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) “My Grace is Sufficient” (Jon Quinn)
2) Motherhood (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
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My Grace is Sufficient

Jon Quinn

Pride is a dangerous thing. It causes us to belittle God and His will. It causes us to think we are self-sufficient in this universe when we are not. It causes us to think that we are better than others. And when  pride is a motive, even the good deeds we do are only done because they make our ego trips last longer.  For this reason, the Lord “is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” and urges us to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6).

Anyone can be adversely affected by pride. I think it takes a prideful person to deny that pride is a danger to him, so if someone claims immunity from pride, it’s probably their pride doing the talking.  Those somewhat familiar with Paul’s life might find it surprising, but he readily admitted he needed help in resisting pride, and he got it from the Lord.  Interestingly, the help did not come in the form Paul necessarily desired, but he was still happy to have it because he knew that in the long run, when he entered heaven, it will  have all been worth it. But it gives us pause to think; if Paul needed the Lord’s help in this, then we probably do as well.

“And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for  power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Surpassing Greatness

“And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,…” (2 Corinthians 12:7).  Today there is much talk of the need for a proper amount of self-esteem in order for a person to maintain their emotional and mental health. Certainly this is so, but the question is what will be the source of one’s sense of self worth? Will it be their good looks? The car they drive? How far they can hit a baseball? Good grades? Their popularity?  If this is where our sense of self-worth comes from, then we are getting it from the wrong place. All these things are bound to fail us one day. The basis for high self esteem ought to be centered on God; that we are creatures that bear His image (Genesis 1:26); that His Son loves us and died to save us (John 3:16; Galatians 6:14).

Paul considered it a great privilege to have been called as an apostle of Christ Jesus. He was most certainly correct. He was entrusted with the oracles of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and granted visions and revelations of heavenly things.  Just as a person’s wealth or beauty could become the source of ungodly pride, so could Paul’s special gifts and blessings.

To Keep Me From Exalting Myself

“… to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself!” (2 Corinthians 12:7b). What was Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”? I am not sure because he does not say. I think it was probably his failing health or eyesight. He had suffered much physical abuse from enemies; stonings, beatings, imprisonments and exposure to the elements. They were taking their toll, and we know this is so whether it is specifically what Paul is referring to as his “thorn” or not (Galatians 4:12-15; 6:17).

It is interesting to see how Paul deals with this “messenger of Satan.” Of course, Satan had sent this evil to discourage and hinder Paul; to weaken him and the effect he was having. But by God’s grace and Paul’s faith, Satan’s own weapon had been turned against him! He made Paul spiritually stronger by rendering him physically weaker. Now, it doesn’t always work out that way, because some of us may not trust in the Lord as absolutely as Paul did. Some have even used adversity as an excuse to abandon the Lord. One’s faith needs to grow if that be the case.

Paul’s Request is Denied

“Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me” ( 2 Corinthians 12:8).

Next time one of your prayers is not answered the way you wanted it to be, understand that though you may not perceive it, there is a reason. There always is. And remember, if the Lord responded in the negative three times to someone like Paul, then we must not expect any different if the Lord determines that it will be best to deny our request. It is with the attitude of Eli that we should approach such disappointments; “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him” (1 Samuel 3:18). The Lord sees the end of a matter from the beginning. We trust Him to do right by us, and refuse to make our faith conditional on what answer He gives when we pray.

Why Grace is Sufficient

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for  power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).  The Lord Jesus explained to His apostle that “My grace is sufficient” because “power is perfected in weakness.”  God’s power is made perfect, or complete, in Paul’s weakness in the sense that Paul was forced to depend fully on God. He had explained to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This teaches us an important lesson about God’s power. We are not fully depending on God’s power if we add the doctrines and creeds of men to the gospel, for it is the gospel that is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). We are not fully trusting in God’s power, if we use as an excuse for our neglect that we are not talented enough to serve in His kingdom, or that we are too sinful to enter it in the first place. We must never deny the sufficiency of God’s grace by either our words or our actions.

Paul says that since his weakness kept his pride in check, then he will “gladly boast about his weakness” because, in helping him to defeat his pride, it made way in ”the power of Christ” to dwell in him. His weakness, or “thorn in the flesh” was necessary to bear now for a little while, that Paul might enter into eternity prepared for glory, and help others to go with him (cf. 2 Corinthian 4:16-18).

Equipped in such a way; mentally, emotionally and spiritually secure, Paul was able to overcome life’s difficulties. They could not rob him of his joy in Christ, nor his confidence. The weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties he had endured “for Christ’s sake” only served to make him stronger, not by his own power, but through Jesus. This, friends, is the answer. The question is: will you accept the fact that the Lord’s grace “is sufficient” for you?

— Via Expository Files 23.5; May 2016

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Motherhood

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Motherhood_050822.mp4

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Psalm 130:3-7

“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD;

“For with the LORD there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption” (NASB).

Psalm 125:1-2

“Those who trust in the LORD
Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the LORD surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever” (NASB).

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News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.

We will resume our Wednesday services on June 1 at 7 p.m. 
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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.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday services on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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) Melchizedek and Christ (Warren E. Berkley)
2) Prayer (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
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Melchizedek and Christ

Warren E. Berkley

Synopsis: Warren describes Melchizedek’s encounter with Abraham and demonstrates how this king/priest of Salem foreshadows One even greater (who serves as our Prophet, Priest, and King).

It is hard for me to imagine a day in the life of Abraham. Yet, as I read the Genesis account, accompanied by all other biblical references to the patriarch, I can gain insights into his unique role in God’s plan. However, the account given by Moses in Genesis 14:17-24 is at first a mystery; a mystery solved by the writer of Hebrews. That “solution,” or meaning, relates directly to my assurance of access to God. In the course of studying this mysterious man, the Holy Spirit takes us to two simple words which express what we should do about all this. I will take us to those two words.

One day, Abraham led 318 trained men in pursuit of adversaries who had taken Lot captive. After his defeat of the rebel forces, he returned home and “Melchizedek, king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.).” This man is not mentioned before this account, thus the reader’s immediate puzzle: no family connection is documented, nor any genealogy or history.

He spoke to Abraham: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” His favorable words to Abraham still leave the reader with a blank. Who is this man? What is this all about?

Abraham’s response does not really answer our questions: “And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” If we had nothing but this brief narrative in Genesis, we would know nothing more of this today.

Much later in the literary sequence of the Old Testament, a hint that only adds to our curiosity: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek'” (Ps. 110:4). The context of the 110th Psalm is Messianic, having to do with the Christ, but our questions are not fully answered. What is the connection between “the order of Melchizedek” and Christ? No clarity emerges from the psalm, leaving us with no resolution.

Our curiosity remains into the New Testament. No answers come from the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Finally, in Hebrews, the writer says he wants to speak to this mystery, but is concerned that his readers are “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:5-11). The opening verses of Hebrews 6 take off in a different direction, having to do with the urgency of spiritual growth.

Our patience begins to pay off at the end of Hebrews 6. The affirmation is that Jesus Christ “became a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

But What Does that Mean?

Hebrews chapter seven reveals the meaning of this. After a brief review of the Genesis 14 event, it is said of Melchizedek, “He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he continues a priest forever” (Heb. 7:3).

Factoring in context has great value here. The historical premise of Judaism was: the Levitical priesthood was the supreme and final priestly system that afforded access to God for Jews. The Hebrew epistle upholds that “we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,” and Christians “hold fast” to this confession (Heb. 4:14).

The inspired writer in Hebrews 7 is asking his readers to consider that God had a priest-king before the Levitical system was instituted. The order of Melchizedek was a higher priesthood than the Levitical system. That is implied in that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.

“Giving a tithe was a gesture that honored the recipient, and it thus implied that the recipient was of a higher status or position in some sense. This surely signals that Abraham believed he was in the presence of a great person who deserved to be honored with treasures” (McClister, 238).

We have now taken a step toward understanding this mysterious person and event. God set up something prior to the Levitical system that held higher status. Christ was High Priest after that order, or “like Melchizedek.”

To Whom Did Melchizedek Belong?

There is no record of his mother, father, or a documented genealogy with a date of birth and death. Melchizedek is portrayed as belonging to God, the “Most High,” and is associated with peace and righteousness. Jesus is High Priest like Melchizedek, not of the tribe of Levi, but superior to that system.

