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

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“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!
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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
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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
——————–

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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
——————–

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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
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-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.)


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) Conquering Temptation (Bob Dodson)
2) Christ’s Birth (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Conquering Temptation

Bob Dodson

How can we overcome temptation? We do not sin by being tempted — we sin when we yield to the temptation. God’s word provides some guidelines to help us.

Remember God’s word. Use God’s word as a weapon in your spiritual battles with Satan and temptation. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Each time Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He replied, “IT IS WRITTEN” (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). David said he hid God’s word in his heart that he might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). In the midst of persecution, holding to God’s word sustains us (Psalm 119:153, 157, 176). When tempted to do wrong, reflect on the word and what it says regarding the matter. In order to be able to use the word effectively, we must know what it says.

Avoid temptation. Rather than seeing how close to sin we can get, without going over the proverbial line, we need to run in the opposite direction. “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Joseph ran from the temptation Potiphar’s wife placed before him (Genesis 39:12). We are obligated to “watch” where we are going (Matthew 26:41). The Proverbs writer warned the young man not to go near the harlot’s door (Proverbs 5:8; 7:25).

Staying clear means not placing ourselves in situations where we will be tempted to violate God’s will. Many times, we sin because we position ourselves to provide opportunities for Satan to tempt us. If you play in Satan’s backyard, according to his rules, you will lose every time.

Pray. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that they would not be led into temptation. “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…” (Matthew 6:13). We should pray for strength to overcome life’s trials. Again, Jesus told His disciples, who were sometimes weak, “pray that ye enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). It is interesting that in the context where Paul discussed putting on the whole armor of God to fight against the wiles of the devil, he added: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Make an honest self-examination. We must consider ourselves, lest we also be tempted. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted… But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load” (Galatians 6:1,4). We must constantly examine where we are, and where we are heading. Am I walking in the paths of God or of the world? “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Do I flee temptation, or run right in its face? Could I be guilty of creating my own tempting situations? Each of us must be honest enough to examine our actions to see if we are taking the proper precautions, or blindly heading into danger by using human, rather than divine, wisdom. “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). This takes self-discipline and the willingness to look at things as they really are–not how we wish to believe they are. Each of us must take personal examination seriously and perform it daily.

Understand how the tempter works. Any military leader can tell you that knowing how your enemy operates helps with your effort to defeat him. Satan has three avenues through which he appeals to us. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). Satan attacks us at what he knows to be our weakest points. Don’t underestimate this adversary! He is sly, cunning, crafty, and has in mind only one goal–to destroy our souls.

Choose your companions wisely. Obviously, our friends have a great deal of influence–either good or bad–on us. Godly, moral companions are a good influence because they encourage us to do good things. On the other hand, evil and ungodly friends are a bad influence, because they seek to lead us away from God. In the Scriptures, Paul gave a stern warning about this very truth. “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34). None of us is so strong that associating with sin cannot affect us. Many young people are lost to the world simply because they got with the wrong crowd. Influence is a powerful force, when it is used for good. The reverse is also true.

Remember sin’s consequences. It seems that Joseph was thinking about this very fact when he resisted sin in his life. “But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’” (Genesis 39:8,9). Sadly, many learn too late that the pleasures of sin last only for a season–they do not endure. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). Sin’s wages never change. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If we die in sin, we’ve earned eternal separation from God (Revelation 21:8). Is it worth the risk?

Look for a way of escape. Temptation is like being in a room that has more than one door–there is a way to escape. God has promised a means of escape for every temptation known to man. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes we ignore the escape route and yield to the temptation. Sometimes the way to escape is by not putting yourself in a susceptible position. Look for the way to do the right thing–then do it!

Conquering makes us better. If we overcome enticement and bear our trials, we become stronger and are better prepared for the next trial Satan places in our way. Each trial or temptation can be either a stumbling block or a stepping stone toward Christ-like maturity. Each time we yield, we become weaker. Each time we resist, we grow stronger. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9). (edited–KMG)

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, December 2001
——————–

It is said of Jesus: “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, NASB).
——————–

-2-

Christ’s Birth

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Christ’s_Birth.mp4

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Let us be praying that God will bring comfort to all the family and friends of Ron Montero (Bud’s oldest brother) who passed away Wednesday evening.

