The Gospel Observer (December 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” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————-

Contents:

1) The Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Wayne Goff)
2) Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44)
3) A Hairy Reminder (Roger Shouse)
4) News & Notes
——————-

Jerusalem ad 70c

-1-

The Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70
Wayne Goff

The following is an excerpt from the book, The Historical Atlas of Judaism, by Dr. Ian Barnes, regarding the destruction of Jerusalem by General Vespasian and his son, Titus, in 70 A.D.  Jesus predicted this destruction in Matthew 24:1-35. See verses 1-2, 14-22 below.

“As Vespasian was traveling to Caesarea to plan the siege of Jerusalem, Nero’s suicide was announced, so he delayed operations until the political situation in Rome became clear. In the summer of CE* 69, the armies of the Eastern Empire declared Vespasian emperor.

“Confronted by new rebel leader, Simon bar-Giora, Vespasian completed his conquest of Judaea, controlling Acrabeta, Bethel, and Ephraim, together with Hebron in the south. Only Jerusalem, Macherus, Herodium, and Masada remained defiant. Civil war raged in Jerusalem. A hill in the south-west of the city was held by aristocratic patriots while the Zealots under John of Giscala held the eastern city and most of the Temple Mount. The aristocrats asked Simon bar-Giora for help. He killed those amongst them who mentioned surrender. In Spring, CE 70, Titus marched on Jerusalem, pitched camp, and attacked the north wall, one of three defense lines. The Jews attacked the siege towers but battering-rams were finally put in place, despite the defenders using catapults they had captured from Cestius years earlier. On 25 May, the first wall was breached. Roman soldiers entered and took Bezetha, north of the Temple Mount. Five days later, the second wall was breached, but the legionaries were repelled. The second wall was breached again, leaving the walls enclosing the Temple and the upper and lower parts of the city. The city was isolated by the Romans sealing off Jerusalem from the rest of the world. Sometimes as many as 500 were crucified daily by the Romans for trying to escape the city. The inhabitants died of starvation, with the dead stacked in houses and thousands thrown over the walls into the surrounding ravines. The Fortress of Antonia was breached by battering rams on 24 July. The Temple gates were set alight and soon the Temple was burned to ashes. The rebels made a final stand in Herod’s palace but all were killed. Jerusalem was razed to the ground. Simon bar-Giora and John of Giscala were captives marching in Titus’ triumphal procession in Rome in CE 71. Bar Biora was thrown to his death from the Tarpeian Rock.”

* “CE” means common era,” a term often used by those who do not wish to acknowledge the term “A.D.” which comes from the Latin anno domini which means “In the year of our Lord.”

“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’…

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” ~ Matthew 24:1–2, 14–22

Jesus’ description in Matthew 24 of the Destruction of Jerusalem is consistently misapplied to a future “tribulation” period imagined by those who profess to believe in a future, earthly reign of Jesus on the earth for a thousand years. But note Matt. 24:34.

— Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 51, Page 3, December 22, 2019
——————-

“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matthew  24:34, NASB).

——————-

-2-

Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem

“When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation’” (Luke 19:41-44, NASB).

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34, NKJV).
——————-

matthew10_29-31

-3-

A Hairy Reminder
Roger Shouse

A person between the ages of 20-30 has about 615 hair follicles per square centimeter. A person 50 years of age has around 485 hair follicles per square centimeter. Typically, most people have somewhere between 100,000-150,000 hairs on their head. By the way, the average hair loss for an individual is 50-100 hairs per day. As a result, there is no way you can tell accurately how many hairs you have (in fact, unless you are going bald, most of us don’t really care). But God knows.

Jesus said: “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). This passage reveals three interesting truths.

First, God knows more about us than we know about us. That is a humbling thought. When we sometimes feel like no one understands us or grasps our situation, we forget that God does. God knows your personality. God knows your strengths. God knows what motivates you. God knows when you stumble. God knows what you like and don’t like. God knows the real you. Therefore, when God declares something worthwhile, He knows what He is talking about. When God warns about danger, He knows what He is talking about. When God tells us that we should do something, we need to do it, because He knows us better than we know ourselves.

