Year: 2021 (Page 1 of 4)

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) Is Everything We Do “Worship”? (Frank Jamerson)
2) “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”
(Psalm 33:12) (John Gibson)
3) Matthew 17:1-3, 5 (NASB)
4) Lessons from 2 Timothy 4 (video sermon, Tom Edwards)   
5) News & Notes
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Is Everything We Do “Worship”?

Frank Jamerson

Several years ago, a preacher in the Christian church made the argument to me that if we cannot play an instrument in worship, we cannot play one anywhere, because everything we do is worship. In the May, 1990 issue of The Examiner, one of the anonymous writers said: “Is it wrong to play a piano and sing to God? If it is, then it is equally wrong to use a piano for any reason. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, ‘Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’ If you can’t use mechanical instruments to praise God then how can you justify their use at all?” (p. 8)

It may be difficult to distinguish between “service” and “worship” in some passages, but the fact that not everything we do is “worship” should be obvious from the meaning of the words as well as the way they are used in Scripture.

Let us notice the context of the quote from 1 Corinthians 10:31. Beginning with verse 14, Paul warns against idolatry. He then said that when Israel ate the sacrifices they were “partakers of the altar,” even so if the Corinthians ate the sacrifices of the Gentiles, they were having “fellowship with demons” (v. 20). They were admonished not to have fellowship with idolatry, but they could “eat whatever is sold in the meat market” (v. 25), if they understood that such action was not worship to the idol. However, if a weak brother said, “This was offered to idols, do not eat it for the sake of” his conscience (v. 28). If the action of eating meat was intended as worship to an idol, it was wrong. If the same action was done for a different purpose, there was nothing inherently wrong with it. Likewise, they did not “commune with Christ” every time they drank grape juice. Eating meat, or drinking grape juice may be worship or not worship, depending on your purpose. Verse 31 does not say “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you are worshiping.” It says that in eating and drinking, we should consider the consciences of our brethren, and thereby “glorify God.”

Jesus cleansed the temple twice, because men had failed to distinguish between “service” and “worship” (John 2:14-16; Matt. 21:12-13). The services of selling doves and making change were good works, but Jesus said that they were in the wrong place. The “house of prayer” had become a “den of thieves.” Maybe they thought that if they could not sell doves and make change in the temple, they could not do those things anywhere! Jesus did not buy their excuses, whatever they may have been!

W.E. Vine summarizes the definition of worship as: “Broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment.” Thayer comments: “Among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence… hence in the New Testament by kneeling or prostration, to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication.” Regardless of how obedient subjects may have been to the kings, they had not “worshiped” until they performed acts of reverence that were required by the kings. An example of that is found in Daniel 3. Though Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful servants of Nebuchadnezzar, when the order was given: “at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up,” they refused to obey. In this we see a clear distinction between service and worship. If they mean the same, then the Hebrews had already “worshiped” Nebuchadnezzar, so why not bow to the image and avoid the fiery furnace?

In the first century those who refused to worship the Emperor were not permitted to “buy or sell” because they did not have the “mark of the beast” on their forehead or hand (Rev. 13:17; 14:9). Those Christians knew the difference between serving the Emperor and worshiping him, and it cost them dearly! There was, and is, nothing wrong with being obedient to the “decrees of Caesar,” but there is something wrong with worshiping him!

“Service” is a more general word and may be used to describe worship, but not all service is worship. Abraham told the young men with him that “the lad and I will go yonder and worship” (Gen. 22:5). After David’s son died, he “went into the house of the Lord and worshiped,” then he went to his own house and ate food (2 Sam. 12:20). The Ethiopian eunuch had gone to Jerusalem “to worship” (Acts 8:27). True worship has both an inward dimension and an outward dimension. It involves the attitude (“in spirit”) and the acts performed (“in truth”). If the worship was to the Emperor, it involved reverence expressed in whatever actions he required. If the worship is to God, it must be “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

It is not true that if you can serve the emperor, you can worship him. Neither is it true that if you can play an instrument anywhere you can play it in worship, nor if you can wash feet anywhere you can wash them in worship, nor if you can eat meat anywhere you can eat it in worship! Worship is special acts offered reverently to a special Being. Men who made “the washing of hands” a religious requirement were “worshiping in vain” because such was not authorized of God (Matt. 15:9).

