Month: December 2020

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) Daily Bible Reading (Tom Edwards)
2) Jesus’ Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem, The Cross, and The Exaltation (Tom Edwards)
3) Fruit Unto God (Tom Edwards, video sermon)
4) News & Notes
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Daily Bible Reading

A new year will soon be upon us!  Among the many New Year’s resolutions, let us make sure that one of those will especially be for continuing in daily Bible reading!

I’ve enjoyed doing that online this year — and audibly.  Normally, of course, I read silently; but for the daily Bible reading, I like reading it aloud to myself — and even started cupping my hands behind my ears several months ago, which makes the words seem to penetrate deeper into the soul. You ought to try it!  Be good to your soul by putting God’s word in it!

My favorite daily Bible reading plan is still Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s. It involves reading from 4 different books of the Bible each day.  In a year’s time, you will have gone through the Old Testament once, and the New Testament twice. 

Here’s what the plan looks like:

https://www.mcheyne.info/calendar.pdf

The plan is also freely offered through BibleGateway, if you sign up for it.  That is what I use for this.  It will always take you to the current day’s reading and will have all 4 readings on one page.  If you have missed the previous day or days, you can always catch up by going back as many days as you need to.  It also allows you to mark the reading for each day, so you can keep track of what you have already read.

This year is almost past, but I’ve already been looking forward to starting again with the daily Bible reading for 2021 that will begin in Genesis 1, Matthew 1, Ezra 1, and Acts 1 for day 1!  It is food for the soul!

— Tom
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Jesus’ Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem,
The Cross, and The Exaltation

Tom Edwards

The Triumphal Entry

I imagine it was not planned that way; but last week’s daily Bible reading, for Tuesday, included Zechariah 9.  In verse 9, it gives the following prophecy of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which reads:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

One of the New Testament books for that same day’s reading was the gospel of John, chapter 12.  Notice verses 12-16:

“On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, ‘HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.’ Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it, as it is written, ‘FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY’S COLT.’  These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.”

As we see in this passage, which shows the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, they “took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him” (v. 13).  In Matthew’s account, “Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road” (Matt. 21:8, cf. Mark 11:8).  So this is why man has given to that day the name “Palm Sunday.”

Concerning palm branches, Noah Webster gives as one of the definitions: “Branches of the palm being worn in token of victory, hence the word signified superiority, victory, triumph. The palm was adopted as an emblem of victory, it is said, because the tree is so elastic as when pressed, to rise and recover its correct position” (Webster’s Dictionary of American English, 1828).

In thinking of palm branches as signifying triumph and victory, consider the following from the Revelation letter (the book which shows the ultimate triumph of Christians through Jesus Christ):

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen'” (Rev. 7:9-12).

(Other parallel accounts of the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem are in Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, and Luke 19:12-16.)

The Cross

Jesus willingly went to Jerusalem on that “Palm Sunday” (John 10:17-18), knowing of the torment that was in store for Him (Matt. 20:18-19).  He was brought before unlawful and mock trials (3 Jewish and 3 Roman); was severely scourged, probably near unto death (Matt. 27:26); and was taken outside the city where they nailed Him to a cross at a place called “Calvary” (from “kranion”), and also called “The Skull,”  “Golgotha,” or “the Place of a Skull” (Luke 23:33; John 19:17).  There He writhed in agony toward the needed goal of His death; and “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2).  For in that death, the atonement would be made, which would make salvation possible for every sinner of all time (Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:16; Heb. 2:9; Heb. 9:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:18).

To think that just a few days after that triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when people were honoring the Lord with great shouts of praise, that from that same city a different kind of shouting soon was heard.  For the chief priests had stirred up the crowd to oppose Christ and demand He be executed (Mark 15:11).  So they were insistingly crying out, “Crucify, crucify Him! (Luke 23:21). “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” (Luke 23:18). “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” (John 19:15).

Jesus died on the cross for even these who ruthlessly cried out for His death, and also for those mocking Him while He greatly suffered on the cross.  For Jesus died for every sinner (Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2). And by His death, He made salvation possible for every transgressor who will submit to God’s plan of salvation (as seen below, following the “News & Notes” in this bulletin).

Jesus was crucified on Friday of that week, which man has called “Good Friday,” and arose from the dead on the following Sunday.  It was not a literal three days of 24 hours for each day that the Lord’s body was in the tomb, but it could be called “three days,” according to the Jewish reckoning of time.  For, to them, just part of one day would be considered a whole day.  So part of Friday to part of Sunday would be three days — and which could also be expressed as “three days and three nights,” according to that same Jewish reckoning.

The Hebrew writer gives this following exhortation: “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:10-15).

