Many in the religious world today say that infants are born sinners and must be baptized in order to be saved.  They say we inherit sin from our ancestors all the way back to Adam.  This contradicts God’s word.  God says in Ezekiel 18:20, "The soul who sins shall die.  The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor shall the father bear the guilt of the son."  Here God is telling us that children do not inherit sin from their parents, grandparents, or any of their forefathers, all the way back to Adam.  God says "The son shall not bear the guilt of the Father."  Each person is responsible for his own sins.

     What is sin?  I John 3:4 says, "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness."  We do not inherit sin; we commit sin; and we commit sin when we commit lawlessness.  An infant has not broken any law of God and thus has not committed any sin.  How is sin committed?  In James 1:14-15 we read, "Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed, then when lust is conceived, it brings forth sin and sin when it is finished brings forth death."  A baby cannot be drawn away and enticed into lustful sin.

     One error leads to another.  Men say since infants have inherited the sin of Adam, they must be baptized or they will be lost.  Not only are infants not lost but they are not suitable candidates for baptism, since they cannot believe.  Jesus says in Mark 16:16, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved."  Here one of the prerequisites of being saved is to believe, which is impossible for an infant to do.  Also one of the prerequisites of being baptized is one must repent.  The apostle Peter told a group of people to "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins" (Acts 2:38).  Can an infant repent?  It would be absurd to think an infant could believe or repent, but it is just as absurd to think an innocent infant, who is without sin, must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, which he does not have.

     Parents who have their infants "christened" are being deceived by the false doctrines of men.  Satan has many ways through his lies in fooling people into being lost.  When a person who was baptized as an infant becomes accountable, he doesn’t think he needs to be baptized again so he can be saved.  Satan knows infant baptism accomplishes nothing.  Satan knows when people who were baptized as an infant become accountable, at that time they begin to sin and will be eternally lost in the burning fires of Hell if they don’t obey the Lord.  When a person becomes accountable he must "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), not before.  If a person misses Heaven by believing the lies of Satan, he will only have himself to blame.

Since Christ never authorized mechanical instruments of music in the New Testament to be used in worship of the church, we might ask, when did man "take it upon himself" to start using them in trying to worship God? It is a historical fact according to early church history, no mechanical instruments of music were ever used in church worship until about the year 670 A.D. At this time the church at Rome introduced an organ which produced such disturbances that it was removed. It was not until about 775 A.D. that it was introduced again, but this time it was kept, even with many people objecting. For many years many churches did not accept the instrument. Even in the 13th century Thomas Aquinas, a noted Catholic scholar, wrote against its use. This showed that even by the 13th century the instrument had not gained full acceptance. Men wanted to have it their way with no regard to what God had specified. This was a departure from the faith and practice of what God has authorized. Why was the use of mechanical instruments of music totally unknown in the worship of the church for the first six hundred years after the New Testament was written? The word "A Capella" means singing without instrumental accompaniment. It actually means, "as done in the chapel." For the first 600 years of the church "as done in the chapel" meant singing in worship of the church without instrumental accompaniment. This is the way the early church worshipped. Why shouldn’t we also worship this way? Singing in worship to God is for the purpose of honoring God and teaching one another. Singing is what pleases God. Singing without the instrument of music shows our respect of God and what He says in His word when He specifies our heart as the instrument where the melody is to be made. If we love and respect God we will do everything He says and in the way He says to do it. We will not change, substitute, or add to what He says. We must only sing if we want to worship God "in spirit and in truth."

We in the Lord’s church are losing 75% of our children who fall away from the Lord and become lost when they leave home.  This is a tragedy!  The main reason we are losing our children to the world is a lack of teaching of God’s word at home by the parents.  Parents are commanded to teach their children the word of God.  "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).  Can we as parents be pleasing to God if we fail to teach our children the word of God?  The lack of Bible knowledge will cause our children to go off into atheism, agnosticism, denominationalism, and unfaithfulness, which will cause them to be eternally lost.

     One 40 minute Bible study class each week at church or two if they attend Wednesday evening Bible study does not give our children enough spiritual food to fight off the world’s influence they receive at school, TV, etc.  Our children spend 30 hours per week in public school preparing for life in this world, but less than 2 hours per week in trying to prepare for eternity.  Which is the most important?  We become upset if our children make bad grades on their report cards, but it doesn’t seem to bother us if they fail to study their Bible class lessons.  We closely watch their scholastic and athletic progress, but what about their spiritual progress?  We have become passive about allowing our children to grow up without a soul saving knowledge of the Bible.  We need to know that the greatest thing we can do for our children is to instill in them a lasting faith in God and the Bible so they can be eternally saved.  There is nothing greater we can do for our children.

