December 24, 2017

God Hears Your Whispers – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, And to You the vow will be performed. O You who hear prayer, To You all men come. …By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation,…” (Psalm 65:1-2, 5)

Man is created as a social creature. God, himself, acknowledged that it is not good to be alone. (Genesis 2:18) Even in a crowd, we can find ourselves alone, without someone with whom we can share our thoughts, our fears, our desires. Loneliness is painful, and that pain can become overwhelming. Pity the poor soul who has no one.

There are circumstances in the life of most when loneliness overshadows like a cloud, when no one is there to listen and provide counsel. Holidays, when it seems loving families surround everyone, seem to intensify the pain.

Or perhaps there is some problem so personal and intimate that it seems unfitting or too embarrassing to share with anyone else. But God will listen! No need is so small, no place too remote, no burden too heavy. The “God of all grace” and “the God of all comfort” will listen and care.

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (I Peter 5:10)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4)

“The LORD hears when I call to Him.” (Psalm 4:3)

Teenagers may complain that their parents won’t listen to them; wives may believe their husbands don’t listen; sometimes it seems that no one will listen to our questions or ideas about anything. But

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalms 145:18)

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

But how can He listen? After all, God is far away on His throne. The risen Savior ascended far above all heavens to sit down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

How can the Father hear when we whisper a prayer in our hearts that no human could hear?

God is indeed up there, but He is also right here! Furthermore Jesus promised an additional comforter.

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

The laws of physics tell us that we cannot be in two different places at the same time. But the author of those laws is above them. Man is quite different from the eternal creator who can be in heaven and in our small dark room. He can be with us in the midst of the lightning on the mountaintop and in the inner recesses of the black darkness of the depths of the earth. God. All of this is true while, “…God abides in us,…” (I John 4:12)

Of course, His hearing and living within is conditional.

“If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;” (Psalm 66:18)


Adapted from an article by Henry Morris





December 17, 2017

What Is First In Your Life? – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 NASV)

“But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NET)

My grandmother “bribed” me to memorize the “sermon on the mount, at about age 12. Some would say she motivated. Whatever…it worked, and no doubt had a profound impact. I did the same with my children.

Of course, the passage quoted above is included in this Lord’s sermon. It has become a favorite memory verse for millions and has even been set to music by a number of musicians. Its truth is foundational. Let’s carefully look at what it says.

First, we must know what we are talking about. Most don’t understand the kingdom. Most of the time in the New Testament, the kingdom is a rough equivalent of the church. Notice the interchangeability in the following passages.

“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him…‘upon this rock I will build My church; …I will give you the keys of the kingdom…’” (Matthew 16:16-19)

“…transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. …He is also head of the body, the church;” (Colossians 1:13, 18)

“John to the seven churches that are in Asia:… your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom…” (Revelation 1:4, 9)

Many depreciate the value of the church today. The Bible presents a very different view. Paul said that Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25) and Jesus says you should put the kingdom and God’s righteousness first in your life.

Greek “tenses” speak less about the time than the kind of action involved. The Greek word translated “seek” is present tense, which typically implies continuing action. This would imply a command to establish an ongoing habit or lifestyle of “seeking” the kingdom and righteousness. We are commanded to put first things first on a continual basis, then watch Him take care of the items of secondary interest.

The “seeking” Jesus commands specifies “His righteousness.” Many today are seeking to be righteous, but at the same time consider the principles of righteousness taught by the Bible to be nuts. The attitude is similar that Paul described on the part of his brethren, the Jews.

“For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3)

They seek diligently, as long as they get to seek what seems righteous in their own eyes. It should not surprise us that God’s standard of righteousness is different from our own. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Jesus teaches that we must continually “seek” to make His priorities our priorities—to mold our thinking by the Word of God so that we think as He does. Our lives should exhibit the purity and righteousness that He exhibited when on Earth. While it is true that we never completely achieve such perfection this side of heaven, we are commanded to be “seeking,” to do so by the power promised to us (Philippians 4:13).