This means Christ was not a High Priest, as in Aaron and the Levitical order (according to the law of Moses). The High Priesthood of Jesus Christ—the writer is affirming—is of a higher order! Christ was and is a High Priest like Melchizedek; not like Aaron or Levi.

Note the following:

1. Melchizedek’s position as High Priest was not dependent on ancestry… neither was Christ’s (7:14).

2. Melchizedek was not in a succession of many priests . . . neither is Christ (7:3). 

3. Melchizedek’s priesthood was higher than, and separate from, the Levitical order . . . so is Christ’s (7:4-7). 

4. Melchizedek was priest and king . . . so is Christ! (See Zech. 6:9-10).

Christ’s Character

Another element in the Melchizedek narrative is a foreshadowing of Christ’s character. These words are associated with Melchizedek: “Righteous,” “Priest,” “Peace” and “King.” Our High Priest is perfectly righteous, brings peace to those who respond to the gospel, and is the ultimate “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Melchizedek was a priest-king. This was impossible under the Levitical standards. As to Jesus, the prophet said: “…it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices” (Zech. 6:13, NASB).

Robert Turner provides an excellent summary of how the Hebrew passage solves the puzzle and makes the Melchizedek narrative practical:

The Hebrew writer’s applications are: (1) this superiority calls for a change of priests (v. 11); and (2) that necessitates a change of law (v. 12). Jesus was of the tribe of Judah and could not be an Aaronic priest (vv. 13-14); but like Melchizedek; (3) His position does not depend on a temporary covenant, but on an “endless life” (vv. 15-17); (4) He offers better hope of drawing nigh to God (vv. 18-19); (5) He was made Priest with an oath of God (vv. 20-21); hence is, (6) surety of a better testament (v. 22); (7) Aaronic priests died and had to be replaced, but Christ “ever liveth to make intercession” (vv. 23-25); (8) Unlike sinful priests who must offer for their own sins, this High Priest is holy and undefiled (vv. 26-27); (9) He offered the perfect sacrifice (v. 27), and (10) is consecrated for evermore (v. 28).

There are broader effects of Christ as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. If we claim Him as our present High Priest, we must recognize His present Kingship (Zech. 6:12-13). This demands a spiritual, not an earthly, kingdom (Col. 1:13). All saints compose His “holy” and “royal” priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5, 9) with direct access to the throne of God through Him (Heb. 4:14-16) (Turner, 20).

Now, having the facts above well-discovered, what am I to do with this? How do we take this data, this argument, and make it practical in our lives? There are two words in the course of the Hebrew exposition of Melchizedek. These two words express what all of this means to us, found in Hebrews 5:9. Jesus, our great High Priest, “being made perfect… became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Two words: Obey Him!

Sources:

McClister, David. A Commentary on Hebrews. Temple Terrace, FL: Florida College Press, 2010.

Turner, R. F. “Christ’s ‘Melchizedek’ Priesthood.” Christianity Magazine 8.12 (Dec. 1991) 20.

Author Bio: Warren has worked with the Laurel Heights church of Christ in McAllen, Texas for 28 years. He and his wife, Paula, have three children, and eight grandchildren. His website is warrenberkley.com. He can be reached at warren@warrenberkley.com.

— Via Truth Magazine, No. 4, Volume 62, April 2018

https://truthmagazine.com/kindle/2018/2018-04-apr/08_Monthly_Theme_Lesson_04.htm

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Prayer

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Prayer_050122.mp4

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News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.

Today at 5 p.m. we will be having our first-Sunday-of-the-month song service. Let us each be there to make a joyful noise unto the Lord and build one another up with spiritual songs!  (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)
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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.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.


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) Four Anchors of Life (Gordon J. Pennock)
2) Cultivating the Soil (Heath Rogers)
3) An Acrostic from the Word “Messiah” (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Four Anchors of Life

Gordon J. Pennock

The shipwreck of Paul and his company as they were enroute to Rome is recorded in the 27th chapter of Acts. This was but one of the many harrowing experiences he suffered in his service to Christ. Of course, the sailors did all in their power to prevent a disaster, but without avail. When doom seemed inevitable they finally “let go four anchors from the stern, and wished for the day” (Acts 27:29).

Apparently this ship was well prepared for trouble. Four trusty anchors weighed at the stern. These were needless and useless when the weather was fair and the going was good. But what a blessing they proved to be when the tempests blew and the vessel was threatened upon the rocks of the Melita coast.

Human souls, like ships, are riding upon the “sea of life.” Our course is set and we are making our way toward the distant shore. For most of us the weather is fair, the sea is calm and the sailing is smooth. But let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that it will always thus be. Somewhere upon the sea of life there is always a storm raging and a tempest blowing. In every tempest and in every storm, ships are rolling and tossing. Some will outride the storm and finally drop anchor in “The haven of rest,” while others will break up upon the waves and the rocks and go down to despair and ruin.

Surely, for us the question is not, shall we sail the sea of life? Sail it we must. Neither is it a question of whether or not we will encounter storms. They are inescapable. The urgent question is this: Do we, like the ship upon which Paul sailed, have trusty anchors waiting and ready to do their work when the need arises.

There are four anchors with which every human vessel needs to be equipped. The first one is an unfaltering

Faith in God and In The Bible As His Word

Without faith in God, “it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Heb. 11:6). The remainder of this chapter gives example after example of men who lived and triumphed by unfaltering faith in God. And where there is real faith in God, there is faith, trust and confidence in His word. Such will believe and obey everything that the Bible records or enjoins upon them. They will abide in its teaching and refuse to go forward upon the wisdom of men, regardless of how celebrated they may be. Although our feeble minds may stagger at the profundity of His teaching, or even its simplicity, let us believe it and be governed by it. Where faith is as it should be, there will be complete obedience to God. “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:26).

Prayer

Prayer is another anchor which may well stay us in the hour of trial. “Prayer is the power that moves the hand that moves the universe.” In prayer, the Christian speaks to God. No day should begin or close without it. His we are and Him we serve. Nothing short of presumption would allow us to live without prayer. Jesus, our example, taught that we “ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Read Luke 18:1-8. Truly, “more things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreams of.”

A Good Conscience

Paul exhorted young Timothy to hold “a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith” (I Tim. 1:19). Certainly, to discard or overlook this anchor is disastrous. Honesty of heart and sincerity of purpose are indispensable. The one who knows the truth, but holds it not with a good conscience is condemned in the sight of God. Neither, of course, can sincerity and conscientiousness approve one before God if it is not related and devoted to the truth of God. Let us continually rely upon God’s word to teach us the truth, and having learned it, let us hold to it with a good conscience.

Hope

Another anchor is that of hope — a hope that is confident that God will keep his promises. We have “strong encouragement” in that God’s counsel is unchangeable and that it is impossible for Him to lie. His promises concerning the future can be entertained with the same certainty with which we believe the happenings of the past. This blessed hope is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19). The winds and the waves may roar; our frail vessels may toss and tumble in the tempest, but if “we have our hope set on the living God,” then we will outride the storm and finally land in the “glory land.”

My fellow voyager, how are your anchors? You had better check them and be sure that they are in place and ready for a time of trouble. You will need them before the voyage is ended.

— Via Truth Magazine I:11, pp. 1, 20, August 1957, https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume1/TM001098.htm
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Cultivating the Soil

Heath Rogers

The Parable of the Sower presents us with four different kinds of soils – the wayside soil, stony ground, thorny soil, and good soil (Matt. 13:3-9). These soils represent four different kinds of hearts into which the word of God can fall (vs. 18-23). This parable is a good explanation for why some people don’t respond to the gospel, or why some respond but don’t remain faithful. We see people walk away from the gospel call or fall away from the Lord and know the truths shown in this parable apply to them.

I want us to consider the fact that both soils and hearts can be changed.

The wayside heart is the hardened heart that is not ready to receive the word of God. Hearts can be broken and made receptive to the word. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12, emphasis mine – HR). Plowing and tilling slices and beats the ground apart. It is a harsh process. Often it takes a traumatic event to break apart a wayside heart, but it can be done.