The Exaltation

Following His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, what a wonderful triumphal entry Jesus made into Heaven itself, where He was then given dominion, glory, and a kingdom so that people of every nation and every language might serve Him (Dan. 7:13-14).  For He had accomplished everything He was supposed to while on earth — and, thus, made a way of salvation possible for all.  Therefore, “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

Because of Jesus, what a wonderful entry anyone can have into the glories of heaven itself — by submitting to God’s plan of salvation and faithfully continuing in His word.  For so doing will not only lead us there, but also make life better for us on the journey!

(All Scriptures from the New American Standard Bible.)
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Fruit Unto God

Tom Edwards

To hear this video sermon that was preached December 27, 2020, just click on the above title.

The gist of it: Just as the first fruits during the Mosaical Period were to be consecrated to the Lord as an offering to Him, even so, we who are Christians are also a type of “first fruits” in living a consecrated, holy, and dedicated life unto God.
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to all the family and friends of James Medlock (Bennie’s dad) who passed away Saturday morning at 94 years of age.  Let us be keeping all his loved ones in prayer.

Marde Sweezy has now lost her sense of taste and smell due to the covid-19.  We want to keep her in prayer, along with her mother, Ginger Ann Montero, who also has it.  Marde’s husband Charles and Ginger Ann’s husband Bud tested negative for it. 

Joyce Rittenhouse mentioned Joe Hersey, Tiffany Cothren, and Tiffany’s children (Rex and Cora) for prayer.  They all have covid-19.

John Jordan is now healing from a recent appendectomy. 

Doug Pennock has some cold symptoms, but is doing pretty well. 

Danny Bartlett reported Saturday evening that he and his wife Jan are doing well, which we were glad to hear.  Jan is now contagion free.

And for some more really good news: After more than 20 years, Doyle Rittenhouse is now pain free in his back!  Even when he gets up and moves about!  And the numbness that he had in his toes for about 15 years is also gone!  Dr. Gage was able to perform the surgery in just 24 minutes!  An incision that would usually be about 6″ was made in just 1.5″. Everything went very smoothly.

Elizabeth Harden’s due date is now just 8 days away (January 4). Her and her unborn have been doing well.

Others to also be keeping in prayer: the family and friends of Reavis Lamar Hickox, Reavis Lee Hickox, and the family and friends of Mary Elizabeth Rogers.  Also Rick Cuthbertson, Vivian Foster, Larry & Janice Hood, Jim Lively, Judy Daugherty, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Ronnie & Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Chris Williams, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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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 (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

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


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

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (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) When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (James R. Cope)
2) Soul Winning (video sermon by Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
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When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

James R. Cope

When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

These are the familiar words of Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the most eminent English hymn writer in history. They well serve as the introduction to the remarks to follow.

When I survey the history of the physical cross I see two pieces of wood so attached to each other as to support the full weight of a living human body with outstretched arms attached by iron spikes driven through the hands and feet of that body. I see an instrument of death much more cruel to its victims than sword or burning-at-the-stake because its pain continued so much longer. Historians tell us that the cross was used by the Phoenicians, Cartheginians and Egyptians, especially in times of war, prior to its usage by the Romans. Probably even before the time of Christ the dread of this instrument of death symbolized the cares and burdens of life. Matthew, Mark and Luke reveal that Jesus said he would be scourged and all four gospels indicate that scourging occurred prior to his bearing his own cross to the death site. The victims of scourging sometimes died before crucifixion. Crucifixion’s victims often lingered two or three days. Breaking of the victim’s legs hastened death but “when they came to Jesus and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs” (Jn. 19:33).

The Jewish Leaders’ Hatred

When Pilot asked, “What shall I do with Jesus?” the Jewish answer bespoke their deep hatred for Jesus. Their response, “Crucify him, crucify him! ” reveals the malice which the scribes and Pharisees, who sought to control Jewish thought, had for Jesus. When I survey the wondrous cross I see the symbol of his love for his enemies which contradicted the Jewish politicians’ hatred of him. Jesus disappointed their hopes for worldly power and prominence which they mistakenly attached to the Messiah’s reign. Just as increasingly, “the common people heard him gladly” (Mk. 12:37), so the chief priests and scribes and Pharisee leaders saw their control of the masses slipping from themselves. The Jewish leaders were not political dumb heads. They knew Roman procedure and that they were those with whom Pilate knew he had to deal directly and officially. After all, was not “the Governor” the political appointee of Caesar? Were not they the official Jewish spokesmen for the Jewish nation? I have no reason to think that the same “multitudes” that so often heard the teaching of Jesus in rural Judea and Galilee constituted the “multitudes” controlled by the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees in the early morning hours of the crucifixion day. The longer Jesus was free to teach the masses of Israel in Galilee and Judea the less credence the officials of Judaism retained with the Jewish nation overall. These politicians were experts who hated the popularity of Jesus with the “common people” who “heard him gladly.”

