“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).
1) Some Bible “Excepts” (Bill Crews)
2) Babylon Clay Tablet Confirms Jeremiah (Ben M. Shropshire)
3) Never Give Up! (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
Some Bible “Excepts”
The English word “except” is a strong word. It can be used as a verb, either transitive or intransitive, and as a preposition. But it is also identified as a conjunction, at least “archaically,” with the meaning of “unless.” This simply means that in the past in the English language the word was used as a conjunction and meant “unless.” That is exactly how the word is used, and frequently, in our English translations of the Bible. It has the meaning of “if not,” “unless,” “but that” and “without.” It is used to emphasize conditions that must be met. For example:
THE NECESSITY OF FAITH: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for except ye believe that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Thus, it is imperative that we believe that Jesus is He (the Christ, the One sent from God). (The necessity of that faith is also stressed in this way: “And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him,” Hebrews 11:6).
THE NECESSITY OF CHRIST: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one cometh unto the Father but (or except) by Me” (John 14:6). We cannot come unto God unless we believe; we cannot come unto God except by His Son. How do we come unto that Son? “No man can come to me except the Father that sent Me draw him” (John 6:44). And how does the Father draw men unto the Son? “It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God” (that’s in Isaiah 54:13, B.C.). “Everyone that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). So the Father, through His word, draws men unto His Son. This is the same way that men are led to have faith (Romans 10:17 — faith comes by hearing the word of God; Acts 15:7 — by Peter’s mouth the Gentiles were to hear the word of the gospel and believe).
THE NECESSITY OF BEING BORN AGAIN: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew (or again), he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is explained further: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). On being born (or begotten) of the Spirit see James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 4:15 — we are begotten by the word or the gospel which was given by the Spirit. On being born of water see Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12 and 1:18 — we are brought forth from the water of baptism as new creatures.
THE NECESSITY OF HONESTY AND SINCERITY: “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). Their righteousness was only apparent, external and hypocritical. Ours must be real, according to God’s word and from the heart.
THE NECESSITY OF HUMILITY: “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). “Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein” (Mark 10:15).
THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE: “I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Jesus addressed these words to some specific individuals, as He compared them to others, but the words “Except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish” can be applied in a spiritual and eternal sense to all sinners. “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now He commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent” (Acts 17:30-31).
THE NECESSITY OF CONTENDING LAWFULLY: “And if also a man contend in the games, he is not crowned, except he have contended lawfully” (2 Timothy 2:5). The Christian is likened to a soldier (verse 4) and to a contestant in the athletic games (verse 5). Like the soldier he must be dedicated and loyal. Like the contestant in the games, he must abide by the rules that govern the “race.”
For other “except” passages dealing with things that are necessary for our salvation see Matthew 6:15; John 15:4, 6; 1 Corinthians 9:16; James 2:17; Revelation 2:2, 22, 3:3.
— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 31, Page 3, August 4, 2019
Babylon Clay Tablet Confirms Jeremiah
Ben M. Shropshire
The recent discovery of a cuneiform clay tablet by an Austrian scholar at the site of ancient Babylon confirms the historical accuracy of the book of Jeremiah. The recently deciphered tablet, which dates from 595 BC, refers to an official in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, which is also mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah. The tablet names a Babylonian officer called Nebo-Sarsekim, who, according to Jeremiah (39:3) was present in 586 BC when “Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem, and besieged it” (Jeremiah 39:1).
The clay tablet relates that Nebo-Sarsekim bestowed a gift of gold on the Temple of Esangila in the city of Babylon. It does not mention that he was with Nebuchadnezzar when he laid siege to the city of Jerusalem and then destroyed it. The cuneiform inscription, therefore, just confirms that Jeremiah was accurate when he reported there was an official (Jeremiah refers to him as a prince of the king of Babylon) of the Babylonian government whose name was Nebo-Sarsekim. The dating of the tablet from 595 BC, which was just nine years prior to the event reported by Jeremiah, demonstrates the likelihood that the tablet and Jeremiah were both referring to the same person.
This is just another evidence, along with many others, that the Bible is not just a collection of legends, fables and hand-me-down stories, but that it is a historically accurate document. Believing that the Bible was inspired of God, we would expect it to be historically accurate.
— Via Lifeline, July 15, 2000
Never Give Up!
Winston Churchill is remembered as one of the great motivators of the past century. His leadership qualities were a deciding factor in helping the British people through the darkest hours of World War II.
Later in life Churchill was invited to return to the preparatory school he had attended as a youth. He was to address the students, and they had been told to expect “one of the greatest orators of all times.” Their instructions were to listen carefully, and take notes.
Churchill’s speech to the student body was incredibly brief. You, no doubt, are familiar with the entire text of that speech. Sir Winston said, “Young Gentlemen, Never, never, never, never give up!” That was it. No more. But it was a message that could not be forgotten.
Others have pointed out that the key to success is not necessarily talent, or training, or luck. It is patience, persistence, and perseverance that wins the prize.
This principle also applies in spiritual pursuits. We’ve known of some incredibly talented folks who have given up. And others who have received the finest opportunities have simply quit.
We need determination to continue on, no matter what comes our way. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t whine and drop out at the first sign of adversity.
The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were tempted to give up. The words of encouragement written to them are needed by us today: “Cast not away therefore your confidence. . . ye have need of patience. . . we are not of them who draw back (10:35—39) . . . Let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (12:1).
Never give up!
— via The Beacon, August 4, 2019
“By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19, NASB).
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
Last Sunday, Barbara Thompson had a TIA (a “mini stroke”). It caused no paralysis, but did affect her speech. She returned home Thursday and is to be kept in for a few days. This Tuesday, she will be having a non-invasive procedure to repair a hole in her heart .
Joyce Rittenhouse was bitten by an insect that has left quite a mark and had her feeling ill. Her blood pressure had been up to 202/102 several days afterwards, but then dropped a few hours later to 149/98. She is also experiencing other symptoms. If not better by today, she will begin antibiotics and see her doctor tomorrow morning.
Doyle Rittenhouse has still been having some trouble with a fast pulse and will soon begin wearing a heart monitor to better determine the problem.
Melontine Davis has healed well from her recent back surgery; but a fall, following that surgery, has caused a herniated disk that is giving her much pain. She will soon be seeing her doctor about this.
Bennie Medlock has been having painful trouble with his back and legs.
Jan Bartlett has a decision to make about what kind of treatments (and possibly two) to have following her recent surgery for breast cancer. The cancer was removed.
Our shut-ins: Mary Vandevander and Shirley Davis.
Our other members with health issues: Pat & A.J. Joyner; Jim Lively; Myrna Jordan, James and Deborah Medlock, and Bud Montero.
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).
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
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)