The stony heart is shallow. It receives the word with joy but has no room for it to grow and develop. We can avoid and overcome emotional impulsiveness by counting the cost (Luke 14:25-33). A contractor knows that not every day is going to be a ribbon cutting ceremony. Many days involve backbreaking work.

People who fail to read the fine print and hurriedly sign a contract are often the ones who want out of it when things go bad. The ones who take their time and find out what they were getting into are more likely to stick with it. We need the emotion of the stony heart, but we also need the depth of character to honor our commitments.

The thorny heart is crowded and preoccupied. It receives the word but has no room or resources to spare for needed growth and development. The “cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word” (Matt. 13:22).

There is nothing wrong with having cares, riches, pleasures, and desires. The problem is when we allow them to take over our hearts. When we put first things first (Matt. 6:33), we become better listeners and are more willing to make application of the things we hear.

The good heart is one that is receptive, deep, and uncrowded. Such a person “hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matt. 13:23). We all want to have the good and honest heart.

However, good hearts can change for the worse. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:12-13).

What kind of heart do you have? The hard heart can be softened, the shallow heart can be deepened, and the crowded heart can be cleared. Do some soil inspecting and make the changes you find are needed. If you have a good heart, don’t grow weary in doing good. Keep your heart with all diligence and continue to bear fruit with patience.

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2022
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-3-

An Acrostic from the Word “Messiah”

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Messiah_042422.mp4


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-4-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Jim Lively had another bad fall on his right leg Sunday morning. It is the same leg that much skin had sloughed off from a fall a few weeks prior and had not healed up yet. So he has been having some pain with that.

Donald Sears recently saw his doctor. Though the blood work shows no sign of cancer, yet he does have a spot near the surgery site in his neck that could possibly develop into cancer. So that will be treated with radiation to eliminate it. Now that his nerves are working better than right after the surgery, he has been feeling much pain.

June Peters will soon begin radiation treatments for her cancer.

Alex Cornelius has completed his rehab, but is still having pain, following his accident.

Rick Cuthbertson’s recent scans show that he has not developed any more tumors. Plus there has been a shrinkage with the ones he does have. Also, the last 3 weeks of treatment has him feeling much better than the 3 previous weeks that had him on a higher dosage.

Though Ronnie Davis has to continue on oxygen 24 hours a day, yet he is also making some improvement!

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Rex Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Myrna Jordan, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.

Next Sunday at 5 p.m., we will have our first-Sunday-of-the-month song service.
——————–

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.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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) Verdict of the Resurrection (Ray Madrigal)
2) The Importance of the Lord’s Resurrection (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Verdict of the Resurrection

Ray Madrigal

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict? In these closing statements, I will briefly summarize the evidence that you are asked to weigh. Since this case is one of history, I shall appeal the Verdict on the Resurrection to the primary historical documents. We shall hear the testimony of competent, reliable witnesses of the highest moral character — individuals who would rather die than lie. The case before us: The people [of God] vs. Mr. Cynic concerns the reality of the resurrection of Jesus and demands your most diligent attention.

Four Core Facts

In formulating this case for the defense (Phil. 1:7,17), I am, above all, overwhelmed. Evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus is more than sufficient to convince any unbiased jury. I trust that you will examine the evidence in an objective manner. For the sake of clarity as well as brevity, I shall not appeal to the great bulk of evidence which supports the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Rather, I will focus on four undeniable facts. Let me remind the court that these four facts are verified and confirmed by virtually all authorities in the fields of history, archaeology, and biblical research. While these scholars do not agree as to the meaning and significance of these facts, the facts themselves are indisputable. It remains up to you, good men and women of the jury, to reach a verdict.

Just as there are four indisputable facts surrounding the events of the case before us, there are also four theories of interpretation. I will discuss each of these, in turn, as we examine the four facts (see Chart).

Fact One: Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion

Although several prejudiced naturalists have proposed theories suggesting that Jesus did not actually die on the cross (The Swoon Theory), but only faked death, such an hypothesis does not hold up under a careful examination of the evidence. The record indicates that Jesus did, in fact, die from the effects of crucifixion (Jn. 19:31-34). According to David Strauss (A New Life of Jesus, 1879) and a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Society, Jesus probably died of asphyxiation long before his body was pierced by the Roman soldier.

Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear thrust between his right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge (JAMS, March 21, 1986).

Are we to believe that Jesus merely faked death in light of this evidence? Yet for the sake of argument, let us suppose that Jesus was able to convince his disciples, Pilate, the soldiers and the Jews that he was dead. Could he, in such a weakened condition, untie over one hundred pounds of linen cloth and burial ointments (Jn. 19:39)? Could he roll away the huge stone from this newly cut tomb (Matt. 27:60-61) and escape past the Roman guards? If so, what condition would he be in? Would his battered, tattered, and weary body convince his disciples of a victory over death? Lest you remain undecided, kind jury, let us examine the second fact.

Fact Two: Experiences of the Disciples

It is precisely here at this second point that we have an abundance of testimony. Post-resurrection appearances are documented in no less than twelve separate occasions. Below is a list of these appearances in chronological order:

(1) To Mary Magdalene (Jn. 20:14; Mk. 16:9)
(2) To several women (Matt. 28:9-10)
(3) To Peter (Lk. 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5)
 + (4) To the two on Emmaus Road (Lk. 24:13-33, 43)
(5) To ten apostles [without Thomas] (Lk. 24:36 43; Jn. 20:19-24)
(6) To eleven apostles (Jn. 20:26-29)
+ (7) To seven at Tiberias Lake (Jn. 21:1-23)
 + (8) To eleven at Great Commission (Matt. 28; Mk. 16)
(9) To over 500 brethren (1 Cor. 16:6)
+ (10) To James (1 Cor. 15:7)
 (11) To the apostles at the Ascension (Acts 1:3-12)
(12) To Paul (Acts 9;22;26; 1 Cor. 15:8)

The court should also acknowledge the following summary statements about these appearances (Acts 1:8,22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33; 5:22). Another naturalistic theory postulates that these witnesses were merely suffering from hallucinations. Yet this, too, goes against modern psychiatric research which concludes that two or more people cannot share a common hallucination. Eight of these twelve post-resurrection appearances were witnesses by more than one party. Also, the psychological preconditions for hallucinations are lacking. Another important point to notice, ladies and gentlemen, is the nature of these appearances. The record will show that these witnesses made use of three empirical faculties in witnessing to these appearances: sight, sound and touch. Both Mary and Thomas touched Jesus’ resuscitated body (see 1 John 1:1-2). Not to mention the fact that Jesus ate and digested food with his disciples on at least four difference occasions (see + above)! Let me ask you once again, have you reached a verdict?

Fact Three: Disciples’ Remarkable Transformation

Perhaps the very first theory proposed attempting to refute the reality of the resurrection is the Conspiracy Theory (or Fraud Theory). This theory maintains that the disciples allegedly stole the body, hid it and subsequently conspired to lie about it. Yet this hypothesis, as all the others, does not stand the test of even the most simple examination. Given the facts of the case, it is highly unlikely that anybody stole the body. In the first place, the Jews made careful precautions to prevent the success of possible body-snatchers (Matt. 27:62-66). Secondly, the Roman guard assigned to secure the tomb also witnessed the events of that resurrection morning (Matt. 28:11-15). Notice that the chief priests of the Jews bribed the soldiers to lie and guaranteed their safety should the Roman governor hear about it (Matt. 28:14).

In light of these historical facts, the fraud theory falls flat! The burden of proof rests upon the prosecution: those who would defame the character of these outstanding witnesses and deny the gospel claim of Jesus’ resurrection. Would liars become martyrs? The New Testament records the subsequent suffering and death of many of these early witnesses (Acts 4:13,19-20; 5:28-32,40-2; 7:57f; 8:1-3; 12:2; Jn. 21:19; Rev. 1:9). No naturalistic theory accounts for the utter and remarkable transformation of these whiny, wimpy disciples into bold proclaimers of the risen Christ. The only reasonable explanation of this fact is that these men and women actually had seen, heard and touched the risen Jesus (see 1 Jn. 1:1-2). Suffering, shame or even death did not matter to them.

Although by now the truth must be most apparent to you, let us proceed to the fourth fact (which readily expands on the third fact).

