Reincarnation is a false doctrine. It is the belief that when people who have lived in this life physically die, their soul is put back into another body. It is reincarnated; that is, put back into the flesh once again to live. It is staggering to hear the statistics on how many Americans believe in reincarnation. One Harris Poll has found that about 23% of Americans firmly believe in reincarnation. The number climbs to 40% if you categorize those Americans between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-nine.
The main reason I suspect reincarnation has become so popular, these days, is that it gives a person another chance at life. Reincarnation teaches you can keep going through life until you move up the scale. This false theory says those who live worse the second time than the first time get demoted. If they don't do any better, they may even get demoted to an animal. The theory of reincarnation in this country is typically narrowed to say that reincarnation only occurs in human bodies. Regardless which reincarnation version a person believes, they are all refuted by the Bible. Hebrews 9:27 and 1 Corinthians 15:10 are two verses that correct the fallacy of reincarnation.
The name Matthew is a significant one. It means "a gift of God." There is a lot of speculation on how Matthew, the Gospel writer, got his name. I’ll try to limit my speculation except to stress this one point: at the time Jesus first met Matthew (or Levi) only Jesus would have seen him as a gift of God. It certainly didn't reflect what he did for a living. However, Jesus looked at this man and envisioned what he could become—a gift of God in the truest sense of the meaning with some work and love.
We need to be able to make some application from his story in Mark 2. Jesus had the ability to see the full potential in people. Today, as Jesus disciples, we would do well to follow in this example of Jesus. The Bible says Jesus saw a man named Matthew. How often people’s eyes are blinded by prejudice, social bias, or self-interest and they fail to see the person. Instead they see a banker, a school teacher, a policeman, a taxi-driver, a soldier, a realtor, or a CPA. Jesus saw people, not simply what they did. Whatever the outward circumstances are that might disguise us from really seeing a person, Jesus sees people for who they are and what they could be. He said two words: “Follow Me" and if you want eternal life, you follow Him.
Did God authorize vocal music, or instrumental music, or a combination of both in the Lord’s Day assembly? As you might imagine the answer to the question: What Kind of Music Did God Authorize in the worship of the New Testament Church will depend on whom you ask. However, the only valid authority for answering that question has to be based on what God’s Word teaches.
There are two questions we ought to seek answers on as a people interested in following the practice of the early church when it comes to the subject of music:
1. What Kind of Music Did God Authorize in the Church?
2. What was the music practice of the early church?
It should not go unnoticed in any discussion on the subject of New Testament music that Jesus promised the apostles that when the Holy Spirit came He would guide them “into all truth” (John 16:13). The nonexistence of any apostolic command or example concerning the mechanical instrument in Christian worship indicates the kind of music God authorized for the church. It is worth noting the Bible is Not Silent about the music in the church as some have suggested in recent years. The Bible however, is silent about the use of the mechanical instrument either as a stand-alone form of music, or an accompaniment with the singing in the New Testament Church.