The Gospel Observer (September 18, 2016)

Contents:

1) Peace With All Men (Richie Jenkins)
2) “Departing From The Living God” (Stephen J. Wallace)
3) News & Notes
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Peace With All Men
Richie Jenkins

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18).

Paul  implies peace may not always be possible, but it is an object of desire. “As much as lieth in you,” that is, do your best to preserve peace. Don’t begin or originate a quarrel. Don’t stir up trouble over things of no vital importance. So far as we are concerned, we are to seek peace; but it doesn’t always depend on us. We may be attacked one day by snarling, biting dogs. We may be called upon to defend truth. Ours is to live peaceably. We start no strife, or contention.

It was not possible for Paul to live peaceable with all men. He will reference many times how he was among those who sought to do him harm (2 Cor. 11:24-26). Paul referred to the wild beasts in Ephesus. He said that “Alexander did me much harm” (2 Tim 4:14). Even our Lord did not find it possible to live peaceably with all men. He overthrew the table of the money changers on two separate occasions. He warned His own disciples, “If the world hates me they will hate you” (John 15:18). The Jews were determined to kill Him. Caiaphas said, “This man has got to die for the nation” (John 11:51-52). However, Jesus nor Paul went about looking to start a fight or stir up trouble.  When they faced the difficulty of living peaceably with others they made sure it was others who stirred the strife.

We ought to be a peace-loving people. In fact, we are commanded to “seek peace” (1 Pet. 3:11).  Peace is something we must pursue (2 Tim. 2:22). Peace is to be a present characteristic of our life. We also need to pursue peace so that our lives may be tranquil and live at peace before God in the same way we live righteously before God. Peace is as foundational as faith, love and righteousness. It is not optional!  Yet, at times we find ourselves embroiled with others who just will not live peaceably and so we are left to contend for what is right or what is truth. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peace makers…” (Mt 5). That is an interesting concept. He did not say, Blessed are those who enjoy peace, nor, those that want peace, or even, maintain peace. But, instead, make peace. Making peace means there is a situation where peace does not exist. The Lord had in mind, first and foremost, peace with God.

So here is the real question. How do we live peaceably?  Well, first we will not be able to live in peace with others until we live in peace with God (Romans 5:1). If we find ourselves enemies of the Creator we are not at peace.  Peace is found in salvation. Salvation is found in the Savior. The Savior brings peace. Enemies are reconciled to Him by His blood (Eph. 2:13-14). There is no peace with God apart from Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace.

So for us, peace can be attained in this manner: “to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility” (Tit. 3:2).  See the family of words? They all form a unit. Get the point! We live peaceable with all men when we do not speak evil, when we are gentle and show all humility. Notice right before peaceable is speaking evil of no one. How many times is peace interrupted because someone has a poorly thought out word? It only takes one word to do it.  Then notice what follows. What would be the impact on peace if we put gentle into the equation? Not a harsh word or action. What if everybody were gentle? Would that contribute a lot to peace? Would that make it possible to live peaceably with all men?  Then see, “showing all humility.”  Man is at the apex of all God created. Man is made in God’s own image. To depreciate man is to depreciate God. Humility is a chosen place in which one chooses to take second place to others. We let someone go before us. We give our self second place. We do that not because the other is better than us but because we think they deserve to be first.  We show humility because that makes us like God (Matthew 5:45). Did the Lord ask the impossible of us?

