Thursday, October 4, 2012

Today’s Show Notes: Thursday, 10/4....

Evidence Bible
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C. S. Lewis

Ray & E.Z. speaking at Vote the Rock in Corona on 10/13 (next Sat) 

"Why are Mormons/LDS so interested in genealogies?"
From  Many do not know that one of the biggest influences in the recent genealogy craze is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormons. The LDS interest in genealogies is connected to their belief/practice of “baptism for the dead.”

The LDS church believes that several ordinances, including baptism, must be fulfilled for a person to be saved. The LDS church also teaches that members in good standing can fulfill these ordinances in the place of ancestors who have passed on without the opportunity to do so. The church says that once the ordinances are fulfilled and the person accepts the gospel of Jesus Christ (even if heard and accepted after death), they can move on to a higher kingdom. LDS members use genealogy to discover who their ancestors are and fulfill the covenants in their stead.

These beliefs are faulty in several ways. First, there is only one way to salvation, and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ordinances and sacraments are works, and therefore, not required (Ephesians 2:8-9). The second is that no person can earn the salvation of another. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). It does not come by another being baptized or completing ordinances in your name. There is nothing wrong with studying genealogies. Jesus’ ancestry is given in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. But once a person has passed on, their chance to come to a saving relationship with Christ is over.

"What is baptism for the dead?"
From  Baptism for the dead is a non-biblical practice where a living person is baptized in lieu of a person that passed away, as a means of making a public profession of faith for a person that was already deceased. We can, essentially, think of it as the practice of baptizing a dead person.

The practice has as its basis the misinterpretation of Corinthians 15:29: “Otherwise, what will they do, those being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not at all raised, why indeed are they baptized on behalf of the dead?” This is a difficult passage to interpret, but we do know by comparing it with the rest of Scripture that it does not mean that a dead person can be saved by being baptized by someone else, because baptism is not a requirement for salvation in the first place (Ephesians 2:8Romans 3:284:36:3-4). The entire passage (vv. 12-29) is about the surety of the resurrection, not about baptism for the dead.

What was being baptized for the dead? It is a mysterious passage, and there have been more than thirty different attempts to interpret it. 1. The plain meaning of the Greek in verse 29 is that some people are being baptized on behalf of those who have died—and if there is no resurrection, why are they doing this? 2. Either Paul is referring to a pagan custom (notice he uses they, not "we"), or to a superstitious and unscriptural practice in the Corinthian church of vicarious baptism for believers who died before being baptized. 3. Either way, he certainly does not approve of the practice; he merely says that if there is no resurrection, why would the custom take place? The Mormon practice of baptism for the dead is neither scriptural or sensible. Baptism for the dead is a practice that was common in the pagan religions of Greece and is still practiced today by some cults; but it doesn't change a person's eternal destiny, for that is determined while he lives (Luke 16:26).

"Why do Mormons refer to themselves as Latter Day Saints?"
From  When the hunger for religious experience peaked in the 1800’s, the lack of unity among the differing branches of Christian faith became a stumbling block. A man named Joseph Smith emerged to propose his own reported religious experiences as the solution. He declared himself to be a prophet of God. Adherents claimed that to Joseph Smith was restored the “holy priesthood [of] the apostles and disciples of old….” He also declared that in these “latter days” of the world, all other churches were participating in apostasy and only his private revelation (or that of those associated with him) could be trusted for salvation and instruction.

Primarily by the efforts of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, an organization formed and was named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The name was reported to have come by revelation from Jesus Christ. It was to indicate three specific certainties: 1. Jesus Christ ordained the church; 2. the church’s ministry was specific to the latter days of the world, and 3. the church would consist of only the true saints acknowledged by Jesus Christ. Such a name would have sounded very appealing in a time of widely fluctuating doctrine. The LDS church put forward that theirs was the task of establishing the kingdom of God and of instituting the practices of Christian religion as God intended. These things together were commonly called “the restoration of the gospel” and were part of therestoration movement of the early 19th century.

According to the Bible, it is God who shall establish His kingdom (Isaiah 9:7). The saints are not called upon to do this for Him. Also, whether one views the latter days as the very end of our earth’s age, or as including all the days that follow the completed ministry of Jesus Christ, there is no biblical support for a broken gospel in need of restoration. Jesus declared Simon Peter’s acknowledgment of Him as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” to be the rock on which His church would be built, against which “the gates of Hades shall not prevail…” (Matthew 16:1618). God also declares that although some have strayed from the truth, “the solid foundation of God stands” (2 Timothy 2:18-19). These verses indicate the enduring nature of the church within the context of the gospel. Indeed, in the end times apostasy will abound (Matthew 24:11), but the gospel will remain intact with those who endure (Matthew 24:13-14).

The true work of today’s saints is to continue to declare the truth of the eternal gospel (John 3:16Mark 16:15), and to “hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard... in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).