The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) The Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy: A Reason to Believe in Jesus and the Bible (Tom Edwards)
2) Are Miraculous Gifts Still for Today? (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
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The Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy:
A Reason to Believe in Jesus and the Bible

Tom Edwards

By their very existence, the wonders of creation indicate the need for an eternal Creator with superior intelligence. The creation, therefore, is one of the reasons we can believe in God.

Another evidence of the reality of God is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.  So let us consider some of those prophecies this day. 

It has been said that there are 332 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Jesus. Many of these are very specific in their application and not merely generalizations that could cover a wide range of possibilities. For instance, the Bible shows that Jesus would be betrayed for not 29, nor 31, nor 52, nor any other number except 30 pieces of silver.  How more specific could that be!  (See Zech. 11:1-13; Matt. 26:14-16; Matt. 27:3-10.)

Furthermore, the Bible prophesied hundreds of years before Christ came into the world that Jesus would be born in not just the land of Canaan, nor not just in the southern part of Canaan, nor not just in the territory of Judah; but, specifically, Jesus would be born in the little town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; cf. Matt. 2:1). 

The Bible also foretells that Jesus would be a descendant of Abraham (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16; Matt. 2:1-2), that He would be conceived miraculously by a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25); that His hands and feet would be pierced (Psa. 22:16; Mark 15:25; Luke 24:38-40); that His garments would be divided among some individuals, and for His clothing they would cast lots (Psa. 22:18; John 19:23-24). The fulfillment of these latter prophecies are seen during the crucifixion of Christ. 

His death is also depicted as being one in which His “strength is dried up like a potsherd” (which is a broken piece of pottery, especially an ancient one), and His “tongue cleaves to” His “jaws” (Psa. 22:15).  Thus indicating the extreme thirst Christ would experience while on the cross, which has also been referred to as being one of the most excruciating aspects of the crucifixion. 

The significance in the prophetic statement that Christ could “count all His bones” (Psa. 22:17) is that the bones of the other two whom Jesus was crucified with were broken in order to speed up their deaths so that their bodies could be removed before the Sabbath. But that was not necessary for Jesus because His body had already died, after six hours of suffering on the cross (See John 19:31-33).  

After His death, another Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled when one of the Roman soldiers pierced the Lord’s side and out came water and blood (Zech. 12:10; John 19:33-37). 

Psalm 22 is one of the Messianic psalms that well describes the scene of the crucifixion. Try reading that along with Isaiah 53, which also contains Messianic prophecy of the Lord’s suffering and death at Calvary. 

In Isaiah, the deceased body of Jesus is seen to have been “with a rich man” (Isa. 53:9). The gospel narrative shows this “rich man” to have been Joseph of Arimathea who provided the Lord with a new burial tomb that had been hewn out of rock (Matt. 27:57-60). This then explains how that the Lord was involved with a rich man in His death. 

We must also bear in mind that these Old Testament prophecies were written hundreds of years before man even had the New Testament and prior to the Lord’s incarnation. The Old Testament, with its numerous inspired prophecies, was completed about 450 B.C.; and, therefore, the Bible was not written all at one time. Actually, it was written over a period of approximately 1,500 years by about 40 different men of various backgrounds. Yet, harmony is still seen throughout the many books that are part of the Bible. This refutes the misconception that simply one person made up the Bible to accommodate his fancy.  For without the help of God’s divine inspiration, the Bible could not have been written; and this is clearly seen in the account of Bible prophecies and their fulfillments which occurred hundreds of years after they were first prophesied. 

Years ago, I read a couple articles that made a lasting impression concerning the odds of Biblical prophecies if their fulfillments were merely by chance. Though some folks might feel that anyone could have fulfilled these prophesies about Jesus, they would be very wrong for thinking so.  For, as we have seen, some of these prophetic scriptures were very specific in their fulfillments and not generalizations. So unique were these prophecies to the Savior alone that the Christian Victory Publishing Company of Denver, Colorado, was once offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who could find someone other than Jesus — dead or alive — who fulfilled just half the prophecies in Fred John Meldeau’s book, Messiah in Both Testaments. This book deals with just some of the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Lord, and the contestant would have to find someone who fulfilled only half of these — but no one was ever able to do so.  For Jesus is the only fulfiller of them.  

Even more interesting was the finding of Peter Stoner who in a book entitled Science Speaks had calculated the odds of Bible prophecy if their fulfillments were merely due to chance or coincidence. Mr. Stoner dealt with just 8 of the prophecies that point to Jesus, and he even omitted the prophecy about the virgin birth in order to lessen the odds. What were the odds of these 8 prophecies finding fulfillment through mere chance? It was 1 in 10 to the 17th power. To illustrate the magnitude of 10 to the 17th power, Mr. Stoner asked the reader to imagine the state of Texas (with its 268,597 square miles or 695,663 square km) two feet deep in silver dollars.  Just imagine how many would fill your living room at two feet deep, or how many would cover the block on which you live, or how many could be dispersed across your town until it was covered two feet deep, or for an amount this tall to blanket the county in which you reside.  Unquestionably, these amounts would be exceedingly massive, but even more so is the area that it really would cover, which is the size of the state of Texas and that two feet deep in silver dollars. The number of coins it would take to do that is 10 to the 17th power — or 1 with 17 zeros after it! 

Mr. Stoner continued his illustration by adding to it a blindfolded man who could travel anywhere over that state that he wished.  And if he could then choose on his first try that one specially marked silver dollar, out of that colossal, statewide mass, it would be the odds of 1 in 10 to the 17th power.

So that is also the odds of just 8 Bible prophecies  — had they randomly come to pass by mere chance.  

Next, Mr. Stoner dealt with 48 prophecies and found their odds of fulfillment, if by coincidence, to be 1 in 10 to the 157th power. This, of course, would require more than the state of Texas to illustrate it.  For 10 to the 157th power is said to be “more than the number of cubic centimeters, or subatomic particles like electrons and neutrinos, in the observable universe” (Wiki User).

As mentioned prior, however, there are more than just 48 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus — and more than even 300. But just in viewing the odds of the 8 and of the 48, if they were to have come to pass by merely sheer luck, is so astronomical that the possibility of chance is ruled out, and the inspiration of God’s word is confirmed.  Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:20-21 the following: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

Many people often marvel today at the so-called clairvoyants or fortunetellers who have some of their predictions come true, but according to Deuteronomy 18:20-22, God’s test for a true prophet was 100% accuracy — for anything less resulted in death!

Down through the years the Bible has been attacked by many an unbeliever.  Someone once said that Ingersoll, who was a 19th century U.S. lawyer, political leader, orator, and lecturer, once declared, as he held up a copy of the Bible, “In fifteen years I’ll have this book in the morgue.” Fifteen years rolled by, and it was Ingersoll, and not the Bible, who was laid in the morgue — the Bible living on!

As Jesus Himself states: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35, NASB). 

Neighbor, you can believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. For Bible prophecy is just one of the sources that clearly confirms this to be so. It is one of the reasons why we can believe in God and accept His word as truth. 

Real Bible faith, therefore, is not a mere “leap in the dark”; but, rather, it is a faith based on various evidences.  And Bible prophecy, along with its fulfillment, is one of them. 

— Via The Gospel Observer, June 2, 1991 (revised)
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Are Miraculous Gifts Still for Today?

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Miraculous_Gifts.mp4

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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

It is good to hear that Mia Music has come out of her coma, had surgery on her neck last week, and is now able to eat soft foods. This week, she will be having surgery on the two breaks in her wrist.  

A.J. Joyner and his wife Pat are still dealing with Covid-19; but Pat is doing somewhat better.  Their daughter Pam Sanders, who had come to take care of them, has experienced some Covid-19 symptoms for about a week; but for the last 2 days, she has no longer had a fever. 

After 2 weeks in the hospital with Covid-19, Tim Kirkland is finally back home; but is to remain quarantined for a few days. His wife Barbara is also healing from it.

Ronnie & Melotine Davis had to be rescheduled to September 9 for the injections to help with their back pains.    

Bennie Medlock’s eye surgery has been re-scheduled for the middle of September.

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Alisha Hunter, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, and our shut-ins.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.
(Sunday afternoon and Wednesday services are temporarily canceled, due to Covid-19; but we do have a “Song Service” at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month, in which several different men lead the singing.)

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Missed Opportunities (Wayne Goff)
2) God’s Wings (Anonymous)
3) To Desire Life,  to Love and to See Good Days (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Missed Opportunities

Wayne Goff

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!” (Jeremiah 8:20).

