Month: June 2021

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

Don Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Brown Street Beacon, November 1, 2020
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Growing in Littleness

Dan S. Shipley

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

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

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

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

— Via The Oak Grove Messenger (Walnut Hill, FL), November 17, 2019
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Psalm 139:16-18

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

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/fathers.mp4
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News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

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

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

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

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

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

Also our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

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

Heath Rogers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, June 2021
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The Weapons of Our Warfare

Gilbert Alexander

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

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

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

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

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

Irvin Himmel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Judas.mp4
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-5-

News & Notes

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

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

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

Ronnie Davis has been having severe back pain.

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

Also our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

1) Running from Opportunity (Mike Pittman)
2) Recommend This Church Twice A Week (Greg Gwin)
3) “If Any Man Wills . . .” (Dan S. Shipley)
4) Various Bible-Based Thoughts (improvised audio sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
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Running from Opportunity

Mike Pittman

“But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor. 16:8-9).

The word “door” is frequently used for “opportunity.” Paul would not leave Ephesus because the opportunities for teaching the gospel were too great.

In addition to the door opened unto Paul in Ephesus, there were “many adversaries.” One might have expected Paul to say, “I must leave Ephesus because of my many adversaries.” Instead he said, “I must stay in Ephesus in spite of my many adversaries. The opportunities for accomplishing good are too great.”

I’m afraid that while Paul stayed, we often run from our opportunities. Paul allowed his opportunities for good to outweigh his adversaries, so he stayed put. We sometimes get discouraged by looking at our adversaries, so we flee opportunities to teach the gospel. We may never be subjected to mob violence for teaching the lost, as Paul was while in Ephesus (Acts 19:21-34), but we have our adversaries.

One of our adversaries is our lack of confidence in our ability to teach. It is not our ability to teach that is going to convert people. The gospel does that. Besides, we can surely teach others what we did in order to be saved. We can also bring the lost to some teacher in whom we do have confidence. If you do not have confidence in your own ability to teach the lost, what are you doing in order that you may improve your ability?

Another adversary is fear of rejection. Folks, the Lord was rejected! That didn’t keep Him from teaching as many as He could. When your teaching is rejected, don’t take it personally. Israel told their old prophet and judge, Samuel, that they wanted a king to rule over them. The Lord told Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you: for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:7). When people despise the doctrine that you bring unto them, this is not a rejection of you but of the Lord. While you are fearing the adversary of rejection, consider this: how will our friends ever enjoy acceptance of the truth if no one offers it unto them?

A third adversary some face is not enough confidence in the gospel. When we say, “people just won’t listen to the truth anymore,” we need more confidence in people and in the gospel. Do you have reason to disbelieve Paul when he said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16)? The gospel works! It has worked, it is working, and it will always work when sown in good and honest hearts.

Are you praying for open doors? Are you looking for them? What would you do if you found one? Would you run away or stay?

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, June 2020
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Recommend This Church Twice A Week

Greg Gwin

Those who study “church growth” tell us that our best opportunity for increase arises out of every member recommending their own congregation to people they know or with whom they have contact. Such recommendations should be brief, to-the-point statements that are designed to appeal to the specific individual. Here are some examples:

To a new family that has recently moved into your neighborhood: “It’s great to meet you. If you ever think about looking for a new church here in our area, I’d like to recommend the Church of Christ. We’ve got some good families there, and we’ve got great classes for the kids. We’d love to have you visit.”

To someone you work with who may be going through a difficult time: “I know it’s tough right now, but in times like this I’ve always gained a lot of strength from the people at church. Why don’t you come to church with me this Sunday?”

To someone you meet at the grocery who gives you an “opening” by something that is said: “I attend the Church of Christ, and I really love it there. If there’s ever a time when you’re looking for a church, I’d like to recommend this one.”

See how easy it is! You can do this! We ALL can do this! And, it should be emphasized that we’re all obligated to do this. Revelation 22:17 says: “…the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Let’s get busy recommending this church — simply telling folks to “come.” If each of us will make this recommendation twice each week, every one of us will have invited over 100 people in a year. Just do it!!!

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36, Issue 23, Page 1
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“If Any Man Wills …”

Dan S. Shipley

Rest assured that when Felix heard Paul “concerning the faith in Christ Jesus” (Acts 24:24), he heard exactly what he needed to hear and he heard it from one of the most competent and informed teachers of that time. In his case it was not a question, as when we teach, as to whether the most appropriate things were taught or whether enough was said or whether it was spoken in the proper spirit. And, judging from his response to what was heard concerning “righteousness, and self control, and the judgment to come” (v. 25), a terrified Felix got the point. But, regretfully, he dismisses God’s servant and, with him, God’s truth with the pitiful answer, “Go thy way for this time; and when I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me (v. 25). So far as we know, that convenient season and salvation never came to Felix. Felix was lost! But why?

Certainly not because God wanted it that way! When the apostle Peter wrote that God is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Pet. 3:9), that surely included Felix. When Jesus said that “God so loved the world” (Jn. 3:16), that too included Felix. Felix was no less the object of God’s great love and concern than was the apostle Paul. Jesus teaches us that the soul of Felix was worth more than the whole world (Matt. 16:26). Then He proved it by dying on the cross for all men — for Felix. Through the Holy Spirit, men like Paul were divinely directed into all the truth (Jn. 16: 13) and were told to preach it unto all the world (Matt. 28:20) so that sinners like Felix may learn words whereby they might be saved (Ac. 11:14). Yet, in spite of God’s will, His love and His every provision; in spite of the efforts of an inspired apostle, Felix was lost! — and he was lost by choice! He chose to sow to flesh rather than the spirit; to serve self rather than God. And, even though God regrets such a decision, He nevertheless respects it. He allows man to do as he pleases, even when he chooses to spurn God’s grace and reject His salvation, as did Felix. This is, as some have termed it, God’s “permissive will.” Jn. 7:17 clearly shows the two wills involved in salvation: “If any man wills to do His will…” While it is true that environment and circumstances may and do influence one’s character, in the final analysis every man is what he chooses to be. As someone has well said, “Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life.” Spiritually, Felix was what he chose to be — and so are we.

True, we don’t always like to take credit for what we may have become. Some blame God; others blame God’s people; still others find countless excuses with which to salve their consciences, but none of this changes anything. We are still just about what we want to be in our relationship with God. Facing up to this fact would help put things in perspective for a lot of the unfaithful. Felix and all like him will find that their choices are not without consequences. He who chooses to sow to the flesh will reap accordingly, Gal. 6:8. God’s sovereignty is vindicated in judgment. He wants you saved. The question is…

— Via Plain Talk, Vol. XVII, No. IV, page 3, June 1980
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Various Bible-Based Thoughts

Tom Edwards

About 10 minutes prior to Sunday morning’s worship service, I wasn’t able to access my notes and slides for that morning’s sermon presentation that was all on my laptop.  So, instead, I improvised the following sermon, which I later entitled, “Various Bible-Based Thoughts”:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Various_Bible-Based_Thoughts.mp3

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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

Jim Lively had a bad fall Monday that resulted in skin being sloughed from his arm and a bruise about 5 inches in diameter on his lower back.

Ronnie Davis has been having some terrible pain in his back again.

Deborah Medlock received a good report from her doctor concerning the breast cancer surgery she had a while back.  She also began vocal therapy a couple weeks ago, due to the non-malignant nodules in her throat.  And will probably be hearing this week about a device to eliminate pain that she has been having from her spine and which has also affected her walking.

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain), and Joyce Rittenhouse (pain in knee).

Also our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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