Danielle Bartlett is now in the hospital with Covid-19 and pneumonia, but she says it is a very mild case. So she might soon be going home.

Danny & Jan Barlett, along with Doug and Marie Pennock and Mikaela, all have the virus. Danny & Jan have many symptoms, but nothing serious right now. Doug and Marie are over the worst of it and getting better, and Mikaela has it only slightly and with a cough.

Though confined to rehab, Tammy Griffey appears to be in good spirits.  She still has a few more weeks to go and 5 times a week for therapy.  UPDATE: Richard & Tammy Griffey both now have the coronavirus. So far, it is like just a cold for Richard, but worse for Tammy. She can now no longer have visitors.

Due to a recent fall, Jim Lively is again having therapists come to his home a couple times a week. 

After having now received her referrals, Kayla  Williams is scheduled for a doctor’s appointment the second week of January, to be followed by another appointment that she has not yet been given the date for.

I’m glad to say that the fusion Ronnie Davis had in his back about 3 weeks ago is doing some good!  But, lately, he and his wife Melotine have both been ill.

Let us also be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
——————–

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) Healing a Blind Man (Frank Himmel)
2) Those “Strange People” (Robert F. Turner)
3) Live Peaceably (Frank Berthold)
4) Gifts from God (video sermon, Tom Edwards)    
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Healing a Blind Man

Frank Himmel

“But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him” (John 12:37). So begins John’s conclusion to Jesus’ public ministry. The problem was not lack of evidence; it was how people approached the evidence. Nowhere is that better illustrated than when Jesus healed a man born blind (John 9).

Jesus worked this miracle by rather unusual means. He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, applied it to the man’s eyes, then told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Why do it this way? We do not know. Jesus frequently varied His procedure, perhaps to emphasize that the power was in Him, not in formulas or rituals. In this case, it tested the man’s faith. He obeyed and received his sight.

Initially, public discussion about this incident was whether a miracle had occurred or this was a case of mistaken identity. The blind man’s testimony settled that. When He attributed the miracle to Jesus, the neighbors brought the case to the Pharisees.

As was often the case, Jesus healed this man on a Sabbath. The Pharisees, therefore, quickly divided. Some said Jesus could not be from God because He violated the Sabbath. Others countered that He must be from God because He could make the blind see.

The blind man could clearly see that Jesus was a prophet. Wishing to avoid that obvious conclusion, the Pharisees questioned the man’s parents, hoping to find some reason to deny the miracle. The parents were too afraid to confess Jesus and so deferred to their son’s testimony.

Further interrogation of the blind man only proved embarrassing for the Pharisees. The witness became the prosecutor. With wit and sarcasm he asked if they, too, wanted to become Jesus’ disciples, and expressed amazement at what these experts did not know. They ended the matter by putting him out, evidently putting him out of the synagogue (note v. 22).

This incident illustrates four reactions to Jesus and the truth He revealed.

Some, like the neighbors, are curious and ask questions, but they then blindly accept whatever religious leaders tell them.

Some, like the Pharisees, already have their minds made up. They spend their time trying to deny the obvious. Old beliefs are indeed hard to abandon. Nevertheless, no one in this account looks more foolish than these hard-headed enemies of truth.

Some, like the parents, know the truth but are too afraid to acknowledge it. No one can remain neutral; you are either for Jesus or against Him (Matthew 12:30).

Some, like the blind man, simply accept facts, objectively examine the evidence, and draw the only realistic conclusion: “Lord, I believe” (v. 38). Which group are you in?

— Via Pathlights, November 7, 2021
——————–

-2-

Those “Strange People”

Robert F. Turner

Years ago I shared a seat on the train with a “missionary” returning from work in Alaska. He told me he met some “strange people” up there who thought they could work out their own salvation.

