2 Chronicles 33:1-6 - How Manasseh Angered God
Verses 1-2: "Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign [rule] [as king of Judah], and he reigned fifty and five  years in Jerusalem: But [he] did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD [he committed idolatry (worshiped idols)], like unto the abominations [disgusting practices] of the heathen [nations] [i.e., non-Jewish people, especially the Canaanites], whom the LORD had cast [thrown] out [of the land] before the children of Israel [Jewish people]."
Verse 3: "For [because] he built again [rebuilt] the high places [i.e., places of worship on high ground, or raised altars in valleys and other areas of low land] which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up [built] altars for Baalim [the sun-god], and made groves [groups of trees surrounding altars where idols were placed], and worshipped all the host of heaven [the sun, moon, stars, planets], and served them [rather than serving Almighty God].
Verses 4-5: "Also he built altars in the house of the LORD [the temple in Jerusalem], whereof [of which] the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he built altars for [worshiping] all the host of heaven in the two courts [inner and outer] of the house of the LORD [the temple]."
Verse 6: "And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom [he offered his children to Moloch as human sacrifices (see note below*) or dedicated them to the idol gods]: also he observed times [predicted the future based on the position of the stars], and used enchantments [cast spells], and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit [a demon 'servant'], and with wizards [sorcerers, people who practiced witchcraft]: he wrought [did] much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger [make him angry]."
In his commentary, Matthew Henry summarized the above verses as follows (specific references omitted): "This foolish young prince, in contradiction to the good example and good education his father gave him, abandoned himself to all impiety, transcribed the abominations of the heathen, ruined the established religion, unravelled his father's glorious reformation, profaned the house of God with his idolatry, dedicated his children to Moloch, and made the devil's lying oracles his guides and his counsellors." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/2-chronicles/33.html, "Verses 1-10")
*GotQuestions.org has a good article about idol worship and human sacrifices. It's entitled "Who was Moloch/Molech?" and can be found here: www.gotquestions.org/who-Molech.html.
Philippians 1:6 [the apostle Paul speaking to born-again Christians]: "Being confident of this very thing, that he [God] which hath begun a good work in you [when you got saved; i.e., changing you from the inside out--see note below*] will perform it [will continue the good work] until the day of Jesus Christ ['the day of the Lord,' or the second coming of Christ]:"
*A good verse to illustrate how people are changed when they get saved is 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 - The "Rapture"
(The apostle Paul, speaking to born-again Christians)
Verse 50: "Now this I say, brethren [fellow Christians], that [a body comprised (made up) of] flesh and blood cannot inherit [be admitted as heir to or be allowed to enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]; neither doth corruption [a body that dies and decays] inherit incorruption [an eternal home where there is no more death or pain]."
Verse 51: "Behold, I shew [show] you a mystery [something that has never been revealed before]; We [Christians] shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed [given spiritual, or immortal, bodies],"
Verse 52: "In a moment [of time], in the twinkling of an eye [quickly, suddenly; in less time than it takes to wink], at the last trump[et] [see note below*]: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead [Christians] shall be raised [resurrected, or brought back to life] incorruptible [free from corruption], and we [who are alive] shall be changed [given new bodies]."
Verse 53: "For this corruptible [body] must put on incorruption [be fully clothed with a new body, to die no more], and this mortal [body (one that is able to die)] must put on immortality [eternal life]."
*Here is what Adam Clark says about the meaning of at the last trump in verse 52:
"At the last trump - This, as well as all the rest of the peculiar phraseology of this chapter, is merely Jewish, and we must go to the Jewish writers to know what is intended. … Thus Rabbi Akiba [said]: 'How shall the holy blessed God raise the dead? We are taught that God has a trumpet a thousand ells long, according to the ell of God: this trumpet he shall blow, so that the sound of it shall extend from one extremity of the earth to the other. At the first blast the earth shall be shaken; at the second, the dust shall be separated; at the third, the bones shall be gathered together; at the fourth, the members shall wax warm; at the fifth, the heads shall be covered with skin; at the sixth, the souls shall be rejoined to their bodies; at the seventh, all shall revive and stand clothed.' … This tradition shows us what we are to understand by the last trump of the apostle; it is the seventh of [Rabbi] Akiba, when the dead shall be all raised, and, being clothed upon with their eternal vehicles, they shall be ready to appear before the judgment seat of God."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/1-corinthians/15-52, "Clarke's Commentary")
Proverbs 17:10: "A reproof [criticism, correction, warning] entereth more into a wise man than [do] an hundred stripes [long, narrow, discolored marks on the skin (bruises) resulting from a beating or spanking] [enter] into a fool."
