Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 36)

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) God’s Noblemen (Chuck Durham)
2) “More Love To Thee, O Christ” (Richie Thetford)
3) News & Notes
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God’s Noblemen

Chuck Durham

The Greek word eugenēs is translated by the English word “noble.” It is a compound word combining the terms “well”(eu-)and “born” (-genēs from ginomai; Eng. words “genesis,” “generate,” “genetics,” etc.). From Homer onwards it was used of “noblemen, those of noble descent. . . blue-bloods, high-born society” as we say. Jesus’s parable in Luke 19:12 begins with this word: “A certain nobleman (eugenēs) went into a far country.”

Luke uses it in a curious way in Acts 17:11 to describe the people in Berea in their attitude toward God and the things preached by the Apostle Paul. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (NIV). Noblemen are so noted because of their ancestry, wealth, power, etc. God, however, says the truly “high-born” ones are of a decidedly different character than the world venerates.

What Makes One “Noble -Minded”?

The text says the Bereans were “noble-minded” because they received the word with “great eagerness” (NIV) or, “with all readiness” (NKJV). The word means “willing, ready, with alacrity.” They were hungry for the word. They devoured it readily and sought it earnestly. Why? Because they were hungry; and hunger depends on how “full” or “empty” one is.

In the recent movie, Avatar, the spiritual leader of the native people responds to Jake Sully’s request to be taught their ways: “We have tried to teach the sky-people our ways with no success. It’s hard to fill a cup that’s already full.” If we will come to God to be taught by Him, then we must come with an empty vessel, needing spiritual food to fill it! We must “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6). We must come in humility, knowing we are spiritually bankrupt. We must come with broken spirits and torn hearts (Matt. 5:3).

How poor is “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3)? The root word means “to crouch, to cringe.” This is not “poor, but I’m able to get by.” No, this is the grinding poverty of Lazarus in Luke 16 who waits outside the rich man’s gate to be fed with the crumbs that fell from his table. It is one who knows he is bereft of any redeeming qualities; having made such a mess of life by his addiction to sin that he can only be cured through the gracious intervention of God!

The NCV says the Bereans were “willing to listen.” The HCSB translates eugenēs as “open-minded.” The danger with all of us is that we already have our minds made up. I’m not saying we have no convictions that some things are beyond any doubt. I am saying we must keep an open mind to search what is being said against the Scriptures. Maybe, just maybe, what we have always held so dear isn’t so! Are we willing to at least give an open-minded look at the teaching that goes against what we have always believed? Are we infallible? Have we ever changed our minds on any subject before?

The Haughtiness of the Pharisees

The haughtiness of the Pharisees declared, “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?” Their minds were made up, but Nicodemus wisely reminded them, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?” (John 7:45-52). We need the spirit of Apollos, who was willing to heed the teaching of Aquila and Priscilla, and thereby changed, bringing himself in line with the truth he heard. And the Jewish believers who heard Peter’s explanation for why he entered Cornelius’s house and taught the gospel to Gentiles, became silent, and glorified God for the “complete” truth they came to believe (Acts 11:18). This is the essence of “noble-minded” in God’s eyes!

The text says the Bereans tested what Paul was preaching by searching the Scriptures to find out if it was so. This is the cautious mind that must be possessed alongside the open mind (we can be so open-minded that our brains fall out!). We must measure the words spoken to us by the standard of the written word. Jesus constantly admonished His hearers by the question, “Have you not read?” (Matt. 12:3, 5). He was saying to his audience, “Look at the standard; understand what it says; and measure what you believe and practice against it.”

Some will never care to measure anything they do or believe by the Scriptures. For such, there is no hope. Others will use false standards of measurement: “I can’t go against my family”; “What does my preacher think, or my church teach?” To such souls, the writings of God take second-place as “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). Only a few are noblemen in God’s eyes—those who seek His word with zeal; who receive it with eagerness; and measure all by “It is written” (Matt. 4:4, et al.).

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 24, Issue 9, February 27, 2022
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“More Love To Thee, O Christ”

Richie Thetford

In 2 Corinthians 5:14, the inspired apostle Paul wrote, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died.” In 1856 Elizabeth Prentiss wrote the words “More Love to Thee, O Christ” during a period of illness, but kept them to herself. When she showed them to her husband 13 years later, he encouraged her to publish them. Howard Doane saw the resulting pamphlet, and wrote music for the words which has become a song that we sing in the church today.

 What stands out to me are the words “more love” in the song title. There are various areas in which we should exhibit more love as we live our lives in service to God every day. Let’s look at several ways in which we should show more love: We should have more love for God as we grow as a child of His daily. Loving God fully and completely! “Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND’” (Matthew 22:37). Jesus goes on to say, “And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF’” (Matthew 22:39). What a wonderful world this would be if everyone would love their neighbor as yourself. We need to have more love for the truth, understanding that the “truth” given to us by God must be followed. “[B]ut, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—” (Ephesians 4:15).

 Jesus taught His disciples how they were to love their fellow man. Jesus commands, shows by example, and then His disciples show what love is by their love for others. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). In addition, we need to show more love for Jesus our Lord and for His appearing. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

We are made in the very image of God, and He instructs us how we should live and show our love for Him and others. May God help all of us have much more love in all aspects of our life. Elizabeth Prentiss penned a beautiful song “More Love to Thee, O Christ!” When I sing that song I am reminded that Christ gave His all for me and as a result I should be willing to give more love to Him. May God continue to bless us as we strive to do all we can to be pleasing to Him every day!

— Via Search For Truth, Volume XIV, Number 19, December 12, 2021
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News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Since her surgery on Tuesday to install a metal rod between her hip and knee, Pat Joyner had been having a rough week; but now all the signs indicate she is in the healing process. So she might be transferred to a rehab today, if there is a room available.  But at this time, she is not feeling up to visits or phone chats.

Let us also be keeping the following in prayer:

Rick Cuthbertson, Lois Fletcher, A.J. Joyner, Ronnie Davis, Tammy Griffey, Jim & Martha Lively, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, 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.

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) Postponed Prophecies (Frank Himmel)
2) When Christians Assemble (Bill Crews)
3) Power of Godliness (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Postponed Prophecies

Frank Himmel

 Premillennialists tell us the kingdom of Old Testament prophecy is yet future. They say Jesus came to reign as the Messiah but the Jews rejected Him. He therefore established the church as a last-minute substitute; they often call it a “parenthesis.” It will continue until Jesus comes again, at which time He will establish His kingdom. Thus, the kingdom was postponed.

The Bible teaches no such thing. In fact, this theory contradicts the Scriptures in at least four ways.

First, predictions with a time element cannot be postponed. If I predict that a certain team will win the Super Bowl, but I do not say when, then whenever they win my prediction will be fulfilled. But if I specify 2025 as the year, and my team does not win it until 2030, I cannot say my prediction was postponed; I must admit that it was false.

So it is with Bible prophecy. When Daniel put a time element on the establishment of God’s kingdom—in the days of the Roman kings (Daniel 2:44)—that eliminated every other time, before and after. Either his prediction came to pass as stated, or he must be rejected as a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22).

Premillennialists sometimes try to get around this obvious point by saying Daniel was referring to a “revived” Roman Empire. Not so. The four parts of Nebuchadnezzar’s image were four successive world empires. Besides, if Daniel’s prophecy refers to a revived Roman Empire, why did Jesus try to establish the kingdom during the historic Roman Empire? Did God’s Son not understand the prophecy He was trying to fulfill?

Second, the Bible tells us that the church was part of God’s eternal plan, not an afterthought. God’s wisdom manifested in the church “was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11).

Third, God knew beforehand that His Son would be rejected. Isaiah foretold that the Christ would be “despised and rejected of men” (53:3). Earlier, the Psalmist referred to Him as “the stone which the builders rejected” (118:22). One of Peter’s points in his Pentecost sermon was that Jesus was “delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).

Did that rejection of Jesus require God to postpone His kingdom plans? Not at all. Consider Psalm 2. In verses 1-3 the kings and nations are taking their stand against God’s anointed. (The New Testament says this refers to Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and the Jews’ opposition to Jesus [Acts 4:25-28]). How does that affect God and His plans? “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain’” (vv. 4-6). Next is the Anointed’s testimony of God’s decree: “He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’” That refers to Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 13:33), following which He ascended into heaven where He was given the nations to rule with a rod of iron (vv. 6-9; Revelation 2:26-27).

The Jews’ rejection of Jesus was not an obstacle to God’s plan, it was a key element in its success! “For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him” (Acts 13:27).

Fourth, the Bible teaches that the kingdom is now in existence. “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). “I John, your brother and fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus . . .” (Revelation 1:9). The kingdom consists of men and women everywhere who are purchased by Jesus’ blood (Revelation 5:9-10; 1:5-6; cf. Acts 20:28). Many other New Testament passages speak of Jesus sitting on God’s throne and reigning (Revelation 3:21; Acts 2:34; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Hebrews 1:8).