If we reverse the proper order, not only will we not attain His kingdom and His righteousness, but we will probably miss the secondary “things” as well. The word “added,” a mathematical word, implies the prior existence of something to which other things can be added. We enjoy bountiful physical blessings, but Jesus knows how to add. The assurance of “all these things,” the physical things we need, are not as important as the “unsearchable riches of Christ,” (Ephesians 3:8), but how nice to know he cares and promises…when “above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness.”

Adapted from an article by John Morris




December 10, 2017

Mt. Ararat and the Resurrection – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.” (Genesis 8:4)

The story of Noah’s preservation through the Flood that brought death to most life on earth not only demonstrated God’s attitude toward sin and His determination to judge, but it is also a beautiful picture that prefigures the salvation God planned and now offers to all mankind. It is an accurate history of a real event that did happen the way the Bible describes, but it is also a beautiful analogy.

The Flood was sent as a judgment upon the sinful world of Noah’s day.

“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7)

The “wages of sin” (Romans 6:23) has always been death. It is more than a consequence. In the eyes of the source of all justice, the Almighty God, sin requires death as payment of a debt. But God provided a way of salvation, not by faith only, but through faith demonstrated by building and entering the Ark. Out of probably billions on the earth, eight souls, Noah and his family, believed and humbly submitted.

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. …Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. …Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. “This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. … Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.” (Genesis 6:8-9, 14-16, 22)

Although the analogy is not perfect, it does beautifully illustrate the fact that the punishment for sin is still death and that God has provided a perfect way of salvation to those who believe and humbly submit to His Son Jesus Christ.

In that light, it is interesting to note the date mentioned in our text, Genesis 8:4, has great significance. The calendar was changed by God at the time of the Passover, another beautiful prefigure of Christ’s work. The seventh month became the first month.

“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb… ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.” (Exodus 12:2-3, 6)

The Passover was to be observed on the fourteenth day of that month each year following.

“…For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” (I Corinthians 5:7)

Christ was sacrificed for us on the day of the Passover (John 19:14) and rose again the third day, the seventeenth day of the first (formerly the seventh) month.

This was the anniversary of the landing of Noah’s Ark on Ararat, providing its inhabitants new life following judgment of the world and its destruction because of sin. What a blessed picture of our new life based on Christ’s death for our sins.

“…God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water. And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you…” (I Peter 3:20-21 NET)

(Based on a shorter article by John D. Morris, Ph.D.)



December 3, 2017

Things Which Are Not Seen – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Corinthians 4:18)

It is obvious, when we look at the life of the apostle Paul, that he was able to focus on, and evaluate choices and circumstances in view of eternity. Christians talk about this, but it is one of the most difficult concepts to actually put into practice. Physical things loom large in our eyes. Sometimes that is all we see. Paul says he does not look at such things. Expressed in the irony of the paradox, he does not look at what is seen, rather he looks at what is not seen.

It is easy to see and think about temporal things but hard to see and think on eternal things. Spiritual nearsightedness is all too common and subtlety distorts our perspective.

The authors of the New Testament were embroiled in strife with the carnal minded, immersed in the cup of suffering the Lord predicted (Mark 10:38-39), but still managed to keep their sights on the eternal. Consider how often “eternity” seasons their Spirit inspired words. The redemption that Christ purchased for us with His blood is nothing less than “eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12) and therefore “He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,” (Hebrews 5:9). Consequently, as joint-heirs with Him, “those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance,” (Hebrews 9:15). ” He encourages us to remember that “the God of all grace…called you to His eternal glory in Christ,” (I Peter 5:10) and to remember that God has there provided for us “eternal dwellings,” (Luke 16:9).

All of these eternal things—eternal redemption, eternal salvation, eternal inheritance, eternal dwellings, and eternal glory—are of infinitely greater value than the temporal things that crowd our minds and limit our goals. They are not to be compared with temporal distractions that are all, no matter how appealing, passing away. It is significant that the phrase “eternal life” occurs no less than 44 times in the New Testament. God speaks of it often, and so should we!

