Monthly Archives: November 2019


Have you ever stubbed your toe? Or, hit your thumb with a hammer? Maybe you burned yourself playing with fire? When you do so, you feel an immediate, unpleasant sensation. It’s that little thing we call pain. This helps you know that something is physically wrong. A good conscience is a little like that. When you do something morally or ethically wrong, a good conscience will cause you a certain amount of moral or ethical pain.

Pain acts like an advanced warning system that protects you from further problems. If you didn’t feel physical pain when you contacted fire, for instance, you could easily burn yourself up before you knew it. But because it hurts, you quickly withdraw yourself from that dangerous situation. In the same way, moral and ethical pain is an advanced warning system that alerts you to moral and ethical dangers.

How many times have you offended your own conscience? That is, how many times have you done something you know you shouldn’t have done and you felt a sense of guilt and shame afterward? That is the part of man that acts as a moral judge that informs us when we have done wrong, the part that we call the conscience. However, this moral pain only comes when the conscience has been conditioned to respond correctly.

The apostle Paul said he always exercised himself to have a conscience void of offense towards God and man (Acts 24:16). Please note that Paul indicates in this that the nature of the conscience is such that it is under a person’s control. We can exercise our conscience, make it stronger and more sensitive. Some people have a weak conscience (I Cor. 8:7). Such a mind and conscience is easily defiled (Tit. 1:15).

Some people have had their conscience seared with a hot iron so that it is without feeling (I Tim. 4:2). When a person sins, if his conscience is good and has been taught well, he feels a sense of shame. One can draw back when this happens and correct his own misconduct. But, if one chooses to ignore the warning signs, the next time he is tempted the sin will be easier to commit, meaning there will be less pain. Each time one gives in to sin, one’s conscience becomes a little more calloused and sin becomes a little easier.

Some people have resisted the warnings of their conscience until they have gotten to the point of being past feeling (Eph. 4:19). These people are really very dangerous. A person who no longer feels a sense of shame or guilt or sorrow, that is, no longer allows their conscience to bother them, will do just about anything. The apostle Paul described such a condition in Romans 1:18-32.

It takes a good, uncalloused conscience to respond to God’s word. When the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman “caught” in the act of adultery, Jesus merely asked them, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her (John 8:7). “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (John 8:9). Even these people could not resist the voice of their conscience on that day.

When people hear the gospel, they will only respond to it if their conscience is pricked, just as those on the day of Pentecost responded to the truth because they were pricked in their hearts (Acts 2:37). That is why God calls on us not to harden our hearts (Heb. 3:7-18). When we do respond to the Lord’s invitation out of a good heart or conscience (I Pet. 3:21), we must work to maintain it. We must hold the faith in a pure conscience (I Tim. 3:9).

Eric L. Padgett


What is wrong with our society? We are destroying historical monuments to erase our history. We allow men, dressed as weird, gross caricatures of women, to read to our children in public libraries in order to confuse them about the distinct line between the gender boundaries. We allow men dressed as women, many who are sex offenders, to enter into women’s restrooms. People are mutilating their bodies and claiming to be some gender other than their biological gender. We are legalizing vices that were once off limits to any decent society. What is wrong with us?

What is wrong with the church? We are replacing a thus saith the Lord with movies, theater, plays and exercise classes and other social events. Churches that wear the Lord’s name are using translations that once would have been avoided. Things are happening today, both in society at large and in the church, that we never would have believed could have happened just a few, short years ago. It is as if we are witnessing the methodical and purposeful erosion of our culture. It seems to be spiraling out of control. How could this have happened?

One reason this has happened is that we have seen our society turn further away from God than ever before. A Pew research study released in October 2019 found that only 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian. That is down twelve percent over the last decade. Is it any wonder, then, that there has been an increase in immoral and godless behavior? Even Richard Dawkins, a well known atheist, very recently admitted that those who believe in God, especially Christians, are more likely to engage in moral behavior. Of course, the Bible is clear about this. When people move away from belief in God they open the floodgates of depravity (Rom. 1:18-32; Psalm 14:1-7).

Not only was the United States founded upon Judeao-Christian principles and values, all of Western culture was, as well. It is these values that have made America the greatest nation, in many respects, to ever exist. Those values have formed the basis of our law and culture and have been a blessing not only to ourselves but to the whole world. But the further we turn from God to a more secular based society the more chaos ensues and the less unique we become. Those on the left criticize traditional values and tout post-modern, liberal culture and consequently are overseeing the dissolution of western civilization. When we turn away from God anything goes and that is exactly what is happening. And we seem to be letting it happen all in the name of tolerance.

Second, there no longer seems to be a concern for truth in our society. According to a recent Gallop poll, nine in ten Americans say they have lost trust in the media to tell the truth. The internet is rife with lies and half-truths. We once taught our children the importance of being honest. George Washington, for instance, was held out as an example of the virtue of honesty. We taught our children he said “I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree.” We used to hail the example of “Honest Abe.” Now we teach our children these were lies and encourage them to use lying as a survival strategy.