     We should help our children with their school subjects at home, but studying the Bible with them is of much greater importance than their school subjects.  Why do children fall away and become lost when they leave home?  God’s word says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6).  If our children are lacking in a knowledge of God’s word they will most likely be eternally lost in hell.  If they are lost, we as parents will have to give an account to God for our failure to teach them (Romans 14:12).

     Bible study with our children will increase their faith in God, because "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).  God’s inspired word says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

     We have a good example in the Bible of a young person who was instilled with a genuine saving faith by his mother and grandmother.  Paul says to Timothy, "When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also" (2 Timothy 1:5).  Here we see that Timothy had become a faithful Christian because his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice had instilled in him a genuine faith in God.  It did not happen by accident.  If it wasn’t for their teaching Timothy would probably not have become a faithful Christian.

     To save our children we must be much more serious to help them prepare for eternity. We must set aside a certain time each day for Bible study with them.  This teaching must begin at birth and continue as long as we have influence on them.  We must teach our children to have proper spiritual values and this can only be done by teaching them God’s word.  God has commanded us, "And these words which I command today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).  Our teaching is a 24/7 task.  We must demonstrate by our lives that God and His word are the most important things in our lives.  Our children are watching and being taught by our example.  Actions speak louder than words. We must not expect our children to "do as I say, not as I do".

     It is not if our children are going to be taught.  It is who will teach them and what they are going to be taught?  If we don’t teach them, someone else will.  Let’s take parenting seriously and bring our children "up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4) so we and they can be together in heaven.

The miracle of Jesus turning the water into wine is found in John 2:1-11. Some people try to justify the drinking of alcohol by saying that Jesus made alcoholic wine. But was the wine Jesus created alcoholic? When they ran out of wine at the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus had them fill six water pots to the brim, each of which held about 20 gallons. This would make a total of about 120 gallons. When it was taken to the master of the wedding feast to taste, he was surprised and said, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now" (John 2:10). The good wine in those days was grape juice that had not yet fermented. The Greek word "OINOS" which is translated wine in the Bible can be either fermented or unfermented wine. We see in Isaiah 65:8, "Thus says the Lord, ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says do not destroy it’". What is the alcoholic content in the new wine in a cluster of grapes? Zero. There is no alcohol in a cluster of grapes. Also God says in Isaiah 16:10, "No treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease." Again we know the alcoholic content of the new wine that is being treaded out in the grape presses is zero. This wine is only fresh grape juice. Jesus says in Matthew 9:17, "Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." New wine, which is unfermented wine as we have seen in Isaiah 16:10, 65:8, is not placed into old wine skins because the old wine skins probably have been contaminated with fermentation bacteria which will ferment the new wine. If new wine is placed into old wineskins, then the new wine will become fermented and the fermentation gasses will break the wineskins and the wine will pour out. But Jesus says that you put new wine (fresh grape juice) into new wineskins (which have not been contaminated with fermentation bacteria) "and both are preserved". Jesus did not create an alcoholic wine. God’s word forbade giving alcoholic wine to someone else. Habakkuk 2:15 says, "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to the bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness." Jesus would have disobeyed God's word as found in Habakkuk and sinned if he had made an alcoholic wine, which was drunk by others. But Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus "was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Jesus never sinned or He could not have died for us. If He sinned He would have had to die for His own sin. We have seen in the above scriptures that the wine Jesus made was not fermented. It was fresh grape juice, which is also referred to as wine (OINOS). To say that Jesus made 120 gallons of fermented wine is blasphemy. God’s word says "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1).

What religion today practices the pagan rites of the moon-god?  Islam.  Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today.  Many times it has been a violent religion in which one has one of two choices: either convert or die.  The religion of Islam has as its focus of worship a deity by the name of "Allah."  Allah was a pagan moon-god in Arabia during pre-Islamic times.

Moon worship has been practiced in Arabia and the Middle East since about 2000 BC.  The crescent moon is the most common symbol of this pagan moon worship.  The moon-god was also referred to as "al-ilah".  Originally this was not a proper name of a single specific god, but a generic name meaning "the god".  Each local Arab tribe would refer to their own local tribal pagan god as "al-ilah".  "al-ilah" was later shortened to Allah before Mohammed began promoting his new religion in 610 AD.  Mohammed retained almost all the pagan rituals of the Arabs at the temple, Kabah, and redefined them in monotheistic terms.  Today Islam is a false monotheistic religion with its roots in polytheistic paganism.

The Old Testament regularly forbade the worship of the moon-god and other false gods.  When the children of Israel came out of Egyptian bondage they were warned, "a man or a woman who have been wicked in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing His covenant, who have gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven…then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones" (Deuteronomy 17:3-5).  When Israel fell into idolatry, many times it involved moon-god worship.  There are remnants of pagan moon-god worship in the Koran where we have examples of Muslims swearing by the moon.  "Nay; I swear by the moon, And the night when it departs, And the daybreak when it shines;" (Koran 74:32-34).  Muslims fast during the month that begins and ends with a crescent moon.

