What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 21

Sunday, February 11, 2024

What The Bible Says

Vol. VI - No. 21 / February 11, 2024

"HIS BLOOD I WILL REQUIRE AT YOUR HANDS."

    Whenever my grandad would lead a public prayer, he would frequently ask God something to the effect of, “Please help us to take advantage of opportunities to teach others so their blood won’t be upon our hands.” Growing up, I had no idea why he prayed that; I actually thought it was really strange. It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood why this request was a recurring line in my grandad's prayers.

    In his farewell speech to the elders of the church at Ephesus, Paul said, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). Paul’s statement goes back to what is said in Ezekiel 3:18-19: “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” When it comes to dealing with people caught up in sin, it can be easy to try ignoring what these folks are doing. However, we can't just stick our heads in the sand and ignore when people are acting contrary to what God requires; we are obligated to warn them (in a loving way, of course [see Ephesians 4:15]). This type of action is seen in the very context of Acts 20:26-27. 

    Prior to stating he was innocent of the blood of all in Ephesus, Paul explained, "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house" (Acts 20:18-20); then, Paul reiterated, "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears" (Acts 20:31). One definition of "warn" is to "give (someone) forceful or cautionary advice about their actions or conduct" (Oxford Languages Dictionary). I imagine Paul's plight in Ephesus would have been much easier on him both mentally and physically if he had not spent so much time warning people about how their actions and conduct were condemning their souls. Instead of warning people of their sins, he could have done what most preachers do today and just spoke "smooth things" (Isaiah 30:10) to everyone and, thus, avoided all those tears and trials. Yet, Paul understood that if he neglected opportunities granted to him in warning people of their wickedness, he would be held accountable.

    Each individual person is solely accountable for their own sins. No other person carries the guilt or the punishment of sins that we commit. For example, Ezekiel 18:20 says, "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." Likewise, 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done." No person will be judged by God based on the actions of others. However, if we aren’t doing our part in warning people of their wickedness, their blood will be upon our hands, which means God will hold us accountable for not trying to help people who we know are lost in sin. —Dylan Stewart

 

YOUR VIEW OF THE BIBLE

    Many people think the Bible can be interpreted many ways. This is not so! It is not a matter of what the Bible says but does the Bible mean what it says? Do you have a strict or a lose interpretation? Do you have a conservative or a liberal interpretation? Does your view of the Scriptures cause you to do only what is authorized or does your view allow you to do anything that is not expressly forbidden?

    For example, does your view of the Bible cause you to wear only the name Christian (Acts 11:26) or does your view permit other names to be worn religiously? Does your view of the Scriptures call for baptism to be a burial in water (Colossians 2:12) or will it allow for sprinkling or pouring? Does your view of the Bible cause you to sing in worship unto God (Ephesians 5:19) or does your view permit you to play on mechanical instruments of music when worshiping God?

God has always demanded a strict interpretation! In Genesis 4:1-7 animals were what God had authorized for sacrifices and this was what Able used. But Cain, like so many people today, thought God would accept anything in worship to Him and offered up vegetables for his sacrifice. God accepted Able's but rejected Cain’s worship. In Numbers 20: 2-12, God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would be provided for the Israelites but, instead, Moses spoke to the people and smote the rock. Although water came from the rock, God informed Moses of his sin and forbidded him to enter the promised land. Yes, when God gives commands He is strict in what He says!

    What should be our view? In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read: ''All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be pe,fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Then in 2 John 9, we read, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

    We must make up our minds and realize anything revealed in the Bible is the result of God's wisdom and inspiration. When we act upon those things which are revealed, we are acting by faith and doing only what God has authorized. Anything believed and practice which is not revealed in the Scriptures is a product of man's wisdom and is an opinion of man. When we act upon it, we are acting upon man's opinion and doing things by the authority of man. What is your view of the Bible? —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

There's only one place where success comes before work: the dictionary!
 ***
Too much time is wasted by some people telling how busy they are.
***
There are no traffic jams on the strait and narrow way.
 ***
No matter how bad your situation, you can lose your temper and make it worse.
 ***
A Bible in the hand is worth two in the bookcase.
***
There is no right way to do a wrong thing. 

 

"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. EastAlbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 20

Sunday, January 28, 2024

What The Bible Says

Vol. VI - No. 20 / January 28, 2024

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CHURCHES?

