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Paul and the Rebellion – Hit the Mark — 25 Comments

  1. [Moderator’s Note: this comment has been converted to lower case. Our policy discourages the use of All-Caps because in Cyberspace many regards that as the equivalent to shouting. This is a conversation between friends not antagonists]

    My continual search for God, has lead me into some very deep subjects . In isiah it say not to believe the doctrines the commandments of men , being guided by an elder , I have a question that could get very in depth. The doctrine of sunday has the sabbath ????????

    Is not our week the oldest living time mark and if let there be light was spoken on the first day (sunday) then how can man trump god and what he said about the sabbath (sabbaths ) by changing it to sunday if god said remember ye the sabbath )on the seventh day he rested and called it holy saturday being the seventh day the sabbatth how can it be changed to sunday, I have a couple other questions and ive not any one that can answer them can you help ?

    • Edward, thanks for your post. Since the topic at hand is not Sunday vs the Sabbath I would like to direct you to the search field at the top of the home page. You can find many articles on any subject you have questions on. Thanks for your post.

  2. Let the church say Amen! Curtis thank you for boldly educating us about the notion that the church is a hospital for sinners. Wow! This belief gives us a false sense of security. We actually diagnose our own conditions and others rather than to let God be God and fairly assess us. Normal admittance in a hospital eventually comes with a prescription. But the belief that the church is a hospital for sinners implies we are who we are. No medication or therapy needed. So when will the healing ever begin?

    • Theresa, I like what you added about us diagnosing our own conditions. It's past time for healing and IMO that starts with us first believing that healing from sin is even possible. There are so many stories in the bible where Jesus said "because of your faith..." We need to have faith in His ability to free us from sin and not be so eager to give excuses for our sins. Thanks much friend!

  3. Curtis, I have also not been able to accept the idea that the church should be "a hospital for sinners".

    Mrs. White applied the "hospital" idea to the church at one time, but it wasn't used in the sense that the church was ever INTENDED to be a "hospital for sinners".

    "The church is now as a vast hospital, filled with the spiritually sick, who need to be placed under the influence of the refining furnace, until all dross is consumed." (Diary, August 14, 1901.) (4MR 447)

    I suppose we could ask, "Has the church advanced? Or is it still "a vast hospital, who need to be placed under the influence of the refining furnace..."?

    I'm wondering too, if it's possible that we still try to shelter/protect our people too much, or in inappropriate ways.

    • Hi Stewart, yes, I'm familiar with that quote and you are correct in what it was emphasizing. I also agree with your question about sheltering/protecting. We really don't hold each other accountable to our profession. I know there's a line often crossed about judging but somehow, someway the church must hold and promote righteous living.

  4. In response to Cutis' question regarding being "Victorious" and Does God expect us to be Victorious today? The answer to both questions would most often be in the affirmative. The question is why do we continue to struggle and display our ineffectiveness if we are "Victorious"? To be "Victorious" over conflict, is not a sign of defeat. Is there a time when it can be said,it is never over? Are we Victorious? Not because of our self imposed Victories. Not because we have all the proper list of do's and don'ts.
    We are Victorious, in control, because of 2Corinthians 5:14

    • Paul, speaking for myself as an example, often I simply have not decided to do what I know I should. The power of the will is powerful. Many of our issues come down to not making a decision. Choose you this day...

  5. Wow Curtis!

    Thank you for reminding us that the church was organized for service and is not a hospital for sinners.

    I agree that "Our lights are to shine to help show the way to salvation for others.To accept that we are gathered into the church to accomplish a mission gives us purpose, priorities and passion. The great gospel commission given by Christ becomes our marching orders."

    You ask, "Why would anyone want to join a group of people who believe they are all sick? Who goes to a hospital for healing and never plans to leave and go home?" And I have never thought about it from that perspective.

    Thank you for raising some ideas and questions for us to thing about.

    • Jane, thanks for your post. I hope that in our Sabbath schools all over the world will engage in more meaningful discussions about who we are and what we are to do and how we are to do it. Thanks!

  6. What does being victorious mean to you? Mean to achieve a victory
    Does God expect us to be victorious today or in the future?
    Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.”

    Explain your answer.
    What sin does God have the most difficulty in delivering you from?
    Paul wrote “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us.”
    Therefore, seeing we also are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,In the parable of the ten talents, one person hid their talent in the earth. Explain what that means in relation our calling as individuals.
    any of several ancient units of weight
    b : a unit of value equal to the value of a talent of gold or silver

    Is it true that if my expectation is to be victorious over sin, with God’s help, that can become my reality? Explain your answer.
    In this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over sin (1 John 1:8), but that should still be our goal. With God’s help, and by following the principles of His Word, we can progressively overcome sin and become more and more like Christ.