Fact Four: The Experience of Paul

You have been most kind to listen to three lines of evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. I will but mention one more. The conversion of Saul of Tarsus began with a well-documented appearance of Jesus on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus (Acts 9, 22 and 26). Here we find a most zealous Pharisee engaging in an expanding persecution of the Christian movement when he, too, encounters Christ. Paul first relates this experience to the Galatians (1:16-18) and later testifies to the Corinthians (15:3-8).

You will remember, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that Paul suffered terrible things for this cause (2 Cor. 11, cf. extra-biblical sources report that he was beheaded for his testimony; see also 2 Tim. 4:6-8). Why did this man change? What motivated this remarkable transformation of life? Only a literal resurrection can account for the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul.

Conclusion

While we could explore the evidences of the Christian community [the church], the monuments of the Lord’s day, the Lord’s supper, baptism and the Bible itself, we have focused our attention on only four facts. These four historical realities are conclusive evidences for the resurrection. Nevertheless, the decision is yours, ladies and gentlemen. Have you reached a verdict?

— Via Guardian of Truth XXXV: 7, pp. 208-209, April 4, 1991 

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume35/GOT035105.html
——————-

-2-

The Importance of the Lord’s Resurrection

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

http://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Resurrection_041722.mp4
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

The Oakgrove church of Christ in Jennings, Florida, is having a gospel meeting this week (April 17-22) with Emerson Brown as the guest speaker.  The church meets at 2922 NW 76th Terrace, Jennings, FL 32053.

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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 Classand 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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) The Apostles on the Stand (L.A. Mott, Jr.)
2) Being a Church Alive Unto God (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

The Apostles on the Stand

L.A. Mott, Jr.

After reviewing the case for the resurrection of Christ which had been set forth in Corinth and received by the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 15:1-11), Paul’s next step was to show the Corinthians what their faith in the resurrection of Christ forces them also to accept: “Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (v. 12). This question contains the first reference to this “some” in Corinth who denied the resurrection and shows what Paul has been aiming at in the first eleven verses of the chapter. Now he is ready to use the resurrection of Christ as the foundation of his argument for a general resurrection. How can one say there is no resurrection if Christ has been raised?

In the second paragraph of First Corinthians, chapter 15, Paul enumerates the consequences that necessarily and logically follow from the position of those who say there is no resurrection. If there is no resurrection then Christ has not been raised, and two sets of logical deductions inevitably follow. The first series of deductions is set forth in verses 13-15 and may be summed up in a brief statement: The apostles are lying witnesses. Second set of deductions is set forth in verses 16-19 and amounts to this: Salvation in Christ is a delusion. These are the inevitable consequences of the denial of either the resurrection in general or the resurrection of Christ in particular. The denier should be prepared to swallow all the consequences of his denial or else he must give it up. He has no other choice.

In a former article an elaboration of the various elements in Paul’s case for the resurrection of Christ was offered. The case is mainly built upon the eyewitness testimony of the apostles and others who claimed to have seen Jesus alive “after his passion” (Acts 1:3, ASV). That case was convincing to many thousands of people in the ancient world, even in the city of Jesus’s death and burial where the best possible opportunity for examining the evidence was present. Otherwise the church would never have come to birth.

The case also seemed strong to many in the modern world when they have considered the alternative to admitting the resurrection of Christ. The logical consequences of denying the resurrection of Christ are the same now as they were in the first century. And one who denies the resurrection should understand the consequences which he is logically bound to accept. He must start by calling the apostles liars and branding the apostolic testimony as perjury. Unless he is prepared to swallow this pill he cannot deny the resurrection of Christ. Paul put it this way:

“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised. and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised” (1 Cor. 15:13-15).

When one reads the Acts of the Apostles he sees them declaring from the beginning in Jerusalem and then wherever they went thereafter that Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead and that they were witnesses to the fact (cf. Acts 2:22-24,32; 3:14-15; 4:10, 19:20; 10:39-41). Now either Jesus really was raised from the dead, or the apostles were liars and the whole Christian movement was a hoax.

It will not do to say that the apostles were themselves deluded or mistaken. A close examination of their testimony will clearly reveal the impossibility of this explanation. Consider what they were saying:

We ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. We examined His body. We saw His hands and His feet where the nails had been driven. We saw His side which had been pierced by the spear (Luke 24:36-43; John 20: 19-29; Acts 10:39-41).*

Someone may doubt the fact to which the apostles testified. But surely it is impossible to doubt that they knew whether their testimony was true. There is no escape from the conclusion: If Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead the apostles were deliberate liars. Are you ready for that conclusion? Let me show you what a bitter pill that will be to get down.

The person who charges the apostles with perjury must ask himself what motive they had for such a hoax. That becomes an exceedingly difficult inquiry when it is realized that every selfish motive and every worldly advantage lay on the side of the denial rather than the affirmation of the resurrection. Consider the trouble and hardship the apostles brought upon themselves by their insistence upon the resurrection. “We are made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things, even until now,” wrote Paul (1 Cor. 4:13). “Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour? I protest by that glorying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:30- 31). “For whom I suffered the loss of all things” (Phil. 3:8).

These are statements from Paul. But the same was true of the other apostles. One should especially weigh the fact that the prime movers in the earliest persecutions were the Sadducees, who “say there is no resurrection” (Acts 23:8), and that the reason for their opposition was the insistence of the apostles upon the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 4:1-2). The apostles were threatened; they were imprisoned like common criminals; they were whipped; they “hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26), in fact they finally gave their lives. James the brother of John was killed with the sword. Then one by one all the others, with the exception of John, went to a martyr’s death for the Lord. They would give their lives for Christ. But one thing they would never do. Not one of them would ever recant his testimony.

So, here is the situation. The person who denies the resurrection of Christ is logically forced to believe that the apostles to a man were ready to suffer all the abuse and persecution that a hostile world could heap upon them, even unto death—all for a lie that they knew all the while to be a lie.

If you think you can get that pill down without suffering intellectual indigestion, then go ahead and swallow it. But I must say that your position seems irrational to me. I believe the apostles told the truth. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and is living now. Christianity is not founded upon fable but upon fact—fact historically attested by evidence that is strong indeed.

Christ is alive! You better believe He is alive. He is coming again to judge the world. One day He will be your judge. But He wants to be your Savior now. Will you let Him?

Vanguard 1.22 (Nov. 27, 1975): 16-18 (electronic version)

Footnote by Kyle Pope:

* I am aware of an assumption here—namely, that this testimony is not something invented by the authors of these books but is a true record of the actual testimony of the apostles. But that assumption will be readily granted by the reader when he realizes that the author of the Gospel of John was himself one of the apostles and that all the scholarly investigations of Luke and Acts have shown that the author was at great pains to get his facts right. I believe most all the classical scholars who have investigated the latter will agree with their colleague Sir William Ramsay who wrote early in the Twentieth Century: “The present writer takes the view that Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness” (The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, Hodder and Stoughton: New York, 1915, p. 81). And: “Luke is a historian of the first rank. . . . This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians” (ibid., p. 222).

— via Faithful Sayings, Volume 23, Issue 52 (December 26, 2021)
——————–

-2-

Being a Church Alive Unto God

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:

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

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Rex Hadley seems in good spirits, but is very weak.  Though he is on oxygen continually, he still has shortness of breath.  He has lost his appetite, along with some weight; and eating some certain foods makes him feel sick.  About a week ago, he began hospice care at his home.

June Peters will soon begin radiation treatments for the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Alex Cornelius has been in Savannah, due to an ATV accident. He is making some improvement.

Rick Cuthbertson will be having scans next week to find out the latest on his cancer.

Pat Joyner’s leg is in a temporary brace, but she continues with rehab to help toward her mobility. 

Initially, Donald Sears was told that he would be in the  hospital 3 to 4 days after his surgery on Wednesday. But he did so well, he was back home in about 24 hours! The biopsy indicated that all the cancer (which turned out to be stage 1) was eliminated.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Ronnie Davis, A.J. Joyner, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1 at 7 p.m.