    The religious landscape is filled with many different churches all professing to believe and follow the Bible and be followers of Jesus. Examining the religious division resulting in the establishment of these many different churches could discourage some individuals making them think finding the right church is next to impossible. Others who have a love for the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Proverbs 23:23) may begin a quest to find out about the church Jesus established and which you can read about in the New Testament and seek to be a member of that church. A question many people have is, “Why are there so many churches?”. Let’s examine some things the Bible would have to say in response to such a question. 

     The existence of many churches is clearly not God’s plan. Jesus plainly stated, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18, NKJV), not, “I will build My churches.” Ephesians 4:4-6 lists seven things there are just one of. It says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (NKJV). If there is one God and Father of all, then obviously a person would be wrong to argue it is okay for people to worship the god of their choice. There is only one God and Father and no more! In a similar manner, when the text says, “there is one body,” and that body is identified as the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18, 24), one would be wrong to argue it is okay for people to worship at the church of their choice. There is only one body or church and no more! God’s plan was not for His people to be divided as we see within the denominational world but rather for His people to be united. Jesus prayed, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved me” (John 17:20-23, NKJV). God’s plan for His people is expressed in the following words, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10, NKJV). God should not be blamed for the religious division around us (1 Corinthians 14:33). The religious division around us is not God’s fault but man’s fault.

    How did things change from one church to multiple different churches? The Bible predicts a time would come when men would depart from the Bible’s teaching. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (NKJV). When people began to depart from the faith by teaching and practicing things not in harmony with God’s word, then religious division was the result as some remained loyal to God’s word and others did not. Paul warns Timothy later, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4, NKJV). The elders at Ephesus were warned, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-30, NKJV). As one reads about the history of the church in the days following the first century, one will notice how departures from the faith in the organizational structure of the church and its beliefs and practices began to develop. Sadly, many still hold onto these manmade traditions rather than discarding them and returning back to the commandments of the Lord (Matthew 15:1-9). It should be our desire to discard all departures from the faith, go back to what the Bible says, and allow it to dictate what we are going to believe, teach, and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 4:11; Jude 3). When men are committed to allowing the word of God to be their sole standard of authority, there will be the sort of unity among such individuals that God intended to be among His people. —Derek Long

 

WHAT BAPTISM CANNOT DO

    It’s important when studying any Bible subject to follow closely what the Scriptures reveal. So is it true of the subject of BAPTISM. Let's not ascribe more nor less than what the Bible teaches about baptism. Thus, let's look at what baptism CANNOT do. 

     Baptism cannot CHANGE OUR HEART. By "heart" we mean a person's mind or intellect. Only the knowledge of God's word can change our hearts. Jesus stated in John 6: 45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." We also learn from Romans 10:17 that “...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.

    Baptism cannot CHANGE OUR LIFE. Only repentance can do that. In Jesus' parable of the two sons found in Matthew 21:28-31, we see how one son stated he would not work in his father's vineyard but he "repented'. When he repented, he went and did as his father commanded. 

     Neither does baptism REMOVE TEMPTATION. We must realize that "everyman is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed“ (James 1:14). Baptism does not remove the lust nor the temptation.

    Since baptism does not remove temptation, it would necessarily follow that baptism does not PREVENT US FROM COMMITTING SIN. We have Peter for an example. In Galatians 2:11-14 we see an incident of Peter playing the role of a hypocrite thus proving that we can sin after being baptized.

    Neither does baptism GUARANTEE US ETERNAL LIFE. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 9:27 that he had to always be on guard lest he be "a castaway". We must continue being faithful (Revelation 2:10). —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

Ability is what you're capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it." - Lou Holtz
***
Measure wealth, not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take any amount of money.
***
Live so that if someone says something unkind about you, no one will believe it.
***
If you pursue happiness, it will elude you.
But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, and doing the best you can, happiness will find you. 

 

"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. EastAlbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 19

Sunday, January 14, 2024

What The Bible Says

Vol. VI - No. 19 / January 14, 2024

WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?

    Amidst difficult times and world conflict, it seems as though the religious world gets louder. Convictions and ideas of all sorts begin to swirl; many of which involve the end of time. One of these ideas we hear, is that at the end, God will establish His Kingdom as a government and that Jesus will rule over the earth from a heavenly government. This notion begs the question, what is God’s Kingdom? Are we still waiting for God’s Kingdom to come? If not, what are Christians waiting for? Let’s see what God’s Word has to say.