This all is a direct result of turning away from God. When there is no God there is no objective ground for the truth. Everything becomes relative. It is true that Relativism is not a new doctrine. It has been around at least since the fifth century before Christ. A Greek philosopher by the name of Protagoras said that man was the measure of all things and, in fact, denied we could know that God even exists. But today this view is very pervasive. For example, a child who has a Christian message on their t-shirt is disciplined by a public school but a child who dresses like the opposite sex is protected and even encouraged as brave. Many examples like this could be multiplied.

This became a serious issue in the church, as well, when certain brethren began saying that for all we know we may be wrong about this doctrine or that. Therefore, they said, we should not be dogmatic about any particular doctrine. They took up Protagoras’ view and ran with saying we could not even know if God exists. These men have taken up the relativists banner and changed the truth of God into a lie (Rom. 1:25). But the Bible is clear that we can know the truth and it will make us free (John 8:32).

Finally, because truth is no longer important, westerners are embracing false, eastern religions like never before. Islam, in particular, is making inroads into our culture at an alarming rate. Alarming because their stated goal “in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house” ( When you read their intent it is alarming to know that, as NPR stated it, “a record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide or national office this election cycle, the most since the terror attacks pf Sept. 11, 2001.”

What is needed is a modern intellectual, moral and spiritual crusade to take back the values and traditions that are our heritage. We need to give an answer to every man for the hope that is in us with meekness and fear (I Pet. 3:15). Maybe it is because we have not sanctified the Lord God in our hearts that we are unwilling or unable to defend the truth and those values. Many of us will remain faithful to the Lord no matter what happens to our culture but we will have to do it in greater isolation and at greater peril if we do not make up the hedge and stand in the gap now (Ezek. 22:30).

Eric L. Padgett

The Sweat Of Your Face

God created man to work. When God put man in the Garden of Eden He gave him the job of dressing and keeping it (Gen. 2:15). Out of the 290 times the word here translated “dress” is found in the Old Testament, it is translated 227 times as “serve” (cf. Gen. 15:14; Ex 1:11-14; cf. “labor” Deut. 5:13; etc.). Similarly, the word “keep” means “to hedge about or guard.” It is used of the flaming sword which kept the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:24). It is also used of keeping God’s covenant and law (Gen. 17:9; Deut. 7:11). Thus, man was placed in the Garden of Eden to be its caretaker and keep it.

Now this was before the Lord God cursed the ground (Gen. 3:17). In the garden, man was a caretaker but the Garden of Eden was a lush, rich and beautiful place that freely released her fruits. Eden is described as the opposite of a desolate wilderness (Joel 2:3) and the opposite of a waste and desolate ruin (Ezek. 36:35) where great trees spread forth their branches (Ezek. 31:9, 16, 18) and precious jewels lay strewn about the ground (Ezek. 28:13). Man had work to do but the ground yielded with ease her fruits. After the curse, however, man’s labor was to be multiplied as the earth would no longer yield her fruits without also bearing thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:17-19). Man’s work was cut out for him. His work would be in the sweat of his face (Gen. 3:19).

In creating the world, the Bible says that God, Himself, “worked” and then rested from that work (Gen. 2:2). Now we should not in any way suppose that when the Bible says that God “worked” and “rested” that somehow He was fatigued and needed to regain something He lost in weariness. God is omnipotent and there is no end to His power. But that also does not mean that He did not expend energy in creation. Just because I can easily carry a bucket of water from the well to the house does not mean that it did not come without work. God ceased His work and rested from, thus putting an end to, those particular works. Being made in His image we also must work before we rest.

My mom always taught me, “You get your work done first!” To this day she follows this principle herself. Even the creatures of nature teach us this lesson. The Bible commands us, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise” (Prov. 6:6). The ants are constantly working to provide for themselves, as do all the animals of nature. But those who do not work will come to poverty (Prov. 6:11). The lazy always find an excuse not to work (Prov. 20:4). The Bible, however, is clear that poverty comes to those who refuse to work (cf. Prov. 10:4; 13:4; 20:4).

Indeed, it is not only a principle, but a command. Paul said if a man does not work, neither should he eat (II Thess. 3:10). There were some to whom Paul had written that believed the world was going to come to an end soon and, because of this, they ceased to work (II Thess. 2:1-3; 3:11). But Paul said that not even the apostles were exempt from this command to work (II Thess. 3:8). Even though Paul preached the gospel, he worked. His own hands ministered, he said, to his necessities (Acts 20:34). He was by occupation a maker of tents (Acts 18:3).

