The Gospel Observer (September 29, 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” (Matt. 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) What Does True Love Look Like? (Jay Dixon)
2) A Faithful Man Who Served God Above Many (Mike Johnson)
3) Amazing Design! (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
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John13_34e

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What Does True Love Look Like?
Jay Dixon

“The fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Galatians 5:22).

What does the love spoken of in Galatians 5:22 look like?

This love manifests itself in various ways. One of those ways is when one is seen extending love toward their enemy.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44).

The typical reaction of the flesh is to respond according to the manner in which we have been treated. In other words if someone has cursed me, I must curse them back. If some hate me, I must hate them back. If someone uses me, I must seek revenge. If I am persecuted, if given the opportunity I must retaliate. On the other hand, if someone loves me and is kind to me then I must love them and be kind to them.

To love those who love us is not uncommon. There’s nothing exceptional about repaying love for love. Jesus says, “…if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?” (Matthew 5:46-47) This type of love is a love that is shared by both believers and unbelievers. This isn’t what true love looks like.

The love of Galatians 5:22 is seen when one is able to love their enemy as they do their neighbor. It is seen when one blesses those who curse them. It is seen when one does good to those who hate them and is able to pray for the one who spitefully uses and persecutes them.

Unlike loving those who love you, which Jesus says is seen even among the most despised of the world, loving one who hates you is something that stands out; it’s an action that’s unique and identifies one as walking in the spirit of GOD.

The result of one who practices this love:

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:47).

(Why?)

“…He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good and He sends His rain on the just and unjust” (Matthew 5:47).

“Therefore you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

The Father extended the love spoken here in Matthew 5:44 and Galatians 5:22 to a world of sinners which includes you and me. He displayed this love by sending His son to be a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus Himself loved His enemies which were and are many. He loved those who literally and figuratively (You and I) nailed Him to the cross. He blessed those who cursed Him. He prayed for those who persecuted Him. Just before He was mocked and sarcastically summoned to come down off of the cross He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 24:34).

This is what true love looks like. Jesus is not asking us to love in a way that both He and Father did not do 1st and to its highest degree. (John 15:13, Romans 5:8)

If we are to be complete and genuine children of the Father in heaven, we must be willing to love those who curse, hate, despitefully use and persecute us. When we extend this kind of love we are demonstrating what true love looks like.

— Via Articles from The University church of Christ, Richmond, Kentucky
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Psa119_30b

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A Faithful Man Who Served God Above Many
Mike Johnson

The book of Nehemiah tells about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem done by the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity.  Nehemiah appointed Hanani, his brother, and Hananiah as rulers of Jerusalem after the walls were completed. It is interesting to note the statement made about Hananiah at this time.  Nehemiah 7:2 says his appointment was because, “he was a faithful man, who feared God more than many.”  No doubt, there were many in Jerusalem who feared God.  Hananiah, however, was more serious in his devotion than most.  We know very little information about this person, but this statement says a great deal.

When someone dies, good things are often said about their life – the person’s life is often summarized.  Whether we had a lot of money, were an important civic leader, or whether we were highly regarded by the people of the world will matter little when the Judgment comes.  If after we die, it could truly be said of us that we were faithful to God and we feared Him above many that would be the most important statement made about us that could be said.  The only matter of importance then will be whether we were in a proper relationship with God.  Does the statement made about Hananiah summarize our lives today?  Are we faithful to God, and do we fear Him more than many?

— Via The Elon Challenger (Vol. 17, No. 1, September 2019)
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bird_bat_bee_butterfly2

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Amazing Design!
Greg Gwin

Birds and bats, bees and butterflies – these are but a few of earth’s creatures that possess extraordinary navigational skills. How does a bird know the proper route to follow on its migrations north and south? How can a bee find its way back to the hive — and then return again with other helpers to the nectar-rich flower patch just discovered? Such accomplishments have long puzzled the scientists that study such things.