The last eternal thing mentioned in the Bible is the key to obtaining all eternal blessings. It is the “eternal gospel.”

“And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;” (Revelation 14:6).

Let’s determine to submit to it and fill our hearts with it.



November 26, 2017

Giving Thanks – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Around the world, those who profess Christ are suffering in horrible ways. Earlier this year, 28 Coptic “Christians” going to worship, were executed in Egypt, 120 miles south of Cairo. The murderers told the men to recite the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. When the men refused, the gunmen opened fire. About one month earlier, 45 were bombed to death while worshiping, in Alexandria.

We are tormented by powerful, devious anti-Christian influences in our country, but thankfully nothing like what we see elsewhere…yet.

We have so much for which we should be thankful. We should remind ourselves that our daily bread is a gift from the Father above, and give thanks, whether in private, at a family meal, or in public at a fine restaurant. The prayer sanctifies what we eat.

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (I Timothy 4:5)

Jesus demonstrated the appropriate attitude when He fed the multitude by the Sea of Galilee, He began with a prayer of thanksgiving:

“and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 15:36-38).

Certainly we should give thanks for our food and homes and clothing, and the blessing of having Christian friends should produce constant thanksgiving. The first letter to the Thessalonians is possibly the earliest of Paul’s divinely inspired letters to Christian friends. Paul begins with an expression of thankfulness to God for them.

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;” (I Thessalonians 1:2)

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he began in a similar way: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). Likewise, to the Colossians, he started the same way: “We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,” (Colossians 1:3). When he wrote his epistle to the church at Corinth he began: “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,” (I Corinthians 1:40).

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome even before he met them saying: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all…” (Romans 1:8). He also thanked God for his personal friends Timothy and Philemon ((II Timothy 1:3-4).

We deeply appreciate and are continually thankful for the encouragement and admonition of faithful Christians on whom we can depend and with whom we worship regularly. One of the greatest blessings enjoyed by those who can look back over years of service to our Lord is the precious friendships that persist through the years and across the miles, that call to memory accomplishments together in the cause of Christ. What a blessing to have such friends, and how fitting it is to give God special thanks for them always.

Adapted from an article by Henry M. Morris



November 19, 2017

Talking Back To God – Philip C. Strong

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

In the time, place, and circumstance in which I grew up, talking back (aka, back-talking) to one’s parents, or any other adult for that matter, just wasn’t done… at least not without swiftly-rendered and soon-regretted consequences. Murmuring or grumbling something in return after a parent (again, or any other adult) meted out a punishment, prohibition, or prescribed course of action to be taken was considered to be one of the highest insults and lowest forms of “lack of respect for your elders.”  It was NEVER considered “cute,” or regarded as a social or mental disorder deserving compassion and treatment (at least not of the medical variety).   Because of this prevailing attitude and uniform “treatment” of such violations, almost all children quickly learned that “Yes Sir” and “Yes Ma’am” were not just the right reply words, they were the right response attitude.

However, this regard for adults did not necessarily transfer to the higher forms of respect for authority.  The same individuals who learned and practiced respect for and to their elders as children did not always manifest the same toward the laws of God as adults.  Then as now, men who learned not to talk back to their parents, were willing to talk back to God.  Such is, by no means, a new phenomenon…

  • Isaiah warned against such, “Woe to one who quarrels with his Maker- an earthenware vessel among the vessels of the earth!  Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands?’ Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’” Isaiah 45:9-10.
  • Job boldly said he wanted to “argue with God” and “argue my ways before Him” when speaking to his friends, Job 13:3,15; but quickly changed his tune when actually presented with the opportunity by the Almighty, “Then the Lord answered Job and said, ‘Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.’  Then Job answered the Lord and said, ‘Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee?  I lay my hand on my mouth.  Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; even twice, and I will add no more,’” Job 40:3-5.

