Month: April 2022

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

Gordon J. Pennock

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

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

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

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

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

Faith in God and In The Bible As His Word

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

Prayer

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

A Good Conscience

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

Hope

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

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

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

Heath Rogers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2022
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An Acrostic from the Word “Messiah”

Tom Edwards

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

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


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News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

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

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

June Peters will soon begin radiation treatments for her cancer.

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

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

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

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

Next Sunday at 5 p.m., we will have our first-Sunday-of-the-month song service.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 


The Gospel Observer

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

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

Ray Madrigal

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

Four Core Facts

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

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

Fact One: Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion

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

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

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

Fact Two: Experiences of the Disciples

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

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

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

Fact Three: Disciples’ Remarkable Transformation

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

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

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

Fact Four: The Experience of Paul

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume35/GOT035105.html
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The Importance of the Lord’s Resurrection

Tom Edwards

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

http://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Resurrection_041722.mp4
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News & Notes

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

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
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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 Classand 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

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

L.A. Mott, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnote by Kyle Pope:

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

— via Faithful Sayings, Volume 23, Issue 52 (December 26, 2021)
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Being a Church Alive Unto God

Tom Edwards

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

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

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News & Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us also be remembering in prayer Ronnie Davis, A.J. Joyner, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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