God is a God of detail. How insignificant are hairs and sparrows to us. Yet God is aware of them. He is a God of details. The motives, attitudes and heart behind our actions are as important to Him as the actions themselves. It does little good to give, if you have left out the detail of being a cheerful giver. Singing fails if we neglect thankfulness in our heart. Let us be a people of details, as God is.

God cares about you. This is why Jesus referred to sparrows and hair. We are of value to Him. Christ was not sent to save the whales, the environment, or the endangered species, but mankind. Man has value! Stress and worry often make us wonder if God cares. These two simple illustrations remind us that He does.

– Via The Beacon, November 17, 2019
——————-

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to continue to remember in our prayers:

John Bladen (A.J. & Pat Joyner’s nephew) who had a heart attack December 20.

Kelly Stoneheart, Keith’s wife, who recently had a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery.

Shirley Davis  now has just another week of rehabilitation treatments which are given in her home twice a week.  Her arthritis in her knee and back have been giving her trouble.

Ronnie Davis who had a recent fall.

Many of the Bartlett family had come down with sicknesses while spending the holiday in Tampa with numerous family members.

Bennie Medlock, who has been in much pain due to loss of cartilage and bone rubbing against bone in his knee.

A.J. & Pat Joyner are not doing well and would like our prayers.

Also for our prayers: Melotine Davis, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Brook and Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

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 (December 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) Romans 8:14-17 — Spiritual Adoption (Harry Ozment)
2) 1John 3:1-3 (NASB)
3) “Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak” (R.J. Evans)
4) News & Notes
——————-

rom8_15

-1-

Romans 8:14-17 — Spiritual Adoption
Harry Ozment

In Romans 8:14-17, the apostle Paul had some words to say about spiritual adoption into the family of God: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” The apostle shows us two things about spiritual adoption: (1) the manner of adoption, and (2) the results and blessings of adoption.

(1) Paul tells us how a person is adopted into God’s family when he says in v. 14, “led by the Spirit of God.” Before one can be a member of God’s family, he must first follow the Holy Spirit. Now, what does this involve? Does this involve a personal indwelling of the Spirit? Does this involve a mysterious, indescribable feeling? No, not at all. The Holy Spirit operates upon the heart of an individual solely through the word of God. This is true because the gospel is the product of the inspiration, revelation, and confirmation of the Holy Spirit. What the gospel does, the Holy Spirit does (and vice versa) because the gospel came from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, then, leads us by means of the gospel, for the gospel does indeed lead us: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my way” (Psa. 119:105). If one is ever to be a child of God, he must follow (i.e., obey) the word of God. When a couple wishes to adopt a child, there are laws of the state in which they live that must be met and obeyed. If these laws are not obeyed, the couple will never be able to adopt a child. The same is true of spiritual adoption. One who is not willing to obey the gospel will not gain and does not deserve entrance into the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).

(2) Paul then lists three blessings of adoption into the family of God:

(a) Deliverance from fear (v. 15). This is one of the great blessings of being a Christian. The inspired writer said in Heb. 2:14-15, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Sin, which was the cause of fear, can be taken away by means of the atoning blood shed by Jesus in his death. Death, which was the object of fear, was taken away by the resurrection of Jesus because it gave us hope of our resurrection and the hope of living with God.

(b) Assurance that we are children of God (v. 16). It must be terrible to go through life without knowing  where you will spend eternity, without knowing whether God is pleased with your life or whether you are in God’s family. For the Christian, however, this is not a problem. When one obeys the gospel, the Holy Spirit through the word assures that person that he is a child of God. This is the “gift of the Holy Spirit” of which Peter spoke in Acts 2:38. This is the “times of refreshing” of which Peter spoke in Acts 3:19. This is being “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” of which Paul spoke in Eph. 1:13. These descriptions show how glorious this blessing is.