The Weeping Prophet?

As prophets go, Jeremiah was a real downer! He was always prophesying doom, gloom and destruction! I mean, who did he think he was?! Besides all the other religious leaders of his day — prophets, priests, etc. — were saying things were not nearly as bad as he was proclaiming. Maybe Jeremiah was just depressed. Maybe he needed some pills to pick up his sadness. After all, isn’t someone who goes around crying all the time full of mental issues?

The reality was that Jeremiah was speaking exactly what God was telling him, and the nation of Judah was in denial! Their denial was caused by their unbelief, their lack of faith in what God was telling them. Those who only want a positive message do not really want to serve the Lord.

Jeremiah’s Prophetic Calling

“Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant’” (Jeremiah 1:9–10). Notice what God said to Jeremiah. He was to “root out,” “pull down,” “destroy,” “throw down,” then “build” and “plant.” Gospel preachers in the past noticed that Jeremiah’s message would be 2/3 negative and 1/3 positive. Jeremiah would have a hard time finding a job today. Then again, he wasn’t popular in his day either!

But anyone planting a garden knows that a healthy garden begins by rooting out and pulling down the weeds that hinder healthy, productive growth. That is not a negative; it is a positive. When we break up fallow ground and get the weeds out, we are preparing the ground for something good. Only then can we “plant.”

Likewise, anyone who wants to build on a site where there is a dilapidated building knows that he first must “destroy,” and “throw down” the old building to make room “to build” the new. Is that a bad thing? No, in fact, it is a good and necessary thing. Imagine trying to build a new building on top of a condemned one! Entire companies do nothing except “demolition” work.

Jeremiah’s Job

So Jeremiah was being commissioned to “root out” and “pull down” the wicked, immoral, idolatrous hearts of men and women in Judah. His work was difficult and was about as well-accepted as a root canal! But God had previously destroyed the Canaanite people for the same crimes! “And the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 29:28).

Jeremiah was commissioned “to destroy” and to “throw down” the idolatrous high places which littered the land and the hearts of the Jews of his day, Jeremiah 2:5; 8:19; 10:8; 16:18; 18:15. “But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; a wooden idol is a worthless doctrine” (Jeremiah 10:8). “But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation” (Jeremiah 10:10).

The people were having their consciences soothed with the salve of falsehoods, and Jeremiah was applying the painful medicine of truth! “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:31). Notice the important question: “But what will you do in the end?” Well, the people of Jeremiah’s day rejected God’s message through Jeremiah! It was too negative, too hard, and too much to accept.

Consequently the nation of Judah was destroyed within about 50 years time (587 B.C.)! The people died or were placed in servitude, and the nation and its temple were destroyed! The sad truth was that if it were all to be done over again, the people would have chosen the same path of destruction! People then and now are in denial about God and His will. It just amazes me to see it. It is sickening.

Didn’t God Know?

God absolutely knew that Judah would not receive His message. But he sent Jeremiah to preach it anyway — just in case one poor soul could be saved. Listen further to God’s instructions at the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry: “But the LORD said to me: ‘… And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:7–8). “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to deliver you’” (Jeremiah 1:19).

Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted Jeremiah’s job. Then again, Jeremiah didn’t want his job either! But God’s word through Jeremiah accomplished exactly what God wanted it to accomplish. If there were any precious souls who listened and believed in his message, then they were saved when the nation was destroyed. But the majority of the people hardened their hearts against the truth, substituted lies instead, and found it was easier to believe a lie than to believe the truth. And that was their fatal mistake.

You can read the historical record of Judah’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon in 2 Kings 24-25. I suggest you read these two chapters to refresh your minds. Nations today are not immune from God’s punishment. People are not immune today from God’s judgment. The easy path is the road to destruction.

“And the LORD sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken by His servants the prophets”(2 Kings 24:2).

The sins of Judah and Jerusalem are the sins of America and many churches of Christ today. Perhaps we should revisit the prophet Jeremiah, learn the lessons God spoke through him, and possibly avert our own personal and/or national doom.

It turns out that the “weeping prophet” had something to cry about! Dear reader, are you mourning our present spiritual condition?

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 30, Issue 31, Page 4, August 1, 2021
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God’s Wings

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to access the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, the ranger reached out to knock the bird over with a stick. As he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under the dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but she refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze reached her, the heat had scorched her small body, but the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings had lived.

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4).

Remember the One who loves you, and then be different from the masses of the world because of that love.        

— Author unknown (via Bulletin Fodder)
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To Desire Life, to Love and to See Good Days

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/1_Peter_3_10.mp4

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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

A.J. & Pat Joyner have been diagnosed with covid-19, are experiencing symptoms, and are now on medication.

Mia Music is now in a critical state and coma from a serious car accident Tuesday. She has also been diagnosed with covid-19.

Olivia McCarthy no longer has any symptoms from the Covid-19 and seems to be doing very well. Tori thanks everyone for their prayers.  

Benny Medlock will have a pre-op Monday for his eye surgery on the 16th, and will be seeing his heart doctor on the 12th.

The device to alleviate pain worked. So Deborah Medlock will be seeing a counselor Thursday about receiving a permanent replacement.

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Alisha Hunter, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, and our shut-ins.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).

Contents:

1) “One More Night With The Frogs” (Kenneth Thomas)
2) Be Not of a Vengeful Spirit (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) Changing Text Size in Your Email and Web Browser (a helpful tip)
4) News & Notes
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“One More Night With The Frogs”

Kenneth Thomas

Many years ago in northern Illinois, we had a gospel meeting that featured two brethren from somewhere in Texas, preaching on alternate evenings. Their names were John Sherro and Bill Wiley. I was anxious to hear the sermon that Bill Wiley announced he would be preaching the next evening of the meeting. He titled it “One More Night With the Frogs.” It was, of course, taken from the story of Moses and Aaron when they went into Egypt to deliver, by the power of God, the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. I really got a lot from his sermon. The following outline was taken from an article by Terry Frizzel and given the Ken Thomas touch. Hopefully, you will benefit from this article, as I did from that sermon in the distant past.

Someone has likened sin to a thread. If another person wrapped a thread around you once, it would be easy to break it and escape. But what if you stood there until that thread had been wrapped around you 100 times, or 200 times? Eventually, several strands of that little thread would become strong enough to prevent your escape. Sin works in much the same way. If we would choose to obey God when we first have opportunity, and turn away from sin when we first realize we are involved in it, it would be much easier. Too many people are like Pharaoh; they would rather spend “one more night with the frogs.” I once read a story about an eagle that saw a little lamb stranded on an ice flow. The powerful eagle swooped down and landed on the ice and began to eat the helpless lamb. Up ahead was a giant waterfall over which, in a few minutes, both the eagle and his prey would fall if he did not take to the skies in time. He continued to feast on the lamb, thinking that just before the flow of ice in which his prey was trapped went over the edge, he would spread his powerful wings and take to the skies, thereby avoiding certain death.

The only problem was that the eagle failed to realize that his feet had caused the ice to thaw and sunk down into the chunk of ice, which then froze over his feet. When he lifted his powerful wings and began to flap them for his takeoff, low and behold, he was trapped and was swept over the waterfall to his untimely demise.

Remember David? Rather than turning from his lust when he saw Bathsheba bathing, he chose to “spend one more night with the frogs,” and eventually committed adultery with her (2 Samuel 11:2-5). David could have avoided adultery if he had broken the thread of sin when he first lusted after Bathsheba. But that little thread became David’s cocoon, which led to his having a drunken feast (2 Samuel 11:13), and eventually to Uriah’s murder (2 Samuel 11:14-17). Why didn’t David take care of this sin when it would have been so simple to defeat?

The question is a little difficult when we apply it to our own lives. Why do we spend “one more night with the frogs?” Why do we choose to continue in sin? “Next week I’ll change my life.” “Next month I’ll be more faithful in attendance.” “Some day I’ll become a Christian.” “Some day I’ll…” Sadly, we need to remember the sober words in the book of James, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). In Pharaoh’s case, “one more night with the frogs” eventually cost his son’s life. Will it cost you your soul?

This article caught my eye because of the title. Our good brother has done a masterful job of taking an old story and making a good present-day application. While the article speaks for itself, I would like to add some “food for thought” for our readers.

Christians are often the very best at “putting things off” until a later date. Why do we do it? I’m afraid it is due to lack of respect for, and understanding about, the uncertainty of death or of the Lord’s return. The scriptures clearly teach both things. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10-12). We know God cannot lie, so why do we leave undone those things that will cost us an eternity of separation from God?

