Today, we’re going to broach a very sensitive topic but an important topic and a controversial topic, the topic of masturbation. Within the greater body of Christ there is a spectrum of opinion on the subject. The reason for this is because, as we’ll soon see, the Bible is actually silent on the subject, at least to some degree.
In Part 1 of this teaching, I made the claim that the early church focused on two avenues of giving, namely giving that (1) helped make disciples and (2) relieved suffering, and I elaborated on the wise application of the first of those two. In Part 2, I’d like to look more closely at some of the best ways we can use our financial resources to relieve suffering. But first, a little philosophic pondering:
When it comes to suffering, there is no shortage of those who need help. No one can debate that God allows a lot of suffering, and His reasons for doing so are sometimes a mystery to us. Yet Scripture makes it clear that God’s allowance does not alleviate us from relieving suffering when we can. On the contrary, it seems that God may allow some suffering to test our love for those who suffer—and for Him. God certainly does test free moral agents (see Ex. 16:4, 20:20; Deut. 8:16; Judg. 2:21-22, 3:1; 2 Chron. 32:31; Ps. 11:4-5; Prov. 17:3; Jer. 17:10, 20:12; Rev. 3:10).
For the last two Little Lessons, we’ve been looking at the Roman Catholic church, and I’ve been referencing a letter that I received from some viewers who are dear friends who were former Roman Catholics. They’re sharing their experience which I think many people could identify with, whether they’re inside or now have come out of the Roman Catholic church. And it’s my conviction that people who truly believe in Jesus, they’re not going to be happy in the Roman Catholic church.
I gave a little lesson some weeks back titled “Can Roman Catholics be Christians?” And I affirmed that, yes, truly, if they believe that Jesus is the son of God and it bears fruit in their life, even with all the extra doctrinal baggage that they might have in the Catholic church, they still get to heaven.
Genuine followers of Jesus know that the wisest thing they can do with their money is use it to lay up treasure in heaven. In fact, it was to wisdom that Jesus appealed when He instructed His followers regarding their two investment options:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:19-21).
The obvious wisdom in laying up treasures in heaven is that there they are enduring, whereas treasures on earth are subject to decay and loss. So it just makes sense to invest in heaven.
I sometimes receive caustic letters from strangers, and sometimes they’re long letters. I feel so sorry for them that they wasted so much of their time! And they start off with insults and demeaning, condescending statements, and I can’t imagine that they could possibly think that they’re going to persuade me, as they start off insulting me.
I started in our last Little Lesson reading a very kind letter from a person who disagrees with me on my Little Lesson about Mormonism, “Can Mormons Be Christians?”