When, therefore, I survey the wondrous cross I can somewhat understand the appeal of the gospel story to the masses of Jews who saw and heard the basic facts and truths preached by the apostles on and after the Pentecost of Acts 2. Increasingly God’s scheme to redeem sinners from sin became clear to those who heard the gospel.

The Cross and Paul

When I survey the wondrous cross I discover the secret of the brilliant and honest young Saul of Tarsus and his commitment to the person and work of Jesus Christ. This zealous youth had been so glued to the Pharisaic concept of Judaism that he believed the Jewish disciples of Jesus should be imprisoned or killed. Gladly he gave his vote to this end. He punished them in the synagogue and strove to make them blaspheme, persecuting them even to foreign cities until he met the resurrected Jesus on his Damascus journey of madness (Acts 26:9-20). Thereafter he gave his whole life to knowing nothing “save Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). The cross of Jesus became his everything and is reflected in his words, “Far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). (I pray that this may be my commitment.)

The Cross And Worldly Wisdom

When I survey the wondrous cross I see the inability of worldly wisdom to bring sinful souls to God. Nothing identifiable with the wisdom and philosophy of men apart from God’s revelation had or can ever have anything to do with man’s salvation from sins. The very thought of a Messiah who suffered at all, much less for others, was repugnant to Jewish thought. That crucifixion would be the means of such suffering was, if possible, more ridiculous because, to most Jews, crucifixion argued the justice of the guilt charged upon the one crucified. Such an attitude then as now completely ignores such a prophecy as Isaiah 53. The idea of a crucified hero was a sign of weakness to the Gentile mind. To the Gentile such a person needed to be defended rather than worshiped. No wonder that “God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame them that are wise,” that he chose “weak things” as opposed to the “strong”; that he chose “base” and “despised” things, as appraised by human wisdom, that “no flesh should glory before God.” All this helps the believer understand why “not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” were or are receptive to the simple story of infinite love and wisdom reflected in the gospel. All should consider carefully 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 for Paul’s point of view on God’s plan for conquest of honest hearts.

The Cross And God’s Grace

When I behold the wondrous cross I see the symbol of God’s grace extended to all sinners willing to accept salvation on gospel terms, not on the merits of their own good works, fleshly origin, material worth or religious inheritance. “Far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14).

The Cross And Caesar

When I behold the wondrous cross, I see the same principle of the rule of civil government in punishing evil doers which Paul declares when he says, “But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid: for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil” (Rom. 13:4). Pilate, as a civil governor, was God’s agent to use either sword or cross to punish those whose just punishment deserved either weapon for the execution purpose. Jesus deserved not to die by means of either weapon but this does not change the principle that the cross was a means of punishing evil doers, e.g., the two robbers crucified beside Jesus. The cross for Jesus was unjust but for those deserving death the cross was optional with Pilate in punishing evil men which, for all I know, deserved death (Rom. 13:2-5). In yielding to the demands of Jesus’ critics, however, the civil power which said, “I find in him no fault” (Jn. 18:38) became a party to the very cry of those Jews who demanded the Savior’s death.

The Cross And Divine Providence

When I behold the wondrous cross of Jesus I see something about God’s over-ruling the evil purposes of men to praise him. Enemies of our Lord then and now, saw Jesus as an obstacle in their way of controlling the religious population. The elders, chief priests and scribes had long managed Jewish thought by their traditions and self-made decrees. Like a spring thunderstorm, Jesus simultaneously set afire their unauthorized religious hypocrisy and immoral lifestyle. Like a refreshing breeze there was his simple teaching in parables and word pictures of the nonmilitary nature of the kingdom of God. Then came his preachments to be the Messiah of Old Testament prophets reinforced by his sinless life and confirmation of his claims to be the Son of God. These constituted the moral and spiritual revolutionary doctrine which, in time, was to dethrone the Jewish hierarchy from its self-appointed dictatorship of self-will and self-service and replace it with the person of God’s only Son whose refreshing appeal was that of the truth which alone can release religious captives from Satan’s prison.

The Cross And The Crown

When I survey the wondrous cross upon which my Savior died, I see beyond this instrument of death a living hope for myself and all of Adam’s other children who have fallen by Satan’s deception. I say this because of what Jesus promised to do with his own life and, by my own faith, for my personal life! Yes, for me! Yes, for you – my brother, my sister! You see, my friend, Jesus came to this world of sin, sickness, sorrow, death, dying, and disappointment to “make all things new”! As the darkness of night precedes the dawn of day, so the gloom of the garden grave gives way to the glory of God. “He is not here, but is risen!” This is the song that angels sing – the song of redeeming love, the song of life eternal!