Time is not on our side. We do not control the clock’s ticks, and we never know when it will stop — either for the world or our own lives. God has given ample warnings, examples, and reasons to obey Him while we have time and opportunity. Unfortunately, many are squandering their opportunities. Only their hearts know the reasons why. So many times when I offer the invitation, I wonder why those who know what to do — do not act. What can I say? What could I do to touch their hearts and persuade them to obey? Truth is — the ball is in their court, and they must choose — I cannot do it for them.

Dear reader, please consider the brevity of life, the blessing of time, and the certainty of death and eternity. One more “night with the frogs” might be one night too many!! (KMG)

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2003
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Be Not of a Vengeful Spirit

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Vengeance.mp4

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Changing Text Size in Your Email and Web Browser

If the words in the bulletin look too small for you, you should be able to enlarge what you see by holding down the Control Key (Ctrl) and tapping on the Plus Key (+).   To then make it smaller again, hold down the Control Key (Ctrl) and tap on the Minus Key ().  Or you can also hold down the Control Key (Ctrl) and then press the Zero Key (0) to restore to the normal view.

If you have a MAC, it uses the Command Key along with the Plus and Minus Keys for adjusting the size.
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Alex Wilson who passed away in Ohio on July 28.

A.J. & Pat Joyner have both been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Tim & Barbara Kirkland also have the Covid-19.

Alisha Hunter
has been very sick with Covid-19 and various of her family members have been exposed.

Becky Lindsey is ill and can also use our prayers.

Olivia McCarthy is recuperating well from Covid-19.

Martha Lively is also healing from Covid-19 with no longer a fever, but still with some congestion and headache.

Jim Lively has had some more falls recently — 3 in one week.

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, Deborah Medlock, and Shirley Davis.

It is good to resume our 9 a.m. Bible class today!  Danny Bartlett
will be teaching on the book of Ephesians.

It is also good to resume our “song service” for the first Sunday of every month, beginning at 5 p.m. today.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent
 of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday:

9 a.m. Bible Class
10 a.m. Worship Service. 

We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “Garage-Sale Christianity” (Jim Lee)
2) Faith, Yes, But Not By Faith Alone (Bill Crews)
3) The Qualities of 1 Peter 3:8 (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“Garage-Sale Christianity”

Jim Lee

Springtime is just around the corner, and many of us are eagerly anticipating its arrival. The springtime offers much for us to do. Depending on where we live, during the winter, many of us are restricted from activities, i.e., planting flowers, cutting grass, etc., we enjoy during the warmer months. (In fact, as I write this article, it’s snowing here in southern Ohio).

But another springtime event to which many of us look forward is the garage sale, and the excitement of going. Isn’t it amazing what good deals we can find at garage sales? For the most part, folks wish to clear out and be rid of things for which they no longer have use. In fact, some things, which at one time cost a good amount of money, are now being sold for pocket change.

I was just thinking about the resemblance between some Christians and garage-sale items. Here’s a person whose sins “the Lamb of God” has taken away (John 1:29); whose soul the Son of God has purchased (1 Corinthians 6:20); whose name is written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Philippians 4:3). Yet, because he has no “root system,” he falls away into temptation’s snare (Luke 8:13), and he treats his soul as though it is nothing more than a “garage-sale item.”

Do you know any folks like that? Who, at the “drop of a hat,” are willing to give up on everything that God has provided for them. Why can’t these folks see the big picture? Have they forgotten what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26? Brothers and sisters, has the soul’s value been reduced to pocket change? Has Christ’s blood become something to “trample underfoot,” and has it become an “unholy thing” (Hebrews 10:29).

Brethren, it is absolutely essential that we stress to those we teach, and ensure that they understand, the cost involved in following our Savior. And we would do well to remind those, even among our immediate families, of the price paid for our spiritual freedom (John 3:16; 8:32). There is a real purpose for saying what I’ve just said. Within the past year, I have personally witnessed the destruction of three “Christian homes,” due to sexual immorality (John 10:10).

These were homes where the husbands and wives were in their early-to-mid 30s; husbands and wives who, as children, were raised and trained to become Christians. The husbands in two of the homes have fathers who are gospel preachers. Thus, brethren, we see the need to re-emphasize the costs involved with following Jesus. Jesus, Himself, made this point clear on more than one occasion (Luke 9:57-62; 14:26-35).

My brethren, of a truth, we are at war! Ephesians 6:10-18, as is all scripture, is there for a purpose. The Holy Spirit knew of the coming conflicts that God’s children would have to encounter; thus, He stressed the need to obey the “Captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10). The devil has already taken too many “POWs,” due to their lack of loyalty and commitment; and sadly, a large number of those who once were soldiers of Christ are now “MIA!” Where do you find yourself spiritually? Are you working, laboring for the Master, bringing in the sheaves, or do you stand idle all the day long (Matthew 20:6).

Again, I would urge us all to “count the cost.” We all sing: “What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” He shed His blood and died for your sins and mine (Romans 5:8); and in return, He asks nothing but that we live for Him daily (1 Corinthians 15:58).

So when spring arrives, and you begin going to garage sales, looking at price tags, and thinking what a great deal you’re making, don’t forget about the price tag for your soul! For how little are you willing to “sell it.”

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2003
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-2-

Faith, Yes, But Not By Faith Alone

Bill Crews

The religious conceptions and convictions of most people are formed more by their own environment — their upbringing and their surroundings — than by any personal study of the Bible. Such influence is usually a powerful teacher — whether in the right direction or in the wrong. Even what most people think (in their own minds, they can be “so sure”) the Bible teaches comes more from what their parents said to them, from what they heard various preachers say, from what friends and others have said, from what they gleaned from newspapers, magazines, books, movies, TV programs, than from their own reading of the Bible.

The most wide-spread and popular religious conclusion that people entertain is the idea that the Bible teaches that men are saved or justified by “faith only.” It may be expressed in many different ways — “only believe,” “all you need is faith,” ‘”just receive Jesus in your heart as your personal Savior,” “faith alone is God’s plan,” “all you have to do is to accept Christ” — but it still comes out the same, that is, that a sinner is  saved solely, only, wholly, entirely by his faith in Christ, and, therefore, no other condition must be met or commandment must be obeyed to receive salvation.

Reader friend, did you know that the Bible does not teach this at all? Surely it teaches that men are saved, justified, purified, made righteous by faith (John 8:24; Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 15:9; Mark 16:15-16; Galatians 3:23- 27; Romans 3:21-28), but it nowhere teaches that such a blessing comes by “faith only.” James 2:24 (read verses 14-26) plainly states that we are not justified by faith only, and other passages clearly teach that other conditions are required (Acts 3:19 — “be converted” or “turn again”; Acts 17:30 — repent; Romans 10:9-10 — confess Jesus as Lord; Acts 2:38 — repent and be baptized; etc).

The great and courageous Martin Luther (of the 16th century), in his 1518 German translation of the New Testament, was so convinced that salvation was by faith only that he added the word “only” (the German word “solo”) to Romans 3:28 to get salvation by “faith only” into the Bible. Disgusted by his own church’s (Roman Catholic) doctrine and practice of salvation by works of merit, he went to the opposite extreme of denying the necessity of any works at all. At the time he had decided that James (because of James 2:14-26) did not even belong in the Bible because it contradicted what he honestly thought Paul taught in Romans 4. What Luther failed to see is this: Every passage that he regarded as teaching that salvation is not by works of any sort is a passage teaching that men are not justified by the works of the Law of Moses or any such law (this would be works of merit and, therefore merited salvation). These passages were designed to answer the “Judaizers” who were binding the law of Moses and the old covenant of fleshly circumcision on the disciples of Christ, Jews and Gentiles (read Acts 15:1, 5; Galatians 2:3-5, 11-16; 5:2-8 for information on this). Romans 3 and 4 and Galatians 2 and 3 deal with this problem of the Judaizers, but so many today, like Luther, think that they were written to deny the necessity of any works and to lead us to conclude that salvation is by faith only.

But Martin Luther was by no means the last to add the word “only” or “alone” to Bible passages teaching the great doctrine of salvation by faith (a faith that works, an obedient faith). The widely distributed Good New For Modern Man, the New Testament in Today’s English Version (TEV), sponsored and promoted by the American Bible Society, does it in Romans 1:17; 3:28 and Galatians 2:16. The more popular Living Bible Paraphrased (not a translation, but only a paraphrase), which takes great liberties on many matters, adds the word “only” in Romans 4:9, 12 (also compare John 1:12; Romans 1:17 and 3:21-22). Newer versions and paraphrases have taken even more liberties.