In the "Conclusions" section of his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany summarized his teaching on the above verse as follows: "Notice that BOTH the wise man and the fool make mistakes and do things incorrectly from time to time. This proverb does not deny the fact that wise men sometimes take the wrong route in life. But the proverb does speak about the difference in the way the two men receive correction. The wise man listens, learns, and changes. The fool doesn't listen-and has to be beaten 100 times… for the same infraction-and still doesn't learn!"
If you want to read the rest of the commentary, you'll find it here: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch17_html/Prov.17.10.htm.
1 Chronicles 16:23-26 -Praising the One True God
Verses 23-24: "Sing [praises] unto the LORD, all the [people living on] earth; shew forth from day to day his [promised] salvation [through Christ] [i.e., each day, when given the opportunity to do so, try to spread the gospel message (plan of salvation)]. Declare [make known] his glory among the heathen [unbelievers, unsaved people--see note below*]; [declare] his marvellous works among all nations."
Verses 25-26: "For great is the LORD [Almighty God], and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above [more than] all [other] gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens."
*Definition of heathen, according to the KJV Bible Dictionary (www.av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/heathen.html): "A pagan; a Gentile; one who worships idols, or is unacquainted with the true God. In the Scriptures, the word seems to comprehend all nations except the Jews or Israelites, as they were all strangers to the true religion, and all addicted to idolatry. The word may now be applied perhaps to all nations, except to Christians and [Muslims] [and Jews]."
For additional information, see the GotQuestions.org article entitled "What is a heathen?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-heathen.html.
Proverbs 16:16: "How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding [is] rather to be chosen than silver!"
As you may know, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has done a Bible study on the entire book of Proverbs. If you want to read his commentary on the above verse, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch16_html/Prov.16.16.htm.
Ecclesiastes 7:9: "Be not hasty in thy spirit [don't be quick or in a hurry] to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom [breast, or front part of the chest] [i.e., anger remains in the heart--see note below*] of fools."
*Concerning the phrase anger resteth in the bosom of fools, Adam Clarke's commentary says: "A wise man, off his guard, may feel it for a moment: but in him it cannot rest: it is a fire which he immediately casts out of his breast. But the fool - the man who is under the dominion of his own tempers, harbors and fosters it, till it takes the form of malice, and then excites him to seek full revenge on those whom he deems enemies." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/ecclesiastes/7-9)
Proverbs 22:24-25: "Make no friendship with an angry [easily provoked, touchy, irritable] man; and with a furious man [one who is hot-tempered, or extremely angry and full of rage, and has no self-control] thou shalt not go: Lest thou [so you won't] learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul [be drawn into sin]."
In his commentary on the above verses, Matthew Henry said: "… a man who is easily provoked, touchy, and apt to resent affronts, who, when he is in a passion, cares not what he says or does, but grows outrageous, such a one is not fit to be made a friend or companion, for he will be ever and anon angry with us and that will be our trouble, and he will expect that we should, like him, be angry with others, and that will be our sin." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/22.html, "Verses 24-25")
In addition, as is usual in his Bible studies on the book of Proverbs, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has written an in-depth commentary on the above verses. You can find it here: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch22_html/Prov.22.24.htm. (If you live in the United States and decide to read the commentary, I hope that you'll take the Bible's advice and Pastor Delany's comments into consideration before casting your vote for president in the upcoming election.)
1 Timothy 1:15: "This is a faithful [true] saying, and worthy of all acceptation [worthy to be believed by all] that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I [the apostle Paul] am chief [first, or one of the worst (of pardoned sinners)--see note below*]."
*Prior to his conversion to Christianity (i.e., before he got saved and became a preacher of the gospel), Paul was a blasphemer (i.e., he took the Lord's name in vain), and he also persecuted and murdered Christians.
Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation [deliverance from sin and its consequences] in any other [through any other person or thing except the Lord Jesus Christ]: for there is none [no] other name under heaven given among men [except the name of Jesus], whereby [by which] we must be saved [from death and hell]."
If you want to go to heaven someday but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. You'll find them on the following page: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
Psalm 121:2: "My help cometh from the LORD [God], which [who] made heaven and earth."
1 Timothy 2:11-14 - How Women Should Behave in Church
Verses 11-12: "Let the woman learn [about the Bible] in silence with all subjection [submitting to those who are in authority (pastor, etc.)]. But I suffer not [do not permit] a woman to teach [during worship services in church--see note below*], nor to usurp [seize, take hold of] authority over the man, but to be in silence [remain silent, keep quiet]."
Verses 13-14: "For [because] Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived [fooled] [by Satan] but the woman being deceived [by Satan] was in the transgression [was the first one to disobey God and to sin--see note below**]."
*Verses 11 and 12 above are similar to what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35:
-- "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
According to Albert Barnes, the above commands that women are to remain silent in church only apply to formal worship services. Here's what he said in his commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:35:
-- "This evidently and obviously refers to the church assembled for public worship, in the ordinary and regular acts of devotion. There the assembly is made up of males and females, of old and young, and there it is improper for them to take part in conducting the exercises. But this cannot be interpreted as meaning that it is improper for females to speak or to pray in meetings of their own sex, assembled for prayer or for benevolence; nor that it is improper for a female to speak or to pray in a Sunday School. Neither of these come under the apostle's idea of a church." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/1-corinthians/14-35, "Barnes' Notes")
**Eve sinned because she believed Satan's lies, yielded (gave in) to temptation, and disobeyed God's command to not eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After eating the fruit herself, she offered some to her husband (Adam) and persuaded him to eat it, too. In doing so, Eve proved that she was not qualified for a leadership position. This is explained further in Albert Barnes' commentary on 1 Timothy 2:14. If you want to read it, go to www.godvine.com/bible/1-timothy/2-14 and scroll down to "Barnes' Notes."
Leviticus 20:6 [God's message to the children of Israel, delivered by Moses]: "And the soul [person] that turneth [who goes] after such as have familiar spirits [people, like mediums and fortune-tellers, who use their 'demon servants' (demons who obey and serve them) to communicate with the dead and predict the future], and [goes] after wizards [people with magic powers, such as magicians and sorcerers], to go a whoring after them [to seek knowledge, advice, or help from them], I [God] will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off [separate him] from among his people."
1 Peter 2:13-16 - The Apostle Peter's Advice to Christians
Verses 13-14: "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man [obey all laws, as long as they are not in conflict with the law of God] for the Lord's sake [because he has required it]: whether it be [obedience] to the king, as supreme [highest in rank or authority]; Or [obedience] unto governors [people who run the government], as unto them that are sent by him [i.e., the king, or person who is highest in command] for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well."
Verse 15: "For so [that] is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men [and women] [see note below*]:"
Verse 16: "As free [spiritually, from the bondage of sin and Satan], and not using your [Christian] liberty [freedom in Christ (i.e., salvation)] for a cloke of [cloak, or cover, for] maliciousness [feeling of hatred for others along with a desire to hurt them, either through words or deeds], but as the servants of God."
*According to Albert Barnes regarding verse 15: "One of the best ways of meeting the accusations of our enemies is to lead a life of strict integrity. It is not easy for the wicked to reply to this argument." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/1-peter/2-15, "Barnes' Notes")
Psalm 145:8: "The LORD [God] is gracious [kind, good, friendly], and full of compassion [having much sympathy and concern for people who are suffering and/or experiencing misfortune]; slow to anger [not easily angered], and of great mercy [unwilling to cause pain, not cruel, willing to forgive]."
In his commentary, Matthew Henry summarizes the above verse as follows:"The Lord is gracious to those that serve him; he is full of compassion to those that need him, slow to anger to those that have offended him, and of great mercy to all that seek him …"
[Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/145.html, "(v.8)"]
1 Corinthians 14:27-28: "If any man speak in an unknown tongue [language] [publicly, in the church], let it be by two, or at the most by three [in a group of two, or at the most three, in one day, or in one meeting], and that by course [in turn; i.e., separately, one after another]; and let one [of those people] interpret [what the others are saying]. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence [remain silent] in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God."
