“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).
1) The Joy of Being a Christian (Wayne Goff)
2) Where are the Good Samaritans? (Joe R. Price)
3) The Two Shortest Verses (Troy Nicholson)
4) Motherhood (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
The Joy of Being a Christian
The book of Acts records the consistent reaction of those who first obeyed the Gospel: JOY! What were they so happy about?
In the city of Samaria, Philip preached Christ to the people, and confirmed his message with miraculous signs, Acts 8:5-25: “And there was great joy in the city” (v. 8). Their rejoicing was over the fact that both sin and its diseases were defeated by the Name of Jesus.
In a deserted place, Philip also preached the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch of great authority, Acts 8:26-40. This devout man was reading Isaiah 53 on his own and wondering of whom God was speaking. Philip, by inspiration, sat down with him and explained that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled that prophecy. In doing so, he preached baptism for the remission of sins. The eunuch, upon confessing “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (v. 37), was baptized “and he went on his way rejoicing” (vv. 38-39). He rejoiced over having been forgiven of his sins. He rejoiced over leaving the domain of Satan and being translated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13)!
In Antioch, Pisidia, Paul preached Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 13:14-52), and encouraged certain believers “to continue in the grace of God” (v. 43). When the Gentiles understood that they were included in the scope of the Gospel, then “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (v. 48). The word continued to be spread throughout the region, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (v. 52).
When Paul and Barnabas reported the salvation of the Gentiles on their way back to Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-4), the brethren had “great joy” (v. 3) in hearing it!
The Philippian jailer, at the edge of death and eternal damnation, heard the Gospel from the lips of Paul and Silas, Acts 6:9-40. He went from near certain physical death to absolute spiritual life in the span of a few hours! Naturally, “…he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (v. 34). If you were in his shoes, wouldn’t you be rejoicing?!
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliot).
— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36, Issue 17, Page 1, April 25, 2021
Where are the Good Samaritans?
Joe R. Price
A man who stopped a fight between another man and a woman died on the New York City sidewalk after being stabbed. At least seven people passed by. Some stopped to look, and one even lifted the 31-year-old man’s body momentarily before walking away. He was motionless for nearly an hour before emergency help arrived, but by then it was too late; he was dead. (AP: “Homeless good Samaritan left to die on NYC street,” FoxNews.com)
One cannot hear of this tragedy without remembering the parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). Have we forgotten how to be a neighbor? Have we forgotten how to love our neighbor as ourselves? Would we have walked by, or would we have been a neighbor to the fallen? (Lk 10:36)
1) Loving our neighbor requires compassion (Luke 10:33). Pity ought to drive us to show mercy when we see others distressed. The Samaritan saw the wounded man in need and acted out of compassion. Even a cup of cold water given in mercy does not go unnoticed by the Lord (Matt 10:42).
2) Loving our neighbor requires contact (Luke 10:34-35). Love means getting involved, and some simply will not do it. Maybe it is due to fear, maybe due to inconvenience, maybe due to selfishness. But, love requires involvement (1 Jno 3:17-18). Like the Samaritan, we will get involved when we love our neighbor as ourselves.
3) Loving our neighbor requires cost (Luke 10:35). Loving our neighbor as ourselves requires making sacrifices. Whether it is their time, our energy or our money – love gives without thought of return. Do we walk by because it costs too much to stop and be a neighbor?
— Via The Spirit’s Sword, Vol. 13, Num. 13, May 2, 2010
The Two Shortest Verses
There are two very short verses in the New Testament. Each one can rightly be called the shortest verse in the Bible.
The shortest verse in the original Greek language is 1 Thessalonians 5:16, translated to read, “Rejoice always.” The shortest verse in the English language is John 11:35, which reads, “Jesus wept.”
Each of these verses deals with an emotional reaction. The first deals with the feeling of joy, while the second deals with sorrow. We all experience times of both rejoicing and weeping. The Bible says that there is a time for each of these emotions (Eccl 3:4).
Our rejoicing should be for things above. We can rejoice in persecution and temptation because they help prepare us for a reward in Heaven (Matt 5:12; Acts 5:14; James 1:2-4). Jesus says to “rejoice because your names are written in Heaven” (Mark 10:20). Rejoicing takes place when sinners repent and make their lives right with God (Luke 15; Acts 8:39). We always have reason to “rejoice in the Lord” (Phil 3:1; 4:4, 10).
Our weeping should be over what is against things above. On several occasions we see weeping at the death of someone (John 11:35), with death entering the world because of sin (Gen 2:16-17). Peter “wept bitterly” when he denied the Lord (Matt 26:75). Jesus wept over the unrepentant condition of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).
As children of God, we are to share with one another in times of joy and sorrow. We are to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
There is so much involved in two very short verses!
— Via Articles from the Lakeview church of Christ, Hendersonville, Tennessee, September 6, 2015
To hear the video sermon on Motherhood, just click on the following link while on the Internet:
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You” (NASB).
News & Notes
After having blood work done, Ginger Ann Montero was admitted to the hospital for observation, due to her kidneys not functioning properly. They will likely be remedied with a change in her medication.
After 10 days in the hospital, Tate Walters was able to return home, doing much better. His father writes that Tate “will have to have several follow up doctor visits and labs to continue monitoring his condition, to further understand what the initial trigger was, and to learn more about this rare disease.”
The sinus surgery for Rachel Gerbing, which was due to an infection that set in several months ago when she had covid-19, went very well. Drain tubes will be removed Monday, and in the meanwhile she continues on pain and nausea medications and bed rest.
Joyce Rittenhouse is having much pain in her knee from a bad fall she had a few weeks ago. And her brother is healing from hernia surgery he had Thursday morning.
Doyle Rittenhouse has been having a return of much pain in his neck, which he hopes is from the nerve endings still in the process of dying from their recent ablation. He was told it would take some time. He also has pain in his shoulder and arm, due to osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
It was a stroke that Ritt Rittenhouse had a few weeks ago. Since then, he has been back in the hospital 3 times, due to losing feeling and balance. For he also has a degenerative disc in his neck that sometimes pinches against a nerve and causes temporary paralysis, which will have to be dealt with after he heals more from the stroke.
Ritt’s wife Janet is healing up well from the car accident she was in.
Danielle Bartlett has not yet heard the results of her recent testing for her heart palpitations and swollen legs.
For the pain in his back, Bennie Medlock will be seeing a specialist May 18.
Also for continual prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer) and Nell Teague (cancer).
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).
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
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This link is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)