To say that man cannot be justified by the works of the Law of Moses (Galatians 2:16), to say that man cannot be justified by any works of merit or by his own righteousness (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9) is not to say that man is justified by faith alone. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything. nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) “You see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 30, Issue 29, Page 02, July 18, 2021
——————–

-3-

The Qualities of 1 Peter 3:8

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/1_Peter_3_8.mp4


——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Tori McCarthy had not been feeling well for a few days last week, but began feeling better yesterday.  She was tested for the coronavirus  earlier in the week and the results came back negative.  She also mentioned that everyone from the party eight days ago that had also been tested had results that came back negative.  But she does request prayer that everyone will stay well. The woman who had been at the party with COVID-19, but did not know until later, is now doing better.

Rex Hadley is now back home from rehab and will continue with that at home.  

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Andrew Wright, and Deborah Medlock

Let us also continue to remember our shut-ins.

Next Sunday (August 1), we will resume our 9 a.m. Bible class.  Danny Bartlett will be teaching on the book of Ephesians.

We will also have a “song service” next Sunday at 5 p.m. , and will continue with that on the first Sunday of every month. 
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation .

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Joshua (Colby Junkin)
2) Signs, Wonders, and Miracles (Bill Moseley)
3) Seven Aspects of the Christian’s Hope (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Joshua

Colby Junkin

The entire camp of Israel had never experienced a greater depression than for those thirty days after Moses’ death. Their leader, Moses, had ascended Mount Nebo and then never returned to the camp. Moses was gone! He was dead! One can only imagine the thoughts racing through the minds and hearts of the Israelites. What were they going to do now without Moses?

Moses had led the Israelites for the past forty years and left an indelible mark on the entire nation. Moses was the chosen instrument of God who brought Israel out of their Egyptian bondage. He had led Israel not only through the divided waters of the Red Sea, but had been their leader throughout the forty years of wilderness wandering. Moses was their great intercessor who stood the gap between their God and their rebellion. When God had chosen to destroy the nation at Mount Sinai, Moses pleaded his case, and the Lord changed His mind. There simply was no way to replace such a great leader, but Israel was still in need of one to take his place. Who would ever want to be the one to succeed Moses? How could you replace such a courageous and humble guardian/leader like Moses?

This tremendous task of transferred leadership was laid at the feet of a man named Joshua. Joshua was first introduced to the narrative as Israel was making their way to Mount Sinai. The Amalekites were attacking the rear of the Israelite caravan, and Moses instructed Joshua to choose out men who would go and fight (Exodus 17:8-13). Moses stationed himself on the hill during the battle and raised his staff. After Aaron and Hur assisted Moses by helping keep his arms up — “Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Joshua is reintroduced to the narrative at Mount Sinai. Joshua is noted to be a servant of Moses and it appears that he stayed at the bottom of the mountain for the period of the first forty days (Exodus 24:13; 32:15-18). Joshua was not engaged with the idolatrous rebellion of the people, but rather he waited for the return of Moses with the Law of God.

Joshua was one of the twelve spies chosen by Moses to enter the land and bring a report concerning the people, land, and cities (Numbers 12:16-22). Joshua, along with Caleb, encouraged the people not to run away in disbelief, but rather to rise up and take the land with God’s might and strength. Joshua was a faithful man of God. When the time of Moses’ departure had arrived, Joshua had already been chosen by God to replace him. Moses brought Joshua before the camp of Israel and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance” (Deuteronomy 31:7). Joshua was taken to the tent of meeting and commissioned by God to be the successor of Moses and leader of Israel. What a tremendous blessing and frightening prospective this must have been for Joshua who was given charge of the nation of Israel.

The Lord recognized Joshua’s apprehension and did not leave him alone, but validated him as Israel’s next leader. The Lord told Joshua – “…Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” (1:5b). The Lord did not stop with His encouragement, but said –

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (1:6-9).

There was no room left for doubt or unbelief. Joshua faithfully took on the charge given to him by the Lord and became the leader of the Israelite nation. By the time Joshua’s life had ended, Israel had victoriously taken the Promised Land and divided it among the tribes as promised by God.

In the annals of Bible history, Joshua stands resolutely as an example of courageous faith. Joshua was a leader in every aspect of his life. He led the army of Israel against Amalek. He led the nation of Israel in the conquest of the Land. Finally, He was a leader in his home – “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15; emphasis mine, bcj). May God bless us with hearts like Joshua which are faithful and receptive to His Word and courageous in its application!

— Via Articles of the River Bend church of Christ, October 20, 2019
——————–

-2-

Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Bill Moseley

A theme of many Bible studies has been the miracles of Jesus. This ought to be done periodically, since His miracles were a great part of His work. Lessons are taught, and hopefully learned, from those great moments in the life of the Savior. Yet, often neglected is a study of the terms which are used to describe those great works. Our purpose here is to briefly set forth the meaning behind the words that are commonly used to describe those mighty acts; i.e., “signs, wonders, miracles.” The only place where they are found in a common verse is Hebrews 2:4, and yet they are found individually in many places in the New Testament. Too often we have improperly generalized all of them under the most common of the terms (miracles), and have sort of “lumped them all together.” But let us look at them individually, referring you, in the interest of space, to your concordance for locations of the words.

First, we consider the word “sign” (semeion), defined as “a sign, mark, indication, token…” (W. E. Vine). Signs were usually intended to demonstrate to the observer something more than the sign itself. Their value was in displaying and confirming the power of the one who would do the sign as evidence that he was something out of the ordinary. For example, the Jews came asking Jesus for a “sign” (Matt. 12:38). They would take such a sign to mean that Jesus was indeed extraordinary, with the emphasis being upon Jesus and not the sign itself. He then said they would receive but one sign, that of “the prophet Jonah.” When they saw that, they would know that He, indeed, was who He claimed to be. So signs were sort of a “pointer” looking to demonstrate something outside of themselves.

Next we look at the term “wonders” (teras). Here is “something strange, causing the beholder to marvel” (W. E. Vine). In the New Testament this word is always in the plural, and is used almost exclusively in connection with “signs.” In “wonders,” the supernatural act itself is looked upon as something that startles and produces amazement. The “wonder” itself is the center of attention, and not necessarily that to which it points. Herein is the fundamental difference between a “sign” and a “wonder.” The thought conveyed by this word is often blended with the idea of “to marvel,” from the verb thaumazo. This is the word Paul used in Galatians 1:6 in speaking of his amazement at the rapid departure of the Galatians from the gospel. Teras “denotes terrible appearances which elicit fright and horror, and which contradict the ordered unity of nature” (Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Brown, p. 633).

Finally, we consider “miracles” (dunamis). Here is “power, inherent ability, used of works of a supernatural origin and character, such as could not be produced by natural agents and means” (W. E. Vine). The idea of power predominates in this term. In fact, the noun “power” (Matt. 26:64), or “ability” (Matt. 25:15) are both derived from this same word, as is the word “might” or “mighty.” Without this power, such great works could not be done. In 1 Corinthians 1:24, Christ is called the “power (dunamin) of God.” Hence, when we use the word “miracle,” the thought should have to do with the power behind the act itself.

“But,” one may ask, “do not all these refer to the same thing?” We might answer affirmatively, if we do so in a broad sense. Yet we must also understand that they never refer to different kinds of miracles, but miracles as they are viewed from various perspectives. They all stress a different viewpoint of the great supernatural works done by Jesus and His apostles. A proper understanding of these things will help us when dealing with the miracles of Jesus, or even those of the Old Testament period. Consider each miracle done by the Lord along with the thoughts here presented; perhaps they will then mean more to us.

— via Christianity Magazine, October 1990
——————–

“And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them” (Matthew 15:30, NASB).
——————–

-3-

Seven Aspects of the Christian’s Hope

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Seven_Aspects_of_the_Christian’s_Hope.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Our condolences go out to all the family and friends of Addison Harris Hines, Jr., of Waycross, who passed away Tuesday.

Andrew Wright has now begun chemo for his stage 2 lung cancer. .

Michael Rittenhouse was recently hospitalized for chest pains, numbness of arm, and nausea; but it turned out not to be a heart attack.  He passed the stress test, but is not “out of the woods” yet with his two arterial blockages — and will see his doctor Thursday.   

Deborah Medlock’s procedure of the neurostimulator implant went well.  If the test of it also goes well, it will be replaced with a permanent one. 