The purpose of these instructions was to prevent confusion (disorder) in the church.
Matthew 10:24-26 - Jesus' Advice for His Disciples (and All Christians)
Verse 24: "The disciple [student] is not above [greater than] his master [teacher], nor [is] the servant above his lord [master, ruler]."
Verse 25: "It is enough for the disciple [born-again Christian] that he be as [like] his master [Jesus], and the servant [that he be] as his lord. If they have called the master of the house [i.e., Jesus] Beelzebub [a name for the devil, or Satan], how much more shall they call them of his [Jesus'] household [i.e., Christians] [names]?"
Verse 26: "Fear them not therefore [don't fear people who persecute you (see note below*) or call you names]: for there is nothing covered [there are no secrets], that shall not be revealed; and hid [nothing hidden], that shall not be known."
In other words, no matter how hard people may try to destroy your reputation by calling you names, the truth will eventually come out.
Here's how Matthew Henry paraphrases Jesus' statement above: "'They will misrepresent you, slander you, and speak evil of you; but if your good name be covered up now, it shall be revealed one of these days, perhaps in this life; but if not in this life, certainly at the day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known.'" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-10.html)
*Definition of persecute, according to online dictionaries: To treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly, especially because of race or religious or political beliefs.
1 Kings 3:16-28 - The Wise King
(How Solomon decided who was the real mother)
Verse 16: "Then came there two women, that were harlots [prostitutes, both of whom had recently been pregnant], unto the king [Solomon], and stood before him."
Verses 17-18: "And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell [live together] in one house; and I was delivered of [gave birth to] a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save [except, besides] we two in the house [i.e., they were alone, so there were no witnesses to what happened next]."
Verses 19-21: "And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid [laid on top of, and smothered] it. And she arose [got up] at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid [referring to herself] slept, and laid it in her bosom [near her breasts], and laid her dead child in my bosom [near my breasts]. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck [i.e., to nurse him], behold, it was dead: but when I had considered [thought about] it in the morning, behold, [I realized that] it was not my son, which I did bear [give birth to]."
Verse 22: "And the other woman said, Nay [no]; but the living [child] is my son, and the dead [one] is thy [your] son. And this [woman] said, No; but the dead [child] is thy son, and the living [one] is my son. Thus they spake before the king."
Verse 23: "Then said the king, The one [woman] saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead [child]: and the other [woman] saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead [child], and my son is the living [one]."
Verses 24-25: "And the king said [to his officers], Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, Divide [cut] the living child in two, and give half to the one [mother], and half to the other."
Verse 26: "Then spake the woman whose the living child was [to whom the living child belonged] unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon [because she had great love and compassion (pity and concern) for] her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay [kill] it. But the other [woman] said, Let it be neither mine nor thine [yours], but divide it."
Verse 27: "Then the king answered and said, Give her [the woman who truly loved and was willing to give up] the living child, and in no wise [by no means] slay it: she is the mother thereof."
Verse 28: "And all Israel [the Jewish people] heard of the judgment [case] which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment [make wise decisions]."
Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt communication [obscene, filthy, offensive words] proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to [for] the use of edifying [instructing or benefitting, especially morally and/or spiritually; uplifting, encouraging] [others], [so] that it may minister [supply] grace [kindness, goodwill] unto the hearers."
In paragraph (3) of his commentary on the above verse, regarding the admonition (advice or warning) to not say bad things, Albert Barnes states:
"[I]ts importance will be seen from the 'influence' of such corrupt communications. 'The passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it;' the expression of such a thought deepens the pollution on the soul, and corrupts others. It is like retaining an offensive carcase above ground, to pollute the air, and to diffuse pestilence and death, which should at once be buried out of sight. A Christian should be pure in his conversation. His Master was pure. His God is pure. The heaven to which he goes is pure. The religion which he professes is pure. Never should he indulge himself in an obscene allusion: never should he retail anecdotes of an obscene character, or smile when they are retailed by others. Never should he indulge in a jest having a double meaning; never should be listen to a song of this character. If those with whom he associates have not sufficient respect for themselves and him to abstain from such corrupt and corrupting allusions, he should at once leave them."