We need to be content in doing the things God authorized as “worship,” and “serve” him in all things. Those who make everything we do “worship” are on dangerous ground.

— via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, May 2012
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“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”
(Psalm 33:12)

John Gibson

“When America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great,” said Alexis de Tocqueville. In this statement we are reminded that the greatness of a nation does not rest in its military power, social advancements, political acumen or its national wealth. A nation’s greatness is found in the quotient of its righteousness. Righteousness is the determining factor in a country’s future. Solomon, the wisest of men, said “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Theodore Roosevelt warned, “The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.” Is it possible that this day is drawing near? To a great extent our objectives have become: success, status, and security. These are followed closely by self-indulgence, pleasure, and comfort. Our permissive society turns freedom into license, rights into riots, and pornography into profit.

Concerned about a higher standard of living, we often fail to live by a standard. Riches are elevated above righteousness; power over piety; and science above the Savior. We abandon the moral law then shake our heads in disbelief as crime increases. Look out, America! Remember the words of Will Durant: “No great nation has ever been overcome until it has destroyed itself.”

If you really desire to be a patriot; if you are truly concerned about America; if you earnestly want God to bless her – Then live a life in harmony with the will of God.

— Via The Beacon, September 19, 2021
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Matthew 17:1-3,5

“Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. . . . While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’”  

— New American Standard Bible
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Lessons from 2 Timothy 4

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/2Tim4_1-7.mp4
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News & Notes

Congratulations to Ronnie & Melotine Davis in the birth of their new great granddaughter, Addison Brooke Carines!

Let us continue to pray for Tammy Griffey who has not been feeling well and has not yet heard the results of her recent tests.

Lee & Vivian Foster are now healed from the Covid-19, and Vivian never did have any really bad symptoms from it.

Shirley Davis is now also healed from Covid-19 and was moved into a rehab clinic a couple weeks ago where she has begun treatment for her foot.

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Rex Hadley, Rick Cuthbertson, Deborah Medlock, and Jim Lively.
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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.

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) Singing with Grace (Ron Halbrook)
2) Refinement (Terry Wane Benton)
3) Six Dangers for the Christian to Avoid (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Singing with Grace

Ron Halbrook

Two of the passages which point to the importance of congregational singing are Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16.

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:19

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Colossians 3:16

Two aspects of worship in song are clearly taught in these passages. The first aspect is singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord — singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. All true obedience to God presses the faith and submission of the heart of man toward God. All true worship is the outpouring of our hearts unto God. Our hearts should be full of grace, love, and truth of God as we sing praises to him.

The second aspect is speaking to yourselves — teaching and admonishing one another. We teach and encourage one another by the words we sing. Daily, private singing is appropriate and expresses the thanksgiving of the heart to God. “Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13). But public, congregational singing adds the dimension of each one who worships God edifying others as they worship God.

These two passages, like every other passage on music in worship during the gospel age, authorize vocal rather than instrumental music. The thanksgiving and melody of the heart are to be expressed by speaking, teaching, and admonishing by means of singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Instruments of music such as harps, horns, guitars, banjoes, drums, clarinets, organs, and cymbals cannot speak the truths of God’s Word. The word of Christ cannot dwell in the heart of a mechanical instrument — no such instrument can teach and admonish people with the divine word. Both passages urge God’s people to sing from the heart, but neither authorizes them to play upon a harp.

“By his prophets” the Lord commanded the use of cymbals, psalteries, and harps in the temple worship under the law of Moses (2 Chron. 29:25). While trumpets and other instruments were being played, animals sacrifices were burned (v. 28). The Psalms speak of worshiping God with various musical instruments and with “burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats” (Ps. 150; 66:15). Noah was commanded to build an ark — Israel to march around the walls of Jericho — Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan River (Gen. 6; Josh. 6; 2 Kings. 5).