(c) Heirs of promises (v. 17). When one is a child of God, he can look to an inheritance from the promises that God has made to His family. These promises are great and precious. The value of this blessing is seen in Peter ‘s words: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Pet. 1:4).

— via Searching the Scriptures, January 1970, Volume XI, Number 1
——————-

-2-

1 John 3:1-3

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (NASB).
——————-

John10-27-28

-3-

“Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak”
R.J. Evans

It should be obvious to us all that we learn more by listening than by speaking.  Listening means we are willing to hear what is being said.  The willingness to be a good listener or hearer is set forth in James 1:19:  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  But so many of us are tempted to talk more than we are willing to listen.  One way to be a good friend and be helpful to others is to let them talk and merely listen without interrupting.  But this involves patience and not allowing our own egotism to take over.

The Book of Proverbs provides wise instructions concerning hearing and listening.  In fact, Proverbs 12:15 (NIV) states: “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”  We are also told by the wise man that “A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart” (Prov. 18:12).

In our relationship with God, we must be willing to obey Him in order to please Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15).  The writer of Hebrews, speaking of Jesus, stated: “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).  However, we must be willing to hear or listen, before we can obey what He commands us. Jesus gave a parable about building a house. The wise man, who built his house on the rock, is the one who “hears these sayings of Mine and does them” (Matt. 7:24). Whereas, the foolish man who built his house on the sand, failed to obey what he had heard from the Lord and his “house fell…And great was its fall” (Matt. 7:26-27).

Sadly, there are some who are willing to listen and hear, but stop when they don’t like what they are hearing.  This keeps them from ever obeying and pleasing God.  There are a number of biblical examples of this type of hearer that can be cited.  The Jews heard Stephen up until the point where he told them they were “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears… betrayers and murderers” (Acts 7:51-52).  After being told this, they “cried with a loud voice, stopped their ears… and stoned him” (Acts 7:57-60).  The Apostle Paul addressed the Jerusalem mob in Acts 22.  But when he told them of how the Lord sent him to the “Gentiles,” notice carefully how they reacted–“And they listened to him until this word, and then raised their `voices and said, ‘Away with such a fellow from the earth for he is not fit to live!'” (Acts 22: 22).  The Athenians listened to Paul in Acts 17.  But “when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter'” (Acts 7:32).

What about us?  Are we good listeners?  In our normal conversations with others, do we love to hear the sound of our own voice and can’t wait for the other person to stop talking so we can jump in and have our say?  If so, we need to avoid this practice.

But most important of all, are we good listeners and hearers of God’s word so that we can know and do His will?  Are we like the Bereans who received the word “with all readiness” (Acts 17:11)?  Are we willing to listen to the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)?  Hopefully, the answer to these two questions is YES.  May we all seek to be like Cornelius and his household.  Their main objective was to hear the word of God  so they could obey it and be saved.  We close with the words of Cornelius to the Apostle Peter: “So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come.  Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us” (Acts 10:33, NIV).

— via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ in Gonzales, Louisiana, November 24, 2019
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

John Bladen had a heart attack Friday and can use our prayers.

Kelly Stoneheart’s husband Keith writes: “We are home and Kelly is recovering. As of today she is in a great deal of pain and discomfort but we know that will get better. In the meantime we are keeping her comfortable as we can.”

Shirley Davis is sounding much better, but it is still rough for her at times — especially with the arthritis in her knee and back.  Following her stroke, they are still coming twice a week for in-home rehabilitation therapy, which she will complete in two more weeks.

We are glad to have Jan Bartlett back with us today.  She started feeling better last week, having recently completed her chemo treatments.

Bennie Medlock, who has been in much pain due to loss of cartilage and bone rubbing against bone in his knee, will be seeing his orthopedist tomorrow.

A.J. & Pat Joyner are not doing well and would like our prayers.