God’s prophetic word has come to pass. Jesus now reigns in a kingdom “not of this world” (John 18:36). Have you been born again, born of water and the Spirit, to become a citizen in that kingdom (John 3:3-5)?

— Via Pathlights, February 6, 2022
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When Jesus ascended, “He came up to the Ancient of Days [the Father]…” And “was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom. That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him…” (Daniel 7:13-14, NASB, emphasis mine, cf. Acts 1:9-11). Jesus received the kingdom!

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When Christians Assemble

Bill Crews

EDITOR’S NOTE [Wayne Goff]: Bill Crews’ sermon last Sunday morning contained the material published below from notes I took from his sermon. Faithful attendance has become a great problem in the current pandemic, but faithful attendance has been a recurring issue throughout the existence of the Lord’s church. The five points Bill gave in his lesson are fundamental truths, but profound in their meaning and application. The points are published here for our members and Christians everywhere to consider! Until we improve our attendance, the church will continue to suffer here and everywhere! {You can hear this sermon on YouTube or our web site: www.roanridge.org}   

What do the following Scriptures have in common? Acts 2:42, Acts 11:26, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, 1 Corinthians 11:18-34 (the phrase “coming together” is found five times in this chapter), Hebrews 10:25 (note that “exhorting one another” is joined with “assembling together.” You have probably noticed that every single passage had to do with gathering together. Here are five points that are proven in the given Scriptures:

1. Christians are to assemble, or come together. Acts 2:42 teaches us that the first church had to learn from the apostles what to do in the church and as the church. Worship, honoring Jesus, and edifying one another are some of the reasons for assembling. “Fellowship” (joint participation) is practiced in the five acts of worship: singing, praying, giving, Lord’s Supper, and teaching or preaching.

2. Christians are to do so for specific reasons. Acts 11:26 says “… And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together with the church, and taught much people, and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Paul could do the preaching. Barnabas could do the exhorting. Barnabas is commended as a great “exhorter,” and we need more of that today. It involves appealing, reasoning, and encouraging people. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to exhort one another when we assemble. If you don’t assemble, then you cannot exhort!

3. Christians are to conduct themselves properly in these assemblies. We must assemble willingly, cheerfully, not grudgingly or of necessity (see 2 Cor. 9:6-7). What the Bible says we must do in giving, we must also do in singing, praying, listening, learning and communing. Think of the lengths and efforts we make to attend a sporting event. We should expend even greater effort to assemble with the saints.

4. Christians are to prepare themselves for the assemblies. We are to prepare ourselves for Bible classes and preaching and conduct ourselves properly. We should look forward to each and every assembly. We are to prepare our bodies with proper rest. We are to prepare our minds with meditation and think upon spiritual things. Be sure that you are “on praying terms with God,” which means you conduct yourselves as you profess so that God will hear your prayers. See Proverbs 23:7; Psalm 66:18.

5. Christians should accomplish the specific reasons for which they assemble. How much do we derive from the Bible classes and sermons? You get as much out of worship as you prepare yourself to get. Getting ready for church involves much more than just getting dressed up. The most important things to me in life are spiritual! Jesus Christ was crucified by those He loved even while they hated and despised Him! Can you not find in your heart the love for God for what He has done for you?!

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 37, Issue 5, Page 3
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A Song of Ascents, of David. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1, NASB).

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Power of Godliness

Tom Edwards

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

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

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News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Jim Lively had some bad falls recently, which resulted in a deep indent in a wall, bruises, sloughed off skin on his leg, and hurting all over.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, A.J. Joyner, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, 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.

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

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



The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) The Throne of God (Frank Himmel)
2) The Omnipresence and Omniscience of God (Tom Edwards)
3) It’s Always Needed (Anonymous)
4) Works of God (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
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The Throne of David

Frank Himmel

“David’s son, the Lord Jesus Christ, must return to the earth, bodily and literally, in order to reign over David’s covenanted kingdom. The allegation that Christ is seated on the Father’s throne reigning over a spiritual kingdom, the church, does not fulfill the promises of the covenant” (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come 114). Does God’s promise to David necessitate an earthly kingdom with Jesus ruling at Jerusalem, as premillennialists say?

The Promise

David was a man after God’s heart. He wanted to build a temple for God. Instead, God promised to build a “house” for him. “. . . I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

Initial Fulfillment in Solomon

David was succeeded on the throne by his son Solomon. It was he who built the temple. David saw him as the fulfillment of God’s promise (1 Chronicles 22:9-11). Solomon saw himself that way, too (1 Kings 8:18-20). Solomon’s rule is variously described: he sat on his own throne (1 Kings 1:47), on David’s throne (1 Kings 2:12), on the throne of Israel (1 Kings 8:20), and on the throne of the Lord (1 Chronicles 29:23). Throne simply indicates the position of rule. It was God’s rule, executed through David’s line. It was “the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel” (1 Chronicles 28:5).

God’s promise of ongoing rule was conditioned on obedience (1 Chronicles 28:7). In time, David’s descendants became disobedient and their rule was suspended. The last king in the line was Jehoiachin [Coniah]. God told Jeremiah to write him childless: none of his descendants would prosper on the throne of David, ruling in Judah (Jeremiah 22:30).

Greater Fulfillment in Christ

Jesus is a descendant of David (Romans 1:3). Gabriel told Mary that God would give Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32-33). In the first gospel sermon, Peter quoted God’s promise to David, then affirmed that Jesus had ascended into heaven, exalted to the right hand of the Father where He now rules (Acts 2:30-36).

Jesus later wrote, “To him who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21). Again, it is the Father’s rule executed through David’s line, now through Jesus Christ.

Premillennialists object to a heavenly reign as the fulfillment of God’s Old Testament promises; however, that is precisely the application of them that inspired first-century preachers made. Peter said, “. . . all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days” (Acts 3:24). Indeed, a heavenly reign is the only one which can meet the Old Testament criteria. Consider. . .

• Jesus is a descendant of Coniah (Matthew 1:11). Remember, no one of his descendants could prosper reigning in Judah (Jeremiah 22:30).

• Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), which means He is king and priest at the same time. Zechariah 6:12 says, “He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” Yet the author of Hebrews notes that Jesus could not be a priest on earth because He is of the tribe of Judah, not Levi (Hebrews 8:4). (Interestingly, some premillennialists call for a reinstatement of the Law of Moses in conjunction with the earthly reign of Christ, the very law which prohibits Him from an earthly reign!) If Jesus is priest in heaven, He is king there. If He is not king, He is not priest, in which case we do not have the benefits of His priestly function—namely, salvation!

• Daniel foresaw the Christ receiving His kingdom when He came up to the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13-14), not when He came down from Him. That accords with Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, and with Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus is now reigning and will continue to reign until His coming; at that time He will deliver up the kingdom to the Father (vv. 23-28). Premillennialism has it just backwards: Jesus’ coming will mark the end, not the beginning, of His reign.

— Via Pathlights, January 23, 2022
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The Omnipresence and Omniscience of God

Tom Edwards

Much of the following was added to The Gospel Observer article, entitled, “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” which was posted for February 6, 2022; but did not include the following additions until several days later. For the next paragraph, which was made in the original version, might have given some folks the wrong impression, as if God is too far removed from our physical universe to have anything to do with it. For I had said:

“I would think that the heaven where God dwells is separate and apart from our physical universe — like some type of parallel universe that is undetectable from our own; is independent of; does not clash with; is far superior to; and will blissfully, perfectly, and eternally remain even after our physical universe ceases to be (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10-12).”

So as to not give any wrong impression by that, as if God is way off somewhere and oblivious to all that happens on earth, consider the following:

God is still totally aware of all that goes on in our physical universe — and not only of our words and actions, but also of our innermost thoughts and intentions (cf. 1 Chron. 28:9; Psa. 44:21; Rom. 2: 16). For He is omniscient and omnipresent, as the psalmist shows:

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.

“Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you”
(Psalm 139:1-12, ESV).

And in Jesus we also see God being a part of our physical universe. For “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” — and that Word was God’s Son Jesus the Christ (John 1:14,1-3), who is now very much alive and well at the right hand of God where He has been exalted with all power and authority in heaven and on earth (Acts 2:33, Matt. 28:18), ruling over all (Col. 2:9-10; Eph. 1:20-21), and interceding for those who draw near to God through Him (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25) as our Advocate (1 John 2:1).

How amazingly great the Almighty God is!  For He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal!  And in Him, all good virtues have always been and will always be — such as His love,  His kindness, His patience, His faithfulness, His graciousness, and His goodness!  So imagine being in a good relationship with God for all eternity!  

