Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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God's Word Is Both Inclusive And Exclusive


            God's word is inclusive and exclusive. We are not to add or subtract from it  (Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:19). We fully understand that concept when it comes to Man's Laws. A stop sign means stop. Even though it is regularly violated, we all know it means to stop and we are  not allowed to ignore it, add to it or take away from it. "Stop," means stop. No other option is allowed. There is no need to list every other possible option to stopping, and then state, do not do that. The instruction is given to stop and everything else is a violation of it. Why can't the world apply the same reasoning to God's word?


            One reason seems to be that the world has convinced itself that God's word is up for interpretation by each individual. Division comes from "man's" interpretations and not from God's word. God's word has always been the same for everyone who familiarizes themselves with it. However, the world reasons that when it comes to God's instructions, "I" am excused because "I" want or need something different and God wants "me" to be happy. You see, the World has convinced itself that religion is something man has a say in and man can fit or apply it as they see fit (Jeremiah 10:23). In other words, everybody can have it their way, it's just a matter of going into God's word and finding something that they can apply or interpret in a way to change something else to fit what they need or want (Gal. 1:6-8); many times contradicting another direct commands. Thus, all the division. God gave us our instruction by speaking to us through Christ while He was on earth with us (Hebrews 1:2), and the New Testament was recorded for us after the beginning of the last days with instruction and example. We (as men) are not God; therefore, we have no right to demand something different or change what God instructed us to do through his divine word. Only the creator has that authority; not, the created.


            The world has excused itself from God's commands and tweeked them to fit their desires.  It uses worldly and human reasoning to justify itself. In the world's eyes, love is not manditory. It hindges on how someone may treat you. Forgiveness is optional based on the actions of the one who violates you. However, God says we are to Love, and gives us no exceptions excusing us from doing that. We are to forgive, and there are no exceptions given us. This is hard for us as humans to do sometime. But because it is difficult or seems impossible for us to do, that does not give us the liberty to find a way around a command and then justify it in our own eyes with something unwritten or misapplied. What was Christ's instruction and his example on these matters (Matt. 5:43-48; John 13:34-36; 15:12-14)? God structured all things pertaining to life and Godliness a certain way for a reason. When He gives no other instructions, variations or accepted examples, we are bound; just as in the case of the stop sign in our traffic laws. We must obey and not allow human reasoning to override God's word. This is why the world struggles in division without book, chapter and verse.


            Those caught violating a stop sign often justify their action by saying they couldn't see anyone coming. In thier mind, the lack of a stop is justified and there was no need for a stop, so they excuse themself from obedience. They are sometimes reminded as they receive correction that it is the vehicle we overlook that hits us; not, the one we see. So, stop anyway, take your time and make sure. The sign is there for a reason and people are hurt everyday ignoring stop signs because they failed to see the danger coming. The same reasoning is sometimes used with God's word. If the world doesn't see the danger or need in it, they justify their actions and take their liberties; failing to see the danger coming. However, God does see things coming that man overlooks and his word protects us from harm. We must have faith in God's ways and stay in the paths of old.


            Just this past week we saw the continued attack by the main-stream media on those who speak out or even mention "Christ." Those who attack believers may even believe in God themselves, but when God's word violates what they want, they attack those who point out error with demeaning words and try to deface those who believe God's written word. In their minds, everybody has the freedom to have God's word the way they want it; except, the person pointing out the error and God, himself.


            We won't be judged in the last day by what we came up with, reasoned, modified or excused ourself from in God's word. That is the fatal flaw in the world's reasoning. In reality, we will be judged by God's word in its entireity and God's word only (John 12:48-50; Matt. 4:4). God wants us to conduct ourselves in a certain manner, structure His church in a certain manner, structure our families in His prescribed manner and that manner is defined in writing (2Peter 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16; Ps. 19:7-9); not in opinion. Arm yourself with the sword of the word in its pure, undefiled written state. Pray for our country, leaders and those who live outside of what God has instructed us in writing.


-Marc Hopkins