The pagan Arab nations worshipped 360 gods, one for each day of the year.  The moon-god was a male god and the sun-god was a female goddess.  The moon-god was called by various names, one of which was Allah.  The Arabs believed that the moon-god was the greatest of all gods.  In worshipping their moon-god, Allah, they prayed toward Mecca several times a day, made pilgrimages to Mecca, ran around the temple of the moon-god called the Kabah, kissed the Black Stone, killed animal sacrifices for their moon-god, and fasted for the month which begins and ends with the crescent moon, etc, just as the Muslims do today.

     They believed Allah, the moon-god, was married to the sun goddess.  Together they produced three goddesses who were called "the daughters of Allah."  Allah’s three daughters, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah and were also worshipped at the Kabah in Mecca.  The daughters of Allah, along with Allah’s wife the sun goddess, and Allah were viewed as "high" gods.

    Mohammed was raised to worship the moon-god, Allah.  The Quraish tribe into which Mohammad was born was particularly devoted to Allah.  The literal Arabic name of Mohammed's father was Abd-Allah and his uncle's name was Obied-Allah.  These names show the devotion that Mohammed's family had to the worship of their moon-god, Allah.  When Mohammed proclaimed his new doctrine: "There is no God but Allah", he was not trying to introduce a new god, for his pagan countrymen already knew and acknowledged this pagan deity along with their other 359 gods.  The crescent moon was an ancient pagan symbol used throughout the Middle East to represent Allah and adopting this symbol helped Muslims to convert people throughout the Middle East to Islam.

     Mohammed was born in Mecca in 570 AD.  In 610 AD he declared himself a prophet.  At a temple called "ka’aba" in Mecca 360 idols along with a Black Stone were worshipped.  Prior to Islam the people prayed each day facing Mecca since that was the place where their idol Allah was located.  Each Arab tribe used "Allah" as a generic term to refer to its own particular high god.  When Mohammed began propagating his new religion he was run out of Mecca in 622 AD.  He then went to Medina where he successfully began his new religion, Islam, and even became the ruler of that city.  In Mecca Arabs worshipped a moon-god called Hubal at their temple called Kabah.  Hubal, being their highest ranking god, was also known by other names such as Allah.  When Mohammed came along, he dropped all references to the name "Hubal" but retained the generic "al-ilah", which had been modified to Allah.

    In 630 AD Mohammed again entered Mecca and captured it.  He declared Allah to be the supreme god and was the one true god that all men should worship.  Mohammed claimed to have had his "vision" and "revelation" from the angel Gabriel.  Mohammed destroyed all the 360 idols at Mecca except the Black Stone, which they believed had come from the moon.  Muslims continue to worship and kiss it today.  Mohammed declared that Allah alone should be worshipped.  He forbade the worship of the daughters of Allah.  Mohammed retained almost all the pagan rituals of the Arabs at the temple, Kabah, and redefined them in monotheistic terms.  To this day, a crescent moon can be found at the front of every mosque, acknowledging that Allah was and is still their moon-god.

nbsp;    Mohammed went one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs.  While they believed that Allah, their moon-god, was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity, Mohammed decided that Allah was not only the greatest god but the only god.  The worship of the moon-god, Allah, helped Islam to be successful in propagating their religion among the Arab nations.  Allah was neither an unknown nor an unimportant god to the Quraish when Mohammed began preaching his doctrine at Medina and Mecca.  The fact that Islam was conceived in idolatry is shown by the many rituals performed today in the name of Allah which were connected with their pagan worship that existed before Islam.

     The crescent moon, as the symbol for Islam originated when Allah was worshipped as the moon-god in Mecca, is placed on the flags of Islamic nations and on the top of mosques and minarets and displayed on hats, flags, rugs, amulets and even jewelry.  This explains why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam today.  Some flags of Muslim countries have the full moon placed inside the crescent moon to emphasize all the phases of the moon.  Other flags have one or more stars or the sun placed in the crescent of the moon.

     Many people have been falsely taught that Allah is simply another name for the God of the Bible.  This is not true.  This is stated to try and give Islam some credibility.  Satan has used this lie to lead people away from the one true God so they will be eternally lost.  This lie is believed not only by Muslims but also by many non-Muslims.  History reveals that Islam is nothing more than a reformed revival of the ancient idolatrous moon-god paganism.  Most Muslims have been kept in the dark concerning the history of their religion.  The average Muslim does not know he is worshipping a moon-god or why the crescent moon sits on top of his mosque.

When We Meet

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9:30 AM....... Bible Classes
10:30 AM..... Worship
6 PM.............Evening Worship

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THURSDAY

6:30 PM...... Bible Class

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Church of Christ

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Rockford  IL 61108
Preacher:  Maurice Brown
Daytime Phone: (815) 874-9995
 

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