‘Tis true! ‘Tis true! “The way of the cross leads home” because the way of the cross is the way to glory, the way to God! Without the cross there is no crown; without the grave there is no glory. By his death on the wondrous cross he paid the price for my redemption. By his resurrection he validated the fact of life beyond death. That he showed himself alive is confirmed by the living witnesses who willingly gave their lives to verify their personal testimony regarding what their eyes saw and their ears heard. Because of his death I reached his blood shed in his death in my burial in baptism described in Romans 6:1-4 and from that grave of water I came forth to walk in a newness of life. Thank God for the cross of wood by which he enables sinners to become saints, to be wearers of the crown of life!

The Cross and Commitment

Finally, when I survey that wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died I see an abiding symbol of my personal responsibility as a disciple of Jesus. Many months before he was nailed to the cross of wood our Lord said, “He that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:38). In similar vein when Jesus had told his apostles about his impending death and resurrection at Jerusalem and was rebuked by Peter for talking about such, he called Peter “Satan” and a “stumbling block” to the fulfilling of his earthly mission. Then, turning to his disciples, he said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 10:24). This is duty! This is our Lord’s challenge to be heeded now. Truly, “The way of the cross leads home”!

The greatest barrier between me and complete submission to the Christ of the cross is myself — my own self-centered desires which Satan always uses to draw me away from the control of Christ. Yes, always and everywhere! Jesus said of his Father, “I do always the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8:29) and this is the challenge of the wondrous cross in every facet of my life. There is no crown of glory apart from the cross of duty — everywhere and every moment of this life! This is complete commitment!

— Via Guardian of Truth XXXI: 20, pp. 609, 642-643, October 15, 1987
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Soul Winning

(video sermon by Tom Edwards)

If you would like to hear and see this, just click on the above sermon title while on the Internet.  It was preached December 20, 2020.
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Reavis Lamar Hickox who passed away Friday (December 18) at only 66 years of age, following an illness of 3 to 4 weeks; and of his father, Reavis Lee Hickox who left this earth-life December 10, having reached the age of 89.  (Their wives also had covid-19, but they have both recovered from it.)  

We also extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mary Elizabeth Rogers (Kim Rowell’s mother) who passed away December 16.

We are glad to hear that Doyle Rittenhouse’s surgery on his back went well.  Actually, “great” is the word that his wife Joyce used in describing it!  For he now has less pain in his legs and back, and can really tell the problem was solved when he gets up and walks.  He now has just some pain from the surgery itself, which is “a piece of cake” compared to what he was going through.

Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother received some good news recently during a doctor visit.  It turns out that he has healed up well enough that an additional heart surgery will not be necessary!    

Jo Ann Ray is also doing much better now, following her recent illness with covid-19.
 
Jan Bartlett is not   well and has been running a low fever, and her husband Danny has been under the weather for about a week.

Elizabeth Harden’s due date is now just 15 days away (January 4). Both her and her unborn have been doing fine.

Things went well for Deborah Medlock in hearing the test results from her cancer doctor of the recent lab work she had. 

Others to also be praying for: Rick Cuthbertson, Vivian Foster, Larry & Janice Hood, Jim Lively, James Medlock, Judy Daugherty, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Ronnie & Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Chris Williams, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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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 (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

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

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

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (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) The God Who Forgives (Trevor Bowen)
2) Don’t Jump to Conclusions (Allen Dvorak)
3) Judging, Pre-judging, and Prejudice (Andy Diestelkamp)
4) Standing Firm in the Lord (a video-sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
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The God Who Forgives

Trevor Bowen

“Why should I be a Christian?” The very posing of this question implies that some people believe reasons exists why one should not be a Christian. Let us think about why someone would not want to become a Christian. Sometimes, a person hesitates in becoming a Christian because he believes that he is too wicked for God to forgive him. Often this person might feel like if he has not already, then some day he will inevitably go so far that God will not forgive him. The hesitant student is not the only person that fears this fate. Sometime even Christians wonder about God’s continuing capacity to forgive, so let us consider what the Bible has to say about the God who forgives.

God Does Not Want Anyone to be Lost

Often people feel like God is a ferocious and cruel god, who longingly waits to instantly punish any man caught in sin. However, the Bible paints a different picture of God.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9

God does not want anybody to be lost. In fact, he is patient with us so that we might not be lost. Being longsuffering, God mercifully provides frequent opportunities to repent. Although it is clear that God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:4), we still may wonder why God does not want people to be lost.