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It’s Always Needed

I heard a story of a man in the mid 1950’s entering school to study engineering. A professor told the entering freshmen class to buy the best slide rule they could afford. The reason: “You will be dependent on it all your ‘professional life.’” Well, of course, it wasn’t too long before the slide rule was replaced by the calculator. We’ve seen those same sorts of things in fairly recent years: 8 tracks, cassette tapes, and even VHS tapes! Things that today we consider essential may quickly become obsolete. Tomorrow they may be discarded as antiques that cannot provide the help we need.

At least one thing from the past, however, will always be needed and never become obsolete. It is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. No matter how much technological change and progress takes place, the Book will remain the one sure means for getting the right answers to the complicated questions: our origin, our purpose, our needs, and our final destination.

— Author Unknown (via Viewpoint, January 9, 2022)
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Works of God

Tom Edwards

Just click on the following link for the video sermon entitled above:

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

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News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Rex Hadley was admitted to the hospital last week. Tests were run, and it was determined that he had a slight stroke.  He will probably be going into rehab, if not already.

Rick Cuthbertson had a little trouble with his new cancer treatments, which might be due to the new medication.  Hopefully, things will get better for him.

Ashley Ray Law writes about her mother (Kim Rowell) that “after 8 months of treatment, several surgical procedures, and a near death experience, Momma was officially pronounced cancer free yesterday. Two more procedures to go, but I think we are on the downhill slope now. Praise God.”

Others to also keep in our prayers: A.J. Joyner whose left arm is still healing from having pulled a muscle in it.  Ronnie Davis who has needed to be on oxygen for several weeks.  Tammy Griffey who continues to make progress in the healing of her ankle, which she had surgery on.  And also Jim Lively, Myrna Jordan, Deborah Medlock,  and Danielle Bartlett
———————

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Premillennialism: Does It Matter? (Frank Himmel)
2) Unkept Promises (Frank Himmel)
3) Saved to Serve (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Premillennialism: Does It Matter?

Frank Himmel

Premillennialism is the doctrine that Jesus will one day return and reign on earth for a thousand years. Its big-word name comes from pre-, before, and millennium, a thousand years. The idea is that we are now living prior to that coming era. While specifics vary greatly from one theorist to another, the idea is generally as follows.

The Theory

When Jesus came 2,000 years ago, He intended to set up an earthly kingdom and reign over the Jews, but they rejected Him. He therefore announced the church as a substitute, stop-gap measure until He could return and set up His kingdom. Jesus died, arose, and ascended back to heaven. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost and the church was established.

At some future time, usually thought to be not long from now, Christ will return for His saints. The righteous dead will be raised and those who are still living will be “raptured,” caught up to be with Christ in heaven. They will remain with Him there for seven years while the earth undergoes a period of great tribulation. (Some theories have the rapture in the middle or even at the end of the tribulation). Large numbers of Jews will return to Palestine. The Antichrist, a powerful, ungodly ruler, will take over the world. Despite unprecedented persecution of Christians, many will be converted during this period.

At the end of the tribulation, all nations will gather against Israel at Armageddon. Christ and His saints will return, and Christians who were martyred during the tribulation will be raised. The Antichrist will be defeated and Christ’s kingdom established on earth. The nations will then be judged. Christ will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem for a thousand years, His saints ruling with Him.

At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be loosed, summoning Gog and Magog to join him. But he will again be defeated. At that time, the wicked will be raised, the final judgment will occur, and souls will be assigned their eternal place in heaven or hell.

This theory was once held by only a handful of religious groups, but now it has become mainstream in denominationalism. In the 1970s it was popularized by Hal Lindsey’s books, beginning with The Late Great Planet Earth. More recently it was advocated in the Left Behind series of books and movies.

Does It Matter?

For the next several weeks we will address various flaws in the theory, some “millennial miscues.” Why talk about this subject? Does it really matter? Some say even if the theory is wrong it makes little difference because it is merely a discussion of what will happen when Jesus comes. But error has ramifications, and in this case they are hardly insignificant. Consider what is at stake.

The integrity of the Scriptures. The test of a prophet, whether he is speaking for God, is whether what he foretells comes to pass (Deuteronomy 18:22). If he fails, we should pay no attention to anything he says. If Old Testament predictions of the reign of Christ were not fulfilled when the prophets said they would be, we must reject those prophets and everything they wrote—the Bible.

Availability of forgiveness of sins. The Bible affirms that forgiveness is in Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). Those purchased with Jesus’ blood are the kingdom (Revelation 5:9-10). Indeed, Jesus’ kingship and His priesthood, through which He makes atonement for us, are inseparable (Zechariah. 6:12-13). If Jesus’ kingdom is not yet here, we do not yet have forgiveness of sins.

Requirements for salvation. Increasing numbers are saying that Jews are saved without coming to Christ. Again, this is due in no small part to premillennial misconceptions about their place in God’s plan. Yet Jesus plainly told Jews, “. . . unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

These are but a few considerations. Open your Bibles and minds, and study along with us.

— Via Pathlights, January 9, 2022
——————–

-2-

Unkept Promises

Frank Himmell

Those who believe Jesus will one day return and set up an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem frequently argue that this must occur because the land promises God made to Israel in the Old Testament have never been fulfilled. What does the Bible say?

The Promise to Abraham

God promised Abraham that He would make of him a great nation and give to that nation the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-3, 7). The borders were specific: “from the river of Egypt [the Wadi el Arish, not the Nile] as far as the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). The time was also specified: following a 400-year bondage and when the iniquity of the Amorite was complete (vv. 13-16). (The Amorites were living in Canaan in Abraham’s day.) The land promise was repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:3-4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13).

Moses led the Israelites, Abraham’s family/nation, out of Egypt after 430 years of bondage (Exodus 12:40-41), just as God had promised. In anticipation of conquering Canaan, God told Moses to set aside three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River. He then added, “If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, just as He has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which He promised to give your fathers . . . then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three” (Deuteronomy 19:8-9).

Joshua succeeded Moses as Israel’s leader. The book bearing his name details the conquest and division of the promised land. The end of that record says, “So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it” (Joshua 21:43). “Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass”. (v. 45). This fact is confirmed by appointment of those three additional cities of refuge God promised (Joshua 20:1-9).

In his farewell address, Joshua made a passionate plea to Israel, based on the complete fulfillment of God’s promises. He argued that just as surely as God had kept the good words He had promised, so He would also keep His threat of removing Israel from the land if the people were unfaithful (23:14-16). Joshua’s argument was nonsense if premillennial notions of unfulfilled promises are true!

Some contend that God gave Israel their land in a sense but not to the full extent He promised. The sacred historians disagree. “Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the [Euphrates] River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt” (1 Kings 4:21; 2 Chronicles 9:26). This was precisely what God had promised Abraham.

The Return Promise

Israel got their land. But just as Joshua warned, when they were unfaithful to God, He removed them from it into captivity. Yet God had made another promise: that if, in captivity, they repented, He would return them to their land (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). And so, the prophets who foretold the captivity also prophesied a restoration. Jeremiah said the captivity would last seventy years (25:11; 29:10-14), then God would restore a remnant of His people (23:3). Isaiah also spoke of the remnant (10:20-24). God did not promise to bring them all back!

This promise, too, was fulfilled. Assyria and Babylon were the captors of God’s people. At end of the seventy years of captivity in Babylon, God raised up Cyrus of Persia to defeat the Babylonians. In his first year, Cyrus issued this proclamation: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!”. (2 Chronicles 36:23). This decree was in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (v. 22).

One group returned under Jeshua and Zerubbabel, another under Ezra, and later a third with Nehemiah. Interestingly, these also testified that God had kept His land promise (Nehemiah 9:8).

Conclusion

The Bible is clear: God’s promises regarding the nation of Israel living in the land of Palestine were fulfilled long ago. There is nothing here to support the idea of a future earthly kingdom ruled by Jesus.

— Via Pathlights, January 16, 2022
——————–

-3-

Saved to Serve

Tom Edwards

Just click on the following link for the video sermon “Saved to Serve”:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Saved_to_Serve.mp4
———————

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

Rick Cuthbertson began his new treatment Thursday before last.  The following day his blood work looked good.  But it might be the new medication that has caused him to have several difficult days, which, hopefully, will improve soon.   

Even with bone cancer, Lois Fletcher is feeling pretty good and able to work.  Since she is not able to have chemo, due to being allergic to it and many other things, she is continuing with her homeopathic treatments.  

A.J. Joyner saw his doctor last week, due to a torn muscle in his arm. The x-ray showed that there were no bones broken, but the arm has been giving him trouble; and last night he was feeling dizzy. He will be seeing his doctor again in two weeks.

As of last night, Ronnie Davis is still having to be on oxygen, along with the new medication. His appointment to see his doctor again March 19 is still on. 