I said, “With fear and trembling; Phil. 2:12.”

“No, No!” he said. “I mean they thought they could save themselves.”

And I said, “From this untoward generation; Acts 2:40.”

This was just too much for the old gentleman; and he sighed, and said he guessed I must be one of those folk. Well, I never did discover whether I was or was not; but I did try to make my point that there was nothing wrong in a faith that could be “spelled out” by the word of God.

It is common to hear preachers boldly assert that “the gospel of Christ must be believed — it can not be obeyed!!!” I just recall that Paul said the Lord was coming “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 1:8). When I hear someone say, “A child of God cannot fall from grace,” I remember that Paul told the Galatians who sought justification by the law, “ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). Reminds me of the fellow in the jail cell who shouts at the jailer, “You can’t do this to me!”

I know that sinners cannot “save themselves” apart from the Lord; but there must be some way in which this admonition properly applies, or it would not be in God’s word. The facts of the gospel can only be believed, but there must be commands of the gospel, which must be obeyed, or this responsibility would not be placed upon us. It is foolish to contend that Christians cannot fall from grace, when Paul says some had done so. By the same token, there must be some sense in which we are saved by faith — for in various ways the Bible says this is so (Rom. 5:1). But it doesn’t say “faith ONLY” — and so we have no right to say so. If there were not some sense in which baptism washes away sins, the Bible would not tell us that it does (Acts 22:16). Ignoring God’s word won’t change it.

How wonderful it would be if we all had enough confidence in the word of God to accept it just as God gave it; neither “explaining away” the statements we do not like, nor acting as though they didn’t exist. The New Testament relates salvation to 18 or 20 different things. We are saved by grace, faith, works, baptism, hope, — and so, on and on. There is no ONLY attached to either of these things. It would seem that common “horse” sense would tell us that they are ALL necessary ingredients — fitting perfectly into the divine pattern, each in its place. No “doctrine” that denies any of these matters, or places emphasis upon one to the hurt of another, could possibly be God’s truth.

Folk who respect the word of God just “face up” to its statements and accept them. If this makes “strange people” — then so be it.

— Via Plain Talk, August 1967
——————–

-3-

Live Peaceably

Frank Berthold

When God led the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery. He gave them moral laws to live by. If they were to be a community of people, they had to learn how to live in harmony together. God has also given us laws to live by that we may live in harmony together in the church, and with those around us, as a community of people. “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrew 2:14, NRSV). Paul tells us, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18, NRSV). God tells us how to treat one another, things to do and not do. Of course, we will make mistakes (James 3:2) and not follow His advice as meticulously as we should. That’s where our forgiving one another comes in. And, when we ask for forgiveness, we acknowledge that we know we have done wrong and should strive not to repeat the offense. We must realize that our brothers and sisters are human as much as we are.

Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends” (NASB).

— Via The Exhorter, April 18, 1998
——————–

-4-

Gifts from God

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Gifts_121921.mp4

——————–

Psalm 63:3

“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.”

NASB
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Let us pray that God will bring comfort to the family and friends of Ron Montero (Bud’s oldest brother) who recently passed away.

We are glad that the surgery went well for Tammy Griffey.  Let us now pray that all will also go well in her 6 weeks of rehab, in which she will be having therapy 5 days a week.

Danielle Bartlett will continue to have dialysis 3 times a week until she receives a donor kidney, which she is back on the list for.  Let us pray that will be soon.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Shirley Davis who recently passed away.

And also to be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, Deborah Medlock, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
——————–

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) Casting Out Demons (Frank Himmel)
2) Garbage (Jason Moore)
3) The Human Body of Christ, God Incarnate! (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Casting Out Demons

Frank Himmel

Superstition and mystery surround the subject of demons. The Bible contains no discourses about them. All we can know must be discerned from the handful of incidents in which they were involved.

The New Testament word rendered demon was used by Greeks to denote an inferior deity. The Bible depicts them as members of the spirit world who are evil, operating in conjunction with Satan.