“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:21-23

From these verses we learn that God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. He does not enjoy their death because He loves them. This love was the reason why Jesus died on the cross for the whole world (John 3:16-17). How can a God who loves us and desires us to be saved not forgive the repentant who humbles himself before God?

Extreme Examples of God’s Forgiveness

The extent of God’s forgiveness can be seen in extreme examples from the Bible. One of the single-most extreme examples is that of the Judean king, Manasseh. Late in the history of the divided kingdom, King Manasseh proved himself to be one of the most wicked kings that Israel had seen.

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. … Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. … So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.” II Chronicles 33:1-10

Although we see this stubborn king being more wicked than any before him, notice how he responds when he is punished by the Lord.

“Therefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.” II Chronicles 33:11-13

The text continues, mentioning how the penitent Manasseh destroyed all of the idols upon his return, repaired the Lord’s altar, sacrificed peace and thanksgiving offerings, and commanded the people to worship God. This man was able to turn back to God, and God was willing to receive him back. How can we do more wickedly than this king, who among other evils sacrificed his own children to idols?

Among other examples, the apostle Paul could be mentioned who persecuted and killed Christians, but eventually repented and became one of the most well-known and influential servants of the Lord (Acts 9:1-22).

The Corinthian church was filled with once worldly people, who committed grievous sins:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11

Friend, there is not much that God has not forgiven. From murder (II Samuel 12:7-14) to the sacrificing of children (II Chronicles 33:1-13), we have record of God forgiving the most horrific sins. Even though we have examined these compelling examples, one more extreme example of God’s forgiveness exists that we need to study.

Us

We are all extreme examples of God’s forgiveness. No man can boast that he is deserving of heaven because he earned it, or even because he sinned less than others. Sin is a terrible thing that separates all of us from God (Romans 3:23), condemning all of us to hell (Romans 6:23), even if someone committed only a single sin (James 2:10-13). Sin is just that bad.

Even though each of us would have stood without hope before God, the gospel reveals that God loved us before we loved Him (I John 4:9-19). Jesus came and died for us, not as though we were deserving, but while we were ungodly (Romans 5:6-8). Though God requires that we respond to his gospel plea (Matthew 7:21-23; James 2:14-26), the Bible teaches that we have been saved by grace, not by meritorious works (Ephesians 2:1-10). Consequently, no man can boast of his salvation as if it was accomplished by his own merit. Therefore, each one of us is an extreme example of God’s forgiveness to one who was undeserving.

Conclusion

Although sin and the temptations of the world may lure us into believing that we are too wicked for God to forgive, the Bible teaches that God does not want anyone to be lost. He desires that all men should be saved. The examples of King Manasseh, King David, the apostle Paul, the Corinthians, and many more illustrate God’s capacity to forgive even the most wicked sinners. Finally, God extends his mercy to each one of us. We are equally in need of God’s mercy. No one can boast in himself. Therefore, just as God has forgiven every previous convert, He will also graciously accept your repentance, if you are willing to humble yourself before the God who forgives.

May we assist you in accomplishing your desire to be saved? You may read more material on what the Bible says about the requirements for salvation, e-mail any of our local contacts, or complete one of our on-line Bible studies to learn more about your role in God’s salvation for you.

— Via In Search of Truth (http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/forgives.html)
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Don’t Jump To Conclusions

Allen Dvorak

Elkanah, father of the Old Testament prophet Samuel, had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah (1 Samuel 1). Peninnah had children, but Hannah was barren. In a mean-spirited  way, Peninnah “provoked” Hannah because of her infertility. When Elkanah and his wives went up to the  house of the Lord to worship, Hannah prayed silently to God, vowing that if He would give her a son, she would give the child to the Lord all the days of his life.

The priest Eli observed Hannah praying, seeing her mouth move, but not hearing her words. Eli concluded that Hannah was drunk and rebuked her, saying, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” When Hannah explained that she was praying with great grief,  Eli recognized his error and blessed her.

We all fall prey to Eli’s mistake from time to time. In order to make sense of the world around us, it is necessary for us to assign meaning to the actions of others. We observe someone’s behavior and we frequently draw conclusions about that person based on their action. Actually we respond to the meaning that we assign to the action rather than the action itself. And sometimes, like Eli, we make assumptions which are invalid. Even if we succeed in being objective in our judgment, frequently there is more than one possible explanation for one’s behavior.  Eli’s inappropriate rebuke was the result of his error in assigning meaning to her action.

It is not difficult to see how all this applies to us. A friend  or neighbor does something and we begin assigning reason to their action. “He said that for the purpose of hurting me.” “She did that just to spite me.” “I know that she said that about me, even though she didn’t mention me by name.” Often the truth is that the speaker had no such motives. Unfortunately, friendships are sometimes destroyed because someone made unwarranted assumptions about another’s actions or speech.