Let us also be remembering in prayer Tammy Griffey, Jim Lively, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “Beam Me Up, Scotty” (Tom Edwards)
2) Facing the Giants (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“Beam Me Up, Scotty”

Tom Edwards

The actual above phrase, “Beam me up, Scotty,” was never used in any of the Star Trek episodes that aired from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969, nor was it said in any of the Star Trek movies.

But the show and movies did have a fictional transporter that would convert matter to an energy pattern that could then be sent to a specific location where it would then be converted back into matter. And all of that was portrayed as happening rather quickly. For the energy pattern was “beamed” to its destination.

That, of course, is all science fiction; but have you ever wondered how angels have “traveled” to earth?  What is the distance from earth to the heaven in which God and angels dwell?  Can it be measured?  Is it even a part of our physical universe?

I would think that the heaven where God dwells is separate and apart from our physical universe — like some type of parallel universe that is undetectable from our own; is independent of; does not clash with; is far superior to; and will blissfully, perfectly, and eternally remain even after our physical universe ceases to be (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10-12).

Yet, God is still totally aware of all that goes on in our physical universe — and not only of our words and actions, but also of our innermost thoughts and intentions (cf. 1 Chron. 28:9; Psa. 44:21; Rom. 2:16). For He is omniscient and omnipresent, as the psalmist shows:

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.


“Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.


“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.


“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,’
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You” (Psalm 139:1-12, NASB).

And in Jesus we also see God being a part of our physical universe. For “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” — and that Word was God’s Son Jesus the Christ (John 1:14,1-3), who is now very much alive and well at the right hand of God where He has been exalted with all power and authority in heaven and on earth (Acts 2:33; Matt. 28:18), ruling over all (Col. 2:9-10; Eph. 1:20-21), and interceding for those who draw near to God through Him (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25) as our Advocate (1 John 2:1).

Jesus, of course, was born of the virgin Mary (Isa. 7:14).  But what about heavenly angels that God had sent to earth on various occasions?  Would their “journey” have been faster than the speed of light?  Instantaneous?

To answer that would be speculation. But notice some unusual things the Bible shows of how some people were apparently “transported.”

In Acts 8, after Philip had met the Ethiopian eunuch, preached to him about Jesus and then baptized him, verse 39 says, “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord SNATCHED Philip AWAY; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing” (NASB, emphasis mine).

Both “snatched” and “away” are from the same Greek word (harpazo), which Thayer defines thirdly as “to snatch out or away.”  It is also the same Greek word that is used in 2 Corinthians 12:2 where Paul speaks of having been “CAUGHT UP to the third heaven” and “CAUGHT UP into Paradise” (v 4, NASB, emphasis mine).  And it is also the same Greek word when Paul comforted and assured the Thessalonians of their loved ones who had died in the Lord, by saying, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17, NASB, emphasis mine).

Would we think of our being “caught up” to meet the Lord to be something that would take several seconds or more?  Or would it be instantaneous?  For much miraculous change will occur at that time with not only those who are Christians and still living, but also with those saints who are deceased.  

For as Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, IN A MOMENT, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and WE WILL BE CHANGED” (NASB, emphasis mine).

Do you know what the Greek word for the phrase “in a moment” is?  It is atomos.  Thayer defines it as “1. that cannot be cut in two, or divided, indivisible. a. of a moment of time.”

I wonder if even the first part of that definition might literally apply to 1 Corinthians 15:52.  For if “in a moment” meant 4 seconds, then that could be divided.  But what about a “time” that cannot be divided?  A time that is indivisible.  Would it not be something that is literally instantaneous!

Mounce’s Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament defines it as ‘indivisible, and by impl[ication] exceedingly minute; . . . in an indivisible point of time, in an instant or moment, 1 Co 15:52.”

James Strong shows it to mean “uncut, that is (by implication) indivisible (an atom of time).”

The primary definition that Webster gives for “moment” is “an indefinitely short period of time; instant.”  And one of his definitions for “instant” is “succeeding without any interval of time; immediate.”

For another example, the Sea of Galilee is said to be about 13 miles (21 km) long and 8 miles (13 km) wide, and with a circumference of about 33 miles (53 km).

In the following account of Jesus walking on that sea, John 6:19 says, “Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were frightened” (NASB). 

We also learn of how the weather conditions were for them at that time. The boat was being “battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary” (Matt. 14:24, NASB). And it was not just a wind that was against them, but it was also a “strong wind” (John 6:18, NASB). 

Concerning this sea, H. Leo Boles writes: “The storms on the Sea of Galilee often were sudden and frightful . . .  They had rowed far enough to be just in the center of the sea, where the current of the Jordan caused the greatest commotion in a storm. The sea, where they were crossing, was about six miles wide” (New Testament Restoration Commentary on Matthew 14:22-23).

But consider now what the apostle John brings out about that event. He writes: “The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and IMMEDIATELY the boat was at the land to which they were going (John 6:18-21, NASB, emphasis mine).

Commenting on John 6:21, Marvin R. Vincent speaks of the boat being “immediately” at the shore, to which they had been heading, as being a “miraculous arrival” and “simultaneous” with “their entertaining the wish to receive Him, or with His actually coming on board” (Word Studies in the New Testament).

The word “immediately” is often used in connection with miracles Jesus performed (cf. Matt. 8:3; Matt. 20:34; Mark 5:29; Mark 5:42; Mark 10:52).  And does that not also manifest even more the miraculous nature of them — rather than gradually happening or healing over a period of a few days or weeks!

In getting back to Philip, we left off with him having been “snatched…away” by the Spirit of the Lord, after having baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, and the eunuch then going “on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).  But notice now where Philip had been “snatched…away” to, according to verse 40: “But PHILIP FOUND HIMSELF AT AZOTUS, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea” (NASB, emphasis mine). That was definitely a miraculous transporting — and not science fiction!  And I wonder, if Philip could have had a stopwatch to time how long that transporting would take, would he have arrived before he could even finish pressing the start button!

And what about Enoch?  It is said about him in Genesis 5:24 that “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (NASB).  The Hebrew writer adds a little more to that, by saying, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God” (Heb. 11:5, NASB).

Would that not have also been instantaneous?

Of course, we do read of two being miraculously taken up, which, at least for part of the way, was not instantaneous.  But they were both very special cases.

One of them pertains to Elijah.  For what happened to him was to be a special sign to Elisha, Elijah’s successor, which he needed to see, as recorded in 2 Kings 2. It reads: “…Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.’ And Elisha said, ‘Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ He said, ‘You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.’ As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it and cried out, ‘My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ And he saw Elijah no more…” (NASB).  So, apparently, God wanted Elisha to see that! And would the fact that there are about twice as many miracles recorded in the Bible of what Elisha performed, compared to that of Elijah, also be an indication of Elisha’s having received that “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit?

The other example is that of Jesus when He ascended back to heaven.  But, again, that was definitely a special sight for His apostles who were there to witness it.  Luke records that event, by saying: “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven'” (Act 1:9-11, NASB).  The apostles were the Lord’s witnesses.  They walked and talked with Him.  They saw Him perform miracles, and they saw Him risen from the dead.  And now they saw Him even ascend into a cloud when leaving this earth.

Of course, we would think that somewhere along the way in that ascension, after Jesus was out of sight, that His physical body would need to be exchanged with a heavenly body.  For as Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 15:49-50, 53: “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed”  — “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality” (NASB, emphasis mine). What glorious bodies the saved will have in heaven!

And again, let us not forget that the Bible shows in both the Old and New Testaments of God sending His angel or angels to earth.  They did not come by spaceship. Nor would I think they rode on a light beam or any other means of transportation than simply the will and power of God to send them.  For God merely has to say it, such as “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3) — and it is done!

For one last example, which appears to indicate that God’s “transporting” can even be through solid objects, consider the Lord’s apostles immediately after His crucifixion.  They must have been greatly discouraged and were fearful for their lives at that time and appear to have gone into hiding. 

Just hours prior to the Lord’s crucifixion, Peter, apparently out of fear,  had denied Jesus 3 times — rather than acknowledge that he was one of the Lord’s apostles.

And Peter was not the only one who had been afraid. For concerning the day of the Lord’s resurrection, John 20:19 says, “So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (NASB).

In about 60 different Bible translations I looked this up in, 34 of them refer to those “doors” of John 20:19 as not merely be “shut”; but, rather, as being “locked.”  Yet that was no hindrance to Jesus!

So when it comes to being caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, we do not first need to be outside for that.  For no walls, nor bars, nor even being confined in the most inescapable prison will be able to hinder that from happening!

Though we are not told specifically how God has sent angels to earth, yet we know that He did send them; and if that sending happened instantaneously, we should then have no trouble in believing it.  For with God, “all things are possible” (Mark 19:26), and “Nothing is too difficult” for Him (Jer. 32:17).  And God is certainly not hindered by distance, nor by time, nor by matter.  For He is the Master over all things! For all has been made possible through Him!