We do not serve God today under the covenants and commandments of the Old Testament fathers, but under the new covenant of Jesus Christ. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2).

Jesus Christ in the New Testament does not command us to dip seven times in Jordan, to march around Jericho, to build an ark, to offer animal sacrifices, or to play musical instruments in worship!  We read his command in the New Covenant to sing in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, but where do we read any command to play?

Christ teaches us to glorify God in our worship rather than man — singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Christ commands personal participation by all saints in worship rather than professional performances by a few — yourselves, one another. Christ commanded our worship to be edifying rather than entertaining — teaching and admonishing.

The modem use of solo, quartet, and choir singing violates the design of New Testament worship. Men are touted and glorified for making a display of their musical “talents.” Not all who make up “yourselves” and “one another” can qualify for the solo or choir, so the participation of all the saints is sacrificed on the altar of professional performance. The “program” is sure to be entertaining, but spiritual edification is lost. Tryouts, contests, and competitions are held — performances presented, entertainment exalted, and men glorified — in the name of worship. It is all carnality and a vain display of religion “after the commandments and doctrines of men,” “which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship” (Col. 2:22-23). In other words, in the name of doing God’s will men are doing their own will.

True worship glorifies God and edifies saints. As the heart overflows with the word of Christ and the praise of God, we sing with grace. True Christians worship according to the commands of Christ and not according to their own will. New Testament churches find their pattern for worship in the New Testament, not in the Old Testament, not in the vain traditions of men, and certainly not in the carnality of this modern age!

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, August 2021
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Refinement

Terry Wane Benton

All that happens to us in this life is part of refining us. Like gold is purified through the harsh fires of testing, and as testing refines and strengthens our quality of faith and character, we come out in the end with a glory that looks more like the glory of Jesus. That depends on how genuine our faith is in Jesus!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). Think about how Job was tested, yet he believed he would come out somewhere as gold.

David went through many heartaches and difficulties, and yet, this is the refining process in him, and here is how he looked at it all:

“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance”(Psalm 66:10-12 ESV).

We are either refined or we get burnt up. If we are refined, the end product will be beautiful in God’s hands! Be sure you have gold quality faith in the Lord!

— Via La Vista church of Christ, August 13, 2021
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Six Dangers for the Christian to Avoid

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/6_Dangers.mp4

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Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

— NASB
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-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Rich and Tammy Griffey
have not yet heard the results of Tammy’s recent testing.  She is still not feeling well.

I’m glad to report that A.J. & Pat Joyner, and their daughter Pam, are all healed from the Covid-19.

Also Philip Hickox is now healed from Covid-19.

Shirley Davis, Lee & Vivian Foster, and their family have also been healing from Covid-19.

Ronnie & Melotine Davis have had only the one injection for their back pains, so far. They will also be having a couple more for the completion of it.

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Frank & Ossie Andrews, Joshua Harvey, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, Deborah Medlock, and Jim Lively.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Two Unchangeable Things (Matthew W. Bassford)
2) Why Are Second Peter and Jude So Similar? (David Dann)
3) Considering Some “Let Us” Verses (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) Psalm 121 (NASB)
5) News & Notes
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Two Unchangeable Things

Matthew W. Bassford

In addition to the other things that make Hebrews challenging for us to follow, the writer assumes that his readership is familiar with the Old Testament. He jumps from allusion to allusion, rarely pausing to explain his references to the Law with more than a phrase or two. However, because our Old-Testament knowledge is rarely the equal of a first-century Jew’s, it’s often worthwhile for us to slow down, flip back to the front part of our Bibles, and figure out what in the world the writer is talking about!

This is certainly useful in Hebrews 6:13-18. The conclusion here is relevant to every Christian—that we should have strong encouragement to seize the hope that is before us. However, the discussion before the conclusion omits the information we need to reach that conclusion. In order to figure out what’s going on, we have to go back to the incident he is discussing, the conversation between God and Abraham in Genesis 22:15-18.