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) “Since There Was a Nation” (Kyle Pope)
2) The A.D. 70 Doctrine (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
 ——————–

-1-

“Since There Was a Nation”

Kyle Pope

In Daniel chapter 11, God revealed to Daniel conditions that would exist in the period between the Old and New Testaments. It addresses the rise of “the realm of Greece” (Dan. 11:2). Prophetically, Daniel was told about the rise of Alexander the Great and the division of his kingdom among his generals following his death. In great detail, this prophecy shows how Israel would become caught in the power struggles between the Seleucids in Syria (to the north) and the Ptolemies in Egypt (to the south). It is so detailed that it has led some liberal scholars to argue it must have been written during the time of the events described and then added to the older sections of Daniel. We reject that conclusion and consider it to be inspired revelation and powerful evidence of Divine foreknowledge.

Part of this prophecy addresses the brutal persecution of the Jews that occurred when the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, surnamed Epiphanes, controlled Palestine (175–164 BC). This persecution is addressed immediately before chapter 12, where Daniel is told: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1b, NKJV). This is followed by one of the most explicit descriptions of the future resurrection in the Old Testament. It reads: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2). This echoes the future post-death deliverance promised to those faithful to the “holy covenant” (11:30) during the persecution in chapter 11: “those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end” (Dan. 11:35). Daniel himself is promised that he will arise to his inheritance at “the end of the days” (12:13).

What is it about this persecution that would lead the Holy Spirit to describe it as “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation”? Let’s consider what we know about this horrible time.

The Jewish Persecution of Antiochus IV Epiphanes

The persecution prophesied in Daniel 11 and fulfilled in the period between the Testaments was of a much different nature than anything Israelites had experienced prior to that time. The temple was not destroyed, nor were the walls of Jerusalem torn down, but it was an attempt to exterminate the Jewish religion in a way never seen “since there was a nation.” Early on, the influence of the Greeks had led to the building of a gymnasium in Jerusalem causing many Jewish men to forsake “the holy covenant” and live as Gentiles. Some literally made themselves “uncircumcised” in some way to participate naked in these athletic contests (1 Macc. 1:14-15). When Antiochus IV took the throne, he was given the surname, Epiphanes, meaning “illustrious” but his extreme behavior led some of his own people to change his surname to Epimanes “madman” (Livy, History of Rome 41.19). That was certainly an apt description of him in his treatment of the Jews. Following a failed effort to conquer Egypt, falsely believing there was a revolt among the Jews, he assaulted Jerusalem:

“Then there were massacres of young and old, destruction of women and children, slayings of virgins and infants. Within the total of three days eighty thousand were destroyed, forty thousand in hand-to-hand fighting, and as many were sold into slavery as were killed” (2 Macc. 5:13-14, NETS).

This toll of death and deportation is much higher than the biblical record reveals to us even during the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC. But that was only the beginning! Antiochus himself went into the temple, took away the altar, the lampstand, the table of shewbread, the veil, and the “crown” with the gold and silver vessels, and 1,800 talents (1 Macc. 1:21-24; 2 Macc. 5:15-16, 21). His slaughter was not isolated to Jerusalem:

“Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were; So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed.  Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness, the land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion” (1 Macc. 1:25-28, KJV).

Antiochus commanded one of his officers, Apollonius, with a force of 22,000 to kill those “in their best age” and to sell the young and women (2 Macc. 5:24). During later incursions, Jerusalem was further plundered and set on fire with houses and walls pulled down “on every side” (1 Macc. 1:31). The oldest portion of Jerusalem, known as the City of David, was seized and made a citadel for the forces of Antiochus.

In addition to this spoil and slaughter, the focus soon shifted to a direct attack on the faith of the Jews. Daily sacrifice at the temple was stopped for three and a half years (Josephus, Wars of the Jews 1.1). The temple was dedicated to Jupiter with unclean sacrifices and sexual immorality practiced within its courts (2 Macc. 6:2-5). Observance of the Sabbath and Jewish festivals were prohibited with those who disobeyed being put to death (2 Macc. 6:6, 9). Some who hid in caves to observe the Sabbath were found and burned to death all together (2 Macc. 6:11). Circumcision was forbidden and women who let their children be circumcised were publicly killed with their babies hanging around their necks (2 Macc. 6:10; 1 Macc. 1:60-61). All Hebrew Scriptures that could be found were burned and anyone found with any portion of the Scriptures was put to death (1 Macc. 1:56-58). Pagan shrines were erected all throughout Palestine and Jews were compelled to practice pagan worship. The historical books of 1 and 2 Maccabees record the details of this horrific time. Chapters 5-7 of 2 Maccabees read like a portion of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs describing those tortured and killed for refusal to eat pig’s flesh and obey these ungodly commands.

The reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes was brief, and the Jews were eventually delivered from those trials by the rise of a Jewish resistance led by Judas Maccabeus. Yet this time was so traumatic in Jewish history it came to be commemorated annually by the Jews (including Jesus) as the “Feast of Dedication” (John 10:22) or Hanukkah. It involved a level of persecution of the Jewish faith unequalled “since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1b). It is worth noting that Josephus in his Wars of the Jews, the primary source for what we know about the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, does not begin with an account of the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC but with an account of the persecution of Antiochus IV Epiphanes that had been prophesied by Daniel.

Conclusion

Paul told Timothy, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Thanks be to God that Christians living today in this country do not have to suffer the type of persecution these faithful souls faced centuries ago. While we pray that this time of peace and freedom of worship will continue, may God grant us the courage, faith, and strength of conviction that if conditions should ever change, we too could remain faithful to the “holy covenant” we enjoy in Christ. If so, we like them can have the same kind of assurance the Lord gave to the saints in Smyrna: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10b, KJV).  

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 24, Issue 5 (January 30, 2022)
 ——————–

-2-

The A.D. 70 Doctrine

Tom Edwards

Just click on the following link for the video sermon with the above title:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/AD_70_Doctrine.mp4
 ——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Donald Sears had his PET Scan Tuesday and saw another doctor Friday.  He will meet with two of his doctors Monday to determine what procedures and treatments will be best for him.  So far, only two of the tumors are malignant; and the cancer has not spread elsewhere. 

Rick Cuthbertson had been feeling so bad since his last chemo treatment that after calling his doctor about it, he told him to come in for an unscheduled visit. Rick has also had trouble before with some of his cancer treatments.

Rex Hadley is now back home from rehab, after having a slight stroke.  He is doing better, but still a little weak.

Ronnie Davis is still having to use oxygen continually. His next scheduled doctor’s appointment is not until July.

Doyle Rittenhouse is scheduled to have more nerve blocks April 14, but will first be seeing his doctor March 30.

Let us also be remembering in prayer the following: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Tammy Griffey, Jim & Martha Lively, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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) God’s Nobelmen (Chuck Durham)
2) “More Love To Thee, O Christ” (Richie Thetford)
3) News & Notes
 ——————–

-1-

God’s Noblemen

Chuck Durham

The Greek word eugenēs is translated by the English word “noble.” It is a compound word combining the terms “well”(eu-)and “born” (-genēs from ginomai; Eng. words “genesis,” “generate,” “genetics,” etc.). From Homer onwards it was used of “noblemen, those of noble descent. . . blue-bloods, high-born society” as we say. Jesus’s parable in Luke 19:12 begins with this word: “A certain nobleman (eugenēs) went into a far country.”

Luke uses it in a curious way in Acts 17:11 to describe the people in Berea in their attitude toward God and the things preached by the Apostle Paul. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (NIV). Noblemen are so noted because of their ancestry, wealth, power, etc. God, however, says the truly “high-born” ones are of a decidedly different character than the world venerates.

What Makes One “Noble -Minded”?

The text says the Bereans were “noble-minded” because they received the word with “great eagerness” (NIV) or, “with all readiness” (NKJV). The word means “willing, ready, with alacrity.” They were hungry for the word. They devoured it readily and sought it earnestly. Why? Because they were hungry; and hunger depends on how “full” or “empty” one is.

In the recent movie, Avatar, the spiritual leader of the native people responds to Jake Sully’s request to be taught their ways: “We have tried to teach the sky-people our ways with no success. It’s hard to fill a cup that’s already full.” If we will come to God to be taught by Him, then we must come with an empty vessel, needing spiritual food to fill it! We must “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6). We must come in humility, knowing we are spiritually bankrupt. We must come with broken spirits and torn hearts (Matt. 5:3).