Also for prayer: Jeff Nuss (with serious injuries); the family and friends of Judy Daugherty; Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Rex Hadley (rehab)

On August 1 (Sunday), we will start having our Sunday A.M. Bible class again.  It will begin at 9 a. m. and end at 9:45 a.m.  Morning worship will continue to begin at 10 a.m. 

Also for August 1, we will be starting back with our singing service every first Sunday of the month.  It will begin at 5 p.m. 

Also for prayer, our shut-ins: Jim Lively and Shirley Davis
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).

Contents:

1) Complaining (George Slover)
2) A Father’s Greatest Sermon (Anonymous)
3) What Is A Brother In Christ? (Bill Crews)
4) Prejudice Against the Bible (Bob Buchanon)
5) What Is Jesus to You? (Anonymous)
6) Developing Moral Excellence (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
7) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Complaining

George Slover

“Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Numbers 11:4-6)

Scenes of this chapter provide a glimpse of the pathetic character of Israel. Their constant grumbling is a source of extreme irritation for Moses, their leader. (Vs.11) “Manna, manna, all we have is a manna!” Could this same kind of dissatisfaction be found in our hearts?

It is first worth noting just where the sin began. A “mixed multitude“ or foreigners were living among the people of God. A cry among these aliens seems to incite a rebellion among the Israelites. Thus, the danger of listening to the counsel of friends of the world, especially when one’s faith and commitment are challenged.

The Israelites had forgotten all that God had done for them. They do remember the manna, only to grumble about it. They are mindful of the delicacies of Egypt, but have they forgotten how they were treated in bondage? Their exaggerated language: “our whole being is dried up“; “we have nothing,” reveals much about their ungrateful heart. Jesus has conquered sin and death, yet how easy it is for us to complain about matters far less important.

And so the people demanded flesh, and God gave them flesh beyond their request. They get their desire, but not God‘s blessing. One must be careful to become impatient with our real or imagined hardships. What we receive may not offer the pleasure that we are looking for.

To avoid the dangers of such thanklessness, we must take our eyes off the pleasures offered by the world. We must flee these harmful lusts, and turn our hearts to pursue heavenly objects. We must make the Father’s business the main thing, and pray: “Father, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”   

— Via The Burnet Bulletin, March 28, 2021
——————–

-2-

A Father’s Greatest Sermon

The farmer and his family, after a hard year of typical farm work, were rewarded with an unusually fine crop of grain.  There were happy days ahead.

Just a few days before harvest came a terrible wind and hail storm. The entire crop was destroyed! After the storm was over, the farmer, with his wife and little boy at his side, went out to the back porch to view the field and the damage.

The little boy looked at what was formerly a beautiful field of wheat, and tearfully looked up at his dad expecting to hear words of despair.

All at once his father started to sing softly, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…”  Years later, the little boy now grown said, “That was the greatest sermon I have ever heard.”

The farmer had lost a grain crop, but because of his faith, manifested in great trial, he had gained forever for the Lord the soul of his son.  The son saw the faith of a godly man in practice!

— Anonymous, via Seeking Things Above, August 9, 2017
——————–

-3-

What Is A Brother In Christ?

Bill Crews   

1. Another child of your Father in heaven. In nearly all of his epistles Paul spoke of “God, our Father” (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; Philemon 3), and thus acknowledged these brethren as children of his Father in heaven.

2. A brother to your Lord. “And say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father” (John 20:17). “For both he that sanctifieth (Christ, BC) and they that are sanctified (the saved, BC) are all of one (the Father); for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11).

3. A brother for whom Christ died. “For through thy knowledge he that is weak perisheth, the brother for whose sake Christ died” (1 Corinthians 8:11).

4. Someone who is so related to Christ that if you assist in time of need, you will be also ministering to Christ. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

5. Someone who is so related to Christ that if you sin against him or her, you also sin against Christ. “And thus, sinning against the brethren, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, ye sin against Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:12).

6. Someone you love and who loves you to the extent that men are convinced that you are disciples of Christ. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one another” (John 13:35).

7. Someone you love with a love that is abounding. “We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

8. Someone you are willing to lay down your life for. “Hereby know ye love, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

9. Someone for whom you would forego any personal liberty lest you cause him or her to violate his or her conscience and sin. “Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:13).

10. One you should rejoice with when he is honored and suffer with when he suffers. “And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36 Issue 27, Page 2
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-4-

Prejudiced Against the Bible

While serving as our ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin joined a literary society. Such societies were common and numerous in France, but they were filled with infidels. Urged on by his quaint sense of humor, Mr. Franklin joined the most prominent of these societies. It was the custom of this group to have each member write an original story to be read to the society and then have the members criticize the story. Mr. Franklin copied by hand the French translation of the entire book of Ruth from the Bible.

He met with the society at the appointed time and anxiously awaited the time for him to read his story. In warm and sympathetic tones he read this great love story.

For a few minutes there was absolute silence, as the audience sat under the spell of the beautiful love story. Then some member began to applaud. When the chairman of the meeting said that it was the only perfect love story the world had ever heard, the society requested permission to print it.

Mr. Franklin then said: “This story has already been printed and given to the world. You will find it in the Bible: the book you profess to despise, but about whose contents you apparently know so little.”

— Bob Buchanon, via The Beacon, July 4, 2021
——————–

-5-

What Is Jesus to You?

To the artist He is the One Altogether Lovely.
To the architect He is the chief cornerstone,
To the baker He is the Living Bread.
To the banker He is the Hidden Treasure.
To the biologist He is the Life.
To the builder He is the Sure Foundation,
To the doctor He is the Great Physician.
To the educator He is the Great Teacher.
To the farmer He is the Lord of the Harvest.
To the florist He is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley.
To the geologist He is the Rock of Ages.
To the jurist He is the Righteous Judge, the Judge of all men.
To the jeweler He is the Pearl of Great Price.
To the lawyer He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.
To the horticulturist He is the True Vine.
To the newspaper man He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
To the oculist He is the Light of the World.
To the philanthropist He is the unspeakable Gift.
To the philosopher He is the Wisdom of God.
To the preacher He is the Word of God.
To the sculptor He is the Living Stone,
To the servant He is the Good Master.
To the statesman He is the Desire of All Nations.
To the student He is the Incarnate Truth.
To the theologian He is the Author and Finisher of Our Faith.
To the traveler He is the New and Living Way.
To the toiler He is the Giver of Rest.
To the sinner He is the Lamb of God that takes sin away.
To the Christian He is the Son of the Living God, Savior, and Redeemer.

— Via Bulletin Fodder
——————–

-6-

Developing Moral Excellence

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Moral_Excellence.mp4

——————–

-7-

News & Notes

Michael Rittenhouse began having chest pains, nausea, and numbness down his left arm on Monday. 

Andrew Wright, with stage 2 lung cancer, will begin chemo this week.

Deborah Medlock
will have a procedure this Thursday (July 15) for the implant of a neurostimulator to alleviate pain she has been having. It will be a temporary one; but if it works, they will then replace it permanently.

Bennie Medlock will have cataract surgery for his left eye August 16, and September 20 for the right.

Also for prayer: Jeff Nuss (with serious injuries); the family and friends of Judy Daugherty; Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Rex Hadley (rehab); And our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


evangelist/editor: T
om Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Calvinism and the Old Testament (Don Wright)
2) Perish the Thought! (Dan S. Shipley)
3) Caring for Our Souls (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Calvinism and the Old Testament

Don Wright

Most Bible believing people are familiar with Calvinism. If you are not, it is a doctrine that suggests that all human beings are born sinners because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Calvinists believe that the fall of Adam was the fall of all of mankind. It is interesting that they claim that we inherit Adam’s sin even though it was Eve who sinned first. Nevertheless, Calvinism teaches that man, as a result of the sin of Adam, is born totally depraved, unable to do anything good from a spiritual standpoint.

Total depravity is the T of the acronym TULIP, which sums up Calvinism. The rest of the TULIP is as follows: unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. Calvinism is taught by most churches that came out of the 16th century reformation movement, which makes up a large percentage of denominational churches today.

There are many scriptural problems with Calvinism, beginning with the fact that none of its tenets are taught in the New Testament. My personal observation is that, while the New Testament is a problem for Calvinism, the Old Testament might be an even bigger problem. To see this, we have to keep the first tenet of Calvinism in mind, which, as I stated above, is total depravity.

The doctrine of total depravity demands the conclusion that man is unable to hear the Word of God and believe it. In order for man to be saved, he must first receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, something that only God can provide, so that his heart is capable of believing in Jesus, or anything that is spiritually good.

