The Gospel Observer (July 9, 2017)

Contents:

1) “We Shall See The King Some Day” (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
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rev17_14

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“We Shall See The King Some Day”
Tom Edwards

In this world, we sometimes have our troubles, disappointments, and sadnesses. It might involve the car breaking down, losing our health, losing a job, losing a loved one, etc. Times like these can be difficult. But may we never lose sight of the fact that in spite of whatever would come our way, “We shall see the King some day”!

As you probably recall, this quote is taken from a hymn we have often sung. It was written by Lewis Edgar Jones who lived from 1865 to 1936 and wrote this particular hymn in 1906.

Had this song been written back in Job’s day, I imagine he would have sung it from his heart. For he was a man who had that kind of hope. As seen in Job 19:25-27: “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me!” So, yes, Job knew the answer to his rhetorical question, “If a man dies, will he live again?” For he also indicates that in the same passage: “All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes” (Job 14:14).

The hope we have in seeing God in heaven can help us through this earth life. It was certainly an aid to Moses. For by his looking to the “reward” and “seeing Him who is unseen,” Moses was able to choose rather “to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt” (Heb. 11:25-27).

The hope we have, as Christians, in seeing God can also give us that motivating power through our times of troubles and difficulties. The last of the apostles, John, certainly knew about persecution upon the Lord’s people. But he would have them, also, to look to the Lord and His coming again for encouragement through their struggles and making themselves ready for that great day! “Beloved,” he writes, “now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:2,3).

In the previous chapter, John also writes: “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 Jn. 2:28,29). John also shows that the way we are to “abide” in the Lord is by keeping His commandments (cf. 1 Jn. 3:24).

It is in the second stanza of the hymn that speaks of seeing the King “After pain and anguish, after toil and care…” Who has ever lived without experiencing a measure of suffering to some degree, whether it be physical or emotional? This life can sometimes be likened to a road filled with numerous potholes that cannot be avoided. But let us not forget that even the struggles of life can be for our good! As John Neal points out, “A certain amount of opposition is a great help to man. Kites rise against, not with the wind.” Sometimes it was in the “furnace of affliction” by which God “refined” and “tested” His people (cf. Isa. 48:10). Peter speaks in similar language of “the proof of one’s faith” being “tested by fire” through “various trials,” yet resulting “in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” and “obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:6-9). Therefore, as James writes, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

We not only have our toils, but also our cares, as the hymn goes on to say in the second stanza. And concerning those cares, we know that even now we can turn to the One who wants to help us overcome them. For Peter exhorted the brethren, who were undergoing extreme difficulties (a “fiery trial,” 1 Pet. 4:12), to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety [care, KJV] upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6,7). Yes, prayer is for the here and now; and it is one of the ways in which we are to deal with our troubles, as seen also in Paul’s instruction: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).

Surely, the ultimate comfort will be heaven itself – where “there shall no longer be any death…mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4).

But while we are here on earth, there are still spiritual battles to be fought and won. As the hymn includes, we shall see the King “After foes are conquered, after battles won…” The fight we are to engage in is the good “fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). For faith is needed as part of our spiritual armor that we are to put on, which consists of “loins girded with truth,” a “breastplate of righteousness,” feet shod with “the preparation of the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:10-18).

It is a battle between flesh and spirit: “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin…” (Rom. 7:22,23). This clash is also seen in the next chapter: “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom. 8:5-9).

So this spiritual warfare also pertains to our very thoughts, which we each must control: “for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

It is through the flesh that we can be tempted to sin (cf. James 1:13-15; 1 Jn. 2:16,17). But notice what Paul did about that: “but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27). Paul, of course, did not literally beat his body, but the figurative expression stresses the determination he had to be faithfully obedient — even through difficulty and pain – in order to maintain his relationship with God.

Fighting spiritual battles are not always easy – and especially when they lead to intense emotional or physical agony. Yet, Jesus still gives hope and encouragement: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until [unto, KJV] death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).

One day God is going to gather everyone before Him. And though maybe not always with our hymn title, yet how often have we reminded ourselves of that fact that one of these days we are going to see the Almighty God! Oh, what a day that will be for the redeemed! Will you be ready then? May we each be! And as we go through life, let us continue to remind ourselves that “We shall see the King some day”!

(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
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News & Notes

We are glad that Doug Pennock is now feeling better, since he had not felt up to par the last few weeks. Tests had recently been run, and all with good results.

Others also to remember in prayer:

The family and friends of Barbara Darsey, Shirley Davis, Pat Joyner, Ronald Renfrow, Randy Bartlett, Mary Lou Prevatt, Cheryl Crews, Jim Lively, Mary Vandevander, Cicily Thompson, Kelli Fleeman, Penny Medlock, Michelle Rittenhouse, Rachael Gerbing, LaDonna Andrews, Buddy Gornto, Sunny Nichols, Gary Cradick, Billy Lowe, Tom Haney and his wife.
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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 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (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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