by Gary Henry
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:18,19).
WORLDLINESS IS THE SIN OF BEING SO WEDDED TO THIS WORLD THAT WE PAY TOO LITTLE ATTENTION TO THE WORLD TO COME. It means being preoccupied with temporal matters to such an extent that spiritual concerns are crowded out of our thinking. To fellow Christians, Paul wrote, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). This is not easy to do, given the strong pull that this world can have on our hearts. If we’re not careful, worldliness will “choke” God’s word and cause it to be “unfruitful” as far as we are concerned.
When some people think of worldliness they think of sins which violate the tradition of conservative social values, particularly those of the Victorian era. When preachers inveigh against worldliness, for example, they often have in mind things like drinking, gambling, and the wearing of immodest clothing. But there is more to worldliness than this. Certainly any outward action which violates the principles of godliness and purity is sinful, and we’re in a dangerous position if we think we’re so much more enlightened than our grandparents that we don’t have to be concerned about such things. But worldliness is a problem of the heart. It afflicts all who are moved primarily by worldly motives, perhaps even the preacher who takes a condescending attitude toward “sinners.” Despite outward appearances, the drunkard and the prostitute may be closer to the kingdom of heaven than some others. In truth, their hearts may not be tied as tightly to this world as those of their more “respectable” contemporaries!
In the parable of the rich fool, God said to a certain prosperous man, no doubt a good fellow in many ways and one whose life might even be called admirable, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (Luke 12:20). And Jesus concluded this worldly man’s story by saying, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
“Worldliness is excluding God from our lives and, therefore, consciously or unconsciously accepting the values of a man-centered society” (Erwin W. Lutzer).
by Ronny E. Hinds
All the Bible teaches or authorizes for us to be and do is said either explicitly or implicitly. Explicit means, “fully and clearly expressed; leaving nothing merely implied.” Implicit means, “implied, rather than expressly stated.” A related word to implicit is implication. It means, “something implied or suggested as naturally to be inferred or understood.”
In interpreting the Bible, people have always had difficulties with implications because they are not something spoken directly. They require some additional thinking on our part. Implications require us to consider the facts and understand the necessary conclusions/implications those facts require. The two words of major importance in that last sentence are “require” and “necessary.” I am not talking about any inference or thought we might generally or casually infer, but what God has specifically implied. There is a vast difference between those two ideas. God’s implications are bound upon us because God has placed them in His Word. We are not, I repeat, we are not dealing with human wisdom/reasoning/ideas, but with God’s implications.
It is said by some brethren that implications are valid and binding on Christians no further than “they” perceive them to be so. To do otherwise, they say, is to cause faith to stand on human wisdom. I beg to differ! Actually, they have it backwards! Limiting Bible instructions to human perceptions is to allow human wisdom to rule!!
Consider this example of Jesus’ verbal interaction with the Sadducees. In reading Matthew 22:23-33, Jesus answers the Sadducees’ question about a future resurrection by telling them “Ye do err” (KJV); or, the NIV says, “You are in error.” Clearly, Jesus says their thinking was wrong. Why? Because they had failed to understand the implication of Exodus 3:6 as God speaks of Himself being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the “present tense” — at that moment — although they had been dead for many years when Exodus 3:6 was spoken. So, Jesus argues, how could they reject the spirit’s immortality (as the Sadducees believed)? Clearly, Jesus held the Sadducees accountable for not recognizing (perceiving) the implication of Exodus 3:6. Consider another verbal exchange Jesus has with some of John’s disciples (Matthew 11:2-6). Jesus is asked the question, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Note the question could be easily answered with a “yes” or “no”; but that is not how He answers it. Instead, Jesus says, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see….” Then He refers to the various miracles He was performing along with His preaching the gospel. The question is not answered explicitly, but implicitly with the miracles He performed and the words He spoke — all “necessarily implying” that He was indeed “the Coming One.” Obviously, Jesus expected both John and his disciples to understand this.
Here is another example of necessary implication in which the Scripture itself draws the implication for us. Read Ephesians 4:8-10. Verse 8 quotes Psalm 68:18 which is a prophetic reference to Jesus’ ascension. Then verse 9 comments on it saying “Now this ‘He ascended’ — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?” Before Jesus could ascend He had to descend (from heaven to earth and death/burial), although that is not explicitly stated. Note the phrase “what does it mean” identifies the implication.
Let me suggest three things that are important to keep in mind about necessary implications. (1) They must be necessary, inescapable, logical conclusions, drawn from the facts given. (2) The speaker or writer creates the necessary conclusion(s) by the facts given. Not just any inference “we” may conclude is right. (3) This reasoning (necessary implications) is not just some special kind of reasoning reserved for the Bible. It is something we do in everyday communication. If I told you to trim the trees in my backyard I “necessarily imply” you will need a saw, etc., to trim the trees. If I asked you to bake a cake my words “necessarily imply” you must have the ingredients and knowledge of how to do so. This is not rocket science; it is everyday communication. Long ago it was said, “The language of the Bible is the language of men; therefore, the same rules we use to understand any other book should be used to understand the Bible.”
The point of all this is to scripturally affirm, implicit teaching is just as authoritative as explicit!!
Did You Know?…
That the apostles never used food, games or social activities to draw a crowd so they could preach to them?
Yet in many churches today, even some calling themselves “Church of Christ,” the social programs are so extensive that a social director or a “youth minister” must be hired to oversee the social planning.
Although schools existed in the first century, and the apostle Paul even taught in one for 2 years (Acts 19:9,10), no churches ever supported them financially?
Yet in many churches today, even some calling themselves “Church of Christ,” the financial supporting of “Christian schools” or “Colleges” is a regular part of the budget.
That the apostle Paul illustrated many of his epistles with analogies from sporting events (1 Cor. 9:24,25). Yet no church sponsored or had sporting teams?
Yet in many churches today, even some calling themselves “Church of Christ,” the sporting activities are so much a part of the work that full scale gyms have been built.
If these things mentioned above were not a part of the early church and we do not find them in the Bible, WHY are churches doing them today? And who gave them the RIGHT to do it? These things ought not to be! “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17).
— by Roger Shouse (via The Beacon, May 12, 2015)
News & Notes
Randy McBride had spent a little time in the Mayo hospital recently, due to breathing problems with his asthma. He was given various medication and is now back home, where he is to continue on his medication and use his breathing machine every six hours.
Though Jewell Wilson was alert yesterday in the nursing home on Riverside Avenue, she still has all of her various illnesses.
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Johnie Mae Kitchen who passed away June 1. She was from Waycross, but moved to Fayetteville, Georgia, several years ago.
Let those of us who are Christians also be remembering the following in prayer for their health: Myrna Jordan, Mary Vandevander and Melotine Davis, Marie Pennock, Danielle Howard, Deborah and Penny Medlock, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Ronnie Crews, Sunny Nichols, Judy Daugherty, Jean Beach, Dexter Roberts, Betty Miles, Steve Vista, Buddy Gornto, Dolly Moody, Rex and Frankie Hadley, Jesse Bailey, Sue Wooten, Colleen Henson, Tom Holland, Donell Wells (cancer), and Kelsey Williams
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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21)
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/go (Gospel Observer website)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)