Jesus cast out demons on numerous occasions. Notice a few cases from Mark’s gospel.

Early during His ministry, a man with an “unclean spirit” came to the synagogue at Nazareth where the Lord was teaching. He cried out, “What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus cast out the spirit to the amazement of the crowd (Mark 1:21-18).

Later in the same chapter, Mark records that Jesus cast out demons, not permitting them to speak, “because they knew who He was” (v. 34). Their knowledge was correct (see James 2:19), but theirs was an endorsement He could certainly do without!

Mark 5 records the case of Legion. This man was possessed by many spirits, hence his name. They made him unusually strong and given to self-abuse, out of his right mind. These, too, confessed Jesus. This case illustrates demons having emotions, desires, and reasoning power. They asked and received permission to leave the man and enter a herd of swine, resulting in the death of the herd.

Mark 9 records the case of a possessed boy. The spirit that tormented him made him mute. It threw him into convulsions and often threw him into fire or water to destroy him. The boy’s father brought him to Jesus’ disciples. The Lord had given them power over unclean spirits (6:7), but they were unable to cast this one out. Evidently, it was particularly strong or strong-willed. Jesus said the problem was the apostles’ lack of faith (Matthew 17:20).

Despite the varied physical effects produced by demon-possession, it is noteworthy that in no case did it cause one to be a sinner.

The prophet Zechariah foretold the day when prophecy and unclean spirits would be removed from the land (Zechariah 13:2). That day was in the era when the fountain for sin was opened for the house of David (v. 1).

Demon-possession corresponded to the time of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven. God allowed it because it provided one more proof of Jesus’ identity. Even critics knew that expulsion required miraculous power. Thus Jesus told them, “If I cast out  demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28).

— Via Pathlights, October 31, 2021
——————–

-2-

Garbage

Jason Moore

Some of the most significant finds of archaeology are not temples and palaces and treasures, but garbage pits. It is in the trash pits of ancient civilizations that archaeologists learn about the diet of a people. They find pieces of broken pottery and can tell such things as the time period in which a people lived, their economic status, their contact with other peoples and cultures. They may find samples of their writing, furniture, weapons, tools, and evidences of their daily habitudes. Yes, you can tell much about a people from what they throw away.

The sorts of things we toss in the garbage pit in our country will tell future generations some things about us. They may think us wasteful. With all the push being made toward recyclable goods and packaging, they may think us primitive that we could not find uses or reuses for discarded materials.

The more perceptive and morally conscious may be appalled by other trends witnessed in America’s dump sites. Isn’t it a telling mark that we live in a nation that discards the unborn? It says something about the value placed on human life. It tells a tale about a people obsessed with personal liberty. It exposes a people without natural affection.

To bring the matter a little closer to home, you can tell a lot about yourself by what you throw away. Paul said of himself, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

Paul’s statement tells the tale of a man who had discarded inferior things for things superior. He gave up reputation among men that he might know and be known by Christ. He gave up a degree of political power that he might find a higher one, the “power of his resurrection” (verse 10). He threw away a life of material gain and relative ease that he might know the “fellowship of his sufferings” (verse 11).

But Paul acknowledged that he wasn’t “threw” yet. “I count not myself to have apprehended … forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).

Conversion as Paul illustrates is largely a matter of knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. When a believer is baptized God performs a surgery in which He removes the pollution of sin: “In [Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12f.).

Once we by faith have submitted ourselves to this operation of God, it becomes our responsibility to keep sin in the pile of discarded items. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth . . . seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:5,9,10).

So what do you find in your trash pile? Have you yet put off the old man of sin? Please note that the only way to discard sin is by the means that God has prescribed. A man would be a fool to tell his doctor that he trusted him and then not follow his doctor’s orders. What of the man who says that he believes in Christ and then ignores the procedure that He prescribes for sin’s removal?

Baptism is not contradictory to faith; it is an indication of faith for one is “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God….” (Colossians 2:12).