First, let me say that this teaching of Calvinism is as anti-God as any doctrine an atheist could ever teach. It makes God an unloving, cruel, respecter of persons, Who purposely creates man in sin, and then condemns him to hell for not doing what he is incapable of doing in the first place. But, why is this a problem with the Old Testament? It is a problem because there are many Old Testament stories where individuals did good, even accomplishing the will of God, without any kind of outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Let us just take the story of Jonah for an example. Jonah was commissioned by God to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach to them (Jonah 1:2). Jonah did not want to do this; instead, he attempted to flee to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). This is when the trouble for Jonah began because man cannot hide from God (Psalms 139:1-12). God caused a great wind upon the sea and a mighty tempest overtook the ship that was carrying Jonah to Tarshish (ver. 4). This ultimately led to Jonah being hurled into the sea and swallowed by a great fish (vers. 7-17). Inside the belly of this fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord and was delivered. The fish vomited him upon dry land (Jonah 2). Finally, Jonah goes to Nineveh to preach the word of the Lord to them (Jonah 3:1-3). It is how they responded to that preaching that is a refutation of Calvinism.

Jonah 3:4-5 (ESV)

4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The Ninevites heard the Word of the Lord and believed it. There was no outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God did not work on their hearts miraculously. They were led to repentance by the simple preaching of the Word, the same way the people had their hearts pricked on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-37). Read the rest of the text in Jonah three, and it will be clear to you that these people believed God without divine help, except from the power of God’s Word. Ver. 10 is particularly damning to Calvinism.

Jonah 3:10 (ESV)

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Do you see that? “God saw what they did.” God did not miraculously turn these people, they turned themselves from their evil ways. Clearly, they were not born totally depraved as Calvinism teaches. This is just one of many examples found in the Old Testament, showing people repenting without some special outpouring of the Spirit. If all of mankind fell with Adam, why is it only when we get to the New Testament era that people cannot believe in God without His miraculous help? The truth is, the story of Jonah and the response of the Ninevites to the preaching of the Word proves forever that Calvinism is untenable, for if man is not born totally depraved, the rest of the TULIP crumbles.

— Via Brown Street Beacon, June 6, 2020
——————–

-2-

Perish the Thought!

Dan S. Shipley

While visiting a local area hospital recently, I was amused at their curb-side signs which read: “Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here!” Such novel wording reveals an insight into human nature. When the motorist begins to contemplate leaving his car in a no parking zone, he is apt to think, “It’ll only be for a little while,” or “I’m in a hurry,” or “well, everyone else does it, why shouldn’t I?” Those who think thusly are likely to be found parked at the red curb. So, the admonition not to even think about it is appropriate — and not only for those tempted to park illegally.

Indeed, the Bible teaches of a serious correlation between our thinking and our temptations. “For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, railings…” (Matthew 15:19). It is “from within” that all these evil things proceed and defile the man (Mark 7:21). As someone has observed, “What we sow in thought, we reap in deed.” How true! Thinking about it is the prelude to practically every sin committed. Like the motorist rationalizing about the no-parking zone, most find it easy to mentally “sell” themselves on their temptations — especially, after many weakening thought-rehearsals. What sinner has ever failed to find his own “extenuating circumstances” to minimize or excuse his sin? “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 21:2) — even when he does that which he knows to be wrong. Maybe he didn’t plan to be wrong, but then he didn’t plan NOT to either! This is not to say, of course, that all who have evil thoughts will necessarily involve themselves in evil deeds. It largely depends on what is done with the evil thought. If it is dismissed at once (“don’t even THINK about it”), it may do no harm. However, if it is nurtured, savored, and rehearsed, it is likely to find expression. As someone has said, “We can’t help it if birds fly overhead, but we need not let them build nests in our hair.” If we fail to control our thoughts, it is not likely that we will control our actions.

For this reason we need more teaching and preaching aimed at the HEART of ungodly conduct. True, evil deeds must be condemned, but we must not overlook the heart from which they are launched. If we can eliminate the hate we can eliminate the murder and countless lesser conflicts (1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:21-24). Handling lust at the beginning will prove an effective deterrent to fornication and adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). When we are able to remove envy, jealousy, and anxiety from the heart, we will have spared the world their troublesome manifestations — not to mention all the misery and heartache associated therewith. How much better off we would all be if we could just remember to not even think about such things! “Can’t help it” you say?

Peter evidently thought men could control their thinking. He encourages “girding up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:13). Paul likewise admonishes “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and to “think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Can’t help it? Perish the thought!

Editor’s Note [Wayne Goff]: Dan Shipley was a gospel preacher from Texas who also was an avid golfer. Dan played football for SMU, and later became a gospel preacher associated with Robert F. Turner in the paper they published entitled “Plain Talk.”  Dan was a humble man with many wonderful traits. He passed away in 2011 at the age of  82. He was also a personal friend of mine as we worshiped together in gospel meetings and played golf in East Texas. This article was published in July, 1981, but it is still perfectly appropriate today.

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36 Issue 26, Page 3
——————–

-3-

Caring for Our Souls

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Caring_for_Our_Souls.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

Jeff Nuss has recently sustained serious injuries after being struck by a tractor-trailer that ran a red light. He has been hospitalized with broken ribs, brain bleed, bleeding of the spine, and is now also on a ventilator.   

Let us continue to remember in prayer all the family and friends of Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister) who recently passed away.

Rex Hadley will probably continue in rehab for a total of 21 days.

Also for prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Deborah Medlock (soon to have a device implanted to eliminate pain) 

And our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation.

 
evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This link takes you to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) A Clear View of Him Who Is Invisible (Jason Hardin)
2) What Are the “Husks” of Luke 15:16? (Tom Edwards)
3) Comparing the Passover With Jesus, the Christian’s Passover (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

A Clear View of Him Who Is Invisible

Jason Hardin

When we live with full eyes and empty hearts, assurance runs low and conviction wears thin. It’s hard to hope from an empty heart.

When we simply go with the flow of the world — walking and talking and acting and feeling by sight — there will always be plenty to keep our eyes full, but it’s hard to build conviction for things that are never granted my undivided attention. So prayer takes a backseat to the next Netflix episode, Bible reading gets pushed to the back burner of tomorrow, I’ll find the margin to worship on the weekend (as long as my eyes aren’t too full of other, more pressing things)… and I wonder in those dark nights of the soul why I’m struggling to hope with assurance and trust with conviction.

Hebrews 11 reminds us in the form of some powerful examples to look up from the cares and riches and pleasures of life to what cannot be seen with our physical eyes. Consider:

“Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise” (11:8-9).

Why? Why do such a thing? “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (11:10).

Example after example is offered in Hebrews 11 of men and women who hoped with assurance and trusted with conviction. They lived by and died with faith in God’s promises, “having seen them and greeted them from afar” (11:13).

“By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones” (11:22). Joseph could “see” something that wouldn’t happen in space and time for centuries.

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (11:24-26).

“He was looking.” In an era where most eyes were full of the gold and glitter of the Pharaohs, Moses lifted his eyes from the fleeting to focus on the eternal. And what came as a result? His heart wasn’t empty. His hope was sure. His conviction was strong. By faith, he was equipped to endure “as seeing him who is invisible” (11:27).

A clear view of him who is invisible. Think about that today. What could possibly be worth more?

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2021
——————–

-2-

What are the “Husks” in Luke 15:16?

Tom Edwards

In the parable of the prodigal son, this younger son took his share of the estate and went to a distant country.  There he lived a wild, riotous life of debauchery and excess, thus wasting all he had to live on, and then longing for even the “husks” (KJV) that the unclean swine were feeding upon.

In thinking of “husk,” one might mistakenly visualize the leafy outer covering of an ear of corn — for that is what the English word especially means. But it also denotes, “the dry external covering of certain fruits or seeds…” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary).  

The Greek word for “husks” in that verse is “keration” (ker-at’-ee-on), which is defined as “the pod of the carob tree, or Ceratonia siliqua of Linnaeus [which is the scientific name of the carob tree, given by Carl Linnaeus, 1707-1778], a common tree in the East and the south of Europe, growing to a considerable size [40’ to 50’ in height], and producing long slender pods, with a pulp of sweetish taste, and several brown shining seeds like beans, sometimes eaten by the poorer people in Syria and Palestine, and commonly used for fattening swine, Luke 15:16″ (Mounce’s Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament, emphasis mine).