Whatever we do, we should do our very best and work as hard as we can (Eccl. 9:10). The Lord will bless those that work hard at what they do when it is not wrong or sinful (Ruth 2:12). It is a basic principle of life that the laborer is worthy of his hire (I Cor. 9:9). When we give our all at something worthwhile, we prepare ourselves to succeed and we make ourselves prepared when opportunities present themselves. While the parable of the talents is not about our physical labors, it sets forth a principle that God blesses those that work hard (Matt. 25:14-30).

Even when we are working for those who employ us in this life, we should work with the same intensity and character as if we were working for the Lord (Col. 2:22-24). It does not matter what we are doing, as long as it is within the parameters of God’s word, we should do it heartily as unto the Lord (Col.3:23). This does not allow us to slack up when the boss is away because we are not working merely for a mortal employer but for the Lord, as well.

Finally, since we are working for the Lord, we will be judged by Him according to our works (Rev. 20:13). Not only will our earthly works be judged, but our spiritual labor will be, as well. Therefore, we must be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Cor. 15:58).

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Cor. 3:11-15).

Eric L. Padgett

Attacks Upon The Family

God created the family and it is a sacred institution (Gen. 2:18-20). God designed man so that he shall leave his father and mother–that is, leave their local, protective care, not necessarily their moral influence–and cleave to his own wife so that they become one flesh and begin a new family (Gen. 2:21-25). It is within the parameters of the marital relationship that men and women are to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:27,28). It is the parent’s responsibility to rear their children in the context of the family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Deut. 6; Eph. 6:4).

This arrangement is of divine origin (Matt. 19:5). One of the blessings of this order is to provide a protective environment for the rearing of children in the way they should go (Prov. 2:1-5; 22:6). The husband and wife provide moral and spiritual support for one another (Eph. 5:21) and both, ideally, work together in the bringing up of the child (cf. Luke 2:51). The world, however, is hostile toward those who walk in righteousness and this is never more apparent than when seen in the vicious attacks upon the family as God created it.

Historically, in our modern, western culture, the devil attacked the family by attacking the institution of marriage itself. Of course, in ancient times, all sorts of sexual perversions were rampant in the pagan cultures and God’s people were commanded to avoid those heinous sins (cf. e.g., Lev. 18). But since the establishment of Christianity, God’s design for the family was largely followed by those in the west influenced by the Judeao-Christian ethic. The brunt of the attack on the family since was focused largely on promoting illegitimate children and illicit lifestyles.

But more recently, the devil has attacked the family by again promoting the notion of homosexuality as normal. Such sins have always been around, of course (cf. Rom. 1:24-28). But only recently, in our modern, western culture, has it become so out in the open and so flagrant. Up until 1974, homosexuality was treated as and pronounced to be a mental sickness by the American Psychiatric Association. Now you cannot watch a commercial or listen to the radio without first being fed a sickening dose of homosexuality. The propaganda has been so effective that now one is considered abnormal who does not condone such sickening behavior. Those who speak against it are condemned as intolerant.

But since then, the devil has pushed to make it commonplace to see two men or two women acting the part of a husband and wife. However, nature itself teaches us that two men or two women do not go together as husband and wife for they cannot naturally produce children. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, as the saying goes. Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities were destroyed because, among other things, in practicing homosexuality, they were going after “strange flesh” and did “wickedly” (Gen. 19:7). The Lord has condemned homosexuality as an abomination that was worthy of death under the Old Covenant (Lev. 20:13). Paul said by inspiration that these abusers of themselves with mankind will not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9,10).

Incredibly, in August of 2016, Barrack Obama “ordered 9,000-plus federal buildings across the United States [to] allow biological men into women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.” This came after the Department of Education under the Obama administration had already advised schools to allow “transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms designated for the opposite biological sex.” All of this was presumably based on a novel interpretation of the Civil Rights Act. However, it was nothing but a further attempt to erase the God-given design for the family. Sadly, it has literally put many defenseless women and children at risk because they are at the mercy of violent sex offenders and other perverts.

Another sordid and sick attempt to destroy God’s design for the family has been to promote sex change surgery and blur the clear, immutable line between male and female. Bruce Jenner is perhaps the most notable and pathetic example in our time. Men and women are being encouraged to disfigure their bodies chemically and surgically and are being hurt emotionally and spiritually while the rest of society is made to feel guilty for opposing such sick behavior.

Another of the attacks the devil is using to destroy God’s design for the family is to use men dressed as women to read to children in libraries. Actually, when I say they are dressed as women that is quite misleading, for many if not most of these people are dressed as bizarre, even demonic, creatures. Those involved in these efforts specifically target children for the stated purpose of normalizing this bizarre behavior. It is an attempt to warp the mind of the young and get children to accept the idea that God’s way is not right.

Many are the perversions satan is using to destroy the family. It should not really surprise us. The family is a powerful tool to bring up the young in the way that they should go. It is no wonder that the devil is desperately trying to do everything in his power to destroy the family. May we, in turn, do all we can to promote God’s created order in the family and thereby strengthen the church and perhaps save our nation and culture.

Eric L. Padgett