How poor is “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3)? The root word means “to crouch, to cringe.” This is not “poor, but I’m able to get by.” No, this is the grinding poverty of Lazarus in Luke 16 who waits outside the rich man’s gate to be fed with the crumbs that fell from his table. It is one who knows he is bereft of any redeeming qualities; having made such a mess of life by his addiction to sin that he can only be cured through the gracious intervention of God!

The NCV says the Bereans were “willing to listen.” The HCSB translates eugenēs as “open-minded.” The danger with all of us is that we already have our minds made up. I’m not saying we have no convictions that some things are beyond any doubt. I am saying we must keep an open mind to search what is being said against the Scriptures. Maybe, just maybe, what we have always held so dear isn’t so! Are we willing to at least give an open-minded look at the teaching that goes against what we have always believed? Are we infallible? Have we ever changed our minds on any subject before?

The Haughtiness of the Pharisees

The haughtiness of the Pharisees declared, “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?” Their minds were made up, but Nicodemus wisely reminded them, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?” (John 7:45-52). We need the spirit of Apollos, who was willing to heed the teaching of Aquila and Priscilla, and thereby changed, bringing himself in line with the truth he heard. And the Jewish believers who heard Peter’s explanation for why he entered Cornelius’s house and taught the gospel to Gentiles, became silent, and glorified God for the “complete” truth they came to believe (Acts 11:18). This is the essence of “noble-minded” in God’s eyes!

The text says the Bereans tested what Paul was preaching by searching the Scriptures to find out if it was so. This is the cautious mind that must be possessed alongside the open mind (we can be so open-minded that our brains fall out!). We must measure the words spoken to us by the standard of the written word. Jesus constantly admonished His hearers by the question, “Have you not read?” (Matt. 12:3, 5). He was saying to his audience, “Look at the standard; understand what it says; and measure what you believe and practice against it.”

Some will never care to measure anything they do or believe by the Scriptures. For such, there is no hope. Others will use false standards of measurement: “I can’t go against my family”; “What does my preacher think, or my church teach?” To such souls, the writings of God take second-place as “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). Only a few are noblemen in God’s eyes—those who seek His word with zeal; who receive it with eagerness; and measure all by “It is written” (Matt. 4:4, et al.).

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 24, Issue 9, February 27, 2022
 ——————–

-2-

“More Love To Thee, O Christ”

Richie Thetford

In 2 Corinthians 5:14, the inspired apostle Paul wrote, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died.” In 1856 Elizabeth Prentiss wrote the words “More Love to Thee, O Christ” during a period of illness, but kept them to herself. When she showed them to her husband 13 years later, he encouraged her to publish them. Howard Doane saw the resulting pamphlet, and wrote music for the words which has become a song that we sing in the church today.

 What stands out to me are the words “more love” in the song title. There are various areas in which we should exhibit more love as we live our lives in service to God every day. Let’s look at several ways in which we should show more love: We should have more love for God as we grow as a child of His daily. Loving God fully and completely! “Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND’” (Matthew 22:37). Jesus goes on to say, “And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF’” (Matthew 22:39). What a wonderful world this would be if everyone would love their neighbor as yourself. We need to have more love for the truth, understanding that the “truth” given to us by God must be followed. “[B]ut, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—” (Ephesians 4:15).

 Jesus taught His disciples how they were to love their fellow man. Jesus commands, shows by example, and then His disciples show what love is by their love for others. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). In addition, we need to show more love for Jesus our Lord and for His appearing. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

We are made in the very image of God, and He instructs us how we should live and show our love for Him and others. May God help all of us have much more love in all aspects of our life. Elizabeth Prentiss penned a beautiful song “More Love to Thee, O Christ!” When I sing that song I am reminded that Christ gave His all for me and as a result I should be willing to give more love to Him. May God continue to bless us as we strive to do all we can to be pleasing to Him every day!

— Via Search For Truth, Volume XIV, Number 19, December 12, 2021
 ——————–

-3-
News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Since her surgery on Tuesday to install a metal rod between her hip and knee, Pat Joyner had been having a rough week; but now all the signs indicate she is in the healing process. So she might be transferred to a rehab today, if there is a room available.  But at this time, she is not feeling up to visits or phone chats.

Let us also be keeping the following in prayer:

Rick Cuthbertson, Lois Fletcher, A.J. Joyner, Ronnie Davis, Tammy Griffey, Jim & Martha Lively, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
 ——————–

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) Postponed Prophecies (Frank Himmel)
2) When Christians Assemble (Bill Crews)
3) Power of Godliness (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Postponed Prophecies

Frank Himmel

 Premillennialists tell us the kingdom of Old Testament prophecy is yet future. They say Jesus came to reign as the Messiah but the Jews rejected Him. He therefore established the church as a last-minute substitute; they often call it a “parenthesis.” It will continue until Jesus comes again, at which time He will establish His kingdom. Thus, the kingdom was postponed.

The Bible teaches no such thing. In fact, this theory contradicts the Scriptures in at least four ways.

First, predictions with a time element cannot be postponed. If I predict that a certain team will win the Super Bowl, but I do not say when, then whenever they win my prediction will be fulfilled. But if I specify 2025 as the year, and my team does not win it until 2030, I cannot say my prediction was postponed; I must admit that it was false.

So it is with Bible prophecy. When Daniel put a time element on the establishment of God’s kingdom—in the days of the Roman kings (Daniel 2:44)—that eliminated every other time, before and after. Either his prediction came to pass as stated, or he must be rejected as a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22).

Premillennialists sometimes try to get around this obvious point by saying Daniel was referring to a “revived” Roman Empire. Not so. The four parts of Nebuchadnezzar’s image were four successive world empires. Besides, if Daniel’s prophecy refers to a revived Roman Empire, why did Jesus try to establish the kingdom during the historic Roman Empire? Did God’s Son not understand the prophecy He was trying to fulfill?

Second, the Bible tells us that the church was part of God’s eternal plan, not an afterthought. God’s wisdom manifested in the church “was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11).

Third, God knew beforehand that His Son would be rejected. Isaiah foretold that the Christ would be “despised and rejected of men” (53:3). Earlier, the Psalmist referred to Him as “the stone which the builders rejected” (118:22). One of Peter’s points in his Pentecost sermon was that Jesus was “delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).

Did that rejection of Jesus require God to postpone His kingdom plans? Not at all. Consider Psalm 2. In verses 1-3 the kings and nations are taking their stand against God’s anointed. (The New Testament says this refers to Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and the Jews’ opposition to Jesus [Acts 4:25-28]). How does that affect God and His plans? “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain’” (vv. 4-6). Next is the Anointed’s testimony of God’s decree: “He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’” That refers to Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 13:33), following which He ascended into heaven where He was given the nations to rule with a rod of iron (vv. 6-9; Revelation 2:26-27).

The Jews’ rejection of Jesus was not an obstacle to God’s plan, it was a key element in its success! “For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him” (Acts 13:27).

Fourth, the Bible teaches that the kingdom is now in existence. “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). “I John, your brother and fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus . . .” (Revelation 1:9). The kingdom consists of men and women everywhere who are purchased by Jesus’ blood (Revelation 5:9-10; 1:5-6; cf. Acts 20:28). Many other New Testament passages speak of Jesus sitting on God’s throne and reigning (Revelation 3:21; Acts 2:34; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Hebrews 1:8).

God’s prophetic word has come to pass. Jesus now reigns in a kingdom “not of this world” (John 18:36). Have you been born again, born of water and the Spirit, to become a citizen in that kingdom (John 3:3-5)?

— Via Pathlights, February 6, 2022
——————–

When Jesus ascended, “He came up to the Ancient of Days [the Father]…” And “was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom. That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him…” (Daniel 7:13-14, NASB, emphasis mine, cf. Acts 1:9-11). Jesus received the kingdom!

