Today is August 29, 2018

Verse of the Day — Psalm 25:7

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

We do/did a lot of dumb things when we are young.


MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY

The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart.

But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart [David], and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you [Saul] have not kept what the LORD commanded you. —1 Samuel 13:14

This is an amazing statement because God knew David would make some huge mistakes: lies, adultery, murder.

David sent messengers and took her [Bathsheba], and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. . . . He had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.” —2 Samuel 11:4, 15).

Yet God forgave David for his sins and loved him more because he had a “heart” for God. In the Psalm above, David laments the stupid decisions he made when he was young by asking God to please remember them no more.

We too have done a lot of dumb things, especially in our youth when it’s so easy to act before we think. It’s comforting to know that Jesus was tempted in all things, which means he was also tempted as a youth.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. —Hebrews 4:15

He knows we feel pretty sheepish about the sins of our youth but is faithful to forever forget our past.

As far as east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. —Psalm 103:12


QUESTION FOR THE DAY

Dear Compass,

I recently had an interesting discussion with a Muslim, and he insists that there is a credible document called the “Gospel of Barnabas.” He said it is well known throughout the world, except in the U.S., where it is being “covered up.” This document supposedly confirms all that Muslims believe about Jesus. Can you shed any light on this document?


ANSWER:

Muslims often cite The Gospel of Barnabas (GOB) in defense of Islamic teaching. In fact, you can easily find copies to purchase in most Muslim countries. The document supports the central Islamic teaching, and popular Muslim belief, that Jesus did not die on the cross, but rather, Judas Iscariot died in His place—substituted at the last moment.

The Gospel of Barnabas is a fraud and the evidence is overwhelming. It first appeared, written in Italian, around 1500 AD. No father or teacher in the Christian church ever quoted from it. On the other hand, every VERSE of the Bible, except eleven, was quoted or referred to in writing by 300 AD (Geisler, General Introduction to the Bible). If it were available, SOMEONE would have quoted from it, pro or con.

Another reason Muslims quote from GOB is because it contains the statement supposedly made by Jesus, “I am not the Messiah . . . I am indeed sent to the house of Israel as a prophet of salvation; but after me shall come the Messiah.” But this even contradicts the Qur’an’s claim that Jesus WAS the Messiah, that He would die, that He would rise from the dead, that He would perform miracles and that the Roman soldiers and the Jews believed that it was Jesus that they crucified (sura 3:55; cf. 19:33)! Go figure.

The substitution theory, that someone else died on the cross in Jesus’ place, has been circulated since 150 AD, probably due to the influence of Gnosticism. Joseph, Judas, and Simon the Cyrene who carried the cross for Jesus have all, at one time or another, been linked to this ridiculous theory. Since the death and resurrection of Jesus are crucial to the Christian faith, it’s no surprise Satan tries to discredit or change the facts. But there is not a shred of first-century testimony by friend or foe of Christianity regarding “switching” places with Jesus on the cross. If for no other reason, it’s totally implausible because it would demand total ignorance on the part of those closest to Jesus, His disciples, and the Romans.

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