Sadly, in spite of all this it is still not possible to live peaceably with all men. But, when it is not possible I need to make sure I am not the reason why. Sometimes we may have to fight a war to have peace. However, I need to make sure I am not just wanting to make war.  We have confused those who contend for the faith and those who are contentious. Contentious people like to fight. They do not care what the fight is about. Fighting for the faith is just a convenient excuse to fight. Some just like to stir the pot. They destroy unity, set everyone on edge, and make people suspicious of others. Controversy for the sake of controversy is not seeking peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 sets the tone and attitudes necessary for brethren to get along. Patience, forbearing, humility are the necessary ingredients. True enough we may have to be at war. The call to peace is not a figure. It is a factual matter. We have been called to be peaceable people. The angels declared at the birth of Jesus that He would bring “Peace on Earth.” The prophets called Him the “Prince of Peace.” The people of Jesus follow that model. That does not mean peace over right or heresy. It means we have been called in a high priority matter to be peaceable, as much as we can, in all circumstances, and with all people. That is built into the peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7). It only takes one to disturb the peace. I can only control me and what I am pursuing. I need to make sure I am pursuing peace. I need to make sure I am fighting only when the fight is necessary. Can we carry grudges? Can we be a grouch to those around us?  Can we be obstinate and obnoxious so that we do not get along with anybody? Yes. And, we cannot say, “Well, that is just the way I am.” There are consequences if we behave that way. “Pursue peace with all men,” not just brethren. That is our call.

Peace is not the absence of trouble. It is hard work. It deals with our spirit, our heart. It is attainable. The Lord expects it. We are to pursue it. Here is a novel idea, “Let’s give it a try and see how it works.” The fruit is better (Jas. 3:17). The church will be better. Our homes will be better. Society will be better. I will be better.  The path to heaven is through Christ. He provides peace. Give His way a try.

— Via Focus Online, March 12, 2013
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“Departing From The Living God”

Stephen J. Wallace

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12).

The pathway of Christ is filled with warning signs and remedies. The heart that departs is “evil” and its apostasy stems from “unbelief.” All kinds of evil can flow out of the heart (Matt. 15:19). Unbelief is not necessarily something that man would readily classify as being evil, but it is. Anything that leads us away from God is evil. It is true that unbelief is often propped up by ignorance and pride; but envy, loving what is wicked, and being stubbornly unreasonable are more specific components of skepticism (envy, Acts 13:45; Mk. 15:10; loving unrighteousness, 2 Thess. 2:12; Jude 4; unreasonable, 2 Thess. 3:2). It is a lie to believe that faith is unreasonable. Paul spoke words of truth and reason (Acts 26:25). Atheism and its various forms of unbelief present the most unreasonable platform ever. Look only at what it proposes and applauds!

When the evidence for the truth is clearly presented, it is sinful to not believe it. Jesus rebuked the apostles for their unbelief for not heeding those who had seen Him after He had risen (Mk. 16:14). “…he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:36). “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Heb. 11:6).

The evil of departure is seen in considering what one actually departs from when he leaves God.

* He departs from his duties to worship God. God is worthy of worship, for He is worthy of all honor. “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11; cf. Ps. 18:3).

* He departs from his duties to his brethren. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). Actions to the brethren are to the Lord (Mt. 25:40; Acts 9:1, 4).

* He departs from the words of life. When Jesus taught some things that offended some, many departed and followed Him no more (Jn. 6:66). Jesus asked the twelve if they also wanted to leave, to which Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:68). Leaving Jesus results in leaving the words of life. What a sad loss!

* He departs from a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3). What hope for the soul does one have who walks away from God? To what guide can he trust in? To what can he look forward? To whom can he solicit strength in trial, and to whom can he thank when delivered? Leaving the living God is leaving a living well of truth and hope. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

The solution is daily exhortation (Heb. 3:13). The Christian’s faith must be cared for daily. Where sin hardens the heart slowly, daily exhortation provides a remedy. “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb. 3:14).

— via Articles from the Gallatin Road church of Christ, September 18, 2014
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News & Notes

Let  those of us who are Christians be remembering the following in prayer:

Ray Richards will be having open heart surgery this Wednesday (the 21st).

Shirley Davis will be having surgery on her toe October 5, and an appointment about her knee November 11.  It was discovered that her back pain has been caused by a dislocated hip, which will be treated with shots in her hip and an insert in her right shoe.

