The Profitable Word
by Irven Lee
It certainly makes sense for one to suggest that man should study the Bible. The Bible is a revelation of the will of God. This revelation includes His authoritative commandments which man must obey if he would please his Creator, and it includes the exceeding great and precious promises concerning the good things laid up in heaven for the faithful (II Peter 1:3-4). We may observe that every transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward (Hebrews 2:2-3). He chastens every son whom He receives that strength of character may be developed (Hebrews 12:6). How could one carefully examine the profitable word and not be impressed by the goodness of God? God is love (I John 4:8), and those who would know of His mercy and of His plan for man may learn from His revealed will.
A Firm Basis
Man is capable of having many similarities to a vicious wild animal, but he is also capable of being a lively stone in the temple in which God dwells among men (I Peter 2:5). Man can so follow the example of Christ that purity, unselfishness, and strength of character can remind us that he was created in the image of God. There is an indescribable difference in the man most like the wild beast and the man who best exemplifies the image of his Maker. What is the difference? One is taught of God. The other follows the leadings of his carnal animal nature.
The sacred writings are able to make one wise unto salvation (II Timothy 3:15). They completely furnish man the instruction he so sorely needs, since the way of man is not in himself (Jeremiah 10:23). The way that seems right unto man may lead to destruction and ruin (Proverbs 14:12).
The same holy scriptures are able to furnish the motivation for the good life. The goodness of God leads to repentance. We love Him because He first loved us. The example of the Christ in His life on earth and the love revealed in His death on the cross draw men to Him. Many have died for their faith. Many have given all that they might gain Christ and lay hold on the hope set before them. It follows, as night the day, that those who have hope, as sons of God, of obtaining the prize of the high calling of God purify themselves. There is no stronger pull toward righteousness than that exerted by the gospel of Christ. It is able to save (Romans 1:16). It attracts one into the way that leads unto life.
Is there sufficient evidence that the Book is of God? Did the holy men speak as they were moved by the Spirit of God? (II Peter 1:21). These men gave the world the perfect standard of righteousness. They were holy men, and they said they obtained it by revelation. Would liars write such a book? Surely they were not pathetically deceived. Would ignorant men have given such a wonderful standard of behavior? The influence of the Bible in this scientific age in America is still as wholesome in the hearts of those who are led by it as it was nineteen hundred years ago in Palestine. The test of the pudding lies in the tasting. Those who know most about the Bible appreciate it most. It will bear acquaintance. When we see the lives most influenced by it, we are led to glorify God.
The well proven fact of the resurrection, other miracles, fulfilled prophecies, along with the unity and perfection of the message give us a firm basis of hope. What more could He do than He has done to give us a written revelation? No men on their own in any generation could have approached its perfection.
Planting Is Necessary
The word is the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11). America could have the word, but few there be that find the way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14). Many who have eyes have never read from its pages. Many who could have heard many sermons were not listening. Their hard hearts were engrossed in arrogant fulfillment of the lust of the flesh and in the search for money by any means. Animals they are, and without the wholesome influence of the powerful word.
Preaching to some is like casting pearls before swine, while some hunger and thirst after righteousness so they receive the word with all readiness of mind. If men have no love for truth, but have their pleasure in unrighteousness, God will send a strong delusion that they may believe a lie and be damned (II Thessalonians 2:10-12). The lake of fire is for the unbelievers as well as for the liars (Revelation 21:8). The flaming fire of vengeance is for those who know not God as well as for those who obey not the gospel (II Thessalonians 1:8-9).
Many men say they appreciate the Bible and believe it to be the word of God, but they remain babes in knowledge. They evidently do not desire the milk or the meat of the word. They are without excuse for their lack of skill in the use of this great discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Ignorance is alarming even among those who should be teachers (Hebrews 5:12-13). They are not rooted and grounded, but they are as unstable and as easily tossed about by the winds of doctrine as the wave of the sea by the winds of the storm cloud (Ephesians 4:14). The wave is fastened by nothing. The willingly ignorant are in no position to give an answer to those who may ask a reason for their hope (I Peter 3:15).
Awake from Sleep
The night is far spent (Romans 13:11-12). It is high time for America to awake to righteousness. The atomic bomb is not the only thing that can destroy America. The increasing number of burning, looting, angry anarchists can do it. It may now be too late to preserve this land as a land of opportunity for the free. It is not too late to try to save it.
The gospel was not given to make America or any other country great. Christ came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The gospel is God’s power to salvation, but, as a by-product, Christians receive a hundred fold in this life. Their righteous lives are as the saving and lighting influence in a crooked and perverse nation (Philippians 2:15). This nation needs salt.
Let more people meditate on the law day and night (Psalms 1:2). This is our way up from the gutter in which we now find ourselves. The church is in distress, the nation is in confusion, and the world is in turmoil. What can help? The profitable word always leads to the abundant life here and here after. It is the word of God. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). We need to open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things in His law. Is there anything more important for us?
They Say He Is a Liar
by Robert Turner
My friend had an “experience” — “better felt than told” — he “got” something. Some people tell my friend he has allowed his imagination to deceive him; that he had no feeling, no experience. Some even accuse him of faking the whole story. This makes my friend very unhappy. He doesn’t like to be called a liar. He says, “I know what I feel.”
Now I believe my friend. I know him to be an honest man. If he tells me he “felt something” I will not deny this.
But sometimes I try to check his unwarranted conclusions concerning the meaning of these feelings. My friend assumes that because he “had a feeling” his sins are forgiven. Why could not this just as well mean his sins were multiplied??
God alone can forgive sins; and His Word states the truth concerning such matters as these (John. 17:17). When my friend says he knows his sins are forgiven because he “felt something” I must remind him that the Bible allows no such evidence. It even warns us that feelings can be deceptive (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
Christ is the author of eternal salvation unto all them who obey Him (Heb. 5:9). And Christ teaches us to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS?
— Via Truth Magazine VII: 3, pp. 26, December 1962
News & Notes
Joseph Cooper, who had been on life support, is now off of it and slowly improving.
Mary Vandevander, who is very elderly, recently had a mini stroke that affected her memory. Let us also remember in prayer those who have been taking care of her — her daughter and son-in-law, Melotine and Ronnie Davis.
Misty Thornton went through two days of testing last week. She is thankful for everyone’s prayers and has some good news: Her heart is now beating at an in sync pace, due to medication and God’s help. She is now to continue with her medication to see if that will improve her heart, which is still not functioning in the normal range, and will then see her cardiologist on the 21st to determine her next step.
The pain in Shirley Davis’ legs has improved; but it is always noticeable to some degree, due to not only arthritis, but also bursitis.
As mentioned in last week’s bulletin, the gospel meeting at the church of Christ in Hoboken begins today and continues to Wednesday (Oct 11-14), meeting at 7:30 for the weeknights, with Andy Berendt as the guest speaker. The church meets at 5101 Main Street.
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)