It is possible for a man who has been baptized to have never really discarded sin. What about you? Did your conversion involve any putting off, any regarding of this world’s gain as dung, any circumcision of the old body of sin? Surgery is always accompanied with some degree of pain. If there was no discomfort in our conversion or if we are not familiar with the uneasiness of change, then it is likely that there has been no change.

Ever throw away something on accident only to have to return later to dig it out of the trash? Unfortunately we can sometimes discard habits and sins only to dig them up later. Do you not see the ugliness of that picture? How odious a sight to see a man wearing garments he has dug from the bottom of the dung heap. How much more sickening it must be in the sight of God when we who are to be clothed in His holiness put on the sin-stained, decay-ridden garments of our past.

Yes, you can tell a lot about a person by what they throw away. Be careful then what you throw away. And watch what you keep.

— Via The Beacon, November 28, 2021
——————-

-3-

The Human Body of Christ, God Incarnate!

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Jesus’_Body.mp4


——————-

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We are glad that the surgery went well for Tammy Griffey.  She is now in rehab, where she will be having therapy for 6 weeks.

Ron Montero is still undergoing cancer treatments and not doing very well.

Danielle Bartlett will continue to have dialysis 3 times a week until she receives a donor kidney, which she is back on the list for.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Shirley Davis who recently passed away.

Let us also be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, Deborah Medlock, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
——————–

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.
Every First Sunday of the Month: 5 p.m. Song Service 

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) Walking on Water (Frank Himmel)
2) The Needle’s Eye (Irvin Himmel)
3) The Body — and Some of Its Members (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Walking on Water

Frank Himmel

Modern “miracle workers” focus on two effects: speaking in tongues and healing. Neither accords with the Bible models. Speaking in tongues was speaking in other languages (Acts 2:4-11), not the characteristic gibberish of our day. Bible healings were bonafide cases that even enemies had to acknowledge, not unverifiable headaches, backaches, and the like.

If men today can work miracles, where are the others, the physical effects such as turning water into wine or miraculously multiplying food? And who can walk on water, as the gospel writers say Jesus did? (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21).

The Sign

After feeding the 5,000, Jesus not only sent away the multitude, He also made the disciples get into a boat and leave. While He prayed alone on the mountain, they fought their way across a contrary sea. Somewhere between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. They were frightened, thinking it was a ghost. Jesus reassured them it was He. When He got into the boat with them, the wind stopped. John says immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

The Extension

Matthew records a unique aspect of this miracle. Jesus shared the effect by allowing Peter to also walk on water. “Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:28-31).

Extending the miracle in this way had several benefits. It verified to the apostles the reality of what was taking place. It illustrated the Savior’s favorable disposition toward them. And it taught them the valuable lesson that even in the exercise of supernatural gifts, one must act from personal faith if he is to be successful.

The Purpose

Peter’s success when walking by faith is a great illustration. So is his failure when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on his circumstances. So is his simple, fervent prayer, “Lord, save me.” So is the Lord’s response.

As with all Jesus’ miracles, however, the main purpose was to show who He is. Mark’s analysis is interesting: “they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened” (6:51-52). It was not hard for them to envision how the creator and ruler of the universe could so easily set aside the “laws of nature.” It was just difficult to see Jesus as that one. Yet that is precisely who He is.

What do you see in Jesus? Have you submitted to His rule?

— Via Pathlights, October 17, 2021
——————–

-2-

The Needle’s Eye

Irvin Himmel

A rich young ruler came running to Jesus and, kneeling before the Master, posed the question, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus called attention to some of the basic commands of the law. The young man answered, “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” Jesus, knowing that he lacked one important thing, told him to sell whatever he had, give it to the poor, and he would have treasure in heaven, “and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

The young ruler reacted by a display of sadness. He went away grieved, for he had great possessions. Looking on the disciples, Jesus remarked, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

The disciples reacted with astonishment. Jesus explained, “Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:23-25).

A Gate or Sewing Needle?