God can truly do exceedingly more than all the amazing things we can even imagine! 

So let us each be ready for that time when God’s people “will be caught up together…to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17, NASB).  And what a wonderful “transporting” that will be!
——————–

Facing the Giants

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Giants.mp4
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to continue praying for:

As mentioned last week, a recent scan had revealed that the cancer has increased on Rick Cuthbertson’s lung. So new treatment has begun, which includes new medication and having a 5-hour infusion every 3 weeks.

Lois Fletcher, who has been receiving homeopathic treatments for bone cancer.

Ronnie Davis, who has now been on new medication, along with continual oxygen for a few weeks, due to an illness not yet determined. 

Deborah Medlock,
whose excessive coughing and nausea might be due to a nodule in her throat.

Tammy Griffey, who still needs to keep weight off her foot as her ankle heels, over the next few months, from the surgery performed on it.

Danielle Bartlett, as she continues with home dialysis and awaits a donor kidney.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 

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

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

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



The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Encouragement (Steven Harper)
2) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Encouragement

Steven Harper

 Previously, we considered the problem of discouragement, which [by definition] is depriving one of courage; this week, let us consider its opposite: encouragement. Encouragement, by definition, is to inspire with courage. It means to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc. It is, again, the opposite of discouragement and we can hopefully see which state is more preferable to the child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ. And, we hopefully can see which we should be trying to do for others! Surely there are enough reasons for discouragement in this world without brethren adding to the problem; we need more brethren who are willing to do their part in encouragement.

In spiritual matters, encouragement might be heard more often as other terms: edification and exhortation. And on this, the Scriptures teach us some important points about the place of the necessary edification and exhortation and what we can do to be edifiers and exhorters, rather than those who discourage. As Christians, we are all striving to get to heaven and, while here on earth, do the things that are pleasing to God and abstain from the fleshly desires. But we also understand that the life of a disciple is not always easy. Sometimes we will get discouraged because things are a little harder than we may have first imagined; sometimes we are discouraged by the behavior of our brethren; sometimes we are discouraged by our own inability to live as we desire and we fail to attain our goals; and sometimes we just do not have enough information to be able to give difficult answers. It is then that we need our brethren to do their part in building us up in the faith and giving us the boost we need to continue as we should. But how is this to be done? Let us let the Scriptures tell us!

First, the Need. Last week, we addressed the erroneous idea that some have that discouragement should be absolutely foreign to the mind of a Christian — and, particularly, how it is an erroneous idea. The fact is, some brethren do get discouraged. Whether we want to admit it or not does not change the fact of the matter, and it would be utterly ridiculous to argue the matter if a brother in Christ told you that he was discouraged and you insisted he just couldn’t be because, well, Christians just don’t do that! [Meanwhile, he wallows in his state of discouragement while you are arguing over the very possibility.] And Scripture tells us that there is a need and, if there is a need, that means it does happen. Paul urged the Roman brethren to “pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:19 ). Why worry about edifying if there is no need? The necessary implication is there is a need.

The writer of Hebrews — writing to the first-century Jewish Christians who had already suffered persecutions and who were contemplating abandoning the faith and making a return to following the Old Law — pointed to the great need of encouragement for those who were soul weary and discouraged by the fight in which they were involved. To them he wrote, “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12,13). More than ever, these brethren needed someone to encourage them to hang on and dig in and not abandon the faith by which they would be saved. There was a clear need, and to ignore it would have proved disastrous for those affected. Let us admit that there may be some today who face some difficult hurdles in their spiritual lives and who could use the encouraging words of those who have walked the same path. So, what words do we speak to them?

Point them to the Word of God. The apostle Paul, as he was about to depart from the Ephesian elders who had met him in Miletus, said, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). After giving them a very serious charge to watch out for the souls of the brethren and to be alert to the “grievous wolves” who would soon enter into the flock, he pointed them to the answer for the coming dangers and that which would be the very source of encouragement to fight the good fight: the Word of God! Today, we have elders who — far too often — pick up the latest best-seller and the writings of popular “Christian” authors [who are not true followers of Christ at all] and give this to their flock as words of encouragement, rather than the Word of God. Why is this? Do we not trust that the divinely-inspired Word of God is sufficient? Is it that the leadership does not believe that God’s Word is “up to date” with our modern society? Has the Bible become irrelevant, at least in the minds of those who lead us? If so, that ought to tell us where the church will be heading in the near future — and it won’t be in the direction of heaven!

It is in the word of God that we read story after story of those who have walked the paths of faith and who have suffered greatly for their faith — and who have been crowned with eternal life as a reward. It is there that we read of faithful men who neared the end of their earthly life but who still looked forward — to the promised reward and of eternal life in heaven with the Savior (II Timothy 4:7, 8). It is there that we read of those who have unashamedly believed the promises of God and trusted Him enough to obey without question and who were rewarded with the praise of God and, now, the eternal rest (Hebrews 11). When brethren today need encouragement, there could be no greater source than God’s Word. Don’t overlook the positive influence it may have on those who are weary and heavy-laden, and who seek the rest for their souls.

Remind them they can do it. When anyone is feeling overwhelmed or feels like they cannot, by themselves, deal with the pressures they face, we should remind them that — as a Christian — they can do it. When the apostle Paul was in prison because of his faith, he wrote to the brethren to encourage them to “stand fast” in the faith (Philippians 1:27) and considered even that his own imprisonment was a positive thing (Philippians 1:14). He was right! [Read Philippians 1:13 and then Philippians 4:22; some of the palace guard must have been convinced and converted by Paul while they guarded him!] But in this letter to the Philippian brethren, he could say with all certainty, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). We would do well to remember that, too, and we would do much good if we reminded the ones who are discouraged. What words of encouragement — to hear that we can do all things!

Or is it that we really do not believe those words? Why would we allow someone to dwell in their state of discouragement when we have such potentially-powerful words? Why not speak those words and build them up in the faith instead of letting them wallow in discouragement? If an imprisoned man who faced the possibility of death for his faith can find encouragement in those words, how about you?

Step in and lend a hand. If you remember, part of the definition of encouragement is to stimulate by assistance. In other words, you can encourage someone by simply lending a hand! Remember Elijah, when he felt like “he alone was left” in all Israel? Remember the words of God, how He told Elijah that he was not alone? And what if good old Barnabas [whose name means “son of encouragement”] had never stepped in to speak up on behalf of Saul (Acts 9:26, 27)? Today, when we feel discouraged because we feel like we are overwhelmed with the work of God or just life, in general, it does immeasurable good when someone steps up and says, “Here, let me help you.” Sometimes, all we need to hear is that someone is there and that someone cares.

Will you be that one?

— Via Articles from the La Vista church of Christ
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:  

Rick Cuthbertson, as he is on new medication and receiving 5-hour infusions every 3 weeks as treatments for the cancer that has increased on his lung.

Lois Fletcher, who has been receiving homeopathic treatments for bone cancer.

Ronnie Davis, who has now been on new medication, along with continual oxygen for a few weeks, due to an illness not yet determined. 

Deborah Medlock,
whose excessive coughing and nausea might be due to a nodule in her throat.

Tammy Griffey, who still needs to keep weight off her foot as her ankle heels, over the next few months, from the surgery performed on it.

Danielle Bartlett, as she continues with home dialysis and awaits a donor kidney.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 

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

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) More on the Genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 (Tom Edwards)
2) Good and Important Things to Remember! (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

More on the Genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11

Tom Edwards

Recently, in The Gospel Observer for January 9, we could easily figure out the year of birth for each of those mentioned in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, from the birth of Seth (Adam’s son) all the way up to the birth of Abram (Abraham). And rather than those years being in the B.C., they were shown instead as the years that had elapsed since God created Adam on that 6th day of creation (Gen. 1:26-31). So we looked forward from the beginning of time to the events mentioned.

One of our intents in that article was to answer the question if anyone mentioned by name in the book of Genesis had died in the flood. And we saw the answer to be “no.” For Noah’s father Lamech had passed away about 5 years before the flood; and though Methuselah lived to the same year as the flood, yet the Bible does not say whether he died in it or before it. And concerning all the others listed in the genealogical chart we had in that article, they each passed away prior to the year of the flood — with just the exception of Noah, his sons, and their wives living on past that time (though the wives are not mentioned in Genesis 5 or 11).

In that article, we also wanted to determine from the Scriptures how many years it was from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham, which is the name God gave him when 99 years of age (Gen. 17:1,5).  For while “Abram” means “high father” (James W. Strong) or “exalted father” (Brown-Driver-Briggs), “Abraham” means “father of a multitude or chief of a multitude” (ibid.).  God gave Abram that name in going along with the promise He had also given him in the same verse: “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” (v. 5).

We saw that the year of birth in that chart for each individual is based on the age of the father when the son was born to him, in addition with the years up to that. So by the time of Abram’s birth, who was the 20th generation from Adam, it was about the year 2009.

