in Jesus, whether I’m healthy or sick, I always have Victory in Jesus Christ!

Looking at this from the flip side, you can be young, rich, and healthy and still be losing, why? Because without Christ, you have the enemy of death that will always haunt you at every corner. There is no Victory without Jesus Christ, there is no hope without Jesus Christ, there is no purpose for your life without Jesus Christ, in Christ we have everything including Victory!

The Apostle Paul says it best “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen!

1 Corinthians 15- The Last Trumpet

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

In modern day Christianity, these scriptures are typically used to support the doctrine of a “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” , but a few questions should be asked, did the early Church interpret these scriptures to mean this also? Did the early Church have any concept of a Pre-Trib Rapture? From history it appears the Pre-Trib Rapture is a newer idea invented by a man named John Darby around the 1830’s, we can’t really  find any Apostles or Church Father who ever supported this idea or concept.

But let’s just take a look at the scriptures for themselves, is Paul teaching a Pre-Trib Rapture here? Paul begins by stating “We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed” This is a good start, but what about those who have died already? Notice Paul says “We shall ALL be changed” Paul isn’t just referencing those Christians who are still alive, he’s referencing ALL Christians throughout history, Paul is talking about the resurrection of the saints into our glorified bodies

Next the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine really falls apart, Paul says “At any moment, at the LAST Trumpet, for the Trumpet will sound and the DEAD will be raised immortal, and WE shall be changed. Paul states “The LAST Trumpet” , Paul is not talking about the first trumpet before the Tribulation, he states the Last trumpet. We can reference the Last Trumpet in Matthew 24

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:30-31

The Last Trumpet signifies the Return of Christ, the Rapture of the Church , and the Resurrection of the Saints, The Bible doesn’t support the Rapture of the Church as a separate event from the Return of Christ and the resurrection of the Saints. All the Earth will mourn at the Return of Christ, why? Because it’s the final judgment

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16

The Apostle Paul consistently supports his teaching here in Thessalonians, The Lord himself will descend from Heaven, meaning Christ is Returning, notice the last trumpet is referenced here again also. The dead in Christ, Born Again Christians,, will be resurrected first. This event is not just about the Rapture of the Church, this is a cumulative event including the return of Christ and the resurrection of Christians throughout history

The takeaway from this, is it’s all good news for Born Again Christians. Whatever your belief in the timing of the Rapture, salvation is in Jesus Christ alone and we have Victory through Christ!  Let’s not make the Rapture a stumbling block and division for the Church, Amen!