The Gospel Observer (May 12, 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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Contents:

1) Methuselah (Frank Himmel)
2) The Bible Exposes Sin! (Wayne Goff)
3) Hebrews 4:14-16 (exhortation from Scripture)
4) “Forever” (Greg Gwin)
5) News & Notes
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Methuselah
Frank Himmel

Most folks I know want to live as long as they can. Why? The answer typically is because it gives us the opportunity to experience life to the full—to accomplish as much as possible through our work, to finish some long-term projects, to travel to exotic places, to watch our children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren grow up. But have we really pondered what a full life means?

Methuselah is mostly the answer to the trivia question, Who was the oldest man? He lived an incredible 969 years. (Can you begin to fathom the changes that have occurred from the year 1049 until the present?) Apart from his record age, however, we know nothing about Methuselah. Besides the brief record of his life in Genesis 5:22-27, he is mentioned only in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1:3 and Luke 3:37.

Was Methuselah a man of faith? Did he obey God? Did he make any lasting contributions to posterity? The Bible is silent. If the Genesis genealogy can be used to establish a chronology—an admittedly uncertain approach—he evidently died the year of the flood. Was he among the wicked destroyed in it, or did he just coincidentally die of “old age” that year? Living as long as he did, he certainly had plenty of opportunities to serve God. What use of them he made we do not know.

By way of contrast, Methuselah’s father lived only about a third as long. Nevertheless, Enoch left an unmistakable mark. Jude mentions him as a prophet (Jude 14-15). And Hebrews 11:5 says, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.”

Methuselah’s grandson also left his mark. “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. . . . Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:8-9). Surely you know the rest of his story!

When it comes to life, quantity is not nearly as important as quality. Even a short life brings glory to God if it is used in His service. Remember, Jesus lived only to about age thirty-three! A full life is fearing God and keeping His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Thank God for the time you have, and resolve to live each day for Him.

— Via Pathlights, April 8, 2018
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The Bible Exposes Sin!
Wayne Goff

The idea of “sin” has almost disappeared from our society’s vocabulary. “Mistake,” “error,” “misjudgment,” “prejudice,” “-phobia,” etc. have replaced the idea of sin. Perhaps that is why the Bible and Christianity seem so unpopular today. The Bible is the revelation of God’s solution for sin! It shows the introduction of sin into the world with the first couple, Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). It contains a Divine promise in that same chapter for the future “seed of woman” to conquer Satan and sin.

Throughout several thousand years in Genesis, fifteen hundred years of the Mosaical Age (Exodus-Malachi), and two thousand years of Christianity (Matthew-Revelation), God has unfolded that plan and commanded all men everywhere to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30-31).

The book of Romans is a detailed discourse on the subject of sin and its solution. Paul wrote in Romans 1:5-6, “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:5–6).

And again he concludes the book with these words: “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—” (Romans 16:25–26).

God displays His holiness as He justly deals with sin and graciously offers a solution: “…that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:23). A holy God cannot offer an unholy solution to sin. So our holy God offered the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins — Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24-25)!

The only thing left for us to do is believe and obey! But what a wondrous picture of the workings of the Divine mind in lovingly providing a solution to our sin problem while remaining perfect and holy Himself. Read the Bible, and especially the book of Romans, in this light.

— Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 18, Page 1
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Bible 3

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Hebrews 4:14-16

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NASB).
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“Forever”
Greg Gwin

A highway billboard down the road advertises for a local restaurant. Along with promises of “good home cookin” and “friendly service” is the proclamation “OPEN FOREVER.” This caught our eye. It was not the typical “open 24 hours per day,” or “open seven days per week.” This was a far bolder claim. Forever, as you know, is a very long time!

While we may chuckle at, and even appreciate, the originality of the folks at that restaurant, we know – and surely they know – that nothing in this world is forever. James wrote:

“Come now, you who say ‘today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanisheth away” (James 4:13-14, NASV).

Sadly, too many of God’s own children – who are supposed to know better – still act as though their plans, their activities, and their very lives will go on forever. These Christians become totally involved with their work, their recreation, making money, having fun, etc. In the process they woefully neglect their spiritual service to God. Can it be that they have forgotten that nothing here is forever?

Jesus told of a successful businessman who said to himself, I have “much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” He imagined that his prosperity could last  “forever.”  But God said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (Luke 12:16-21).

Many still need that lesson.

— Via The Beacon, April 28, 2019
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Jeannette King has been diagnosed with breast cancer, which she will soon be having surgery for.

Myrna Jordan is healing from recent outpatient surgery.

Jon Newman is still in rehab, due to a recent stroke, and making improvement.

Melotine Davis is awaiting the test results that will determine surgery for her back.

Doug Pennock is still having some  trouble from his recent dental work.

Others to also be praying for: Pat & A.J. Joyner, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Bud Montero, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Penny Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Kayleigh Tanner, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Rex and Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin
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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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