In looking this up in 12 sources,*  consisting of lexicons, Bible Dictionaries, and a Bible Encyclopedia, they all refer to the “husks” of Luke 15:16 as being the pods of the carob tree.

The English word “carob” is defined as: “1. a Mediterranean tree, Ceratonia siliqua, of the legume family, bearing long leathery pods containing hard seeds and sweet edible pulp. 2. the pod of this tree.  3. the pulp of the pods, often ground into a powder and used esp. as a substitute for chocolate(Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, emphasis mine).

Perhaps you have had carob before, which is sold in various forms, such as powder, chips, syrup, etc.  It has a nutty flavor and not the same taste as chocolate, but is a healthier alternative and naturally sweet, while chocolate from cocoa beans is naturally bitter.  So, it would be better to appreciate carob for how it is — rather than comparing the two and being disappointed that it doesn’t have the chocolate flavor you are familiar with.

Looking up Luke 15:16 in 70 different Bibles, 25 of them translate “keration” as “pods,”  20 as “husks,” 10 as “carob pods,” and also as “the food the pigs were eating” (4), “what the pigs were eating” (3), “slop” (2), “what the pigs ate” (1), “bean pods” (1), “the food the pigs ate” (1), “pigs’ food” (1).  And one translation must have been thinking more of the English word “husks,” rather than the meaning of the Greek word, when rendering it as “the outside part of the ears of the corn” (1), and another as “corn-cobs in the pig slop” (1).

But even if one did not know what these “husks” or pods are, it would not detract from the main idea of the passage in seeing how pathetic this person’s life had become. For feeding the swine, which was an “unclean” animal to the Jew at that time (Deut. 14:8), indicates he was having to stoop mighty low. For “This was, to the Jew, the bottom of degradation’s pit. They so abhorred swine that they refused to name them. They spoke of a pig as . . . ‘the other thing'” (Fourfold Gospel, McGarvey/Pendleton). And from Vincent’s Word Studies, feeding swine was “An ignominious occupation, especially in Jewish eyes. The keeping of swine was prohibited to Israelites under a curse.” 

So even if one wrongly assumed that the prodigal was so hungry that he longed to eat corn husks (which are not for human consumption) that would not eclipse the main point of the parable. 

For that prodigal is representing any sinner, and his father is representing God.  So what we see is that regardless of how low a person has sunk into sin, there is a loving God in heaven who will forgive and joyfully accept any lost soul, when that sinner repents and turns to the Lord by meeting His conditions for pardon.

And those conditions involve believing in Jesus (John 8:24) with a faith that comes from the gospel (Rom. 10:17), repenting of sins (Acts 17:30; for all have sinned – Rom. 3:23), confessing faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38), and being baptized in water so that sins will be forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Salvation will then be obtained (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21), and one will have a new life in Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27) as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).

There is no greater need one could  have than to be forgiven of sin.  So if you have not yet become a Christian, why not do so this very day?  It will make God glad — and all the angels in heaven will rejoice! (cf. Luke 15:10).  

References: 

* E.W. Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament; Fausset’s Bible Dictionary; Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament; New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries; People’s Dictionary of the Bible; Smith’s Bible Dictionary; James Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon; W.E. Vine’s New Testament Words; and Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of New Testament Words (All refer to the “husks” of Luke 15:16 as being the pods of the carob tree.)
——————–

-3-

Comparing the Passover With Jesus, the Christian’s Passover

Tom Edwards

To play the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Passover.mp4
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

Our condolences go out to all the family and friends of Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister) who passed away Friday.  The following will all take place at the Hardage-Giddens, Riverside Memorial Park & Funeral Home (7242 Normandy Blvd) in Jacksonville on July 2: visitation: 1 p.m., funeral service: 2 p.m., and graveside service: 3 p.m.

Rex Hadley was in the hospital last week for mainly his heart and kidneys.  The procedure went well in receiving a pacemaker, and he is now in rehab.

Jim Lively had fallen three times recently in one week, which resulted in the sloughing off of more skin on his arm.

Danielle Bartlett has a blockage in her kidney, which her doctors believe has been causing her recent problems.  She is not worried, since she has had this before, but does solicit the prayers of others.

Bennie Medlock has cataracts and glaucoma, and will soon be receiving lens implants.

Also for prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Deborah Medlock (soon to have a device implanted to eliminate pain); and our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This link is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “Finally, Brethren…” (Don Wright)
2) Growing in Littleness (Dan S. Shipley)
3) Psalm 139:16-18
4) Fathers Learning from the Father Above (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“Finally, Brethren…”

Don Wright

Often times when Paul would conclude a series of points in an epistle, he would end the closing section with the words, “Finally, brethren…”  That would follow with a final point that he wanted to convey to the brethren to whom he wrote.  Let us look at a few places where he did this.

“Finally, brethren…be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace…” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

This was certainly an appropriate way of wrapping up this epistle to the saints at Corinth. It has to do with their relationship with each other. To be perfect does not mean to be sinless, rather it points to being complete. Vine says it denotes the idea of making progress. To be perfect is to be heading in the right direction, becoming more mature in Christ and His Word. To be a complete Christian one must have a proper relationship with brethren. We should live in agreement with one another. If we have sinned against a brother in Christ, let us go to him and get it right (Matthew 5:23-24). If a brother has sinned against us, let us go to him and talk about it (Matthew 18:15). Being able to handle sin in this way is a sign of maturity or perfection in Christ.  This is what Paul exhorted the saints at Corinth to do.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

This should be our battle cry every day we go out into the world. The devil is always waiting for us. He is always in attack mode. We must be strong every day if we are to be victorious in this spiritual war in which we are engaged. Being strong means allowing our Lord’s strength to become our own. Paul said we should be strong “in the power of his might.” We must, as Paul goes on to say, put on the whole armor of God, shield ourselves with truth, righteousness, peace, and faith, and arm ourselves with thoughts of heaven and with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. This is what it takes to be strong. It does not happen by accident. We are strong only when we purposely do those things that strengthen us as Christians.

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord…” (Philippians 3:1).

We have so much to be thankful for as Christians that rejoicing should not be that difficult. The problem is, we too easily take our minds off of what is truly important and get bogged down with the affairs of this world. When we think about what Christ has done for us, we should rejoice. When we think about what we have in Christ we should rejoice (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 8:1; 2 Timothy 2:10; Revelation 14:13; 1 Peter 1:3-9). When we think about the special privileges we have in Christ (prayer, fellowship, the Lord’s supper, proper worship, etc.), we should rejoice. With these things in view, it should be clear that if a Christian is not rejoicing in the Lord, it is because he has taken his eye off the goal.

“Finally, brethren…think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

If there is any doubt about the importance of the things we think about, this verse removes it. We can either fill our minds with worldly things that are unhealthy for our souls, or we can fill our minds with things that are pleasing to God. Which will it be? The devil wants to win the battle for our minds. He knows that if he can fill our minds with sinful things, he can win our souls. On the other hand, if we think about things that are true, honest, and just, we can defeat that old red dragon. We need to fill our minds with the Word of God (Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:16).

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

Is there anything more powerful in our possession than prayer? Through prayer, we have direct access to God and His power (Hebrews 4:16). In times of weakness, we should pray to our Father for help (Matthew 26:41). In times of prosperity, we should pray, giving thanks to God for the blessings He has given us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We should thank God every day for the sending of His Son, and the sacrifice they both were so willing to make (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9).

Finally, brethren, let’s take the exhortations set forth by Paul in these passages and apply them to our lives. We will be better Christians if we do.

— Via Brown Street Beacon, November 1, 2020
——————–

-2-

Growing in Littleness

Dan S. Shipley

There was a time when king Saul was useful to God’s purposes. At that time he was anointed king of Israel; at a time, as Samuel tells him, “When thou wast little in thine own sight” (1 Sam. 15:17). The sense of littleness that helped qualify Saul for his crown is no less essential for those who seek a better crown (2 Tim. 4:8).

In fact, nothing is more needful in the quest for godliness (acquiring a right attitude toward God). Man’s view of self determines his view of God, and vice versa. When Saul was little in his own sight, God was big. When Saul came to be big in his own sight, God became smaller. That is, God and God’s will became of less importance to him. Nebuchadnezzar had the same problem. After being made to live as a beast of the field and to eat grass as the oxen for a time, his sense of littleness and understanding returned. When humbled, he could see God’s bigness; that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will” (Dan. 4:32). Then, he blessed and praised and honored “Him that liveth forever” (v. 34) — as do all “little” men.