Source: www.godvine.com/bible/ephesians/4-29, "Barnes' Notes")
Revelation 1:8: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending [of all things], saith the Lord [Jesus Christ], which is [currently] [the Almighty God], and which was [always has been] [the Almighty God], and which is to come [always will be], the Almighty [omnipotent, all-powerful] [God]."
Note: Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
John 6:66-69 - True Believers Keep Following Jesus
Verse 66: "From that time [i.e., after Jesus had explained why he is the 'living bread which came down from heaven' (verses 26-65); for some people, this is a hard concept to grasp (understand), as it is meant in the spiritual, not physical, sense] many of his disciples [followers] went back [left], and walked no more with him."
Verse 67: "Then said Jesus unto the twelve [apostles], Will ye also go away?"
Verses 68-69: "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
The people who stopped following Jesus were those who had made a false profession of salvation. In other words, they had been "saved" for the wrong reason (selfishness, excitement, etc.). Albert Barnes explains this in his commentary on verse 66 as follows:
"Many of his disciples - Many who had followed him professedly as his disciples and as desirous of learning of him. …
"Went back - Turned away from him and left him. From this we may learn,
"1. Not to wonder at the apostasy of many who profess to be followers of Christ. Many are induced to become his professed followers by the prospect of some temporal benefit, or under some public excitement, as these were; and when that temporal benefit is not obtained, or that excitement is over, they fall away.
"2. Many may be expected to be offended by the doctrines of the gospel. Having no spirituality of mind, and really understanding nothing of the gospel, they may be expected to take offence and turn back. The best way to understand the doctrines of the Bible is to be a sincere Christian, and aim to do the will of God, John 7:17.
"3. We should examine ourselves. We should honestly inquire whether we have been led to make a profession of religion by the hope of any temporal advantage, by any selfish principle, or by mere excited animal feeling. If we have it will profit us nothing, and we shall either fall away of ourselves, or be cast away in the great day of judgment."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/john/6-66, "Barnes' Notes)
Luke 6:45: "A good man [or woman or child; i.e., someone with good morals] out of the good treasure of his heart [from the good things that are stored in his or her heart] bringeth forth [out of his/her mouth] [i.e., says] that which is good; and an evil man [or woman or child] out of the evil treasure of his heart [from the bad things that are stored in his or her heart] bringeth forth [out of his/her mouth] [i.e., says] that which is evil: for [because] [out] of the abundance of the heart [from whatever fills a person's heart and mind] his [or her] mouth speaketh."
Good (or bad) thoughts usually result in good (or bad) words, speech, or conversation. In other words, we usually say what we think.
John Calvin says: "For, though hypocrites express in words what is different from the feelings of their hearts, that is no reason why we may not justly and appropriately call the tongue the portrait of the mind." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/6-45.html, "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible")
In his commentary on Luke 6, Matthew Henry summarizes the above verse as follows: "… what the mouth ordinarily speaks, speaks with relish and delight, generally agrees with what is innermost and uppermost in the heart:" (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/luke/6.html, "v. 45")
Isaiah 45:18: "For thus saith the LORD that [this is what is said by God, who] created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [he did not create it in vain (without success, for no reason or purpose)], he formed it to be inhabited [occupied, lived in]: I am the LORD; and there is none else [no other true God]."
John 9:4 [just before healing a blind man on the sabbath day, Jesus told his disciples]: "I must work the works [all of them, including miracles similar to the one that was about to be performed] of him that sent me [to earth] [i.e., Almighty God], while it is day [while I am alive]: the night [time of death, or period after we die--referring to his upcoming crucifixion, which would occur about six months later] cometh, when no man can work."
Jesus always obeyed God's will, and Christians should try to do the same. One way to show our love for, and obedience to, God is by telling people how to be saved (born again) whenever we have the opportunity to do so. That's what is meant by the terms soul winning, evangelism, and witnessing.
Proverbs 30:11: "There is a generation [group of people who are born and living at around the same time, at any given period in history] that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother."
Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has written a good commentary on this verse. It's entitled "A Generation of Disrespectful Rebels." In it, he quotes many scriptures proving that God wants children to respect and obey their parents. Then, in paragraph A2k, he gives the reason why our society is in such bad shape:
-- "But for some strange reason, we have reversed what the Bible says. Instead of honoring the 'hoary head' (elderly), we honor the youth. We glorify youth. We gear our society around trying to 'connect with the youth,' trying to 'understand' the youth, trying to 'appeal to the youth.'"
The commentary also gives examples of what happened to children who refused to respect their parents during Old Testament times. (Please note that our laws are much different nowadays.)
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch30_html/Prov.30.11.htm.
Matthew 7:13-14 - Choosing the Path to Heaven
Verse 13: "Enter ye in [to the kingdom of heaven] at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate [entrance], and broad [wide] is the way [road], that leadeth to destruction [in hell], and many there be which go in thereat [at that place]:"
Verse 14:"Because strait is the gate [narrow is the entrance], and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto [eternal] life [in heaven], and few there be that find it."
If you want to go to heaven someday but don't know what to do, please read my "Mansion" tract, which uses Bible verses from the book of Romans (i.e., the "Romans Road") to explain the plan of salvation. You can find it in either of these two places:
-- www.mansioninheaven.com/Index2.html (read only)
-- www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html (read and/or print)
Philippians 2:4: "Look not every man on his own things [don't be selfish or self-centered], but every man [and woman and child] [look] also on the things of others [also show an interest in the concerns of others, and help them if and when you are able to do so]."
Albert Barnes has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, click on the link (www.godvine.com/bible/philippians/2-4) and scroll down to "Barnes' Notes."
Job 26:7 [Job, referring to creation]: "He [God] stretcheth out the north [northern hemisphere--see note below*] over the empty place [emptiness, when 'the earth was without form, and void' (see below**)], and hangeth the earth upon nothing."
*In the above verse, Job referred to the "north" because he lived in that part of the world.
**Genesis 1:1-2: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Leviticus 19:13: "Thou shalt not defraud [cheat] thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired [a hired servant; in this case, a day laborer, whose wages were due at night] shall not abide with thee [remain with you] all night until the morning."
Nowadays, most people are paid weekly, biweekly (every two weeks), or monthly rather than on a daily basis. No matter when the money is due, employees should always be paid on time.
Deuteronomy 5:11: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for [because] the LORD will not hold him guiltless [innocent, without guilt] that taketh his name in vain."
In an article entitled "What does it mean to take the Lord's name in vain?" by GotQuestions.org, we are told that"[b]ecause of the greatness of the name of God, any use of God's name that brings dishonor on Him or on His character is taking His name in vain."
Examples from the article include:
-- Using God's name while swearing.
-- Not treating God with reverence and respect.
-- In the Old Testament: Failing to perform an oath or vow (i.e., keep a promise) made in God's name.
-- Professing Christians: Deliberately and continually disobeying the commands of Jesus Christ.
-- Misrepresenting Christ, either intentionally or through ignorance of the Christian faith.
Another article answers the above question this way:
"God commands us to use his name properly.
"To take the Lord's name in vain means to use it in a manner that is not reverent. The phrase 'the Lord's name' includes words such as 'God,' 'Lord,' 'Jesus,' and 'Christ.' These words are never to be used in any form of exclamation, swearing, or disrespect such as 'Oh my ***.' They are always and only supposed to be used in a manner that glorifies God.
"Secular society has perfected using God's name in vain in movies and TV. It is so common to say 'Oh my ***' in the entertainment media that Christians can easily become calloused and indifferent to the blatant violation of God's word in this regard. Christians are not to use any phrase or expression of the name of God that does not show honor and respect to God."
Proverbs 23:4-5 - Advice for Workaholics
Verse 4: "Labour not to be rich [don't work hard just so you can become rich]: cease from thine own wisdom [i.e., stop thinking that having lots of money will make you happy]."
Verse 5: "Wilt thou set thine eyes [will you focus your eyes--and your heart] upon that which is not [going to last]? for riches certainly make themselves wings [and disappear]; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven."
The above verses refer to priorities and motives for working hard.
Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on the above verses, including the reasons (both good and bad) why people work hard. If you want to read the commentaries, here's are the links:
-- Verse 4: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch23_html/Prov.23.4.htm
-- Verse 5: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch23_html/Prov.23.5.htm