Surely we can see the folly of such, and discern the wisdom of Proverbs 21:30, “There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord.”  Consider the question of Romans 9:20 personally, “…who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?”  I’m afraid that is sometimes just what we do…

  • When we become Yeahbutters.  When we either are confronted with what already know, or become more recently informed of some portion of what God’s Word says that contradicts our desires or actions, and yet reply, “Yeah, but….” it doesn’t matter what follows.  Such is just a flimsy excuse proffered in a feeble attempt to justify NOT doing what God says. Whenever we seek to do something other than what God said, we are, in essence, talking back to God, cp. Isaiah 40:8.
    • When we become Butwhatabouters.  As Yeahbutters usually want to do less than what God’s word requires, Butwhatabouters often want to do more than God’s Word provides (or allows).  Though we seldom realize it at the time, we are in essence declaring that we know more, or better, than God does when we seek to “exceed what is written,” cf. 1Corinthians 4:6.  Again, when we endeavor to use “the wisdom of the world” in this way, we forget that God has made such “foolishness,” cf. 1Corinthians 3:18-20.

    Whenever you are tempted to talk back to God because His way does not coincide with your wants and desires, remember 1Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”  Talking back to parents (the ones who made us) is never a good thing, but how much more problematic it is to do so to Him who made all things!




November 12, 2017

Mark These People – Bill Hall

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Quickly now — What type of people are to be marked by Christians according to the scriptures? Those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to Christ’s doctrines? Yes, for so we are taught in Romans 16:17. There is another type of person to be marked, however. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17 KJV). The word “mark” is not synonymous with the word “withdraw”. According to W.E. Vine, the word means “to look at, behold, watch, contemplate.” Those who are evil, then, are to be marked and avoided; while those who walk in God’s way are to be marked and followed.

Godly elders should be marked. Elders are to be examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). They are to be men whose character is above reproach, who rule their own house well, who are hospitable, and whose sound teaching can convict the gainsayers. We know such elders, and their example is priceless. Even after such men have passed on, they are to be remembered: “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow (a similar word to mark-BH), considering the outcome of their conduct” (Hebrews 13:7). Thank God for godly elders; mark them and follow their good example.

Godly women should be marked. If there are women in the congregation who stand out for their piety and humility, whose major attractiveness is their “meek and quiet spirit,” who have adorned themselves with good works, who love their husband and children, who find joy and contentment in being a wife and mother and keeper at home, who feel no resentment toward their position of subjection to man, who have devoted their lives to doing God’s will – and there are such women in every congregation – then mark these godly women and follow their example. In these days when the women’s liberation movement is affecting so many and actually intimidating many women who want to do right, it is wonderful to have godly women in the church who are able to lead the way and provide a role model for other women who are Christians. Thank God for godly women; mark them and follow their example.

Godly preachers should be marked. Not all preachers are godly, but most of the gospel preachers of our acquaintance are godly men whose lives speak as effectively as do their lips. They do their work, not as hirelings, but as men concerned for the truth and the souls of men and women. Mark such men and follow their example!

Godly parents, godly young people, godly older people, godly suffering people, godly dying people – the godly faithful!

How sad that some are so blinded by the faults of the few that they cannot see the virtues of the many. Good people are all around us. Let’s look for them, contemplate their good qualities, mark them, and follow their example.



November 5, 2017

Skin Color

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

I have been blessed with the opportunity to lecture among our brethren about the origin of man (created or evolved). Q&A sessions reveal that, rarely (though too often) real racist misconceptions do exist among us. I point out that Moses revealed all are from the same mother (Gen.3:20) and Paul taught we are from the same father (Acts 17:26). Doesn’t that include us all among the “brothers.” James expressed scathing condemnation of prejudicial distinctions (James 2:4). I pray that the following article will prove helpful. (Don R. Patton)

Skin Color Research Confirms Biblical Narrative

by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D.

(Earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University)

People over the ages have placed great emphasis on race and skin color. Eugenicist-minded Darwinists have used it as the basis for much ill-conceived mischief.1 Even Darwin himself proposed that darker-skinned human populations were more primitive. However, we now know that all people groups share the same basic genome comprised of a well-documented set of common genetic variants. Darwin was mistaken—no people group is more primitive than another.