This danger of making unwarranted assumptions also exists in our study of the Scriptures. It is easy to insert our own thoughts as we decide what the Bible is teaching us. If we are not careful, we will accept the opinions of other men without realizing that the Bible does not actually say such things. For an excellent illustration of this, ask your friends what kind of forbidden fruit Adam and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden. “Why, an apple, of course!” Where does the Bible identify the kind of forbidden fruit? We must differentiate between God’s speech and our assumptions.

How can we avoid this pitfall of accepting incorrect conclusions? With respect to the Word of God, the careful Bible student will read and re-read the Word. He will test his religious convictions by that which he has read.  Avoiding unwarranted assumptions could possibly save  some friendships and perhaps our soul also.

– Via The Beacon, November 29, 2020
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Judging, Pre-judging, and Prejudice

Andy Diestelkamp

Perhaps one of the best known statements of Jesus is “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). Ironically, it is often cited by people to critique those by whom they feel criticized. However, Jesus is not condemning all critiques of others. This is made evident by: 1) the inconsistency created if His words are taken as an absolute prohibition, 2) the immediate context (vs. 5), and 3) the larger context of Scripture which actually requires making judgments (e.g. Jn. 7:24; 1 Cor. 5).

Contextually, what Jesus is condemning is inconsistent and hypocritical judgment. He is addressing the proclivity we have to judge others more critically than we judge ourselves. Of course, this tendency easily produces numerous misjudgments and prejudices against individuals and their “ilk” which, if unchecked by self-control and sound thinking, leads to a host of generational and cultural prejudices which cause strife and division.

Jesus is prioritizing self-critique as being necessarily first in order to then be able to adequately help others with their problems. This does not require perfection from us before forming an opinion, offering a critique, or rendering a judgment. This is again evident by the fact that we are called to do so, yet none of us can rightly claim perfection. For example, parents are not perfect in their own lives or in their parenting, but this reality does not forbid them to train their children (Eph. 6:4) which will, of necessity, require critiques and judgments. Still, humility and love must temper all discipline.

God created us to learn, discern, critique, and make judgments. As thinking people, we are constantly doing this; and such judgments are naturally made through the lens of our own limited experiences. This is one of the ways in which we both prosper and attempt to protect ourselves from harm. For example, a woman who was sexually molested by a man will naturally have a tendency to be wary of males. Thus, when she is approached by a male, she may become nervous. Based on her experience, she is making a judgment that she is in potential danger. This is a pre-judgment. Any circumstance which departs from the norm of perceived safety is immediately judged as suspect. This is a natural process and is not inherently wrong.

However, we are not mere animals who must react with “fight or flight” when confronted by these conditioned responses. As beings created in the image of God, we can and are expected to exercise self-control. We can reason that our initial reaction based on limited information is not logically or justly applicable to all persons despite our experiences and, therefore, does not require “fight or flight.” Thus we check our initial judgments with sober-mindedness, patience, mercy, and love and temper prejudicial responses and behaviors. This is how the mind of the spirit controls the reactions of the flesh and thus bears good fruit (cf. Gal. 5:16-26).

Judgments happen in a host of circumstances daily for all of us about everything from the mundane to sublime, from the harmless to the serious. When I experience anything with any of my five senses, my brain immediately begins to process it and make judgments despite the fact that I do not yet have all information necessary to make an accurate or fair judgment; but this fact alone does not stop my brain from thinking or making such judgments. Thus, one intuitively evaluates and makes judgments about everyone’s motives and attitudes and potential based on their appearances, words, and actions. By experience we know that many pre-judgments are inaccurate. Still, while acknowledging that “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” we will look at the cover and make an initial judgment.

This is why it is imperative that God’s Word be the foundation of our learning. Indeed, the ability to discern good from evil is a sign of spiritual maturity (Heb. 5:14). Without doubt, the culture in which we are raised and the values imparted by our parents and society at large are formative to the kinds of judgments we make. This is why we need to create a culture of Christ in our hearts and our homes so as to be better people and render better judgments in all cases.

— Via Think on These Things, Volume 51, No. 1, January-February-March 2020 (http://thinkonthesethings.com)
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Here is a video-sermon I preached last week, entitled, Standing Firm in the Lord.” If you would like to hear it, just click on that title.
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Pat Bridgman (Tina Allen’s aunt) who recently passed away.  Let us be keeping all of her loved ones in prayer.

Rick Cuthbertson is continuing with his new cancer treatment that he began a few weeks ago.  He takes it every day for 2 weeks, and then takes a break for 2 weeks before resuming the treatments.