Benny Medlock recently had slight surgery on his lower back where there had been some infection and is now doing better.

Let us also continue to remember Jim Lively (as he heals from open heart surgery and receives physical therapy), and Misty Thornton (who is being tested for possible Multiple Sclerosis).
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel,
for that is how faith comes
(Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of 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
, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost
(Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:
9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday:
7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com
(Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

 

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The Gospel Observer (September 11, 2016)

1) The Mocking of the Messiah (Terry Slack)
2) We NEED Doctrinal Teaching (Greg Gwin)
3) News & Notes
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The Mocking of the Messiah
Terry Slack

For those of us who were adults in the ’70s and ’80s, the name Ted Bundy conjures up a variety of thoughts — none of which are pleasant. As a serial kidnapper and killer, the accounts of his crimes turn even the strongest of stomachs. After years of eluding law enforcement, he was eventually captured in Florida in 1978 and convicted for the murders of 3 young women. Living in Florida at the time, I remember his capture and conviction being prominent stories in the local news. Sentenced to death, the appeals would last for years before Bundy was finally executed in Florida’s electric chair in January, 1989.

By 1989 I was now living in Indiana and vividly recall the images televised on the network news. Outside the prison gathered the typical group of folks protesting the death penalty, some carrying signs proclaiming it was unbiblical. Though that contingent bothered me, there was another group I found even more troubling. In a field across the road from the prison were gathered more than 2000, some of whom professing a connection to Jesus. These had come for a very different reason. They sang, danced, and even set off fireworks at the moment of Bundy’s execution. As the hearse carried the body away from the prison, these same revelers cheered loudly in celebration.

Did Ted Bundy deserve to die for his crimes? I believe he did. Does the Bible teach that the government has the authority to carry out such executions? I’m convinced it does (Romans 13:4). Was I repulsed by the actions of those who chose to revel in his death? Yes, yes I was. Justice was being served. There was no cause to celebrate the end of Bundy’s life in such an egregious manner — surely death was enough.

If I was appalled by such actions toward a guilty man, surely there must be even greater disgust when similar brutality is demonstrated toward a man who is totally innocent.

Though there were no TV cameras present to capture the images, the gospels reveal such a scene centuries earlier at a place called Golgotha. After years of hatred and hostility, the religious leaders had finally achieved their objective. They were about to eliminate this itinerant rabbi they believed to pose such a threat to their power and position. Under compulsion, the Roman governor sentenced Jesus of Nazareth to die by crucifixion. When we consider the barbarity and the horrible agony involved, how could anyone ever think of it as a time for mockery? But for many, the cross was a joke and Jesus would be the recipient of their derision. Having stripped Him of His freedom, His rights, His friends and His clothing, they now seek to strip the sinless Jesus of any dignity that remained.

The writers of these accounts say very little about the crucifixion itself. In fact, their extreme restraint is evidenced in just four English words: “There they crucified Him” (Luke 23:33). But while they say nothing specific about the procedure itself, since the original readers were well acquainted with the particulars, they reveal much regarding the attitudes of those gathered. Achieving their objective of getting rid of Jesus (after all, no one survived crucifixion) and witnessing such horrible anguish (this was not a “humane” death by electrocution or lethal injection), one might think they would simply leave Jesus to die. But in Luke 23:33-39 we read of four groups for whom death was not enough. Instead, they are intent on inflicting even greater suffering.

While Luke 23:35 tells us that people stood by, looking on, both Matthew and Mark reveal even the passers-by taunted Jesus, “Save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” (Matthew 27:40). Some of these may well have been healed by Jesus at some point during His ministry or eaten from the few loaves and a couple of fish miraculously provided along the shore of Galilee. No doubt many had heard Him preach and witnessed His compassion. Now as they watch Him fight for every breath, they repay His kindness with sarcasm and scorn.