But keep in mind, too, that in the Jewish reckoning of time, a part of a year could be considered an entire year. So if that is also done with the ages in these genealogies of 19 fathers, then the year of Abram’s birth would actually be somewhat less than 2009. But even then, it would not be much of a difference.  For if we would deduct 1 year from each of the father’s ages when they became a father to the son mentioned, it would take it down to 1990 for the time of Abram’s birth.  And if we would then randomly add some months to each of the 19 fathers for a total of 91 months, that would then be an additional 7.58 years; and which would bring the time of Abram’s birth up to about 1998.  So we can round that off to an even 2000 to better remember.  (NOTE: In randomly adding those months, after deleting one year to each of the father’s ages, it does not make much of a difference.  For even if we added just 1 month to each (for a total of 1.58 years), that would take the 1990 up to about the middle of 1992.  Or if we added 11 months to each of the fathers’ ages (for a total of 17.42 years), that would then take 1990 up to almost the middle of 2008.  So only about a 16-year difference in the extremes; but it is not likely that all of them had either been born in the first month of the year or the last.  So the difference would be even less.  

One change I made for the online version of that bulletin is in putting the birth of Arpachshad at 1659 – instead of 1658 (based on the years the Bible shows); and then also adding a year to each of his descendants up to Abram. For though the flood began about 1656 (in the 2nd month, 17th day) — and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights (Gen. 7:12) — yet it took a little more than a year for the earth to become completely dried from the flood about 1657 (in the 2nd month, 27th day) (cf. Gen. 7:11 with Gen 8:13-14). So since Arpachshad was born 2 years after the flood (Gen. 11:10), that takes it up to about 1659.

Let me also say, however, that the year 1659 is based on the age the Bible shows for each father when his son was born and also knowing that the flood began in the 600th year of Noah’s life (Gen. 7:11). But if those ages are based on the way the Hebrews would consider even part of a year as a whole year, as mentioned above, then 1650 would be a better estimate (and easier to remember) for the time that the flood began. 

Concerning those mentioned in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, some might raise the question, “Well, what about Luke’s genealogy?” For there we see — instead of Arpachshad being the father of Shelah, and Shelah being the father of Eber (Gen. 11:12-14) – that Arphaxad (a different spelling) is seen as the father of Cainan, and Cainan being the father of Shelah (Luke 3:35-36).

It is thought that the reason for this difference is that the passage in Luke was based on the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament). For it says in Genesis 11:12-14: “And Arphaxad lived a hundred and thirty-five years, and begot Cainan . . . And Cainan lived a hundred and thirty years and begot Sala . . . And Sala lived an hundred and thirty years and begot Heber” (Brenton’s English Septuagint).

But in the 53 different Bible translations I looked up Genesis 11:12, only 2 of them mentioned Arpachshad becoming the father of Cainan. All the rest show it as Arpachshad becoming the father of “Shelah” (or some other spelling of that name). And those two translations that differed from all the rest are Brenton’s English Septuagint, as cited above, and the International Standard Version (which is not the same as the New International Version).

Also in Genesis 10:24, the ISV has it as “Arpachshad fathered Cainan, Cainan fathered Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber.” And Brenton’s English Septuagint also has that same order.

But, ironically, in 1 Chronicles 1:18, the ISV says, “Arpachshad fathered Shelah and Shelah fathered Eber.” And even Brenton’s English Septuagint has the order of “Arpaxad” being the father of Sala (Shelah), and Sala being the father of Eber.

And that was also the order in all of the 53 Bible translations I looked that verse up in: For it was always Arpachshad, Shelah, then Eber (though sometimes with different spellings of those names).

Though it has been said that there are some gaps in the Bible’s genealogies, yet this does not appear to be the case of Genesis 5 and 11, where we read of Adam/Seth, Seth/Enosh, Enosh/Kenan, Kenan/Mahalalel, Mahalalel/Jared, etc.

In the chart in the bulletin a couple weeks ago, Enoch (not to be confused with “Enosh”) is seen as being the 7th generation from Adam and being born 622 years after the creation of Adam (which is based on the ages given in the genealogy of Genesis 5).  And Jude, the half-brother of Jesus Christ, also shows that to be so by speaking of Enoch in Jude 1:14 as being “in the seventh generation from Adam” (NASB).

But even if one of these in Genesis 5 would actually be a grandfather rather than the father, that still would not change the time up to Abram’s birth. For suppose, for instance, that Seth was the grandfather of Enosh (not to be confused with “Enoch”) – and not the father. Yet we are then still given the years from the grandfather (if he would be that) to the grandson’s birth. As Genesis 5:6 says, “Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh.” So, for example, what if Seth were the grandfather, and the real father of Enosh was a guy named Elihu? And say Elihu became the father to Enosh when 52. Yet that would not even need to be factored in. For it would not change the years from the time Enosh was born in relation to his grandfather (if he had been his grandfather) when he was 105. In other words, we are not missing any years in our timeline by that.

So the years mentioned for the births and the time of the flood in last week’s bulletin give us a good idea of when all that happened. And as mentioned, those years are not in B.C.; but, rather, the years after God had created Adam and made him from the dust of the earth – and that was on the 6th day of creation, as the Bible shows (Gen. 1:26-31).

And for those who believe the earth to be about 4.5 billion years old, and with man not having “evolved” until about 2 million years ago, hear what Jesus, our Creator says, in Mark 10:6 with regard to the man and the woman in marriage: “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE” (NASB, emphasis mine).

As we have been going back to the very beginning of time to then give our attention to the lineage of Bible characters from Adam to Abraham, who made up that family tree, yet we realize that the most important family for all of us to be a part of is the family of God!  For even to those sinners who could trace their lineage back to Abraham, yet there was still a need for them to be born again (cf. John 3:3-5).  And that is so we may all become a part of the family of God, and eventually enter in to heaven itself where there will be no more time as we know it; but, instead, one great, blissful eternity for all to enjoy the endless blessings of God!  And right now this goes way beyond all we can even imagine (cf. Eph. 3:20; Matt. 19:26; Jer. 32:27, 17; Rev. 21:4; 1 Cor. 15:21-32).  So be wise and become a child of God while you have the time and opportunity! And how that is done can be seen below in “The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation.”
——————–

-2-

Good and Important Things to Remember!

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Memory.mp4
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Rick Cuthbertson, Lois Fletcher, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Tammy Griffey, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Deborah Medlock, Danielle Bartlett, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 

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

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) How Can I Deal With Worry, Anxiety? (Hoyt H. Houchen)
2) How Can I Help This Church? (Jarrod M. Jacobs)
3) Truth is Essential (Bill Lambert)
4) Looking For Jesus (part 2, video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

How Can I Deal With Worry, Anxiety?

Hoyt H. Houchen

Worry is a common problem and no doubt a reason that the Scriptures say so much about it. For example, Jesus taught in Matthew 6:31, “Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.” This is the conclusion of what Jesus had said in the previous verses about worry, or anxiety. He had shown his disciples that they should trust in God and not uncertainty. The principle is that God will provide the necessities of life if we will place confidence in him. The problem with most of us is that we give more attention to the everyday physical necessities such as food, clothing and shelter than to spiritual matters. Our Lord climaxed his teaching on worry, or anxiety, when he said: “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (v. 33).

Paul admonished his brethren at Philippi: “In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7-8).

How do we cope with worry? How do we overcome it? Both in the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 6 and that of Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 is the solution to worry. It is trust God. Most of us make God powerless by supposing that he is not capable of ruling his universe. We take life’s situations into our own hands and forget that God has promised to supply our needs.

The basic cause of worry is a lack of faith in the promises of God — a failure to trust God. Our lack of faith results from not studying the word of God which supplies faith. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

When we trust God we will take our burdens to him in prayer. Hear Paul again: “In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). The idea is to let the things we seek be made known to God. Thanksgiving should accompany our requests — not only for the many blessings which our Heavenly Father has already bestowed upon us, but for the very privilege of being able to make our requests known. He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

We all need to stop this foolishness of worrying ourselves into nervous wrecks and remember that God is on his throne; he is capable of running his affairs; he is always accessible and he never becomes weary from our requests. When we trust in God and believe his precious promises, we will go to him in prayer. This relieves us of worry, thus giving us “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). In place of being ruled by fear, worry and anxiety, our hearts and our thoughts will be guarded by “the peace of God.” This peace is another of the great promises which God will keep, if we will but trust him. Jesus told his apostles: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

Let us trust God, go to Him in prayer and believe that his promises are true. It is only when we do these things that we can deal with worry, anxiety.   

— Via Viewpoint, December 26, 2021
——————–

-2-

How Can I Help This Church?