An article in National Geographic describes research that has been undertaken to discover the answer to these mysteries. The conclusions are amazing. Birds, for instance, have been shown to “use the sun as a compass together with an internal clock that compensates for the sun’s changing position in the sky.” And then there are the honeybees which “employ special cells in their compound eyes to recognize patterns of polarized light which enables them to determine the location of the sun, even if it is obscured by clouds.” Desert ants, we are told, can tell distances by counting steps from one location to another. Spawning salmon travel thousands of miles to return to the very section of river where they were born. Scientists agree that they “locate home streams by smell… imprinting on the odors from soil and vegetation.” Other fish navigate in murky water by generating an electric field and then sensing their “environment through fluctuations in the electric current.” Some insects are known to determine direction and location by sensing “magnetic fields through specialized photo-receptors in their eyes.”

All of this staggers the imagination. The complexities of nature are incredible. But even more amazing is the fact that there are so many people who believe that this all came about by random chance as living creatures evolved from lower life forms. How can it be so? Who can believe it?  Faith in a living, all-powerful God is a much more reasonable explanation. Think about it!

— Via The Beacon, August 25, 2019
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“Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep” (Psalm 107:23-24, NASB).
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News & Notes

Update on Ron Daly  (9/27/19): Ron was able to walk outside with a walker. He is eating solid food now (with no restrictions), and  no longer needs the neck brace while in bed.  He has also been talking in a whisper.  On Oct. 1, he will be moved to a new facility.

Jan Bartlett still has three more chemo treatments to go, every third week.  Sometime after completion, she will also begin radiation treatments.

Rick Cutherbertson received two treatments last week — instead of just the one –- for his lung cancer.

Brandon Mullis (Sherri Crew’s grandson) was in the hospital for several hours Saturday before last, due to a concussion he received in a football game.  Fortunately, there was no internal bleeding, nor swelling; so he returned home later that same day.

Others also: Pat & A.J. Joyner; James, Bennie, and Deborah Medlock; Shirley Davis; Melotine Davis, Joyce Rittenhouse, Barbara Thompson, Mary Vandevander; Rex and Frankie Hadley;  Eva Mabry; and Stephanie Fals

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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) 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 sermons)

The Gospel Observer (September 22, 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).
——————-

Contents:

1) Belief & Truth (Irvin Himmel)
2) Making Plans (Greg Gwin)
3) News & Notes
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2Tim2_15

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Belief & Truth
Irvin Himmel

No matter what your present belief, in this short essay I want to set before you the truth. Please study carefully the following points about belief and its relation to truth.

Believing Something Does Not Make It The Truth

The aged Jacob believed the story his sons told him which insinuated that their brother Joseph had been devoured by an evil beast (Gen. 37:31-35). So sincere was Jacob in that belief, and so emotionally moved by what he believed, he rent his clothes, put on sackcloth, mourned for many days, and refused the comfort offered by other members of the family. Young Joseph was not dead although his father sincerely believed he had been killed. Joseph was very much alive!

Saul of Tarsus strongly and earnestly believed in his early life that Jesus of Nazareth was an impostor, not the real Christ. He “verily thought” that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus (Acts 26:9). Saul’s belief that Jesus was a fake did not make Him a pretender.

Truth is not determined by what someone chooses to believe. One may elect to believe the Book of Mormon, but that does not make the Book of Mormon true. One may choose to believe that the Pope of Rome is the Vicar of Christ, but believing it does not make it so. Some people believe man has the same nature of a beast and no other nature, but their belief does not make it true that man is wholly a material being. A lot of people believe miracles are being performed today (tongues, healing, prophecy, etc.), but their belief, which sometimes moves them in emotional experiences, does not make it true.

Failure To Believe Something Does Not Keep It From Being The Truth

Many of the Jews refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, even after He had preached to them, worked signs and wonders among them, and had demonstrated supernatural insight, but their lack of faith did not change the truth about His identity. Jesus explained, “for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). The truth about His Sonship did not depend on their belief in Him.

There are people who today refuse to believe there is a hell. They suppose that God thinks as men think, and in their human reasoning they cannot rationalize the idea of eternal punishment. But remember this: refusal to believe there is a hell does not keep the doctrine of hell from being the truth.

Some men refuse to believe there is a God. These men are called atheists. They suppose there is no being higher than humanity. This idea leaves them without any feeling of accountability to anyone except themselves. Refusal to believe in God does not change the fact that God exists and men are responsible to Him for their deeds.