——————–

-2-

When Christians Assemble

Bill Crews

EDITOR’S NOTE [Wayne Goff]: Bill Crews’ sermon last Sunday morning contained the material published below from notes I took from his sermon. Faithful attendance has become a great problem in the current pandemic, but faithful attendance has been a recurring issue throughout the existence of the Lord’s church. The five points Bill gave in his lesson are fundamental truths, but profound in their meaning and application. The points are published here for our members and Christians everywhere to consider! Until we improve our attendance, the church will continue to suffer here and everywhere! {You can hear this sermon on YouTube or our web site: www.roanridge.org}   

What do the following Scriptures have in common? Acts 2:42, Acts 11:26, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, 1 Corinthians 11:18-34 (the phrase “coming together” is found five times in this chapter), Hebrews 10:25 (note that “exhorting one another” is joined with “assembling together.” You have probably noticed that every single passage had to do with gathering together. Here are five points that are proven in the given Scriptures:

1. Christians are to assemble, or come together. Acts 2:42 teaches us that the first church had to learn from the apostles what to do in the church and as the church. Worship, honoring Jesus, and edifying one another are some of the reasons for assembling. “Fellowship” (joint participation) is practiced in the five acts of worship: singing, praying, giving, Lord’s Supper, and teaching or preaching.

2. Christians are to do so for specific reasons. Acts 11:26 says “… And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together with the church, and taught much people, and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Paul could do the preaching. Barnabas could do the exhorting. Barnabas is commended as a great “exhorter,” and we need more of that today. It involves appealing, reasoning, and encouraging people. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to exhort one another when we assemble. If you don’t assemble, then you cannot exhort!

3. Christians are to conduct themselves properly in these assemblies. We must assemble willingly, cheerfully, not grudgingly or of necessity (see 2 Cor. 9:6-7). What the Bible says we must do in giving, we must also do in singing, praying, listening, learning and communing. Think of the lengths and efforts we make to attend a sporting event. We should expend even greater effort to assemble with the saints.

4. Christians are to prepare themselves for the assemblies. We are to prepare ourselves for Bible classes and preaching and conduct ourselves properly. We should look forward to each and every assembly. We are to prepare our bodies with proper rest. We are to prepare our minds with meditation and think upon spiritual things. Be sure that you are “on praying terms with God,” which means you conduct yourselves as you profess so that God will hear your prayers. See Proverbs 23:7; Psalm 66:18.

5. Christians should accomplish the specific reasons for which they assemble. How much do we derive from the Bible classes and sermons? You get as much out of worship as you prepare yourself to get. Getting ready for church involves much more than just getting dressed up. The most important things to me in life are spiritual! Jesus Christ was crucified by those He loved even while they hated and despised Him! Can you not find in your heart the love for God for what He has done for you?!

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 37, Issue 5, Page 3
——————–

A Song of Ascents, of David. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1, NASB).

——————-

-3-

Power of Godliness

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:

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

——————-

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Jim Lively had some bad falls recently, which resulted in a deep indent in a wall, bruises, sloughed off skin on his leg, and hurting all over.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, A.J. Joyner, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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) The Throne of God (Frank Himmel)
2) The Omnipresence and Omniscience of God (Tom Edwards)
3) It’s Always Needed (Anonymous)
4) Works of God (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

The Throne of David

Frank Himmel

“David’s son, the Lord Jesus Christ, must return to the earth, bodily and literally, in order to reign over David’s covenanted kingdom. The allegation that Christ is seated on the Father’s throne reigning over a spiritual kingdom, the church, does not fulfill the promises of the covenant” (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come 114). Does God’s promise to David necessitate an earthly kingdom with Jesus ruling at Jerusalem, as premillennialists say?

The Promise

David was a man after God’s heart. He wanted to build a temple for God. Instead, God promised to build a “house” for him. “. . . I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

Initial Fulfillment in Solomon

David was succeeded on the throne by his son Solomon. It was he who built the temple. David saw him as the fulfillment of God’s promise (1 Chronicles 22:9-11). Solomon saw himself that way, too (1 Kings 8:18-20). Solomon’s rule is variously described: he sat on his own throne (1 Kings 1:47), on David’s throne (1 Kings 2:12), on the throne of Israel (1 Kings 8:20), and on the throne of the Lord (1 Chronicles 29:23). Throne simply indicates the position of rule. It was God’s rule, executed through David’s line. It was “the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel” (1 Chronicles 28:5).

God’s promise of ongoing rule was conditioned on obedience (1 Chronicles 28:7). In time, David’s descendants became disobedient and their rule was suspended. The last king in the line was Jehoiachin [Coniah]. God told Jeremiah to write him childless: none of his descendants would prosper on the throne of David, ruling in Judah (Jeremiah 22:30).

Greater Fulfillment in Christ

Jesus is a descendant of David (Romans 1:3). Gabriel told Mary that God would give Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32-33). In the first gospel sermon, Peter quoted God’s promise to David, then affirmed that Jesus had ascended into heaven, exalted to the right hand of the Father where He now rules (Acts 2:30-36).

Jesus later wrote, “To him who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21). Again, it is the Father’s rule executed through David’s line, now through Jesus Christ.

Premillennialists object to a heavenly reign as the fulfillment of God’s Old Testament promises; however, that is precisely the application of them that inspired first-century preachers made. Peter said, “. . . all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days” (Acts 3:24). Indeed, a heavenly reign is the only one which can meet the Old Testament criteria. Consider. . .

• Jesus is a descendant of Coniah (Matthew 1:11). Remember, no one of his descendants could prosper reigning in Judah (Jeremiah 22:30).

• Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), which means He is king and priest at the same time. Zechariah 6:12 says, “He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” Yet the author of Hebrews notes that Jesus could not be a priest on earth because He is of the tribe of Judah, not Levi (Hebrews 8:4). (Interestingly, some premillennialists call for a reinstatement of the Law of Moses in conjunction with the earthly reign of Christ, the very law which prohibits Him from an earthly reign!) If Jesus is priest in heaven, He is king there. If He is not king, He is not priest, in which case we do not have the benefits of His priestly function—namely, salvation!

• Daniel foresaw the Christ receiving His kingdom when He came up to the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13-14), not when He came down from Him. That accords with Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, and with Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus is now reigning and will continue to reign until His coming; at that time He will deliver up the kingdom to the Father (vv. 23-28). Premillennialism has it just backwards: Jesus’ coming will mark the end, not the beginning, of His reign.

— Via Pathlights, January 23, 2022
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The Omnipresence and Omniscience of God

Tom Edwards

Much of the following was added to The Gospel Observer article, entitled, “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” which was posted for February 6, 2022; but did not include the following additions until several days later. For the next paragraph, which was made in the original version, might have given some folks the wrong impression, as if God is too far removed from our physical universe to have anything to do with it. For I had said:

“I would think that the heaven where God dwells is separate and apart from our physical universe — like some type of parallel universe that is undetectable from our own; is independent of; does not clash with; is far superior to; and will blissfully, perfectly, and eternally remain even after our physical universe ceases to be (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10-12).”

So as to not give any wrong impression by that, as if God is way off somewhere and oblivious to all that happens on earth, consider the following:

God is still totally aware of all that goes on in our physical universe — and not only of our words and actions, but also of our innermost thoughts and intentions (cf. 1 Chron. 28:9; Psa. 44:21; Rom. 2: 16). For He is omniscient and omnipresent, as the psalmist shows:

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.

“Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you”
(Psalm 139:1-12, ESV).

And in Jesus we also see God being a part of our physical universe. For “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” — and that Word was God’s Son Jesus the Christ (John 1:14,1-3), who is now very much alive and well at the right hand of God where He has been exalted with all power and authority in heaven and on earth (Acts 2:33, Matt. 28:18), ruling over all (Col. 2:9-10; Eph. 1:20-21), and interceding for those who draw near to God through Him (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25) as our Advocate (1 John 2:1).

How amazingly great the Almighty God is!  For He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal!  And in Him, all good virtues have always been and will always be — such as His love,  His kindness, His patience, His faithfulness, His graciousness, and His goodness!  So imagine being in a good relationship with God for all eternity!  

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-3-

It’s Always Needed

I heard a story of a man in the mid 1950’s entering school to study engineering. A professor told the entering freshmen class to buy the best slide rule they could afford. The reason: “You will be dependent on it all your ‘professional life.’” Well, of course, it wasn’t too long before the slide rule was replaced by the calculator. We’ve seen those same sorts of things in fairly recent years: 8 tracks, cassette tapes, and even VHS tapes! Things that today we consider essential may quickly become obsolete. Tomorrow they may be discarded as antiques that cannot provide the help we need.

At least one thing from the past, however, will always be needed and never become obsolete. It is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. No matter how much technological change and progress takes place, the Book will remain the one sure means for getting the right answers to the complicated questions: our origin, our purpose, our needs, and our final destination.