In the same verse we also read of the religious leaders “sneering at Him” with a similar declaration: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” They deride Him by way of two Messianic titles, relishing the fact they have vanquished, what is in their minds, a phony king!

As Luke’s account continues the soldiers join in (23:36-38). Though they know little about Jewish theology, they follow the same line of merciless insults, taunting Him to “save Himself.” There’s the added component of their offers of sour wine as they pretend to “serve” Him as mock courtiers for Israel’s alleged “monarch.”

Finally, there are the thieves who have been crucified with Him (Luke 23:39). Both Matthew and Mark inform us that initially both men were casting similar insults. Even those on the lowest rung of human society, those who were in the process of dying themselves, play the same cruel game of ridicule.

Considering the brutal nature of crucifixion, one might think that such a horrific death was enough. Instead, those at the cross seek to add insult to injury as they treat Him with as much disdain as they could muster. In their minds it was utterly absurd that this man would claim to be a king! Yet, this was blasphemy without equal, evil in its very lowest form as they mock deity, ridiculing the very Son of God with one sarcastic taunt after another. They couldn’t have done more to offend a righteous God. After all, Jesus was the only truly innocent person present! If there was ever a time when divine justice was demanded, surely this was it!

Yet, judgment falls, not on them, but on Jesus. The wrath that should have crushed them instead crushes Him. He willingly bears both their insults — and their sin! What kind of cruelty would be required to witness a fellow human experiencing such incredible agony, yet delightfully engage in such merciless ridicule? And what kind of love would it demand to refuse their scornful suggestions “Save Yourself!” in order to be able to save them instead?

Had I been present, would my voice have been heard among the mockers? Would those same vicious taunts fall from my lips? The mere thought of such brutality sickens me. Surely I wouldn’t have done that! Or would I? That question will never be answered. What I can know is that He endured the agony of the cross and the anguish of their taunts so He could save me — and anyone else who would bow in humble submission to God’s crucified King.  (See Hebrews 12:2 — and understand how much Jesus loves you!)

— Via the Gallatin Road church of Christ, Scottsville, Kentucky, April 18, 2015
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We NEED Doctrinal Teaching

Greg Gwin

It has been reported that American students are not doing well in important Math and Science studies.  In fact, they rank 35th in the world on achievement tests in Math, and 27th in Science[1].  However, it is also reported that the very same American students rank among the highest in the world regarding how they feel about their Math and Science abilities.  This is direct evidence of the over-emphasis that has been given in recent years to the subjective matters of self-worth and self-esteem.  Our educators have obviously worried too much about “feelings,” and not enough about real learning.

We may be following the same mistaken agenda in our spiritual teaching.  It seems that we have lost a sense of balance in our preaching and in our Bible class studies.   We may be stressing certain “feel good” themes too much, while neglecting important instruction in matters of doctrine.  The results tend to indicate this.  We have a generation of Christians that don’t know and can’t explain simple doctrinal truths.  Many would be hard pressed to explain what’s wrong with instrumental music in worship, why we oppose church sponsored recreational and social activities, or what the Bible teaches about institutionalism and unscriptural church cooperative enterprises.   Some could not even describe the simple New Testament plan of salvation, or prove that baptism is essential for the remission of sins.

Members of the Lord’s church once had the reputation as “people of the Book.”  We knew and could defend the truth on a wide variety of Bible subjects.  Members of various denominations dreaded, and even avoided, discussions with us because they knew that we knew the Bible and could answer their faulty arguments.  Sadly, we’ve lost much of that reputation.  Let’s get back to teaching and emphasizing “all the counsel of God,” while “keeping back nothing that is profitable” (Acts 20:20,27).

[1] Pew Research Center , 2/2/15

—  Via The Beacon, June 14, 2016
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News & Notes

Let us be remembering in prayer the following:

Jim Lively continues with his physical therapy and is coming along well.  He recently received another good report from his doctor.