Contextually, Abraham has just won God’s favor by demonstrating his willingness even to sacrifice his own son if God commands him to do so. Now, He is about to explain what this means for Abraham. God begins by swearing an oath by Himself. This is not usual; in fact, there are only three places in the whole Bible where God swears an oath by Himself. Then, He tells Abraham, “I will indeed bless you.”

This is what the writer is talking about in Hebrews 6:17. “I will indeed bless you,” is God’s unchangeable purpose. “By Myself I have sworn,” is the oath He used to guarantee His promise. As the writer observes in Hebrews 6:18, it’s impossible for God to lie in either of these things, which is where the strong encouragement comes from.

However, the writer does not explain (because he expects his audience to know already) what an ironclad promise that God made to bless Abraham has to do with us. If we can’t fill in that blank on our own, we have to go back to Genesis 22:17-18. There, God specifies that His blessing will take two forms. First, Abraham’s offspring will be as numerous as the stars and the sand. Second, through his seed (singular, not plural, as Paul notes in Galatians 3:16), all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

Now we start seeing why this is relevant! According to Galatians 3:7-9, everyone who has faith is a descendant of Abraham, whether they are Jew or Gentile. Second, as per Galatians 3:16, the singular seed of blessing is Jesus.

Thus, God’s unchangeable purpose and oath have done two things. First, they have prepared a special people for Him, a people that comprises everyone who seeks Him in faith. Second, those two unchangeable things guarantee that those who seek will find blessing in Him through Christ.

Ever wonder if you really, really are going to inherit eternal life because you are faithful? You don’t have to wonder. God has both pledged and sworn it by Himself, and for us, that is strong encouragement indeed!

— Via Articles of the La Vista church of Christ, June 4, 2021
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Why Are 2 Peter and Jude So Similar?

David Dann

Upon reading the New Testament one may notice some obvious similarities in content between the books of 2 Peter and Jude. These similarities have at times raised questions in the minds of the readers. Some have made unwarranted assumptions concerning these similarities which have only complicated matters. For example, various views have been advanced, including among them the following ideas: both writers copied their material from an unknown common source, Peter copied Jude’s work, or that Jude copied Peter’s work. Some have even attempted to use the similarities between the two books in order to advance the idea that neither book was written by the man with whose name it is associated. However, these views are rooted in baseless speculation rather than in Scriptural evidence.

Concerning the harmony and consistency of the inspired writings, Jesus said that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Therefore, if similarities exist between 2 Peter and Jude, then there must be good reasons as to why such similarities exist. While the two letters do cover similar ground in some respects, the similarities between the two are representative of the harmony of truth. Consider the harmony displayed in the content of these two brief New Testament epistles.

1. Jude writes of the fulfillment of what Peter forewarned. Concerning the threat of false teachers, Peter writes, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet. 2:1). While Jude also warns of false teachers, he speaks of them as presently fulfilling Peter’s words. Jude writes, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Peter warned that such men would come among the brethren; Jude notes that they had arrived.

2. Jude refers to the counsel given by Peter and the other apostles. Peter warned of those who would mock at the word of God, saying, “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts” (2 Pet. 3:1-3). Jude apparently makes reference to Peter’s warning, saying, “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts” (Jude 17-18). Peter warned that these lust-driven mockers would come; Jude reminds his readers of the warning because the mockers had come.

3. Jude reinforces what Peter wrote. Peter bases the certainty of God’s judgment against false teachers on the judgments God has brought in the past on sinful angels (2 Pet. 2:4) and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 6), and provides a description of false teachers which serves to highlight their corruption and ultimate doom (vv. 12-17). Jude reinforces what Peter wrote by also reminding his readers of God’s judgments against wicked angels and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 6), and by further describing the corruption of false teachers and their ultimate judgment by God (vv. 12-15). Peter warned of the danger of those who would lead others into spiritual ruin; Jude reiterates and underscores Peter’s warnings with forceful clarity.

Conclusion. Why are 2 Peter and Jude so similar? The answer ultimately lies in the fact that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16) and that both men were “moved by the Holy Spirit” in what they wrote (2 Pet. 1:21). Peter and Jude were directed by God in delivering vital, harmonious, and complimentary messages which serve to warn believers against straying from the truth of God. Are you listening?