— Author Unknown (via Viewpoint, January 9, 2022)
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-4-

Works of God

Tom Edwards

Just click on the following link for the video sermon entitled above:

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

——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Rex Hadley was admitted to the hospital last week. Tests were run, and it was determined that he had a slight stroke.  He will probably be going into rehab, if not already.

Rick Cuthbertson had a little trouble with his new cancer treatments, which might be due to the new medication.  Hopefully, things will get better for him.

Ashley Ray Law writes about her mother (Kim Rowell) that “after 8 months of treatment, several surgical procedures, and a near death experience, Momma was officially pronounced cancer free yesterday. Two more procedures to go, but I think we are on the downhill slope now. Praise God.”

Others to also keep in our prayers: A.J. Joyner whose left arm is still healing from having pulled a muscle in it.  Ronnie Davis who has needed to be on oxygen for several weeks.  Tammy Griffey who continues to make progress in the healing of her ankle, which she had surgery on.  And also Jim Lively, Myrna Jordan, Deborah Medlock,  and Danielle Bartlett
———————

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) Premillennialism: Does It Matter? (Frank Himmel)
2) Unkept Promises (Frank Himmel)
3) Saved to Serve (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Premillennialism: Does It Matter?

Frank Himmel

Premillennialism is the doctrine that Jesus will one day return and reign on earth for a thousand years. Its big-word name comes from pre-, before, and millennium, a thousand years. The idea is that we are now living prior to that coming era. While specifics vary greatly from one theorist to another, the idea is generally as follows.

The Theory

When Jesus came 2,000 years ago, He intended to set up an earthly kingdom and reign over the Jews, but they rejected Him. He therefore announced the church as a substitute, stop-gap measure until He could return and set up His kingdom. Jesus died, arose, and ascended back to heaven. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost and the church was established.

At some future time, usually thought to be not long from now, Christ will return for His saints. The righteous dead will be raised and those who are still living will be “raptured,” caught up to be with Christ in heaven. They will remain with Him there for seven years while the earth undergoes a period of great tribulation. (Some theories have the rapture in the middle or even at the end of the tribulation). Large numbers of Jews will return to Palestine. The Antichrist, a powerful, ungodly ruler, will take over the world. Despite unprecedented persecution of Christians, many will be converted during this period.

At the end of the tribulation, all nations will gather against Israel at Armageddon. Christ and His saints will return, and Christians who were martyred during the tribulation will be raised. The Antichrist will be defeated and Christ’s kingdom established on earth. The nations will then be judged. Christ will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem for a thousand years, His saints ruling with Him.

At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be loosed, summoning Gog and Magog to join him. But he will again be defeated. At that time, the wicked will be raised, the final judgment will occur, and souls will be assigned their eternal place in heaven or hell.

This theory was once held by only a handful of religious groups, but now it has become mainstream in denominationalism. In the 1970s it was popularized by Hal Lindsey’s books, beginning with The Late Great Planet Earth. More recently it was advocated in the Left Behind series of books and movies.

Does It Matter?

For the next several weeks we will address various flaws in the theory, some “millennial miscues.” Why talk about this subject? Does it really matter? Some say even if the theory is wrong it makes little difference because it is merely a discussion of what will happen when Jesus comes. But error has ramifications, and in this case they are hardly insignificant. Consider what is at stake.

The integrity of the Scriptures. The test of a prophet, whether he is speaking for God, is whether what he foretells comes to pass (Deuteronomy 18:22). If he fails, we should pay no attention to anything he says. If Old Testament predictions of the reign of Christ were not fulfilled when the prophets said they would be, we must reject those prophets and everything they wrote—the Bible.

Availability of forgiveness of sins. The Bible affirms that forgiveness is in Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). Those purchased with Jesus’ blood are the kingdom (Revelation 5:9-10). Indeed, Jesus’ kingship and His priesthood, through which He makes atonement for us, are inseparable (Zechariah. 6:12-13). If Jesus’ kingdom is not yet here, we do not yet have forgiveness of sins.

Requirements for salvation. Increasing numbers are saying that Jews are saved without coming to Christ. Again, this is due in no small part to premillennial misconceptions about their place in God’s plan. Yet Jesus plainly told Jews, “. . . unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

These are but a few considerations. Open your Bibles and minds, and study along with us.

— Via Pathlights, January 9, 2022
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Unkept Promises

Frank Himmell

Those who believe Jesus will one day return and set up an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem frequently argue that this must occur because the land promises God made to Israel in the Old Testament have never been fulfilled. What does the Bible say?

The Promise to Abraham

God promised Abraham that He would make of him a great nation and give to that nation the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-3, 7). The borders were specific: “from the river of Egypt [the Wadi el Arish, not the Nile] as far as the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). The time was also specified: following a 400-year bondage and when the iniquity of the Amorite was complete (vv. 13-16). (The Amorites were living in Canaan in Abraham’s day.) The land promise was repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:3-4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13).

Moses led the Israelites, Abraham’s family/nation, out of Egypt after 430 years of bondage (Exodus 12:40-41), just as God had promised. In anticipation of conquering Canaan, God told Moses to set aside three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River. He then added, “If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, just as He has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which He promised to give your fathers . . . then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three” (Deuteronomy 19:8-9).

Joshua succeeded Moses as Israel’s leader. The book bearing his name details the conquest and division of the promised land. The end of that record says, “So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it” (Joshua 21:43). “Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass”. (v. 45). This fact is confirmed by appointment of those three additional cities of refuge God promised (Joshua 20:1-9).

In his farewell address, Joshua made a passionate plea to Israel, based on the complete fulfillment of God’s promises. He argued that just as surely as God had kept the good words He had promised, so He would also keep His threat of removing Israel from the land if the people were unfaithful (23:14-16). Joshua’s argument was nonsense if premillennial notions of unfulfilled promises are true!

Some contend that God gave Israel their land in a sense but not to the full extent He promised. The sacred historians disagree. “Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the [Euphrates] River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt” (1 Kings 4:21; 2 Chronicles 9:26). This was precisely what God had promised Abraham.

The Return Promise

Israel got their land. But just as Joshua warned, when they were unfaithful to God, He removed them from it into captivity. Yet God had made another promise: that if, in captivity, they repented, He would return them to their land (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). And so, the prophets who foretold the captivity also prophesied a restoration. Jeremiah said the captivity would last seventy years (25:11; 29:10-14), then God would restore a remnant of His people (23:3). Isaiah also spoke of the remnant (10:20-24). God did not promise to bring them all back!

This promise, too, was fulfilled. Assyria and Babylon were the captors of God’s people. At end of the seventy years of captivity in Babylon, God raised up Cyrus of Persia to defeat the Babylonians. In his first year, Cyrus issued this proclamation: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!”. (2 Chronicles 36:23). This decree was in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (v. 22).

One group returned under Jeshua and Zerubbabel, another under Ezra, and later a third with Nehemiah. Interestingly, these also testified that God had kept His land promise (Nehemiah 9:8).

Conclusion

The Bible is clear: God’s promises regarding the nation of Israel living in the land of Palestine were fulfilled long ago. There is nothing here to support the idea of a future earthly kingdom ruled by Jesus.

— Via Pathlights, January 16, 2022
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-3-

Saved to Serve

Tom Edwards

Just click on the following link for the video sermon “Saved to Serve”:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Saved_to_Serve.mp4
———————

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Rick Cuthbertson began his new treatment Thursday before last.  The following day his blood work looked good.  But it might be the new medication that has caused him to have several difficult days, which, hopefully, will improve soon.   

Even with bone cancer, Lois Fletcher is feeling pretty good and able to work.  Since she is not able to have chemo, due to being allergic to it and many other things, she is continuing with her homeopathic treatments.  

A.J. Joyner saw his doctor last week, due to a torn muscle in his arm. The x-ray showed that there were no bones broken, but the arm has been giving him trouble; and last night he was feeling dizzy. He will be seeing his doctor again in two weeks.

As of last night, Ronnie Davis is still having to be on oxygen, along with the new medication. His appointment to see his doctor again March 19 is still on. 

Let us also be remembering in prayer Tammy Griffey, Jim Lively, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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.)

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