    Is the following statement True, Mostly True, Somewhat True or Not True: Sanctification is the work of a lifetime so I should not expect victory over known sins today. Explain your answer.
    But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.8

    • March, you have touched on a number of thoughts. The one regarding being Victorious, is one that seems to be central to the understanding of some, as a single endeavor. That is not to say that we are not struggling or beset by sinful acts. The all encompassing verse that was given in 1John1:8 is I believe, the opinion that I am making. Are we concentrating on a particular sin in order to reach perfection? Is this possibly similar to the mote in the eye parable, Matt7:3-5. Being Victorious is relatively speaking.

  7. A comment on Hebrews 12:1 - "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience THE RACE that is set before us”.

    It is practically impossible for a person to successfully run a race (especially when a time factor is involved), if that person is loaded down with weights.

    But it is an ever-present reality -- Each one of us IS engaged in a race. Will we gain the character that is necessary for heaven before we die? will we overcome before our days of “probation” are ended?

    In John Bunyan’s book, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, Pilgrim laments that, “I cannot go as fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.” And so it is with everyone who strives to enter into heaven through Jesus, the great Door.

    It might be asked – Is it possible to lay aside [to cast aside,] “EVERY weight”, EVERY hindrance, EVERY encumbrance, that would limit the pace of our spiritual development? Yes it IS possible, otherwise the word of Inspiration would not exhort us to do it. Yet the obvious fact must, it seems, be stated over and over – the exhortation in Hebrews 12:1 is an absurdity – it is an absolute impossibility -- UNLESS we have the empowerment of God. Let's believe that God is more than willing to give us the power to do it!

  8. I thought the statement the church is a hospital for sinners was to say the church is welcome to everyone.That if visitors come they should not feel out of place when they've come to the pool of Bethsaida. Our main aim is service but the church is where we meet Christ.That when people come, especially visitors should'nt feel out of place because they have come to be healed by the doctor.On the question of sanctification it seems as though people expect to fall and rise forever.One can be in church but practice the same sin for a lifetime.I believe Christ can give us victory even as soon as we accept him.We need to accept the merits of Christ in us.

    • Theresa, I certainly understand the sentiment of making the church open and welcoming to everyone and how some might use the church as a hospital for that point. However, it is often used as an excuse for un-Christlike behavior. Sort of like a get out of jail free card.
      The more I think about this the more I get the sense that we have given the church (not the body but our weekly places of gathering) a role it was not designed to have. We need to shift the focus for the sin weary to Christ and not the church. Jesus is the solution. Jesus frees from sin. We celebrate that experience when we gather, along with encouraging each other in our Christian walk. And one encouragement that appears to be sorely lacking is believing that Jesus can and does free us from the bondage of sin.
      Thanks for your comment!

    • Yeh I agree somewhat but it's also about perspective and as Curtis said our Misssion. Some of us probably enjoy hanging out at the hospital but don't actually come for healing. Some of us have chronic conditions and have been in the hospital for 15, 20, 30 years and still don't take the medication we have been given. The statement is also used by people to excuse their behavior. It's like you come to the hospital because you are sick but then get there and turn around to say I'm not sick and I don't need medicine. But people can see your ill. That's where holding each other accountable and admonishing and encouraging and rebuking in love and just loving in general come into play

  9. I think if you look at the full quote, the statement is true within the original context:

    "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints."

    It is a comparative statement where the emphasis is on the fact that the church is NOT a museum for saints rather than emphasizing the church as a hospital. For example we find a similar idea in Jesus' statement in Mark 2:17, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    • The version of the quote familiar to me is that "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints."

      I believe the intent of the original quote was to discourage judgmental statements regarding members of the church. Additionally it assumes a process of getting well.

      Hospitals are intended as places to get well, not a place to indulge one's sickness. 😉 No analogies are appropriate to be applied in every detail, but if we want to make this analogy more appropriate, the church is a special kind of hospital where the patients are to be immediately engaged in helping other patients to get well. Of course this doesn't much sound like a modern hospital.

      But if you ever hear the "hospital for sinners" analogy used to excuse the disease of sin, I think it would be fair to point out that a hospital is supposed to be a place for people to get well.

  10. I believe that you are absolutely right, Curtis. The church is not a hospital for sinners. It is rehab for the saints.

  11. I agree we must be healed and that we must seek victory. I think that to say the church is a hospital for sinners does not mean that it is not also a place by which we fight and, with God's help, win spiritual battles. I was in the Army medical corp and one motto we had was "Maintain the fighting strength." The hospital church is only one aspect of the fighting church just as the the Army hospital was only one aspect of the Army. The church must work to maintain the fighting strength of we who are fighting spiritual warfare. It is a hospital but only partly a hospital, a hospital to help heal us and send us out to fight once more.

