Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

Global Warming

Bryan Matthew Dockens

The so-called "climate crisis" preached by Al Gore and other environmentalist fear-mongers is of no concern to me. I trust in the promises of God. After Noah's family emerged from the ark, the Lord said, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).

Because the Creator said so, I am fully convinced nothing will permanently disrupt the normal progression of seasons or weather patterns. Certainly, exceptions have occurred from time to time. Seedtime and harvest have been interrupted by famines in the past (Genesis 12:10; Acts 11:28), yet seedtime and harvest always resumed. Night was once delayed when Joshua prayed for a miracle, "so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day" (Joshua 10:13), but "there has been no day like that, before it or after it" (Joshua 10:14).

Cold and heat may fluctuate from place to place and time to time, but there will be no fluctuation so severe it results in the polar ice caps melting and a subsequent global flood. The Almighty promised "Never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth" (Genesis 9:11). He has given us the rainbow as a token of this promise (Genesis 9:12-17).

God's assurance that the seasons and weather will continue has but one condition: "While the earth remains" (Genesis 8:22). Someday, it will be no more, as Jesus said, "Earth will pass away" (Luke 21:33). Interestingly, it will all end in fire (2 Peter 3:7; 10-12). That's the global warming to prepare for!

Hurting Ourselves

Blaine Kely

Caroline and I have a dog named Samson who is part golden retriever, part idiot. We absolutely love the golden retriever side of Samson. The idiot part? Well, that's another story. Occasionally, the idiot manifests itself when Samson chews on things that are not his (e.g., books, stuffed animals, shoes, etc.). His current fetish is mail and other paper products.

This past week, I came home one afternoon to find some crumbles of paper beside the refrigerator. As I went to pick them up, I was rather amused at what I saw. Unbeknownst to Samson, he had just destroyed a coupon for dog treats. As much as the idiot part of Samson enjoys chewing on things, it enjoys dog treats much more. I only wish the idiot could have realized what he had done to himself.

The humorous irony behind Samson's mistake reflects the sad irony behind our sins. Just like chewing stuff is fun for Samson, sin is pleasurable and enjoyable for us. In the moment, sin feels good and seems harmless. We often do not witness any obvious consequences to our sins, so we think they are "no big deal". What we forget, though, is that our sins ultimately hurt no one but ourselves. They damage our psyche, our spirituality, and our relationship with God.

To keep us from hurting ourselves, God has provided commandments that give proper direction to our lives. His commandments are "for our good always and for our survival" (Deuteronomy 6:24). We might not understand all of God's commands, but if we recognize Him as the loving Father that He is, we must accept the fact that His commands are for our good.

Instead of hurting ourselves with sin, let's help ourselves by giving God our hearts and keeping His commandments. If we do, it will be to both our earthly and eternal good.

Nipper's Master's Voice

Author Unknown, adapted

During the mid-twentieth century, one of the most recognizable brand icons in America was a dog sitting in front of an old-time gramophone, head cocked, listening to the sound. That iconic image, owned by the RCA Victor record company, was taken from a painting by English artist Francis Barraud. The dog, Nipper, had been owned by Barraud's brother who had recorded his voice on early phonograph records. After the brother died, Barraud inherited Nipper and the gramophone and records. Whenever the records with Nipper's master's voice were played, the dog would sit in front of the gramophone listening to his master's voice.

That's a beautiful image of the relationship between Jesus Christ and us. He has gone away from the earth, so we can no longer hear His physical voice. But we sit in front of His word and listen to our Master's teachings.

Listening for the Master's voice is a sign of loyalty and longing - an indication that we are eager to hear and obey.

"...The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers" (John 10:3-5).

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27).

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