Also for our prayers: Melotine Davis, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Brook and Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

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 (December 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” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————-

Contents:

1) Would You Like to be Rich? (H.E. Phillips)
2)  The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
——————-

rom2_4f

-1-

Would You Like to be Rich?
H.E. Phillips

To some degree just about everyone wants to be rich. The sad part is that most want to be rich in earthly treasures and care nothing for true riches. “Rich” is a relative term and does not say how much wealth one must have to be considered rich. It would depend entirely upon comparison with others. The word does not tell the nature of the wealth. One may be rich in one thing and poor in another.

The Love of Money

The Holy Spirit warns: “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:9-10). Here those who “will be rich” are those who “love money,” and while they covet after it, they depart from the faith and bring upon themselves many sorrows. I suppose there is nothing that has not been done or will not be done “to be rich.” One sure way to make a fortune is to devise a scheme which promises to make men rich and then offer it for sale. The greed of men will drive them to invest in or purchase the plan in the hope of becoming rich.

False Concept of Riches

I can tell you how to be rich! But unlike some of the get-rich-quick schemes, I do not propose to offer the “uncertain riches” that fade away with time. “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). The tendency to trust in uncertain riches is plainly taught by the word in a parable of a certain rich man whose ground brought forth plentifully. His major concern was to find the room to store his wealth, and when had he made ample arrangements he thought to say within himself: “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” God called him a fool and said he would die that night. Now what about his riches? Jesus concludes by saying: “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).

The man who thinks he is rich because he has much money, property, stocks and bonds, and all that is considered wealth in this world, is miserably mistaken. The lukewarm church in Laodicea considered itself rich. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing . . . ” (Would not a man in this state be considered secure and successful?) ” . . . and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). I could hardly imagine a worse condition, yet these people thought of themselves as being rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing. In reality they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

True Riches

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich . . .” The real wealth comes from God and we must “buy” it. “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23). This suggests that the truth is obtained by some effort on our part and at some expense to us. Whatever you have to pay for it, do not sell it for any consideration.

Now, do you really want to be rich? I mean rich in the full sense of the word, with riches that cannot be taken from you. The Laodiceans were to “buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” “Buy” cannot mean that value for value is given, because there is no price man can bring to purchase the priceless riches in Christ. This simply indicates the effort on the part of the one desiring these riches to obtain them. The “gold tried in the fire” is the pure gold refined by fire and separated from the dross. “That you may be rich” is that true wealth in contrast to the riches of this world.

Jesus taught that men should “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

How to Become Rich

The true riches come from God through Christ: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). They come through Christ by the gospel. Paul said he had been made a minister “to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of his glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:25-27). “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2-3). Again Paul said: “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

All this means that you can be rich if you will hear the word of truth concerning the unsearchable riches of Christ and understand it. But you must do something to receive these riches.

Both Jew and Gentile must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Rom. 10:13). In order to call upon him, they must believe; and in order to believe they must hear; and in order to hear, there must be a message given and a messenger to preach it. In the verse leading to this point we read: “For there is no difference between the Jew and Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Rom. 10:12). The Lord is rich only to those who call upon him, and this is done by obeying the truth believed.

James 2:5 says that the poor in this world are “rich in faith.” Of course, this does not mean that one who is poor in things of this world is automatically “rich in faith.” Since the whole context is dealing with “respect of persons” even in the assembly, based upon how much of this world’s riches one possesses, the “poor” would be those saints who are not rich in goods, but rich in faith.

A wealthy man may be “poor” in that he does not regard his wealth as important when compared to his faith in Christ.

The Lord said unto the church in Smyrna: “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9). This church was in poverty, yet they were rich! How can this be? The answer, of course, lies in the difference between the riches of this world and the riches of faith in Christ. Moses elected to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb. 11:25-26).