Only the man with a sense of littleness acknowledges his inability to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23) and willingly submits to God’s leading. Others, like king Saul, presumptuously set aside God’s will when it conflicts with their own — not in all things, mind you, nor even in most. Many are willing to do much of what God says; but, as with Saul, we learn that partial obedience is not submission at all. In fact, God calls it “rebellion” (1 Sam. 15:23). Sound harsh? It shouldn’t. Not when you realize that man arrays himself against God in every act of deliberate disobedience and says, in effect, “NO, I will not submit!” Perhaps this is what prompted someone to observe that the first lesson to be learned in serving God is humility. Whenever men conclude (by any process of reasoning or rationalizing) that their ways are as good as God’s, they prove themselves too big to work in God’s harness.

But, not only does man change his attitude toward God in losing his sense of littleness, he also changes his attitude toward men. As men acquire those things that make them “somewhat” (whether thrones, money, position, success or education), they are apt to see their peers as somewhat less. The kind of pride that kept Saul from appreciating David is still a threat to the unity of God’s people — and not only in others, for all can forget their littleness at times (like the man who became proud of his humility). God’s way is “doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). When every brother looks up to all other brethren and looks down on none, we are growing in the kind of littleness that makes us strong (2 Cor. 12:10). May God help us to cultivate this sense of littleness; the kind that truly appreciates God and brethren; the kind that confesses weakness and wrongdoing and says, “God, be thou merciful…”

— Via The Oak Grove Messenger (Walnut Hill, FL), November 17, 2019
——————–

-3-

Psalm 139:16-18

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You” (NASB).
——————–

-4-

Fathers Learning from the Father Above

Tom Edwards

To play this video sermon on “Fathers Learning from the Father Above,” just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/fathers.mp4
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

Rex Hadley is back in the hospital, mainly for his heart and kidneys, and might need to receive a pacemaker.

Marie Pennock has been under the weather lately, but is gradually getting better. 

Bennie Medlock has been having some eye trouble with cataracts and glaucoma, which he saw an eye doctor for and will soon be receiving lens transplants.

We are sad to hear that Marde Sweezy and her husband Charles will soon be moving to California, but we wish them well in their new life there. 

Also for prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), Ginger Ann Montero (healing from a pacemaker procedure), Deborah Medlock (non-malignant nodules near voice box, and nerves in her spine are giving trouble), Jim Lively (physical weakness and often falling over the last couple years), Ronnie Davis (back trouble), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), and Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain)

Also our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Heath Rogers)
2) The Weapons of Our Warfare (Gilbert Alexander)
3) All Notions (Irvin Himmel)
4) Judas Iscariot (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“I Know That My Redeemer Lives”

Heath Rogers

Job suffered terribly, but never surrendered his faith. He did more than just maintain a belief in God. Job believed that God was personally interested in his situation and would eventually come to his defense.

In his sixth speech, Job said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:25). Notice three things regarding Job’s declaration:

First, Job did not say “I think,” or “I hope,” but “I know.” In the Hebrew text, the verb know is stated in the perfect tense, which expresses certainty. There were a lot of things that Job did not know or understand. He did not know why he lost his belongings and his children. He was disappointed by his wife and his friends. Job expressed numerous speculations throughout his sufferings, but his faith in God remained a firm and decisive conviction. Job knew his God was real.

Second, Job referred to God as his Redeemer. In the Old Testament, the word redeemer always has the primary meaning of deliverer. This Hebrew term used in this text meant to do the part of a kinsman in redeeming or delivering his relative from difficulty or danger. The same Hebrew word was used when the Law of Moses called upon a relative to redeem a kinsman from slavery (Lev. 25:48) or to regain family property (Lev. 25:25). This word also referred to the relative who would avenge the blood of one who was murdered (Deut. 19:6-12). Job was convinced that, regardless of what was happening to him, God was the One who would deliver him and make things right again.

Finally, Job said that God “lives.” This conviction is in contrast to the fact that Job knew he would die (Job 19:26). After all was said and done, God would be the last One standing, and He would have the final word. This was Job’s hope. He did not have the answers, but He knew God did.

James uses Job’s experiences as a means of encouraging suffering Christians. “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). Job persevered until the end. God had the final say. Job’s health and possessions were restored. He was vindicated, while his accusing friends had to make atonement for their sins (Job 42:7-10).

When we are suffering in this life, we need to do more than maintain a faith in the existence of God. Like Job, we need to see God as our Redeemer. He is our loved One who is looking out for our best interest. God will vindicate, deliver, and rescue us. Even after we are dead and gone, God will still be here, and He will have the final word. Put your confidence in your Redeemer who lives.

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, June 2021
——————–

-2-

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Gilbert Alexander

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:4-6).

Ours is a spiritual war. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Our weapons are aptly suited to the battle before us and around us. Superior weaponry is one key to victory in battle. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 Jno. 4:4); therefore, victory can be ours. Not all opponents will be won to the side of truth, for some will not hear and accept truth; but the doctrine of Christ can put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (Titus 1:9-11). By our embracing the righteousness of the gospel and abstaining from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, and by lives of submission to authority and doing good according to the gospel we can silence the false accusers (1 Pet. 2:11-17).

The superiority of our weapons is not based on sophistication and complexity. David’s sling and smooth stones might seem primitive, but they were effectual for the purpose. Truth may appear to many people to be ineffectual against treachery and deceit, yet it is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). Faith in God no doubt seems to be helpless before the onslaught of error; yet, properly lifted up and ably wielded, it can quench every fiery dart of the wicked (Eph. 6:16). Humility and submission to properly exercised authority may be cast aside by the unbelieving as weak and powerless, but these attitudes are part of the armament of God (1 Pet. 2:13-17).

Superiority of weaponry, one key to victory, by itself does not win the war. The finest sword, sheathed, does not defeat any enemies. We must apply ourselves to the mastery of our weapons and become skilled in the use of them all in order to overcome evil. Many of us have been far too busy learning the ways and tactics of the world, and far too lacking in diligence in learning how to use God’s superior weapons. As a result, we are not sufficiently prepared in an opportune moment to defend the truth and to deliver a blow against error and falsehood. We need to be thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures, conversant in their thought and wisdom, “increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10), giving ourselves to the learning of the truth by meditating upon the Scriptures so that our progress may be evident to all (1 Tim. 4:15), not that we can boast, but that we can stand in the battle for truth and be victorious. Victory in this battle means eternal life, but surrender to the present evil world means eternal destruction from the presence of God and from the glory of His power (2 Thes. 1:6-10). “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4:7).

— Via The Oak Grove Messenger (Walnut Hill, Florida), February 23, 2020
——————–

-3-

All Notions

Irvin Himmel

Christ gave commandment to the apostles, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them . . .” (Matt. 28:19).

The teacher in a class of children wanted to impress this lesson on her pupils. She handed each of them a sheet of paper and told them to print the words, “Go, ye, teach all nations.” One little girl printed it this way: “Go, ye, teach all notions.”

It would seem that some religious people have misread the great commission just as that little girl wrote it, “Go, ye, teach all notions.”

All manner of ideas, concepts, doctrines, and beliefs are being taught. Religious people who claim to follow Jesus Christ teach such notions as theistic evolution, reincarnation, premillennialism, salvation by faith only, impossibility of apostasy, infant baptism, papal infallibility, situation ethics, hereditary depravity, unconditional election, direct operation of the Holy Spirit, exorcism, and numerous other concepts foreign to the New Testament.

Everything imaginable is taught rather than the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we need to reread the commission given by our Master to the apostles and note more carefully what it says. Mark’s account is unmistakably plain in saying “preach the gospel to every creature.”

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2020
——————–

-4-

Judas Iscariot

Tom Edwards

To play this video sermon on Judas Iscariot, just click the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Judas.mp4
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Ginger Ann Montero’s procedure to receive a pacemaker went well.

Rick Cuthbertson’s new cancer specialist at Duke has been impressed with the treatment he has been receiving. His cancer is very slow, having taken 6 years to move to his lungs.  And those tumors have not grown any bigger since they were last checked.  Some have even decreased in size.  So he will continue with the same treatment, plus begin an intravenous treatment that he will receive once every 3 weeks.

The test results for Danielle Bartlett showed that her high blood pressure over the years has caused her heart muscle to stiffen somewhat. This will, therefore, be treated with a change in her blood pressure medicine, and her doctor will continue to monitor her condition.

Ronnie Davis has been having severe back pain.

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Deborah Medlock (non-malignant nodules near voice box, and nerves in her spine are giving trouble), Jim Lively (recent fall), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), and Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain)

Also our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

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