Additionally, the rare genetic variants that arose via random mutation and are mostly associated with human disease and degeneration, show that the current state of the human genome cannot be more than about 5,000 years old. This timeframe matches up with the world being repopulated after the global flood by Noah and his sons and their wives.2-5

Despite our increasing knowledge of the human genome, little is known about the genetic basis of skin color. Up until now, most of what scientists understood about skin-color genetics came from research using European people groups. Researchers originally discovered that variations in a gene called SLC24A5 influenced skin cells to produce less pigment. This appeared to provide a basis for pale skin.6 However, this single gene was only a small part of a much more complex trait.

To more fully explain the genetic basis of human skin color variation, a group of researchers recently went to Africa—the most genetically diverse continent on Earth.7 Contrary to conventional thought, Africa contains a huge amount of variation in human skin color across its different people groups. To scientifically measure the variation in skin color, the researchers measured light reflectance from the skin on the underside of the wrists of 2,092 people in the countries of Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana. This area’s skin is largely protected from sunlight and these readings provide a good indirect estimate of pigmentation levels (skin color). Then the researchers analyzed the DNA of 1,570 of these individuals for genetic variation in their genomes related to skin color.

The scientists identified four major regions of the human genome that contained six different genes. Together, these genes accounted for about 30% of the observed skin color variation. The study reported on DNA variants associated with light skin and variants causing dark skin, both of which are abundant in the African populations. The genetic variant causing light skin is commonly present in East Africans, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have light skin, because multiple genes interact with each other to determine skin color. These results countered the long-held evolutionary belief that the original ancestral humans in Africa were all once dark-skinned

This research has even broader global implications. For example, it shows that other dark-skinned people in southern India, Australia, and New Guinea did not somehow separately develop their skin color around the world. And while evolutionists are constantly debating where and how humans actually dispersed after they supposedly evolved, the Bible indicates that human global migration happened shortly after the global flood at the tower of Babel when God confused their languages and forced them to disperse.

Once again, human genetics confirms the Bible’s account of history and befuddles imaginary evolutionary speculations about mankind’s origins.


  1. Bergman, J. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
  2. Tomkins, J. P. Human DNA Variation Linked to Biblical Event Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on July 23, 2012, accessed October 13, 2017.
  3. Tomkins, J. P. Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on January 9, 2013, accessed October 13, 2017.
  4. Tomkins, J. P. 2014. Genetic Entropy Points to a Young Creation. Acts & Facts. 43 (11): 16.
  5. Tomkins, J. P. 2015. Genetic Clocks Verify Recent Creation. Acts & Facts. 44 (12): 9-11.
  6. Sturm, R. A. 2009. Molecular genetics of human pigmentation diversity. Human Molecular Genetics. 18 (R1): R9–R17.
  7. Crawford, N. G. et al. 2017. Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8433.




October 22, 2017

Show More Of You

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Show More Of You

By Al Diestelkamp

So says the tagline of a TV ad promoting a product claiming to combat the “heartbreaking” disease of psoriasis. It seems, however, that an increasing number of Christians have adopted this motto in the way they dress in public.

Many Christians are careful about dressing modestly when assembling with the saints, but many are not so careful when out in the world. There was a time not so long ago when Christians enjoying leisure activities could be distinguished from others by how they were dressed. Too often this is no longer true. When Christians dressed more modestly, their attire was not so drastically different that they drew stares from onlookers, but they didn’t follow the world in exposing their nakedness.

The trend even among Christians to “show more of yourself” is apparent when viewing pictures posted on Facebook. Past efforts to discourage the wearing of revealing shorts and rising hemlines have been ignored. The objection has been raised that the Bible doesn’t tell us where to draw a line between what is modest and what is not. While there is some truth to this assertion, not even those who use this argument really believe there is no way to determine what is modest. Otherwise, the logical end of that argument would justify any amount of exposure including total nudity. So, because we can’t “draw a line,” we occasionally see brothers going around shirtless and sisters wearing cleavage revealing tops and pants tight enough to leave very little to the imagination.