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, October 2016
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Considering Some “Let Us” Verses

Tom Edwards

  Clicking on the following link, while online, will play the video sermon that is titled above:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Let_Us.mp4
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-4-

Psalm 121

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper.
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”

— NASB
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-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Our condolences go out to all the family and friends of David Foster who passed away yesterday morning at just 51 years of age.

We also extend our sympathies to the family and friends of Dorothy “Dot” Jerrell (Carter) Sams who passed away August 30 at 80 years of age.

Shirley Davis had been in the hospital, due to a fractured foot and will soon be transferred to rehab. 

Frank Andrews and his wife Ossie are in the local hospital with Covid-19.  Frank is on a ventilator.

Joshua Harvey is going through a crisis in his life.

Carman Wells will be having tests run to see if she has breast cancer.

Deborah Medlock has been in pain that runs from her back to her feet

Bennie Medlock will be having cataract surgery around the middle of this month.

The injections to alleviate the back pain for Ronnie & Melotine Davis had been rescheduled for September 9 (Thursday).

Also for prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Mia Music, AJ & Pat Joyner, Pam Sanders, Tim & Barbara Kirkland, Alisha Hunter, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, and our shut-ins.
——————–

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.

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

-1-

The Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy:
A Reason to Believe in Jesus and the Bible

Tom Edwards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via The Gospel Observer, June 2, 1991 (revised)
——————–

-2-

Are Miraculous Gifts Still for Today?

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

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

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

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Alisha Hunter, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, and our shut-ins.
——————–

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

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

-1-

Missed Opportunities

Wayne Goff

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

The Weeping Prophet?

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

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

Jeremiah’s Prophetic Calling

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

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

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

Jeremiah’s Job

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

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

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

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

Didn’t God Know?

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 30, Issue 31, Page 4, August 1, 2021
——————–

-2-

God’s Wings

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Author unknown (via Bulletin Fodder)
——————–

-3-

To Desire Life, to Love and to See Good Days

Tom Edwards

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

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

———————

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

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

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

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Alisha Hunter, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, and our shut-ins.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

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

-1-

“One More Night With The Frogs”

Kenneth Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2003
——————–

-2-

Be Not of a Vengeful Spirit

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-3-

Changing Text Size in Your Email and Web Browser

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

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

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

Tim & Barbara Kirkland also have the Covid-19.

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

Becky Lindsey is ill and can also use our prayers.

Olivia McCarthy is recuperating well from Covid-19.

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

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

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

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

It is also good to resume our “song service” for the first Sunday of every month, beginning at 5 p.m. today.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday:

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

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

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

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

“Garage-Sale Christianity”

Jim Lee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith, Yes, But Not By Faith Alone

Bill Crews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-3-

The Qualities of 1 Peter 3:8

Tom Edwards

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

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


——————–

-4-

News & Notes

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

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

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

Let us also continue to remember our shut-ins.

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

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

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

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

-1-

Joshua

Colby Junkin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Articles of the River Bend church of Christ, October 20, 2019
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-2-

Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Bill Moseley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-3-

Seven Aspects of the Christian’s Hope

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

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

-1-

Complaining

George Slover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-2-

A Father’s Greatest Sermon

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

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

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

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

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

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

-3-

What Is A Brother In Christ?

Bill Crews   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36 Issue 27, Page 2
——————–

-4-

Prejudiced Against the Bible

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

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

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

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

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

-5-

What Is Jesus to You?

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

— Via Bulletin Fodder
——————–

-6-

Developing Moral Excellence

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-7-

News & Notes

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

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

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

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

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

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

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

-1-

Calvinism and the Old Testament

Don Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonah 3:4-5 (ESV)

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

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

Jonah 3:10 (ESV)

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

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

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

-2-

Perish the Thought!

Dan S. Shipley

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

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

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

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

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

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

-3-

Caring for Our Souls

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

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

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

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

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

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

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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