Jarrod M. Jacobs

Regardless of our age, people want to feel useful. This is true whether we’re talking about a 2 or 3-year-old who wants to “help” Daddy or an 80 or 90-year-old who knows he or she can “do something.” While we see much apathy in the church, there are also many who would love to help in the Lord’s work but do not know where to start. For these people, I offer these suggestions.

1. Pray that God’s word will be preached boldly and heard by honest hearers (James 5:16; Acts 4:29b; 2 Thess. 3:1).

2. Invite someone who needs to hear the gospel and be saved (John 1:40-42, 45-46).

3. Attend each and every service of the Lord’s people (Heb. 10:25; Matt. 6:33).

4. Encourage others in words of concern, singing, praying, and studying the Bible (1 Thess. 5:11, 14-15; 2 Tim. 4:2; Col. 3:16).

5. Greet visitors warmly, and let them know you’re happy they are here today (Matt. 7:12; 1 Cor. 13:4).

6. Glorify God by obeying His will (Heb. 5:9; John 14:15).

—  Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, January 2022
——————–

-3-

Truth is Essential

Bill Lambert

John 8:31-32: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The world needs the truth, but there are precious few who are willing to hear the truth. Why is this?  Because the truth is many times painful.  People would rather “put off” facing the truth in order to continue their lives without the pain of making changes. Facing the truth will mean facing the need to make those changes. This is the “moment of truth” which we have heard about all our lives.  It is when one must make a decision to accept the truth and act upon it, or ignore the truth and suffer the consequences. Jesus said that the truth will make one free, but this is only if one accepts the truth. Many, unwilling to accept the truth, will continue in their ungodliness.

In John 5:39-40, Jesus said to his audience of Jews, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”  He likened them to chickens which could find refuge under the wings of their mother. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt 23:37)

Had they been willing to accept the truth that Jesus was the Son of God, they would have had life — but they would not. As Peter said to the Lord one time, “…thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).  By refusing him, they had, as those Jews who rejected their preaching judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.  (cf. Acts 13:46).

What is your attitude when your habits, lifestyle, beliefs, etc. are exposed to the light of truth?  You cannot simply say, “I don’t agree that such is wrong.”  That will not make it right — even if you could find a million people to agree with you!  The truth is still the truth, even if it is ignored or denied.

— Via Articles from the Eastside church of Christ, Athens, AL
——————–

-4-

Looking For Jesus (part 2)

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, which is also the conclusion of last week’s sermon, just click on the following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Looking_For_Jesus_2.mp4

(This has been adapted from a sermon by Joe R. Price.)

——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Let us continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Howard Moore who passed away January 19.

Rick Cuthbertson’s recent scan indicates that the cancer on his lung has grown, so he was put on new medication. He will also have a pet scan tomorrow to see if the cancer has spread.  On Thursday, he will then begin a 5-hour infusion, which he will have every 3 weeks.

A.J. and Pat Joyner have both been ill, plus A.J. has also torn some ligaments in his arm.

Deborah Medlock will be seeing her ENT doctor Thursday to determine if the nodule in her throat has been causing some of her recent trouble.

Florence Lester, who had been born with a bad heart, recently received a heart valve replacement.  All went well. 

The heart surgery for Jerald Hunter, due to some clogged arteries, also went well.

Rebekah Rittenhouse and her son Michael are both now over the coronavirus, and her husband Michael is now better from his double pneumonia and strep throat.

Tammy Griffey has also now healed from covid-19, but still has a few months to go for her foot to heal from the recent surgery she had on it. 

Marie Pennock is doing better, but still recovering from the coronavirus.

Danielle Bartlett has also healed from covid-19 and has been continuing her dialysis at home, while she awaits a donor kidney.

Ronnie Davis is still needing to stay on oxygen. His health problem has not yet been determined, but he was recently given a new medication.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Jim Lively, Myrna Jordan, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 

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

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Jesus’ Resurrection (Frank Himmel)
2) Did Anyone Mentioned by Name in Genesis Die in the Flood? (Tom Edwards)
3) Looking For Jesus (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Jesus’ Resurrection

Frank Himmel

When the Jews asked Jesus for a sign after He drove out the moneychangers from the temple, He replied, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). He was speaking of His resurrection (vv. 21-22).

When some scribes and Pharisees insisted on a sign in addition to the many miracles Jesus had already done, He told them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:29-40).

Jesus depicted His love for our souls as a good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18).

In these and many other references Jesus spoke of His resurrection from the dead. It was the ultimate proof that He was who He claimed to be (Romans 1:4). It was the ultimate proof of the Father’s approval of Him (Acts 3:13-15). It is our assurance that His atonement for us was accepted (1 Peter 3:18-22). It is the very basis of our hope (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). It is the proof that He will one day judge us (Acts 17:31). Indeed, Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity.

Salvation in a crucified and resurrected Christ was the message the apostles preached. They were eyewitnesses (Acts 1:8). They did not see Him emerge from the tomb, but they did see Him frequently afterward (Acts 1:3-8). In fact, apostleship required that one could give eyewitness testimony of the risen Lord (Acts 1:22).

How can we know that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead? First, there is the empty tomb. Resurrection is the only explanation of it that fits all the facts. Theories about mistaken identity, a moved or stolen body, or a planned resurrection hoax are not supported by the evidence.

The inability of Jesus’ enemies to produce any counterevidence also testifies to the reality of the resurrection. They bribed the tomb guards to lie about what happened (Matthew 28:11-15). Yet they could do nothing to stop the story that Jesus had risen. It is interesting that some time after the event, Gamaliel, a leader among the opponents of Christianity, had to admit the possibility that it was genuine (Acts 5:38-39).

Jesus’ bodily appearances following His resurrection prove its reality (1 Corinthians 15:3-11). Many people saw Him—on one occasion He appeared to a crowd of over 500! He ate and drank with the disciples to prove that it was no spirit they were seeing. He invited Thomas to examine His body to verify that it was He (John 20:26-29).

The changed character of the apostles evidences the resurrection. Prior to it, Peter was cowardly (Luke 22:54-62). He and the others met behind locked doors out of fear (John 20:19). But afterward they boldly defied the Sanhedrin’s order that they not preach the resurrection (Acts 4:18-21; 5:27-32). The apostles suffered because of their testimony, yet none ever recanted it.

The events of Pentecost proved Jesus’ resurrection. The apostles spoke in tongues when the Spirit was poured out (Acts 2:1-4). That fulfilled Joel’s prophecy, which meant it was the last days. That, in turn, meant Jesus had taken His place on the throne. “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

The Lord’s church, the Lord’s day, the Lord’s Supper, baptism—these by their very existence and significance testify in their own way of the resurrection of the Christ.

Salvation is available only in the risen Christ (Acts 4:10-12). It requires that we believe that God raised Him from the dead and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). The believer is then immersed into Jesus’ death and raised with Him to a new life (Romans 6:3-4). Are you alive with Christ?

— Via Pathlights, November 28, 2021
——————–

Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25, NASB).

——————–

-2-

Did Anyone Mentioned by Name in Genesis Die in the Flood?

Tom Edwards

Some folks might wonder if any of the individuals listed by name in the Bible, who were born prior to the flood — such as Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech (Noah’s father) — had also died in that flood.

We can solve that by using the genealogy in Genesis 5. 

NOTE: The year a person was born, in the following chart, is neither B.C. nor A.D.  Rather, it is from the time when the Lord first created Adam on that 6th day of creation (Gen. 1:26-31) to the number of years to each person’s birth. 

PersonBorn
Died
Years Lived
Seth
130
1042
912
Enosh
235
1140
905
Kenan
325
1235
910
Mahalalel
395
1290
895
Jared
460
1422
962
Enoch
622
987
365
Methuselah
687
1656
969
Lamech
874
1651
777
Noah
1056
2006
950

Though the number of years that Noah lived is not seen in Genesis 5, yet it is shown in Genesis 9:29 as 950 years.

As we see on the chart, Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, was born 687 years after the Lord had formed Adam from the dust of the earth.  And since Methuselah lived 969 years, he passed away in the year 1656.

With that in mind, the Bible shows that it was in the 600th year of Noah’s life when the flood came (Gen. 7:11).  So adding that to 1056 (the year of Noah’s birth), we see that the year of the flood was 1656 — the same year that Methuselah died!

The Bible, however, does not tell us if Methuselah died before the flood or in it.

But, surely, there must have been many of Noah’s relatives that had perished in that great deluge.  For it says of his father Lamech, who died about 5 years before the flood, that “he had other sons and daughters” (Gen. 5:30).

And what about the “other sons and daughters” of Methuselah (Gen. 5:26) — Noah’s uncles and aunts.  And, therefore, probably also many cousins and other relatives as well who drowned.

So we do not find anyone specifically named who had died in the flood, but all who were in the world at that time had perished — except for Noah, his 3 sons, and their wives.

And from those 8, the lineage of Seth lived on.

