The Gospel Observer (March 3, 2019)

“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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March 3, 2019
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Contents:

1) “Lest We Drift Away” (R.J. Evans)
2)  The Appeal of Religious Error (Bill Crews)
3) In Order To Be Happy… (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
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Sailboat drifting to waterfall_2

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“Lest We Drift Away”
R.J. Evans

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away”  (Hebrews 2:1).

God’s plan for His people is for them to grow closer to Him, not drift away from Him. The child of God should allow his light to increase and shine stronger. “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18). Jesus tells us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). In our dedication and service, we are to “abound more and more.” Our love for each other as brethren is to “increase more and more” (1 Thes. 4:1,10).

Thus, we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). Yet, many are losing ground rather than gaining ground.  Unfortunately, these Christians are drifting away.

Why Do People “Drift Away”?

To put it plain and simple, they have allowed Satan to influence their lives. Satan uses the things of the world to pull us away from God.  So many times a Christian may allow “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches to choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matt. 13:22).

Forsaking the worship assemblies also results in drifting away. As someone has said, “Christians are like cars, they start missing before they quit.” Thus, Christians become “drifters” when they no longer attend services faithfully as they should (Heb. 10:25). Also, the failure to read and study the Bible, and to spend time in prayer, have had a part in many formerly strong Christians drifting away from God (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Thes. 5:18).

Some Results of When We “Drift Away”

To put it in one sentence: It is a “hard” way to live (Prov. 13:15). When a child of God allows himself to “drift away” from the Lord (Heb. 2:1-2), he becomes an apostate in a miserable spiritual condition.  The Bible describes it in this manner: “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to wallowing in the mire'” (2 Pet. 2:22).

God Calls Upon the One Drifting Away to Return

God desires that the one who is drifting away from Him, or sliding back into sin, to return to Him. Notice His words to His people during the days of Jeremiah: “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings” (Jer. 2:22).  This illustrates that God still loves His people and is willing to heal or forgive them.  But in order to be forgiven, they must be willing to “return” i.e., repent, pray, and confess their sins (Acts 8:22; 1 Jn. 1:9). In other words, when one returns to God for healing, God will deal with him in loving mercy — “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

As we go back to the latter part of the verse cited above, Jeremiah 3:22, we find that there were some who did respond to God’s call in Jeremiah’s day— “Indeed we do come to You, For You are the Lord our God” (Jer. 3:22). This example should encourage Christians today to do the same. Talk with any child of God who strayed or drifted away from the Lord and later returned. You will not find anyone who believes returning to God was a mistake. Thus, may we all faithfully serve Him, giving heed to all He has commanded us, “lest we drift way” (Heb. 2:1).

— From the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, February 10, 2019
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mat7_13-14

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The Appeal of Religious Error
Bill Crews

In most cases the man who is teaching the truth and can by it truly save and benefit people will find few who are interested, whereas the man who is teaching some other doctrine and will by it ultimately harm and doom people will find many who are interested. Religious error, because of its false promises and its deceptive nature, will always have a greater appeal to people in general than will the truth. The truth will only benefit those with good and honest hearts or those who are willing to change their hearts to be good and honest (Luke 8:15). Everyone did not reject Jesus, but most did (John 1:11-12; 12:42; Matthew 23:37).

— Via the RoanRidge Reader, Volume 34 Issue 08 Page 03, February 24, 2019
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phil4_11

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In Order To Be Happy . . .
Greg Gwin

I’ve made up my mind! I am determined to be happy!! Enough of this sadness. Away with all this discouragement. I’m finished with dejection, depression, and despondency. No more gloom and doom. I WILL be happy!

Now, what do I need to achieve my goal? If I am to be truly happy, I’ll need

a.  Money – and plenty of it.

b.  And I must have friends – the kind that never fail, and always act just like I want.

c.  Of course, success is important; I will need to have unlimited success in every endeavor that I undertake to do.

d.  My family will have to behave perfectly, and respond immediately to my every whim.

Surely, with all of this, I can be happy. Right? WRONG!

The wise, powerful, famous, and wealthy king Solomon sought after happiness through every avenue known to man.
The end result was “…vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun” (Eccl. 2:11).

Contrast Solomon with Paul, who lost his wealth, gave up his fame and power, and ultimately suffered extreme persecution and imprisonment. Yet he could write, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phil. 4:11). How could this be? Verse 13 explains; “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

It is on this basis that Paul instructs us: “Rejoice, in the Lord alway” (vs. 4). True happiness is not found in external “things.” It comes only from faithfully serving God (Eccl. 12:13, 14).  Are you happy?

– Via The Beacon, February 24, 2019
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“The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.”

— Psalm 33:13-15, NASB
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News & Notes

Folks to be remembering in prayer:

Billy Harris Sr.  went into the hospital Friday, due to internal bleeding and fainting. He first experienced that at work that day and then again when in the hospital.   It is said to have been caused by a “pocket” in his intestines that had been causing the bleeding.  It coagulated and ceased for a while that afternoon, but then started back up again.  They gave him a blood transfusion and are now waiting on his blood count before giving another.  (It is thought that being on Ibuprofin for 2 weeks, 3 times a day, for the pain in his foot, has caused the bleeding.) His wife asks for our prayers for him.  (Update: More blood was given to Billy, and they performed a cauterization on the area of the intestine that had been bleeding.  They also had him swallow a video camera that was in a capsule to check for any more problems.  The bleeding has stopped, and Billy is now back home.)

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Gene Kaplan, Arthur Laverne Robertson, and of Eddie Fullard; A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Elizabeth Harden, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Mary Vandevander,  Michelle Rittenhouse, Marilyn Roberts, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer,  Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Linn
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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)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
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 sermon)

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