In my youthful years, I heard some preacher say that in ancient times there was a small gate in the wall around Jerusalem; and this tiny gate was called “the Needle’s Eye.” According to the preacher, the little gate was used when the big, regular-size gates were closed. It was so small, declared the preacher, that a camel could go through it only by getting down on his knees and squeezing through. The lesson then, according to said preacher, is that a rich man can be saved only by squeezing through — getting on his knees, so to speak, by the proper and sacrificial use of his wealth.

That story impressed me, and in ignorance I repeated it. A more objective study of the passage in which Jesus spoke of the needle’s eye led me in time to reject that story about the gate, and to come to the conclusion that the Lord was speaking of an ordinary kind of needle. First, I noticed that Jesus spoke of a rich man in the sense of one who trusts in riches, not merely one who possesses wealth. Read carefully Mark’s account and notice the following:

“. . . they that have riches” (10:23).
“. . . them that trust in riches” (10:24).
“. . . a rich man” (10:25).

Now, is it possible for people who trust in riches to be saved? Not at all! One must put his trust in the Lord to be saved. They that have riches, that is, they who trust in riches, can no more be saved than a camel can go through the eye of a needle. To a Jew the camel was the largest domestic animal, and the eye of the needle the smallest of openings visible to the eye. Such a large animal passing through such a small hole clearly conveyed an impossibility.

The disciples took Jesus’ illustration to have that meaning. They asked, “Who then can be saved?” Obviously, something would have to change before a camel could go through the eye of a sewing needle. Therefore, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (v. 27).

It is impossible for one who trusts in riches to be saved, whether he has five dollars or five million dollars. But with God all things are possible. Working through the power of the gospel, God can change a man so that he ceases to trust in himself, his riches, his own wisdom, etc., and puts his trust in Jesus Christ.

Also, it is worthy of note that the Greek word “needle” (rhaphis) used in Mark’s account comes from rhapto, meaning “to sew.” Vine says, “The idea of applying ‘the needle’s eye’ to small gates seems to be a modern one; there is no ancient trace of it. The Lord’s object in the statement is to express human impossibility and there is no need to endeavor to soften the difficulty by taking the needle to mean anything more than the ordinary instrument.” The word for “needle” in Luke’s account is belone, which according to Vincent, “is the peculiar word for the surgical needle.” A.T. Robertson says it “means originally the point of a spear and then a surgeon’s needle.”

McGarvey sums the matter up by saying, “The conceit, which originated I know not where, that ‘the eye of a needle’ here means a low and narrow gate through which the camel could not go except on his knees and after his burden had been removed, is not only without historical foundation, but is inconsistent with the context, which contemplates something impossible with men” (comments on Matt. 19:24).

This article is not designed to needle anyone, but to point out that we need to carefully study the language used before eyeing conclusions.

— Via The Beacon, October 3, 2021
——————–

-3-

The Body — and Some of Its Members

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Body_120521.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Tammy Griffey will be having her surgery on her foot this Wednesday (December 8).  It will also require her remaining off her feet for 6 weeks, followed by 6 months of having to take it easy. Update: Tammy’s surgery went well, and she is doing fine.

Let us also continue to remember the family and friends of Shirley Davis who passed away November 22.

Kim Rowell (Ashley Law’s mother) was transferred to a Savannah hospital Friday evening, due to an infection and an ulcer in her dialysis graft, which she will be having surgery for December 5.  Update: Her surgery went well. She is now healing and will eventually receive a permanent catheter for dialysis.

Danielle Bartlett is back on the list for a donor kidney. In the meanwhile, she has resumed dialysis 3 times a week.

Ron Montero (Bud’s brother) is continuing with his treatments for cancer.

Rick Cuthbertson‘s treatments have been keeping some of his cancer from progressing. 

Vivian Foster has an intestinal blockage that has been giving her some trouble.

Congratulations to Danny and Jan Bartlett in the birth of their 8th grandchild!  Their daughter Andra and her newborn both did well.

Let us also be remembering the following in prayer: Ronnie Davis, Doyle Rittenhouse, Deborah Medlock, Kayla Williams, Jim Lively, and Rex Hadley.
——————–

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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