Let us now continue up to the time of Abraham’s birth:

Two years after the flood, Shem was 100 years old and became the father of Arpachshad (Gen. 11:10). And though the rain had been for 40 days and 40 nights (Gen. 7:12), yet the flood itself lasted for slightly more than a year. So we will add that to the 2 years after the flood when Arpachshad was born and continue with our figuring with Genesis 11 for the year each of the following was born:

1659 – Arpachshad
1694 – Shelah (v. 12)
1724 – Eber (v. 14)
1758 – Peleg (v. 16)
1788 – Reu (v. 18)
1820 – Serug (v. 20)
1850 – Nahor (v. 22)
1879 – Terah (v. 24)
2009 – Abram (based on 205 when Terah died in Haran, Gen. 11:32; and the age of Abram [75] when that happened, Gen. 12:4.  So 205-75 = 130.  130+1879 = 2009)

——————– 

-3-

Looking For Jesus

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Looking_For_Jesus.mp4
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Kathy Todd (Bob Waldron’s sister) who passed away January 4.

Lois Fletcher (the wife of Jim Lively’s nephew Mike) has been diagnosed with bone cancer in her chest wall and is receiving homeopathic treatment, since she is severely allergic to chemical medications.

Rebekah Rittenhouse has tested positive for the coronavirus and is having some bad symptoms. Her son also has it, but milder. And while her husband Michael tested negative, yet he has been sick with double pneumonia and strep throat. 

Tammy Griffey is doing better, but still not completely over the virus.  She is now back home, quarantined with her husband Richard.

Though feeling a loss of energy, Danielle Bartlett was released from the hospital Wednesday and will be able to continue her dialysis at home. 

Marie Pennock, taking longer to recover than the others, is still having some difficulty from the coronavirus. 

Deborah Medlock is also improving from the coronavirus and will be tested again this week. Her niece, and her nieces two children also have it.

All others that had previously been mentioned with it are doing well: Danny & Jan Bartlett, Doug Pennock, Richard Griffey, and Mikaela Jones.

Ronnie Davis is still having to be on oxygen.  The cause has not yet been determined, but he will be seeing his doctor again on the 19th.

Let us also be remembering in prayer:  the family and friends of Ron Montero; and Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 

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

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Raising Lazarus (Frank Himmel)
2) Numbers, Life and Death (Bill Crews)
3) New Year’s Resolutions (Johnie Edwards)
4) Saved Like Noah (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Raising Lazarus

Frank Himmel

Jesus’ miracles were signs, indicators of who He was. He said to skeptics, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father” (John 10:37-38). No miracle better made the point than the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1-53).

Jesus was in Perea when He received word that Lazarus was sick. He responded, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God; that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (vs. 4). Lazarus would indeed die, but his death would not be the primary result of this sickness; Jesus’ glorification would be. How so? First, raising Lazarus would be a dramatic proof of Jesus’ deity. Second, this incident would trigger the official plotting of His own death. That, along with His subsequent resurrection and ascension, was Jesus’ crowning glory (cf. 7:39; 12:23).

Jesus delayed two days before leaving to go to Bethany where Lazarus lived. That had the effect of ensuring Lazarus’s death (he had been dead four days by the time Jesus arrived).

Lazarus’s sister Martha went out to meet Jesus, opining that had the Lord been there Lazarus would not have died. Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise again. Martha believed that but thought only of the final resurrection. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 24). Earlier He affirmed that the Father had entrusted to Him life and judgment (John 5:21-29), prerogatives He possessed because of who He was. Martha readily confessed her faith in Him as the Son of God, yet she was slow to see these implications of His identity.

Lazarus’s other sister, Mary, then came out to meet Jesus, accompanied by a crowd of mourners. Together they all made their way to the tomb. Jesus ordered, “Remove the stone.” Martha, evidently thinking Jesus only wished to see the body, objected. The Lord reassured her. He then prayed aloud. He wanted all present to know that what was about to happen was done in conjunction with the Father, “so that they may believe that You sent Me” (v. 42). And with that He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” He did, still bound in his burial wrappings.

Many who saw the miracle believed. Some reported it to the Pharisees. In their own words the Jewish rulers’ dilemma was, “This man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him” (v. 47), and the rulers would lose their place. Something had to be done. Never mind the reality of Jesus’ signs. Never mind that they unmistakably verified His identity. Caiaphas, the high priest, put it bluntly: Jesus had to die. Ironically, these enemies of Jesus were setting the stage for His greatest miracle. Additionally, by their behavior they were bringing on themselves the very destruction they sought to avert. No one can escape the truth about Jesus.

— Via Pathlights, November 14, 2021
——————–

-2-

Numbers, Life and Death

Bill Crews

43, 54, 85, 50, 63, 57, 71, 65, 65, 68, 25, 93, 37, 47, 49, 58, 64, 16, 19, 91 and 81. Can you guess the source or significance of this collection of numbers? Each one is very much the number of a person. Each one represents the number of birthdays celebrated by an individual. Each one describes in years the life span of a real human being. They came from the obituary section of a Monday morning paper. These were the ages of the deceased. From 16 to 93! An average of 57!  I grant that that average is below the life expectancies of both men and women, then and now, but they demonstrate well the fact that anyone can die at any age.

In view of the brevity and uncertainty of life, the certainty and finality of death, and the duration and nature of eternity (one heaven and one hell, forever), shouldn’t you start thinking about the condition and destiny of your soul — NOW? You are concerned about your mortal body; shouldn’t you be even more concerned about your immortal soul? You are concerned about your physical life; shouldn’t you be more concerned about your spiritual life? Your are concerned about material things; shouldn’t you be more concerned about spiritual things? You are concerned about time; shouldn’t you be more concerned about eternity?

Every day that we live among men, we are asked, “How are you?” or “How are you feeling?” Hardly anyone asks, “How’s your soul?” We are body-conscious; we have physical health-awareness. But we are being foolish and careless if we are not primarily concerned about the spiritual condition of our never-ending souls. Have you been saved from your sins? Are you a Christian? Are you faithful to God? Do you have the approval of God? Do you enjoy the life and peace and hope that are in Christ? In the words of a grand old song:

“A charge to keep I have,   
A God to glorify;
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36, Issue 52, Page 1, December 26, 2021
——————–

-3-

New Year’s Resolutions

Johnie Edwards

With the coming of a new year comes those new year’s resolutions! Many are made only soon to be broken. This time of year does serve a good purpose of considering some spiritual resolutions which would be good for all of us to make and keep.

No Longer to Linger. The song, I Am Resolved serves as a reminder of some good resolutions. If you have not become a Christian, it is a good time to resolve to become one and quit lingering. Don’t be charmed by the world’s delight. Be aware there are things that are nobler. So a good question is: “What wait I for?” (Ps. 9:7).

To Go To The Savior. All of us would do well to go to the Lord at this time of the year as well as rest of the year. One reason for going to Him is because He “has the words of eternal life…” (Jn. 6:68). As one goes to Christ, he leaves his sins as they are remitted at baptism (Acts 2:38). As Jesus is the “saviour of the body, the church…” (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:24); you will be “added to the church” (Acts 2:47).

To Follow Jesus. Since Jesus is the living way, we are instructed to follow Him. Peter declared, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).

To Enter The Kingdom. There is no greater resolution than that of being a citizen in the kingdom of God. The kingdom often has reference to the Lord’s church (Mt. 16:18-19). We enter the kingdom by being “born of water and the Spirit” (Jn. 3:3-5). This takes place when one is “baptized into Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

To Be More Faithful. The Lord’s people are described as “stewards,” and they must “be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:1). A lot of church members choose not to be counted faithful. If we expect the Lord to say, “Well done,” we must “be faithful” (Mt. 25:21). Do you need to make a resolution on this count?

To Be The Best Example. There is a great demand for some good example setting! Fellow workers need it, our children need it, and other church members need it. After all, we must “shine as lights in the world” (Mt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:15). May each of us plan to be the best example as folks “read our epistle” (2 Cor. 3:2).

Don’t forget to keep your resolutions!

— Via Back To Basics, Volume 6, Number 1, January 2008
——————–

-4-

Saved Like Noah

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, which has been adapted from a sermon outline made by Johnie Edwards many years ago, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

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

——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks who are ill with the coronavirus: Danny, Jan, and Danielle Bartlett; Doug and Marie Pennock; Richard and Tammy Griffey; Deborah Medlock; and Mikaela Jones.  

The worst of the virus is over for Doug and Marie. They are getting better.

For Richard, the virus has been like a cold; and similar for Danny.  So the symptoms have not been too severe for any of these.

Ronnie and Melotine Davis have also been ill, but “hanging in there,” as Melotine told me.

Danielle is still in the hospital with pneumonia, and her coronavirus is also mild.    

Let us also be remembering in prayer:  the family and friends of Ron Montero; and Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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).
——————–

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

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

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

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


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