Instead of a minor heart attack, it actually turned out to be angina that had given Chris Williams (Cheryl Corbitt’s son-in-law) some trouble recently.  He is still having to take it easy for a while, but wants to get back to work.

Doyle Rittenhouse’s back surgery is now just 4 days away.  It is scheduled for December 17.

Elizabeth Harden’s due date is just 22 days from now (January 4). Both her and her unborn are doing fine.

Deborah Medlock will be seeing her cancer doctor this week to find out the results of her recent lab work.

We are glad to say that Tammy Abbott is now healed from the covid-19.

Others to also be praying for: Joanne Ray, Vivian Foster, Larry & Janice Hood, Jim Lively, James Medlock, Judy Daugherty, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Ronnie & Melotine Davis, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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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 (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

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


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

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (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) The Prophet of the Passover (Andy Diestelkamp)
2) Jesus Christ — The Lamb of God (Tom Edwards)
3) What To Do When the Country Is Falling Apart (Gardner Hall)
4) News & Notes
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The Prophet of the Passover

Andy Diestelkamp

By the time the generation of Joseph and his brothers passed away, “the children of Israel … multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land [of Egypt] was filled with them” (Ex. 1:7). Not wanting to lose them as a labor force but not wanting them to increase in power, the Egyptians “set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens” (v. 11). However, despite life being hard for the Israelites, they continued to multiply to the point that Pharaoh instructed all newborn males to be killed (vv. 12-22).

It is in this context that Moses was born to parents of the tribe of Levi, who—“by faith” and “not afraid of the king’s command”—hid him for three months (Heb. 11:23). Then he was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter with his own mother serving as nursemaid (Ex. 2:1-10). No wonder then that Moses, despite being “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Ac. 7:22), had such an affinity for his Hebrew brethren when he “looked at their burdens” (Ex. 2:11) that he came to their defense. This he did by faith, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:24-25).  As Stephen noted, Moses “supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand” (Ac. 7:25). So Moses fled into the wilderness of Midian and worked as a shepherd there for forty years (v. 30) before God called Him to return to Egypt to appear before Pharaoh “that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Ex. 3:10).

The parallels between Moses and Jesus are obvious. From events surrounding their births (fearful king killing innocent baby boys) to coming to deliver others from bondage to being rejected, Moses pointed to Jesus. Years later, Moses told the children of Israel that one day God would “raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear” (Deut. 18:15).

Stephen, in his own defense before an angry Jewish council, established Israel’s pattern of rejecting God’s prophets, citing the rejections of both Joseph and Moses by the Jewish forefathers (Ac. 7:9-36). Speaking of Moses, Stephen said, “whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt” (7:39). This history he reviewed as evidence that the Jews’ rejection, betrayal, and murder of the Messiah was just more of the same (vv. 51-53). “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy … of how much worse punishment … will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:28-29).

Moses was to secure the deliverance of the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt through a series of plagues by which Egypt would be humbled, God would be glorified, and the so-called gods of the Egyptians shown to be impotent (Ex. 3:20; 7:3-5; 12:12 ). Most of the ten plagues could have been seen as direct attacks on objects of Egyptian worship. After nine plagues, God told Moses, “I will bring yet one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether” (11:1). Moses predicted to Pharaoh that “all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die” (v. 5). Then Moses “went out from Pharaoh in great anger” (v. 8). But God told Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt” (v. 9). Yet, this would be the event that would secure the deliverance of Israel from bondage.

God told Moses to instruct the children of Israel about what He was going to do and how to prepare for the event. In view of their coming deliverance, the current month would be the first month of Israel’s calendar (12:1). On the tenth day of the month, each household was to select a lamb (v. 2) “without blemish, a male of the first year” (v. 5). It was to be kept until the fourteenth day and then killed at twilight with its blood being applied to the doorposts and lintel of the house in which the lamb was to be eaten (vv. 6,7). The meal was to be eaten quickly as they prepared for travel and was called, “The LORD’s Passover” (v. 11).

The significance of this terminology pertained to the judgment coming upon Egypt from which Israel would be spared. “For I will pass through the land of Egypt … and will strike all the firstborn … both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the LORD” (v. 12). The blood would be the sign that would “make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel” (11:7). God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” (12:13). Moses assured the people that God would “not allow the destroyer to come into [their] houses” (v. 23). On the midnight following the fourteenth day of the month, God struck all the firstborn in Egypt. Pharaoh rose in the night, called for Moses with the message, “go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go serve the LORD as you have said” (vv. 29-31). The blood of an unblemished lamb saved believers from the wrath of God and secured their freedom from bondage. They were to remember this for generations to come (vv. 24-27). So should we!

