“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) “Jesus Christ is the Same” (Kyle Pope)
2) “Do To Others…” (Robert F. Turner)
3) The Importance of Good Fathers (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
“Jesus Christ is the Same”
Last month I turned a year older. This happens to all of us every year. Behind us are memories of joys, new beginnings, and achievements; but also losses, times of sadness and heartbreak. We cannot turn back the clock, nor should we waste our time wishing that we could. The wise man said it is foolish to ask, “Why were the former days better than these?” (Eccl. 7:10, NKJV). All the good things that have passed came with their own share of pain and hardship. As long as the Lord allows the world to stand, in the time that lies ahead there will be more of both good and bad in varying degrees. It is impossible to take the good and cause time to stand still so that it may endure longer. Every passing moment brings a new assortment of circumstances and situations that have never existed before, nor can ever be repeated. The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus compared this to a river. Just as we can never step into the same river twice, because the water that fills it at the moment we take each step flows on and never returns, so time is an ever-flowing and ever-changing stream. As he put it, “everything changes, and nothing stands still” (Plato, Cratylus 402a).
Heraclitus was right as it pertains to earthly things. Change is constant. The phone you buy today will be outdated before the year is over. The skill you learn to earn a living today will be modified and refined tomorrow and you will likely have to receive ongoing training. People whom you love and trust today will change and your role in their lives tomorrow will also change. Those who cared for you today may come to need your care tomorrow. Those who fill your life with joys today may no longer be there tomorrow. Relationships that shaped your view of your own life and family today may leave you empty tomorrow. Even the places and surroundings you consider constant today will change tomorrow. That restaurant you like today may close tomorrow. The park where your child plays today may become a parking lot tomorrow. Even the values and attitudes of the culture around us will change, until one day you may look around and feel like a stranger in your own hometown. This can be quite unsettling.
Heraclitus was a pagan. He did not know the god of the Bible. He lived 500 years before Jesus was even born. He could not know what we are now privileged to understand. The Hebrew writer made the simple and profound revelation, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). This does not mean that Jesus always does the same thing. In the beginning Jesus “was with God” and “was God” (John 1:1). It was not until He came to this world that He “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). As God in the flesh He was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28a). Now as our High Priest, He is “at the right hand of God” and “makes intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34). One day for “those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28b). Even so, His Deity, His constituent nature, and His character have not changed.
The fact that Jesus is “the same” does not mean that His law for man has never changed. Before the Law of Moses was given God did not expect man to follow the laws it would reveal. That “law was given through Moses” (John 1:17). In it God “made known to them” all of the “precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses” (Neh. 9:14). But the Law of Moses foretold the coming of Christ as a “lawgiver” from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10). Now, “in these last days” God “has spoken to us by His Son” (Heb. 1:2). Now, all are accountable to “the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) and all will be judged by His word (John 12:48).
While the revelation that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” doesn’t mean His deeds or laws have not changed, it does offer us great comfort in the midst of this ever-changing world. It means. . .
1. No Matter How Much Everything Else Changes Around Us, God Remains the Same. A prayer written by Moses and included in the book of Psalms reads, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa. 90:2). The changes that go on around us can easily make us forget the eternal nature of God. We can’t allow ourselves to think that advancing technology, modern tolerance of immorality, or increased knowledge of science, philosophy, or medicine has the power to change God. These tiny ripples in the flow of the stream of time that carries our brief lives is nothing to a God that has always been and will always be. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
2. No Matter How Much People Around Us Change, We Can Count on Jesus. People will let us down! Either because we unfairly place expectations on their behavior that we should not, or because by their own freewill people can and do choose to do things that are wrong. Sometimes we allow this to shake our faith, but the truth is if every human soul who has ever lived chose to reject the will of God and act with falsehood, sin, and rebellion it would not change in the slightest anything about God or the covenant He makes with His people. Jesus promised His disciples, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Even in a faithless world “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
3. No Matter How the World Changes, His Word Remains the Same. Peter declared centuries ago, “The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:24b-25a). Centuries before Peter wrote, the Psalmist proclaimed, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89). Why do we imagine that changes in our thinking somehow changes what God has commanded? Why do we suppose that because His word was first revealed to people with no cars, computers, or airplanes it is somehow less relevant? The same eternal God who sent Jesus to die for our sins thousands of years ago, still offers salvation through the message of Christ’s coming. Nothing that changes around us can remove the demands that His word places upon our lives. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 24, Issue 18, May 1, 2022
“Do To Others…”
Robert F. Turner
The Lord gave me a yardstick by which to measure every relationship in my life. It is easy to understand, and easy to apply if I have the will to do so. It involves no complicated formula; it is with me every wakeful hour. Its strength is in direct proportion to my weakness; binding me with cords of my own weaving, or freeing me as I free my own heart. It comprehends my whole duty to man.
While yet a child I learned it as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you;” but later I found it is properly stated: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12, see Luke 6:31).
“All things” is very broad. This includes my driving on the highway, selling a rifle, working for an employer, living with my wife, writing to my brethren, or about them.
“Whatsoever ye would” — is not “whatsoever they do.” This rule does not depend on the other fellow — it is determined in my own heart. How would I like to be treated? The rule is so reasonable, so unquestionably just, that it defies objection. It asks no pound of flesh, because its regulator would give none. It prescribes fair, honest treatment, because the party of the first part desires such. Self-interest, which so often blinds me to my duty to others, becomes the very indicator of those duties. God made the rule, but I am left to apply it — with the intensity gendered by man’s most powerful inner force, self-love. “No man ever yet hateth his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it…” (Eph. 5:29)
“Do ye even so –” Lenski comments: “what we would like to have men do to us, whether they do that to us or not, we are to keep doing (poieite, durative) to them.” Till seven times? Nay, but until seventy times seven. This regulates conduct, but it is far more than a law of “doing” — it is a basic principle of attitude, of underlying motive, which demonstrates itself in what we do.
“The law and the prophets” Jesus said; making it clear that this is no new rule, but one inherent in God’s will for man in all times. Further, this clearly relates the rule to the giver of law, emphasizing the external authority of God. Those who seek to limit the “whole duty of man” to humanitarian obligations seem to miss this all-important point. I Jn.3:14-f clearly relates our love for our fellow man with our prior love for God. Because He laid down His life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (Vs. 16) “And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (Vs. 23).
Christians are in a position to understand and apply the “Golden Rule,” as are none others. But the sad fact is that many so-called Christians make little practical application of this rule in their life, and seem a bit embarrassed if the preacher uses it as a text. Until we learn well the “second table of the law” (Matt.22: 39) we preach the “gospel” (?) in vain.
— Via The Beacon, June 12, 2022
The Importance of Good Fathers
For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:
News & Notes
The treatment for June Peters’ brain cancer has been discontinued. Please remember her and her husband Wayne in your prayers.
Sunny Nichols is now in rehab, following her recent stroke.
Danielle Bartlett, who is awaiting a kidney donor, also began having some heart complications recently.
Melotine Davis had a recent procedure that she has now healed from, but is also awaiting another that she has not yet been scheduled for.
Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Kayla Williams, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, and Kim Rowell.
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).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service. We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
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.)