Truth is determined by what the Scriptures teach, not by what someone believes, or refuses to believe. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16); that is the truth, and if every person on earth refused to accept it, that teaching of Jesus would still be the truth.

One Must Believe The Truth To Be Saved

Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Paul spoke of the “word of truth” as the “gospel of your salvation” (Eph. 1:13). He explained that we are chosen to salvation “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13).

This New Testament teaching is a far cry from the popular notion that it really does not make a lot of difference what one believes. Some have the idea that one can believe to a large degree whatever he wants to believe and still go to heaven. To such persons it matters not whether one believes baptism is essential to salvation or is a mere symbol of salvation; whether one believes in the impossibility of apostasy or that a child of God can fall away; whether one believes in immersion only or sprinkling, pouring, and immersion; whether one believes in tithing or giving according to ability; whether one believes Christians should keep the Sabbath (Saturday) or assemble for worship on the first day (Sunday); whether one believes Christ was born of a virgin or not; whether one believes in one faith or many faiths; etc., etc.

Refusal To Believe The Truth Brings Condemnation

Paul wrote about certain persons who did not love the truth, explaining, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:10-12). We cannot obey the truth if we do not learn it and believe it. The word of God warns that people “who do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,” will receive indignation and wrath in the day of judgment (Rom. 2:8).

James taught that if one errs from the truth and is turned back (converted) a soul is saved from death (Jas. 5:19, 20). This implies that if one turns from the truth he is headed for eternal death.

Truth is fixed by the word of God. Truth does not depend on what you and I believe or refuse to believe, but our eternal security does depend on our believing that which is the truth and not turning from that truth.

— Via Navarre Messenger, July 28, 2019
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“O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places” (Psalm 43:3, NASB).

“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89, NASB).

“For His lovingkindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD is everlasting.
Praise the LORD!”  (Psalm 172:2, NASB)
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man writing in notebook by computer

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Making Plans
Greg Gwin

A financial planner observed that most folks spend more time planning their summer vacation than they devote to planning their most important lifetime goals. That is, without doubt, a sad but true fact. How can we hope to succeed in life without planning and goal-setting? If you want to be a successful student, businessman, politician, etc. – it takes planning!

Surely this same point can be made in regards to our spiritual service to God. In fact, it may be even truer in this particular realm. We might even say that some folks appear to spend more time planning what they will do after supper on a given night than they have ever spent charting their plans for serving God. It’s a sad situation, to be sure.

The problem is that we have gotten our priorities out of order. Notice what Jesus said:

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Where withall shall we be clothed?. . . for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:32,33).

Do you see it? Jesus said that we ought not to worry about the things that we most often do worry about. And, He said that we should give careful consideration to our spiritual work – putting it first in our lives.

Christian, are you making your plans to be faithful to God and to be active in His service?  Have you spent any time lately planning about the things that are really most important?

— Via The Beacon, September 22, 2019
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Updates on Ron Daly, who was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver, can be read at the following website: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ron-daly-medical-expenses

Jim Lively had a bad fall last week. No bones were broken, but it made a long abrasion on his arm, which is being treated.

Penny Medlock was hospitalized last week and then sent to Saint Simons By-the-Sea.

Joyce Rittenhouse has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, which she is now being treated for.

Jan Bartlett’s first chemo treatment had been rescheduled for last Friday, which was kept.  She will also have three more every three weeks, and then sometime later go through radiation treatments.

Rick Cuthbertson will be receiving two treatments this week for his lung cancer.  Last week, it was just one treatment, which he did all right with, and even went back to work the next day.  His doctor has also been encouraged by the great disposition that Rick has toward it all.

Melotine Davis is still awaiting to hear when the surgery will be for her herniated disk.