  12. Happy Sabbath?

    I agree we have called all the time in the church by God to save the world by giving God service to them by spreading his Gospel.

    But through our own mistakes we have changed the theme to another direction instead of serving the world we are serving ourself,this habit contribute to us to remain sick daily in doing son and come to church as a tradition and civilization way to our society.

    Paul in Hebrew 10:25,insisted to us to gather together in order to plan,excute,implement and evaluate the our Responsibility to the Gospel.

    If we real know the mission we have,we have to stop making excuses for daily sins of ours we do,how can we penetrate to the door of our friend and enemies house if we are still doing like the world?

    We have to grow spiritually by making the Bible and prayer our daily food.And God the provider,the healer,and the saviour will be with us in the accomplishment of his work as he promised.

    Let's everybody in the church stand up without fear,with full of Joy that he has saved by the Grace of God through faith to the son,And that Faith help him to use in proclaiming and evengelize to the people how receiving Jesus is beautiful in life.Our life styre should be an example wherever we are.

    may God bless us.

  13. God created Adam and gave him dominion over the earth, a small kingdom in God’s universe. Adam failed ceding dominion to Satan, sin,and death. We have seen what unrestrained man can accomplish. God regretted that He had made man (Gen 6:5-8).
    God later introduced His people, Israel, to the Mt Sinai (Old) Covenant where, under Law, the people would come to know sin; sin would be magnified so it would come to be seen a very terrible thing.
    The same subjects of this covenant kingdom, which was also a teaching ministry, became so unrestrained in sin that God proposed, “I have seen this people and indeed, it is a stubborn people. Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you(Moses) a nation mightier and greater than they.”Dt 9:14-20; Ex 32:9-14. Moses messianic response was to pray for the forgiveness and deliverance of his people.
    When Adam sinned God could have got rid of Adam and installed the promised true heir, Christ, and filled the earth with His seed. But Christ, the Messiah, with the Father, had proposed to *redeem* mankind. If Adam had succeeded in Eden righteousness would have filled the earth and God would be glorified in His creation to this day.
    Christ, 2nd Adam, came and triumphed over Satan, sin, and death, rendering Satan “powerless”(Heb 2:14,15), even “binding” him(Matt 12:29; Mk 3:27). With this victory Christ exclaims, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...”(Matt 28:18-20)
    The old covenant, the ministry of death and condemnation, was glorious but the new covenant, the one that remains, the ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of Righteousness far exceeds the Old in glory(2 Cor 3). Christ in His kingdom is reigning, judging, and putting down opposing nations.(Ps 2; 9:7; 110)
    What can Satan do about it? Are we promoting such a kingdom? Do we believe Christ is reigning? Christ is doing now spiritually what Adam would have been doing if he had had victory over Satan. He is filling the earth with His seed- with righteousness, expanding the Kingdom which is His body, the Church. It is the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:18-24). Its members are living under “the Law of Christ” and showing forth God’s glory. They are accomplishing the works that the Father had prepared from before the foundation of the world. Christ reigns until the last enemy is destroyed!

  14. In looking over the bible texts for this week's lesson on Peter on the Great Controversy, the picture painted is not a church full of sin-sick, non-victorious people, but quite the contrary:
    "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness"
    "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light"
    "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, abut for the will of God."

  15. Ones say that church is a hospital for sinners. Others say that it is not a hospital for sinners. The most interesting is that the both sides are right, but bro.Curtis is quite right: the church as a building is just a place where the Christians can gather.
    As I have got, Jesus is a Doctor, but Church is not a hospital, ‘cause a spiritual doctor can’t work in a material hospital. Where then is a spiritual hospital? Our Doctor heals us in our hearts, as we are “the temple of God” (1 Cor. 3:16). And the medicine is Love. How to take this medicine? The Bible explains it. “God is love” (1 John 4:8). So to take love we should receive God. Christ says: “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me” (Mark 9:37). Here is the paradox: to receive we must give. We can receive “one of these little children” by giving our love (our heart/our soul) to him. That’s why we can’t take the spiritual medicine, but we can (and should) give it. And we are capable to do it as Jesus Christ is in us, “unless indeed we are not disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
    Thus the prescription should sound like:
    1) Love your God;
    2) Love your enemies;
    3) Love your friends;
    4) Love your family and
    5) Love yourself…
    And be healthy!
    Blessed be our God who has inspired bro.Curtis for the commentary on the 10 lesson!


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