False Values

Not many can be persuaded to accept the riches that come by faith in Christ. They are not nearly so interested in the treasures in heaven as the treasures of this world. In this affluent society in which we live anything that is not valued in terms of dollars and cents is not important. The great majority would not turn around for the privilege of learning the truth of God’s word. Most are not concerned about what their children are taught by way of television, movies, books, magazines, not to speak of back alleys and lonely roads in parked cars. Just so they can “make plenty of money” to “provide for their children,” nothing else makes any difference. Your child needs money less than anything else in this generation. He needs to become rich in things that extend beyond this life. He will never be rich, even if you leave him a million dollars, unless you teach him the wisdom of God that he may be rich in faith. Find the riches of the wisdom of God in Christ, and obey it; you will be rich beyond anything this world can offer.

— Via hephillips.org
——————–

-2-

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)

Gospel Observer (December 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) Be An Example (H.E. Phillips)
2) News & Notes
——————-

1tim4_12g

-1-

Be An Example
H.E. Phillips

“These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself: and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:11-16).

The Holy Spirit by Paul wrote this epistle to Timothy, who was a preacher of the gospel. The inspired instruction was for him to behave himself in such a way as to not allow his youth to become a stumbling block in his work. He said: “Let no man despise thy youth . . .” Instead he was to be an example of the believer.

Every Christian should be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).

One becomes an example by his manner of life. He is to live so as to have a good influence upon those around him. What Timothy was told to do as a believer is what every believer should do. He was to be an example in the following ways:

First, be an example in WORD.

That means our language must be an example of one who is a Christian. It includes teaching the word of God and all communication to others. We must speak as the oracles of God. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God . . . ” (1 Pet. 4:11). “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Sound doctrine is the gospel of Christ; the teaching of Christ.

We must guard the tongue because it can cause great damage to others as well as to ourselves. “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (James 3:2-6).

Our words will be a matter of judgment, and will determine where we will spend eternity. Jesus said: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:34-37).

Second, be an example in CONVERSATION.

Conversation refers to the manner of life one lives from day to day. Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

Third, be an example in LOVE.

We must love God above everyone and everything. “And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38).

A Christian must love his brother or he does not love God. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21). “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). To hate your brother is the same as murder in the sight of God.

Fourth, be an example in SPIRIT.

We must have the right mind or attitude toward God and His word, as well as others. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus . . . ” (Phil. 2:5). “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself: lest thou also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

Fifth, be an example in FAITH.

This means to be faithful in all things: in teaching the word of God, and being an example of fidelity in doing what is required of us. We are to hold the faith, and defend it against attacks from anyone. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). We must “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:10). And  “. . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

Sixth, be an example in PURITY.

We must be pure and holy in body and mind. We should be clean in thought, in life and in actions. This is important to young preachers and to young people.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22). “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22).

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

We must MEDITATE upon these things and do them. “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:15-16). We should learn and imitate these examples.

— Via Daily Living, October 31, 2019
——————-

Galatians 5:19-23

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (NASB).
——————-

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Jeannette Darden who passed away December 7, following an extended illness.

Brooke Richardson (Katryna Hayes’ daughter) is now healing from 5 broken ribs and a broken spine.  She is walking on her own and doing more each day, though it is painful.

Kaydance Richardson (Brooke’s daughter) had broken two bones in her leg (the femur and tibia), her left arm, and a bone in back of her shoulder. She is now healing from a second surgery.

Kelly Stoneheart will be having a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery on December 19.

Bennie Medlock has been in much pain, due to loss of cartilage and bone rubbing against bone in his knee, and also has gout.  He is now on extra medication and will be seeing his orthopedist December 23.

Emma Thomas will be having surgery on her hands December 17.

Kerry Williams has an inoperable aneurysm behind her eye and has been on dialysis every week for the last two years, due to kidney failure.

Danielle Bartlett
recently received two stents, due to a urinary track problem.  Her follow-up appointment will be December 15.  If her previous problem reoccurs, surgery will then be discussed.

A.J. and Pat Joyner have not been feeling well.

Shirley Davis is still going through her therapy in recovering from her stroke.

Though Myrna Jordan is healed of her shingles, she still has some lingering pain from it.

Jan Bartlett has completed her chemo treatments and is now trying to get over a bad cold she has had for the last few weeks. She will eventually begin radiation treatments to make any recurrence of cancer even more unlikely.