— Via Think On These Things, Volume 51, No. 4, October-November-December 2020
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Jesus Christ — The Lamb of God

Tom Edwards

As we think about the previous, excellent article by Andy Diestelkamp on “The Prophet of the Passover,” and especially in reading the part that “The blood of an unblemished lamb saved believers from the wrath of God and secured their freedom from bondage,” how could we not also think of Jesus Christ whom John the Baptist refers to as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)!

For because of the offering Jesus made of His own body on the cross, His death brought about the only atonement that can blot out sin (cf. Heb. 10:4; 1 Pet. 1:18-19) and save us from the wrath to come!  How needful that was — and is! 

In spite of the terrible agony in facing and undergoing the preliminary, near-unto-death scourging and the constantly intense torment of crucifixion (Matt. 26:38; Luke 22:44; Matt. 27:26), Jesus had offered Himself freely, willingly, of His own initiative (John 10:17-18) for every sinner of all time (Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2).

But just as Israel of old had to meet God’s conditions, such as in putting the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their houses (Exodus 12:7), even so we must meet the Lord’s conditions in this Gospel Age so that the blood of Christ, His atoning death, can be applied to our lives to save us from our sins and from the eternal consequences of them.  For Jesus is “our Passover” (1 Cor. 5:7).

How wonderful it is that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16); and that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8) to make redemption possible (1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 6:20; Acts 20:28).

You might turn down many good opportunities as you go through life, but if you are one who continues to reject God’s love and the atonement Jesus made for you, it will be your greatest regret in the Judgment Day. 

So if you are in need of the salvation the Lord offers you — and very much wants you to have — why not humbly and gratefully accept it this very day (as shown in the necessary steps near the end of this bulletin)!

What could  be more important than being forgiven of your every sin, becoming a child of God, having the hope of everlasting life, and one day entering into that glorious place called heaven to enjoy its bliss forevermore! 

Nothing else in this world can even come close to the greatness of that — and Jesus Christ became the Lamb of God to make that attainable for all who will submit to His Gospel plan of salvation.
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What To Do When the Country Is Falling Apart

Gardner Hall

The prophet Habakkuk was overwhelmed with anxiety about two things: (1) The injustice in his country (1:1-4) and (2) the resulting destruction at the hands of the Babylonians (1:5-2:1). However, when the prophet turned to the Lord in prayer, his confidence grew to the point that he could rejoice in the Lord whatever happened (3:17-28). The final verse of the book, a statement from one of David’s Psalms (18:33), is compelling. “Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights!” (HCSB).

The reference is probably to an animal like the Palestine mountain gazelle. Their hoofs have sharp edges and the undersides are concave, enabling them to climb seemingly impassible cliffs and thus view the world, as it were, from above the fray. That’s the idea here! God gave the prophet feet like those of a deer, the spiritual traction to climb into the spiritual realms and view the rise and fall of the nations with a compliant detachment.

God’s followers today are often overwhelmed with the same type of anxiety: (1) The injustices in our countries and (2) their growing weakness. Rather than wanting us to fall into depression when being bombarded with news about the evils in our nation, God invites us through the prophet to pray to him and rise above the fray into the heavenly realms. A focus on him and eternity helps us avoid the despair that comes from a this-worldly focus. “Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights!”  (Idea from my dad, Sewell Hall.)

— Via Search for Truth, Volume XIII, Number 16, November 16, 2020
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Chris Williams
(Cheryl Corbitt’s son-in-law) had a minor heart attack Friday at just 28 years of age.  He is now back home and wanting to return to work, but is to take it easy for a while.

Anita Young continues to heal from her recent fall and does not have much pain now.  But she is to still keep weight off her leg for a few more weeks with the use of a wheelchair and a crutch.  Her previous foot problem, which she had an injection for, continues to be okay.

Elizabeth Harden (Anita Young’s daughter) is doing well, along with her unborn.  Her due date has been moved from December 30 to January 4.   

Being over her covid-19, Rachel Gerbing will be resuming her job tomorrow.

Deborah Medlock will be having lab work this week, and then see her cancer doctor the following week to hear the results.

James Medlock continues to do about the same with his bad, inoperable heart valve; pulmonary edema; and dementia.

Ronnie & Melotine Davis have been having a lot of problems with their backs.

Doyle Rittenhouse’s back surgery was rescheduled to December 17. He continues to have pain in his back. 

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Elaine Abbott, Pat Bridgman, Tammy Abbott, Joanne Ray, Vivian Foster, Rick Cuthbertson, Larry & Janice Hood, Jim Lively, Judy Daugherty, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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