Private is better than public!
Churches all over the world have pews, hymn books, pianos, and organs adorned with the names of those who donated them. This is not good. The Bible says if you do your deeds and take credit for them, that’s the extent of your reward. But if you do good deeds secretly, not making a big deal out of them or taking credit for them, God will reward you openly on judgment day.
when you give to the poor (do good deeds, give money, etc.), do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. —Matthew 6:3-4
Anything done with the wrong motive doesn’t count. Everything you do with the right motive (within God’s will/allowing Him to use you) will count. Using money as an example, it is far better to give one dollar to your church, privately, for the right reasons, than to give ten million dollars for the wrong reasons. God doesn’t want or need our money, He owns it all.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills. —Psalm 50:10
Rather, He wants our hearts.
. . . doing the will of God from the heart. —Ephesians 6:6
You have often referred to either not being able to lose your salvation or not being able to earn it. Since you also purport to believe in total inerrancy of Scripture, what do you do with the following verse?
Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing . . . —Revelation 3:10
As I read it, there is a direct connection between what you do and who goes to heaven. Am I wrong?
At first glance, based on the way that verse has been traditionally translated, it would seem to support a works doctrine. However, careful examination of the Greek shows that it was improperly punctuated. To save valuable space on the parchment, the ancient Greek manuscripts were written in all caps with no punctuation. Punctuation was assumed. This, of course, caused problems when translating the text to other languages. Punctuation had to be added based on the translators’ opinion. As an example, consider this sentence written without punctuation:
“I ATE BREAKFAST BECAUSE I WAS HUNGRY I READ THE NEWSPAPER.”
By adding punctuation, it could be incorrectly translated to say:
“I ate breakfast. Because I was hungry I read the newspaper.”
Or it could be properly translated to say, “I ate breakfast because I was hungry. I read the newspaper.”
This is exactly what happened when the translators translated Revelation 3:10. It was simply human error. In the original Greek, following proper sentence construction, “because you have kept the word of My perseverance” should be linked to the preceding phrase (verse 9), not the following phrase (verse 10). No period should have been inserted after “. . . I have loved you.” Rather, a comma could be inserted or no punctuation at all. Also, adhering to proper exegesis, “because” could easily be translated “for.” 96% of the translations of that word were translated “for.” To translate it “because,” the translators used a “suspensive use” of the word, allegedly to make it read better. And “kept” could be translated “obeyed.” So, making all the adjustments, the verse should read: Paraphrased: I will rapture you before I would let you enter into tribulation, or, through death, you will miss tribulation. And, with the correct translation, there is no “salvation by works” doctrine in that verse. ______________________________ ______________________________
Verses 9-10 . . . I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you(,) (for) you have (obeyed) the word of My perseverance. I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.
Also, adhering to proper exegesis, “because” could easily be translated “for.” 96% of the translations of that word were translated “for.” To translate it “because,” the translators used a “suspensive use” of the word, allegedly to make it read better. And “kept” could be translated “obeyed.” So, making all the adjustments, the verse should read:
Paraphrased: I will rapture you before I would let you enter into tribulation, or, through death, you will miss tribulation.
And, with the correct translation, there is no “salvation by works” doctrine in that verse.
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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