Post Hospital Update from Misty Thornton: “My heart has completely returned to a normal ejection fraction (60-65%). I have been taken off all of my heart medicines and will only continue a very baby dose to make sure that my heart stays strong. God is great and he has healed me!! BUT>>>>>> now to a new journey… I had to have an MRI and CAT scan done, due to new symptoms that have happened to me; and the Neurologist is thinking Multiple Sclerosis because she did find two white spots on my brain, weakness in my extremities, and lack of balance. So I will follow up with my Cardiologist and follow up with the Neurologist to continue to solve this new puzzle that has been presented to me. …Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts as my family and I have gone through this roller coaster of a ride. Our prayers were definitely answered.”

Debra Medlock has been having back trouble.

Bennie Medlock recently had slight surgery on his lower back where there had been some infection, and is now improving.

Shirley Davis, in addition to her back and foot problems, will also need to soon have knee surgery.
——————–

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
, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost
(Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
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
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com
(Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

 

The Gospel Observer (September 4, 2016)

Contents:

1) Jesus Receives Sinners (Mike Willis)
2) Are We Ashamed? (Whit Sasser)
3) News & Notes
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Jesus Receives Sinners
Mike Willis

One of the charges frequently made against Jesus was that he received and ate with sinners. The charge was made when he attended a feast at the house of the publican Matthew (Matt. 9:9-12; Mark 2:16-17). Some charged that he was a “friend of publicans and sinners” at the same time they said he was a winebibber and glutton (Matt. 11:19). When he went into the home of Zacchaeus, his enemies charged, “That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner” (Luke 19:7).

The occasion for the three parables in Luke 15 was this: “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them” (Luke 15:1-2). In response to this charge, Jesus gave the three parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the prodigal son) to show how the loving God searches for and seeks the ones who are lost.

The Conduct of the Pharisees

Why were the Pharisees upset by Jesus’ association with sinners? What were they charging him with when they criticized him? To answer this, one must know how the Pharisees treated sinners. The Pharisees were the “separated ones” because they refused to associate with sinners.

We get a glimpse of how they treated sinners from several allusions in the Gospels. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, she was astounded and said, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9).

When Jesus went into the house of Simon the Pharisee, an immoral woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and put ointment on them. Simon thought, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39). Again, we see how the Jews treated sinners.

Lenski explains that the Pharisees’ practice of washing one’s hands before they eat was “for fear that the hands had brushed against a Gentile or against something belonging to a Gentile” (Matthew 582).

A Sinful Separation From Sinners

There is a sinful kind of separation from sinners of which the Pharisees were guilty and which saints must avoid. There is a separation from sinners born of self-righteousness, contempt for others, and condescension. This is what the Pharisees had. We must guard our hearts from feeling a similar superiority to the lost. Sometimes, a person feels morally superior to others as if he is what he is through human achievement — through works. The temptation to be self-righteous and show contempt for others may occur when one sees a homosexual suffering from AIDS, an alcoholic, a homeless person, or other socially contemptible sinners. We should have the same mind as Paul when he said, “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).

Several years ago, I drove by a homeless person in Nashville, Tennessee. The woman did not look like she had taken a bath in months. Her hair was matted worse than any dog’s hair that I have seen. Suddenly, the thought flashed through my mind, “Some mother gave birth to this person. She was her precious little baby. I must remember that her soul is just as precious as mine.” Let us guard ourselves from viewing sinners like the Pharisees did.

A Sinful Association With Sinners

There is a sinful kind of association with sinners. The Scriptures command a certain kind of separation in such passages as the following:

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path” (Prov. 1:10-15).

“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Prov. 4:14-15).

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).

Whenever a man associates with sinners in such a way as to (a) participate with them in that which is sinful or (b) condone their sinful activity, he has been guilty of sin! Jesus never was guilty of doing either of these.