Others also: Pat & A.J. Joyner; James, Bennie, and Deborah Medlock; Shirley Davis; Mary Vandevander; Rex and Frankie Hadley;  Eva Mabry; and Stephanie Fals.
——————–

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 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)

The Gospel Observer (September 15, 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” (Matt. 28:19-20, NASB).
——————-

Contents:

1) Examining the Scriptures (L.A. Stauffer)
2) The Dead In Christ Shall Rise First (Ron Daly)
3) News & Notes
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Acts17_11b

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Examining the Scriptures
L.A. Stauffer

The apostle Paul was commissioned by God to bear witness of Christ and preach the gospel to the Gentiles. When he traveled to the various cities in Asia and Europe, his practice was to go first to a synagogue of the Jews and then to the Gentiles (see Rom 1:16; Acts 13:46).

When he entered the Jewish houses of worship, the apostle opened their scriptures, the Old Testament, and argued from them that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah the Jewish nation was expecting. More often than not, the Jews disagreed, rejected his teaching, and drove him from the synagogue and, often, from their city. This happened in the ancient city of Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-10). But after leaving this Macedonian town, he came to Berea some 50 miles away where he received an unusually different welcome.

The Bereans, Luke tells us, were “more noble” than their fellow Jews in Thessalonica “in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the scriptures daily” to see whether the things Paul preached were so (Acts 17:11). “Noble” here doesn’t mean they were a higher class of people politically, economically, or socially, but that they were of a higher rank spiritually.

Open Minds. They were nobler spiritually because their minds were open to what Paul taught. Luke tells us that they “received the word,” an expression that means they welcomed what the apostles said and listened to the passages he quoted and considered the arguments he made. By opening their minds to Paul’s preaching, they were able to grasp the points he was making; at least they understood what he declared to them.

Eager Minds. Beyond hearing what the apostle was saying, they listened with eagerness. “Readiness of mind” suggests the enthusiasm one might find among students who have come to class to learn. They are there because they want to be; they are, as it were, sitting on the edge of their seats; they are hanging on every word the teacher utters. The Bereans were hearing things that were attractive – a message that made sense and was pleasant to the ears.

Cautious Minds. The good news about Jesus, though delightful to the ears, wasn’t something they would receive unless it is true. They l  istened cautiously and made it a point to examine or search the Old Testament writings to see if what Paul said “were so,” an expression that literally means: whether the scripture “have it this way.” Their question: Does the life of Jesus really fulfill what the Old Testament teaches about the coming Messiah?

The New Testament commends the Bereans because this is the very kind of mind that can hear what the Bible says, understand what it teaches, and respond in the obedience of faith to its demands. Only people with the heart of the Bereans will believe that Jesus is God’s Son, repent in rejection and repudiation of sin, confess that Jesus is Lord, and be buried with Christ in baptism for the forgiveness of sins (John 20:30-31; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10; Mark 16:16). God demands this of all men.

— Via articles of the Kirkwood church of Christ (Kirkwood, Missouri), November 11, 2005
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Acts24_15d

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The Dead In Christ Shall Rise First
Ron Daly

Paul wrote in his first letter to the Thessalonians, that when the Lord descends from heaven, “the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess. 4:16).

Apparently, Paul had reason to be concerned that some of the Christians in Thessalonica were uninformed regarding the status of fellow-believers who had died. He wrote to them so that they would not grieve. He states that when the Lord descends from heaven the dead saints will not be forgotten, nor left behind. They will rise before the living are caught up to meet the Lord in the air! “For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep” (v. 15).

The apostle is not affirming any of the doctrinally erroneous presuppositions of the premillennial heresy. His point is not that the dead saints will rise and be caught up in “the rapture,” a contrived theory of premillennialists. Instead, he implicitly indicates that the dead saints will not be abandoned, but they will rise to meet the Lord together with those who remain. The following verbal phrases constitute the immediate context of Paul’s words, in which actions are ascribed to the Lord and his saints: “The Lord himself … will descend (katabesetai) from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise (anastesontai) first. Then we who are alive, who are left (perileipomenoi), will be caught up (harpagesometha) in the clouds together with them to meet (apantesin) the Lord in the air, and so we will be (esometha) with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage (parakaleite) one another with these words” (vv. 16-17). Notice the word “then” in verse 17. It translates epeita which in the present context is emphatic, and the term means “after that, in the next place.” The Greek-English Lexicon of The New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Bauer, Arndt-Gingrich-Danker, 284, indicates that epeita is used “to denote succession in enumerations, together with indications of chronological sequence.”