Though the biblical instructions regarding modesty are stated in a context mentioning women, this does not mean that principles of modesty are not applicable to men as well. I also recognize that the apostle Paul’s instruction “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel” (I Tim. 2:9) is addressing an over-emphasis on external beauty. Yet, one can violate this teaching by wearing anything that draws undue attention to the flesh. The apostle says adornment is to be “with propriety and moderation” [NKJV]. Other translations use terms or words such as “with shamefacedness” [KJV], “proper,” “discretely” [NASB], “respectable” [ESV], or “with decency” [NIV]. The bottom line is that it should be that “which is proper for women professing godliness” (v.10). Peter’s instructions for wives to manifest “chaste conduct” (1 Pet. 3:2) would necessarily include wearing apparel that reflects an inner beauty. Immodest exposure of one’s nakedness is not consistent with “chaste conduct.”

To be guilty of nakedness does not require total nudity, as illustrated by God’s instructions to Moses regarding the altar that was to be built: “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it” (Ex. 20:26). Throughout the pages of the Bible, the word “nakedness,” whether used literally or metaphorically, is usually connected with shame. Even in the case where Peter was only partially clothed [“naked” in KJV, ASV] while out on a boat, he “put on his outer garment” before coming ashore (Jn. 21:7). It seems quite unusual for one to put on more clothing before plunging into the sea unless there was good reason to do so. Shame and modesty are good reasons.

Without minimizing the need for men to dress modestly, it is especially needful for women to do so. It may be why Jesus’ words “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has alreadycommitted adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28) were addressed to men. Obviously, it would be just as sinful for a woman to look at a man “to lust after him.”

Finally, here is no excuse for looking upon others to lust after them, regardless of how they are dressed. Unlawful lust is always the sin of the one who is lusting. Always! There can be no blame-shifting. Sinners are always responsible for their sins. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the Serpent; but in the end each was guilty for their own sins. Yet, this truth did not absolve Eve or the Serpent of being complicit in causing others to stumble. As Christians, we must avoid putting stumbling blocks in the paths of others. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,” (Matthew 13:41; Cf.18:7)

Dressing modestly will not prevent all lustful looks, but it will absolve one from being a stumbling block for that sin. Immodesty is a contributor to lust. “Showing more of yourself” may involve eternal risks for self and others.

Adapted from an article published in

THINK On These Things

October-November-December, 2016 • Volume 47, Number 4




October 15, 2017

Because You Did Not Know

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Because You Did Not Know

By Don R. Patton

“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’” (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus approached Jerusalem, demonstrating evidence the He was the promised Messiah, dramatically fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah (9:9), riding into the city (not on a prancing charger) but on a donkey’s colt, (Luke 19:29-38). Matthew makes the significance unmistakable.

“This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’” (Matthew 21:4-5).

But they did not know. They refused this and all the abundant evidence regarding their Messiah, and instead prepared to crucify Him. How sad. Jesus wept over the city, for He knew it would soon be destroyed, but Jerusalem “did not know…”

The history of God’s people can be written following this theme.

It described the ungodly in the days of Noah who lived confidently “until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away…” (Matthew 24:38-39 NKJV)

Hosea says of the nation of Israel, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,…” (Hosea 4:6). “Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it;(Hosea 7:9).

Consider the similar description of the church at Laodicea which received, perhaps, the Lord’s most scathing rebuke.

“‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,’” (Revelation 3:16-17).

In spite of the tragic consequences of ignorance, demonstrated over and over and over again in the history of God’s people, many still seek refuge in their lack of knowledge. How often we hear attitudes similar to the foolish excuse, “God wouldn’t punish me if I didn’t know better.” This delusion obviously puts a premium on ignorance. Hold on to it, because if you learn the truth you will have lost your excuse. Studying God’s word becomes terribly dangerous with eternal consequences.

How different is the attitude of Jesus who admonished…

“…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32).

Likewise , the Apostle Paul warned…

“…the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them…” (Ephesians 4:18). “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17).


Previous page · Next page