|Volume 19 Number 2 February 2017||
Seeking to Become a Christian
Louis Rushmore, Editor
If you knew someone who is in the music industry (doesn’t have to be someone famous, but can include the famous), yet was seeking to become a Christian, what biblical advice would you give to him (precautions, encouragements, etc.), given what you know about the industry (good or bad) in modern times?
Generally speaking, irrespective of who one is or what it is that one does (including vocationally), the same Gospel message and prescription for redemption applies to one and all alike. The apostle Paul represented the Christians at Corinth to have become the children of God although they had been guilty of any number of and any manner of sins—many of which sinful ways are especially represented in contemporary mankind.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV)
In addition, the apostle Paul spoke regarding the integrity and honorableness of one’s chosen vocation. In other words, there are some livelihoods even though they be legal and socially acceptable nevertheless involve sin—from which faithful Christians ought to distance themselves (e.g., bartender, abortion provider, etc.). “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28). Note also 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, “…mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”
Every vocation that one might consider needs to be examined to discern (1) if it is something sinful or not of itself and (2) to evaluate the likelihood of it leading the worker or other people astray from God’s will. “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Remaining Single or Marrying
Louis Rushmore, Editor
What “traits” (so to speak), if any, would you see in the Scriptures that would lead one to the conclusion that a person may be better fitted to be single rather than married? (I’m not speaking specifically of those who aren’t eligible to marry or to date, Matthew 19:9.)
From the second chapter of the Bible, Scripture anticipates that ordinarily a family will consist, initially, of a man and a woman (i.e., a husband and a wife). It was not God’s plan for man to be single or alone (Genesis 2:20-25). Yet, a person does not sin by remaining single (1 Corinthians 7:1, 7-8) as long as he or she neither violates New Testament prohibitions (1 Corinthians 15:34) or fails to perform directives in the Gospel of Christ (James 4:17). Since even conscientious Christians sometimes sin, though, there is a remedy in Jesus Christ for such times (1 John 2:1). However, we Christians dare not excuse ourselves from righteousness to commit sin while presumptuously relying on the grace of God (Romans 6:1-2).
Especially the young marry (Proverbs 5:18). Both testaments of the Bible address moral purity, especially as it pertains to youth. For instance, the Book of Proverbs is particularly addressed “to the young man” (1:4). The New Testament also contains instruction for young men. “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:6-8 NKJV).
Sometimes though it is permissible to marry (1 Corinthians 7:28), it is wise not to marry because of present circumstances (1 Corinthians 7:26). Yet, to avoid burning with lust (1 Corinthians 7:9) and to avoid fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2), marriage is preferable and honorable before God (Hebrews 13:4). Naturally, though, the married must adequately devote attention to each other (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, 32-34), which naturally subtracts from one’s singular focus on serving Jesus Christ.
The unmarried must present themselves before God in a godly, morally pure way. They have the responsibility of serving our Lord Jesus Christ even more enthusiastically than married people. When, however, to remain morally pure it is time for one to marry, that is precisely what he or she ought to do—as long as he or she is biblically permitted to do so.