Paul’s point seems to be, immediately after the dead saints rise, the living saints will join them to meet the Lord in the air.

The text does not teach a partial resurrection, i.e., that some of the dead, those who are in Christ will be raised at the Lord’s coming, but the wicked dead will remain in the graves for several more years. In the 1 Thessalonians’ text, Paul’s primary focus is on “we who are alive” in Christ and “the dead in Christ.” He is not denying a general resurrection of all the dead, he simply discusses one class of dead persons who will rise. This seems to be the category about which the Thessalonians had inquired, or at least were concerned.

Please consider that Paul does not say, “Only the dead in Christ shall rise”; but he says, “The dead in Christ shall rise first.” Let us ask, first in relation to what? The word “first” is a translation of proton, an adverb which in this text means “first of all, first in order.” Before the living ascend to meet the Lord, the dead in Christ will be raised and both groups shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

According to numerous New Testament texts when Jesus comes to judge the world, all the dead will be raised. “Do not be astonished at this: for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29). Peter and John caused much annoyance to the priest, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees “because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead” (Acts 4:1-2).

Paul affirmed that he was “on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead” (Acts 23:6). Paul made his defense to Felix the governor, proclaiming “that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous”; and he declared that he was on trial “about the resurrection of the dead” (Acts 24:15, 21). The apostle said to the people of Athens that God “has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed . . . they heard of the resurrection of the dead…” (Acts 17:31-32). “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised…” (1 Cor. 15:52).

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 1:7-9, Paul states that when the Lord is “revealed from heaven” (the equivalent to “the Lord himself will descend from heaven” in the first letter, 4:16) vengeance will be inflicted on the wicked, but he will be glorified in the saints.

Therefore in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul is not teaching a partial resurrection of some of the dead, neither is he indicating that there will be multiple resurrections of all the dead. There will be only one literal resurrection of all the dead.

— Via Guardian of Truth XLI: 4 p. 10-11, February 20, 1997
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Ron Daly preaches for the Emerson Avenue church of Christ in Indianapolis. While helping his son to mow some city property (a median), Ron became the innocent victim of a hit-and-run driver that left him in critical condition. He suffered a brain bleed, a damaged aorta; a broken back, neck, and several ribs; and his knees were shattered.   A gofundme account has been set up for him by Edward T. Rangel, who also gives updates on Ron’s condition.  If you would like to contribute toward Ron’s medical expenses and/or read the updates, here is the address:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ron-daly-medical-expenses

Jan Bartlett’s first chemo treatment, which had been scheduled for last Friday, was cancelled and rescheduled for September 20.

Melotine Davis is still awaiting to hear when the surgery will be for her herniated disk.

Rick Cuthbertson had one treatment of chemo Wednesday and went back to work Thursday and Friday.  He did okay with that. Next Wednesday, he will be receiving two treatments.

Others to also pray for: Jim Lively; Pat & A.J. Joyner; James, Bennie, Deborah, and Penny Medlock; Shirley Davis, Mary Vandevander; Rex and Frankie Hadley;  Eva Mabry, and Stephanie Fals.
——————–

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 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)

The Gospel Observer (September 8, 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).
——————–

Contents:

1) Hope Abides (L. A. Stauffer)
2) Logic in the Bible (Terry W. Benton)
3) Selected Sentence Sermons
4) News & Notes
——————–

Heb6_19c

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Hope Abides
L.A. Stauffer

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl 3:1). And now, during earth life, it is man’s season of hope—a time when man looks to but sees not the reward his Maker has promised. “Hope,” Paul writes, “that is seen is not hope: for who hopes for that which he sees” (Rom 8:24). It is “now,” the apostle says, that hope “abides” (1 Cor 13: 13).