Also for prayer: the family and friends of Katryna Brinkley Hayes and Mary Ruth Corley Allen who both recently passed away, Melotine Davis, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, and Rex & 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) 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 (December 1, 2019)

Contents:

1) God’s Authority (Jeffrey Hamilton)
2) News & Notes
——————-

phil3_16-17b

-1-

God’s Authority
Jeffrey Hamilton

In the lessons we have studied so far, we have seen God create a world and then destroy it when it no longer suited His purpose. We have also seen God make demands of His creation, such as the law for Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain tree or the instructions to Noah to build a vessel according to a very specific plan. It should be obvious that God expects obedience from mankind. We could say that God has the right to be obeyed.

I have a small car. It isn’t much, but it gets me around town. I can drive it wherever I desire. If I decide to get rid of it, I can dispose of it in a variety of ways. Why can I do all these things with my car? Because I own it.

The reason God can make laws for his world and destroy it if he sees fit is because God owns our world. In Genesis 1:1 we learned that the only reason this world exists is because God created it from nothing by the power of His Word. Therefore, other passages in the Bible speak of the world as belonging to God, such as Psalm 24:1-2. Even though we would like to think of ourselves as free and independent beings, we too belong to God. We read in Genesis 1:26, that God made man in his own image. He gave us a spirit that the rest of his creation on earth does not have. Since our spirits come from God, God can claim that all souls belong to him (Ezekiel 18:4).

God also has a right to expect obedience from us because we were created to serve him. Solomon, after studying all the possible reasons for mankind’s existence, concluded that the whole duty of man is to serve his Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:13). When we must make a choice between serving a man on this earth or serving God, the answer is obvious. It is more important to serve God (Acts 5:29). Who are we to argue otherwise with the Creator of this universe? (See Job 38:1-41.)

Another important reason for mankind to obey God is the simple fact that man cannot find his own way. We do not leave small children alone to fend for themselves. We understand that with their limited knowledge and capability that they will soon come to harm. Compared to God, we are all infants. Unless God directs our way, our lives become useless (Psalms 127:1). People are unable to accurately choose to take the best path (Proverbs 14:12).

While we understand the right of God to ask for obedience from us, can we also say that God is asserting his right? In other words, does God expect us to be obedient? Even in the few chapters that we have read so far, it is obvious that God expects to be obeyed. The Bible is filled with such illustrations. King Saul was given a very specific command in I Samuel 15:2-3. He was to wipe out a nation to fulfill a punishment that God had promised would come a number of generations earlier. Saul chose to obey God’s commands in his own way. As a result, God took the right of Saul’s children to inherit the kingship away from Saul (I Samuel 15:9-11). Even though Saul justified his disobedience by claiming to use it as a way of worshiping God, we learn that obedience is more important than making up ways to worship God (I Samuel 15:22-23).

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ holds all the authority of the Godhead (Matthew 28:18). Everything has been placed at Jesus’ feet, to be used or disposed of as Jesus sees fit (Ephesians 1:21-22; Colossians 2:10; I Peter 3:22). If we wish to please God, the Father, we must do it Jesus’ way (John 14:6). If we truly love our Lord and Savior, then we will obey the things that Jesus has commanded of us (John 14:15). And it is not just those things that Jesus has directly commanded that we must obey. Jesus appointed the apostles to represent him after his death (Matthew 28:19-20). As they teach the Master’s words, so we must follow their directions.

Occasionally, you run across people who claim that God only expects us to follow his direct commands. The examples of what Christians did during the first century are only considered to be suggestions, but not requirements. There are many things that we practice that are only based on examples recorded in the Bible. Our meeting on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s Supper is based on the practice of the first century Christians (Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 11:17-34). The taking up of a collection on the first day of the week is also based on an example (I Corinthians 16:1-2). Does this mean that we can meet and partake of the Lord’s Supper on days other than Sunday? Is taking up a collection optional for congregations?