The Charge Against Jesus

When the Pharisees charged Jesus with associating with publicans and sinners, they were charging him with having fellowship with sin and sinners. We have an adage that says, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This is basically the Pharisees’ charge against Jesus. The Pharisees charged that Jesus associated with publicans and sinners because he was a sinner.

Why Jesus Associated With Sinners

Jesus associated with sinners for the express purpose of saving their souls. He compared his association with sinners to that of a physician associating with the sick, saying, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Again he said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

What Jesus Did

Jesus ate with sinners. When he was invited into their homes as a guest, he went for the express purpose of trying to save their souls. I wonder how we would view Jesus’ actions today.

If one of our faithful members went to a restaurant with one who had a vile reputation, would we think of him like the Pharisees thought of Jesus? If one invited one with a vile reputation into his home or went to their home would someone criticize him or worry that he may be “slipping” because some of his best friends were non-Christians?

Conclusion

We must have enough association with sinners to reach them with the gospel. If we withdraw ourselves from all contact with sinners, we can never save their souls. The monks and nuns have withdrawn their association from sinners to such an extent that they dwell in a convent. We may have acted in a similar way by our lack of association with lost. How can we ever convert someone with whom we do not associate?

— Via Guardian of Truth XL: 5 p. 2,  March 7, 1996
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“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:10, 23).
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Are We Ashamed?

Whit Sasser

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16)

When churches try to lure people to their services by means of gimmicks and big promotions, they make a big mistake. Bingo parties, musical entertainment, films, dinners and such like, only cheapen the gospel in the minds of thinking people.   A bigger attendance may be the short term effect, but less respect for God is the long term effect. If you gain souls by carnal means, then carnal means will be needed to hold them. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of GOD unto salvation, and though fewer may respond to it, salvation is only therein.

— Via The Beacon, May 10, 2016
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News & Notes

Let those of us who are God’s children be keeping the following in prayer:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Warren Beach (Jim Lively’s nephew) who passed away August 29 at just 43 years of age.

Our sympathies also go out to the loved ones of Henry James (Jim) Claridge III who also passed away August 29 in his home in Tallahassee.

Jim Lively
is on the mend.  He has begun some physical therapy at home, which will later be followed by a more extensive and medically supervised cardiac rehab for a 90-day period.

Here is an update on Barbara Sutherland (Jan Bartlett’s cousin) whom we had been praying for:  She is thankful for our prayers.  Her radiation treatments were completed, and her cancer is gone!

Let us also now be praying for Barbara Sutherland’s sister, LaDonna Andrews, who had surgery on August 19 for colon cancer.

It was good to hear that Rex Cothren will no longer need to have brain surgery, due to the infantile soft spot having now opened and, thus, relieving the pressure that had been on the brain.

Debra Medlock has recently been having some back trouble.

Shirley Davis has now been told she will also have to have knee surgery in the near future, but she has not yet been given a date for that — nor for her foot and back problems.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer: Camp Tatum (cancer cells of the spine), Kelly Fleeman (receiving treatments for lymphoma), Joyce Rittenhouse (liver tests), James Medlock (for his health), Brianna Mackey (year-long therapy), Mary Vandevander (housebound), and Sue Wooten (nursing home).

We are glad to have Doug and Marie Pennock back with us, after their having been away up north for a couple months this summer!

The church of Christ in Hoboken, Georgia, at 5101 Main Street, will be having a Gospel Meeting September 9-11 with Verlin Cox from Lake City, Florida, as the guest speaker. Times will be 7 p.m. for Friday and SaturdaySunday services will be at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 5 p.m.  The 5 sermons will be in this order: 1) “You Thought I Was Altogether Like You!,” 2) “Liberal or Conservative?,” 3) “Men Not Needed in the Lord’s Church!,” 4) “Women Not Needed in the Lord’s Church!,” and 5) “Young People Not Needed in the Lord’s Church!”
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel,
for that is how faith comes
(Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of 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
, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost
(Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:
9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com
(Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)