Hope only abides when there is the reality of a reward and there is a longing expectation of that reward in the heart of a man. Take away the “mansion” in heaven that Jesus promised or the assurance of that abiding place in a man’s faith—and you no longer have hope (see Heb 11:1). Hope is a reality because of man’s expectant trust and God’s faithful promise. Hope abides because:

God Promised. Hope rests and is founded on God’s promise. He it is who announced through Jesus, “great is your reward in heaven” and “in my Father’s house are many mansions” (Matt 5:12; John 14:1-2). The Hebrews’ writer takes his readers back to the time of Abraham to assure us that hope abides as an anchor of the soul—both “sure” and “steadfast” (Heb 6:13-19). Abraham hoped in God for years that he would receive a seed and become a great nation. The certainty of that hope was secured by the promise of God to which He added an oath. By these two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie—His word and His oath—Abraham waited patiently and the promise was fulfilled.

God Is Faithful. God, it is clear, must be true to both Himself and His word. Man’s lack of faith does not affect the faithfulness of God to His promise. Though every man be found a liar, Paul argues in a text highlighting the sinfulness of man, “let God be found true” (Rom 3:3-4). In the entirety of the oracles of God from the promise of a redeemer to the promises to Abraham and to Israel—God has shown man that He “will in no wise fail” him and “will in no wise forsake” him (see Heb 13:5). Hope prevails because Jehovah, the God who promised, is trustworthy.

Man Believes. Yet despite the promises, faithfulness, and blessings from God, hope abides only in a man who by faith holds in his heart the “assurance of things hoped for” and the “conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Moses when he decided to leave Pharaoh’s house was by faith convicted “of things not seen” and “looked unto the recompense of reward” (Heb 11:26). It was the faith he embraced in his heart that housed the expectation of a reward from God. It was no different with Abraham who “in hope believed against hope,” looked “unto the promise of God,” and “wavered not through unbelief, but waxed strong in faith” (Rom 4:18-21).

These men of old are examples for God’s believing servants today. Jesus opened the way into heaven through the veil of His flesh when He entered the “most holy” place in heaven to appear before the face of God on behalf of believers in Christ (see Heb 9:23-26; 10:19-20). We, because of God’s promise and His faithfulness, have confidence in that unseen reward—in that abiding hope that anchors our souls, binds us to purity, moves us to fruitfulness, and upholds us in affliction (see Heb 6:18-19, 1 John 3:3; Col 1:5-7; Heb 11:24-27). There is victory in Jesus for men of faith and unmovable steadfastness (1 Cor 15:50-58).

— Via Articles from the Kirkwood church of Christ (Kirkwood, Missouri), July 10, 2017
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Logic in the Bible
Terry W. Benton

While some modern brethren have declared that the logic of “necessary inference” has been made up in recent years by “church of Christ preachers,” the Bible shows that this kind of logic goes back to communication from God and man from the beginning. If anyone should be credited with the origin of such logic, it should be God. The failure to use logic goes to the devil and his followers.

A clear example of reasoning from evidence to “necessary inference” is seen clearly in Hebrews 7. Paul reasoned that:

1. Melchizedek was greater than Abraham.

2. Levi is not as great as Abraham and certainly not as great as Melchizedek.

    3. If the Levitical priesthood and Law of Moses had been sufficient, there would have been no need for David to prophesy about another priest who would be a forever priest after the order of Melchizedek in Psalm 110, at a time when the Law and Levitical priesthood was in operation.

Then the writer then argues to the logical conclusion that was “of necessity” (a necessary inference). He pointed to a great logical deduction: In order for Jesus to be a legitimate priest, the law would have to be changed (Hebrews 7:12). That was an inescapable conclusion since Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi. In order to change the priesthood there would have to logically be a “change also of the Law.” Statements of prophecy plus the example of Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek formed the evidence from which several necessary inferences were drawn.

Another point of logic was made on the basis that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah “of which Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.” When the Law spoke about priesthood and designated the tribe of Levi, it did not have to start a list of “thou shalt not get priests from Judah” and “thou shalt not get priests from Gad,” etc. Silence about other tribes meant only that permission was not granted to other tribes to become priests. There is a logical rule that silence is not authority to act. Jesus was not authorized to be a priest on earth because silence about priests from Judah is not authority for priests from Judah.