One thing that people miss is that we are commanded to follow the good examples recorded in the Scriptures. In I Corinthians 11:1, Paul commands us to imitate his life as he imitates Christ. To the Philippians, Paul says to do the things we have learned, heard, and seen (Philippians 4:9). When the apostles or preachers set the proper example, we need to follow those examples (II Thessalonians 3:7). In Philippians 3:17, we are told to follow Paul and those who follow the same path he took.

However, we can learn from the Scriptures that God expects even more from us than just to follow his commandments and the examples of his children. Sometimes we have to follow rules that we can only derive by implication. Consider this, when Noah built the ark, he was told the kind of material to use and the size of ark to build. However, God never said what type of tools Noah should use in building the ark. Does this mean Noah did not use any tools? Of course not! The command to build the ark implies Noah had permission to use tools.

We are used to deriving implications from the facts we are given. For example, we know that Peter had a wife because Jesus healed his mother-in-law (Mark 1:30). Similarly, we practice things that are based on implication. We use grape juice and unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper. The reason for grape juice is that Jesus used the fruit of the vine during his last supper. The vine that every Jew would think about is grape, so we use grape juice. The bread that Jesus used would have had to be unleavened since he ate the last supper during the Passover festival when leavening was not permitted in the home. As a result, it would be wrong to substitute the juice of another fruit, such as watermelons. Nor would yeast-risen bread be an acceptable substitute for unleavened bread.

In Acts 15:4-19, we have an example of the disciples settling a difficult problem by drawing a conclusion from the evidence that God had presented. The problem was deciding whether Gentile believers had to follow at least some of the Jewish practices, such as circumcision, to be a Christian. The reason this came up was because the first Christians were Jews and many behaved as if Christianity was a branch of Judaism. To solve this problem, the disciples cited the command of God to send Peter to a Gentile. They also noted that prophecies in the Old Law stated that the Gentiles would become God’s children. They also cited the example of the Holy Spirit coming to the Gentiles that Peter taught without them being circumcised. They also cited the miracles that Paul and Barnabas did among the Gentiles. From all this evidence, they drew the conclusion that God did not want the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses. Their conclusion was not directly stated anywhere in the Scriptures. You can only make this conclusion by inference.

God does expect men to make the proper conclusions from the things he does and does not say. We will use an event from Moses’ life to illustrate this point. In Numbers 20:1-12, the people of Israel were complaining once again that they did not have enough water. God told Moses to take Aaron’s rod and speak to a certain rock and water would come forth. As you read the account, notice that Moses did do what God commanded. He did speak to the rock, but God punished Moses for his disobedience. So, what did Moses do wrong? First, Moses struck the rock with Aaron’s rod in addition to speaking to the rock. I can understand why Moses did strike the rock, after all God told him to take Aaron’s rod with him and a while back, when the people wanted water at an earlier time, God told Moses to strike the rock to bring forth the water. However, in this case, God did not say to strike the rock. God said that Moses did not trust God. Moses felt he had to do more than God had commanded. The second mistake that Moses made was that he did not give God credit for bringing water. Moses asked, “Must we bring forth water?” He should have asked, “Must God bring forth water?” Moses did not have anything to do with the granting of water. He was simply God’s spokesman.

Serving God should be taken seriously. We must be careful to do exactly as God has commanded. God has the right to expect obedience from his creation. It is our duty to serve him to the best of our abilities.

— Via article from the La Vista church of Christ
——————-

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Katryna Brinkley Hayes who passed away November 24, after being fatally injured in a vehicle accident.

Katryna’s daughter (Brooke Richardson) and granddaughter (Kaydance Richardson) were also in that accident and seriously injured.

Frankie Hadley was admitted to the Jesup hospital last Tuesday, due to a bad UTI and another issue.  She returned home Saturday very weak and has pain in her back when moving.

It was good to see Myrna Jordan back with us last week, after her going through much trouble with shingles.

Also for prayer: the family & friends of Mary Ruth Corley Allen who recently passed away, Shirley Davis, Melotine Davis, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, and Rex 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) 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)