God spoke of Israel and said: “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing” (Hos. 8:12). God had revealed great and wonderful things, but the people had no interest in learning, and they loved worldly things more than God (Hos. 4:6; 8:11-14). Even today great things from the Bible are no longer understood by most people. Numerous truths are not being preached because of “political correctness,” and many people do not study the Bible at all; therefore, many things in God’s Word sound strange to people today. Is God’s Word strange to you?
Does it sound strange that sometimes we must “judge” other people? Condemning someone for doing the same things you do is wrong, but if we have repented and are faithful, we are commanded to help others get right with God (Matt. 7:5; Gal. 6:1; Jam. 5:19, 20). In so doing, we must make judgments about what is right or wrong and who is right or wrong: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24; cf. Matt. 7:1-20; Mark 6:18; Luke 17:3; Acts 17:11; Rom. 2:1-3, 20-22; 16:17; 1 Cor. 5; 6:1-11; 2 Cor. 7:10-12; Gal. 2:11; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14, 15; 1 John 4:1; Rev. 2:2).
Does it sound strange that Christ has only one church, and that divisions (such as denominations) are sinful? Christ said, “…upon this rock I will build my church…” (Matt. 16:18). Christ is not a Head connected to many bodies, nor is He a Bridegroom with many brides. He is the Head of the one body of Christ, which is His church, His one true bride (Eph. 1:22, 23; 4:4; 5:22-33). “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment….every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:10, 12, 13; cf. John 17:20-23). If Christ was crucified for you, wear the name of Christ, not Paul, John the Baptist, Martin Luther, etc. Those who promote divisions are guilty of sin: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17; cf. Titus 3:10, 11; 2 John 9-11).
Does it sound strange that there is a certain way God must be worshiped? “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24; cf. Lev. 10:3; Eccl. 5:2). True New Testament worship involves praying to the Father through His Son; singing without mechanical instruments; giving cheerfully on the first day of every week; preaching God’s Word, and taking communion on the first day of every week (John 16:23; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20-34; 16:2; Eph. 5:19, 20; Col. 3:16, 17).
Does it sound strange that nobody can be saved by faith alone? “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?…Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (Jam. 2:19, 20, 24). “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:35). “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6; cf. Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Rom. 6:16-18; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 2:3-6).
Does it sound strange that one must be immersed in water to be saved? “…while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…” (1 Pet. 3:21; cf. John 3:5, 22, 23; Acts 2:38; 8:35-39; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-5, 16-18; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 5:25, 26; Col. 2:11-13).
Does it sound strange that a saved person can become lost? “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:3-4; cf. 2 Cor. 6:1; 2 Pet. 2:20-22; Hebrews 3:12-14; 4:1, 11; 10:23-31; 12:14-17, 28, 29; Rev. 2:10; 22:19).
Does it sound strange that there are no signs to foretell the return of the Lord? “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:1-3; cf. Matt. 24:42, 43; 2 Pet. 3:10).
Does it sound strange that we have been “in the last days” since the first century A.D.? (the last dispensation of time). “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days…” (Acts 2:16-17; cf. 1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 9:26-28).
Perhaps we should study to the extent that fundamental principles such as these are not strange to us anymore, but very familiar!