The authority of Jesus to be a priest after a different order comes only with a “change of Law” and a verification that Jesus has the credentials of a “forever” priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek. The use of example and statements to bring about the logical necessary inference is what GOD has taught us. It did not originate with so-called “church of Christ preachers.” In fact, failure to properly employ and use these things is a clear indication that the critic does not know the scriptures.

— Via Articles from the La Vista church of Christ (Omaha, Nebraska)
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Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool” (NASB).
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Selected Sentence Sermons

Guilt is concerned with the past. Worry is concerned about the future. Contentment enjoys the present.

The right train of thought can take you to a better station in life.

When you meet temptation, turn to the Right.
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of John Ballard Stovall who passed away September 3, following an extended illness.

On another sad note, we are sorry to hear that Gary and Barbara Thompson will be moving back to their home state of Kentucky on September 16, due to Barbara missing all her family and friends there.  Though it has only been a little more than a year, we have been glad to have them with us during this time.

Let us also continue to remember Barbara Thompson as she heals from her mini-stroke, which can take up to 6 months for a complete recovery.  We have been glad to see how well she has already improved.

Though Jan Bartlett was scheduled for her first chemo treatment on September 13th, it was postponed.  She will now be having that on September 20.

Remember, too, Melotine Davis who will be having surgery on her herniated disk and is still awaiting to hear on when.

As mentioned last week, Shirley Davis’ heel has not yet healed from the ulcer.  She is also still in need of a right knee replacement, but doesn’t feel strong enough yet to have that done.  She requests our prayers.

Rick Cuthbertson was looking into a more effective chemo to take care of the cancer in his lungs, which has increased somewhat in the last three months.

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Jim Lively; Pat & A.J. Joyner; James, Bennie, Deborah, and Penny Medlock; Mary Vandevander; Rex and Frankie Hadley;  Eva Mabry, and Stephanie Fals.
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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).
——————–

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) 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 sermons)

The Gospel Observer (September 1, 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” (Matt. 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Pearls From Proverbs (Irven Himmel)
2) Correct Me, O Lord (Grady Huggins)
3) News & Notes
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Pearls from Proverbs
Irven Himmel

A Rough Road

“Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors is hard” (Proverbs 13:15).

Things are not always what they seem. The course which looks good may offer more misery than happiness, more heartaches than comfort, and more disappointments than satisfaction.

Good Understanding

The Hebrew word sekel denotes intelligence, sound judgment, good sense, or prudence. It is translated “wisdom” in Proverbs 12:8; in 19:11 it is “prudence.”

Abigail, Nabal’s wife, was a woman of good understanding (1 Sam. 25:3). In contrast, her husband was churlish and evil in his deeds.

We show sound judgment and prudence in yielding to the will of God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments” (Psa. 111:10).

“Obedience to God proves that our judgment is sound. Why should he not be obeyed? Does not reason itself claim obedience for the Lord of all? Only a man void of understanding will ever justify rebellion against the holy God. Practical godliness is the test of wisdom. Men may know and be very orthodox, they may talk and be very eloquent, they may speculate and be very profound; but the best proof of their intelligence must be found in their actually doing the will of the Lord” (C.H. Spurgeon).

Giving of Favor

It is a fact that good understanding gives favor. “A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised” (Prov. 12:8). Favor and good understanding are connected in Proverbs 3:4.

Joseph gained favor with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, through sound judgment and prudence. Pharaoh remarked concerning Joseph, “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is?” He said to Joseph, “There is none so discreet and wise as thou art” (Gen. 41:38,39).

Daniel gained favor with Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, through wisdom and good understanding. In all matters of wisdom and understanding, the king found Daniel and his three companions ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in his realm (Dan. 1:19,20).

The youthful years of Jesus are summed up in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Wise judgment is appreciated by right-thinking people. Good understanding brings esteem, honor, admiration, and respect.

Transgressors

The Hebrew word for “transgressors” in our text is bagad. It is a term pointing to such as deal deceitfully or treacherously. It appears in Psalm 119:158, which says, “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.” It is used in Isaiah 21:2 where the prophet said, “the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously.”

Our text refers especially to the unfaithful, the offensive, the treacherous. The New American Standard Bible renders it, “Good understanding produces favor, But the way of the treacherous is hard.”

A Hard Way

The course of transgressors is rugged and rough. Often there is violence. “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence” (Prov. 13:2).

Many transgressors have no compassion. “. . . The manner in which they transact with men, is stiff, as hard as stone, and repulsive; they follow selfish views, never placing themselves in sympathy with the condition of their neighbour; they are without the tenderness which is connected with fine culture; they remain destitute of feeling in things which, as we say, would soften a stone” (F. Delitzsch).

The way of transgressors is hard because the pleasures of sin are for limited duration and are deceitful. How dreadful to reach the end of life and realize that one has taken the road to perdition.

Transgression brings suffering, not only to the transgressor, but even to his family and friends in many cases. Some have plunged headlong into some wicked act without stopping to think of the consequences. Innocent people are hurt. Although the sin may be forgiven, some of its effects may never be erased during the lifetime of the offender.

No relief is in sight for one who continues in transgression. Sometimes one treacherous act leads to another, and then another. Deeper and deeper into evil plunges the unfaithful person. He heaps misery on top of misery. Guilt weighs heavily until his conscience becomes as hardened as the stones along a rugged path.

The narrow way that leads to life requires sacrifice, self-denial, and discipline. But there is no road as rough as that which the transgressor travels.

— Via the Guardian of Truth XXX: 13, p. 393, July 3, 1986
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Correct Me, O Lord
Grady Huggins

“I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23).

We are simply not capable of navigating our own way through life.  God is the potter, we are the clay, and we desperately need Him to mold us (Jer 18:1-6).  Trying to take control of our own lives has just ruined the original beauty that God had envisioned for us.  “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…” (Isa 53:6).  God had a safe path plotted out for us, but we refused to listen to His guidance.  We have rejected the narrow way for an easier road of our own devising.  With the world cheering us on all around, we rush headlong toward destruction (Matt 7:13-14).

Yet, trusting our own instincts we are often blissfully unaware of the danger we are in.  “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death!” (Prov 14:12).  We convince ourselves that we have it all under control.  Stop and ask for directions?  Never!  In our certainty we forget the warning of Jeremiah.  “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9).  Is it possible that our heart is deceiving us?  Is it possible that we are mistaken?  Maybe we don’t have it all figured out and under control.  Maybe we need help.

Recognizing we cannot direct our own steps, we must cry out with the prayer of Jeremiah: “Correct me, O LORD, but with justice; not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing” (Jer 10:24).  Yes, we need correction.  We need God to show us where we are deceiving ourselves.  With His help we can stop covering up and minimizing our faults.  We can rather expose and address them.

This process is not quick and painless.  It is very difficult to see ourselves the way God sees us and constantly grapple with our insufficiencies.  Yet, this struggle is exactly what we should expect traveling along the narrow way.  And we can find comfort in God’s grace.  He does not correct us in anger, but in love.  He is always there to pick us up when we fall and strengthen us to press on to higher ground.  Though we continually fall short of His perfect character, He has made a way for us to bridge the gap through Jesus (Rom 3:23-24).

The important thing is that we never harden our heart to His correction.  It’s when we are most at ease in our faith that we are most at danger (1 Cor 10:13).  We must allow God’s word to  function as a mirror, showing us what corrections need to be made (James 1:23-25).  We must allow it to function as a scalpel, opening up the innermost thoughts of our hearts (Heb 4:12).  Like Jeremiah, we must pray for and welcome God’s correction at all times, because there is no doubt we need it.

— Via the Kirkwood church of Christ, July 10, 2017
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Shirley Davis’ heel has not yet healed from the ulcer.  She is still in need of a right knee replacement, but doesn’t feel strong enough for it right now. It is hard for her to get around.

Eva Mabry and Stephanie Fals are in the hospital and have requested prayer.

Jan Bartlett has decided to take follow-up treatments, as a safety precaution, following her recent surgery that eliminated cancer.

Melontine Davis thinks she might hear this week of when her upcoming surgery will be on her herniated disk.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer: Barbara Thompson, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively; Pat & A.J. Joyner; James, Bennie, Deborah, and Penny Medlock; Mary Vandevander; and Rex and Frankie Hadley.
——————–

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 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)