    Some say that we are still waiting for the Kingdom of God/Heaven to arrive and cite Jesus teaching His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-10, “...Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This use of the word “kingdom” is the same usage we see in the teachings of John the Baptist and in the early ministry of our Lord. Jesus taught in Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” and again in John 3:5, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” Not coincidentally, the same criteria Jesus taught in these verses required to enter the Kingdom of God is the same criteria we see needed to be saved and added to the Church [Belief (Mark 16:16), Repentance (Acts 2:38), and Baptism (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21)]. Therefore, one can conclude that the Kingdom of God and the Church are one and the same as opposed to the Kingdom being some type of “government”. This is further substantiated in Matthew 16:18 where in the same breath Jesus said “...I will build My Church.” and told Peter that He would give him the “...keys of the kingdom of heaven”. I think we see Peter use these keys by preaching the gospel as the Church is beginning. God had Peter preach to the Jews on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, allowing them entrance into the kingdom. Then later in Acts 10, Peter baptizes Cornelius and his household which opened the kingdom to the Gentiles. Another fact to note is that after the church is established in Acts 2, we do not read ANY teaching of the kingdom of God/Heaven being “at hand” or in future tense as we did before the Church was established. So, since the Bible has clearly shown us that we are NOT waiting on the Kingdom, the Church, to come, what are we waiting for?

    We are waiting for Jesus to return. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 the Bible says, “For the Lord Himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” This will be a joyous coming for those that are faithful but a very sad day for those who are not found faithful. We are waiting for our new home. Jesus said in John 14:2-3, “...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Our new home will be with Jesus, and God’s Word also reveals to us that when the Day of the Lord comes “...both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up”– (2 Pet 3:10). Finally, we await Judgement. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that “...It is appointed for a man once to die, but after this the judgement.” I pray that we will all be found watching and waiting when the Lord comes as a “...thief in the night”– (2 Pet 3:10). Eternity is fast approaching. What are you waiting for?  —Jared Davis

 

ARE LEGGINGS MODEST APPAREL?

    As to the question of whether Christians are to adorn/dress themselves modestly, there can be no doubt. “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,” (1 Timothy 2:9). However, it seems the matter of modesty has fallen into the realm of indifference with far too many Christians. It reminds me of another Bible subject that has also become a matter of indifference - short hair on men and long hair on women (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

    By ‘leggings’ I’m referring to the elastic close-fitting garments worn over the legs typically by women. They have become the new fashion fad in the last few years. By their very definition, the answer to the question of this article is already answered if and when leggings are worn as the sole article of clothing on women from their waist down. What are we using to think with if we believe that elastic material worn from the waist down without anything covering them can even remotely be modest? Elastic is form fitting and reveals the form and curvature of the hips and thighs in great detail. They leave hardly anything to the imagination.

    People of the world have no problem recognizing the revealing aspects of leggings worn without anything else but somehow many Christians don’t. Heather Taylor a principle at Stratford, South Carolina High School made this statement: “(Leggings are) meant to wear underneath a long shirt that covers your heinie, or a long sweater of some type, or a dress. It is not meant to be your actual pants, and if you have a shirt that comes to here, then you are showing everything. Yes, everything!”

    If you try, as some do, to justify leggings as pants on the basis they are not sheer that still is ignoring the fact that they are skin tight. While I’m sure that leggings are comfortable and can keep a person warm in cold weather, let’s keep them modest by wearing a modest length dress or tunic that God made Adam and Even which reached to the knees (Genesis 3:21). If leggings worn by themselves are not immodest, then someone needs to explain to me what is. Ladies wear your leggings but make sure they are being covered from your hips down past your thighs. The revealing of the curvature of your thighs is nakedness in God’s sight (Isaiah 47:2-3).

    But then there are the age old arguments and ‘come backs’ to be heard. Such as: “I’ll wear what I want because I like it.”, “You can’t tell me how to dress, that’s oppressive.”, “It’s comfortable.”, “If a man is lustful, that’s his problem.”, or “It’s the man’s job not to look.” All that these arguments have ever amounted to are attacks against modesty itself. When anyone responds in this manner, they are denying the very premise of modesty. They are beyond help and hope. 
“Keep yourself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)  —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

The person who rows the boat usually does not have enough time to rock it.
 ***
When 'fishing for men' there is no closed season.
***  
The chains of habit often cannot be felt until they are too strong to break.
*** 
Either you master your habits or they will master you.
***
The right and good way is seldom the easy way.
 *** 
An expert fault-finder has no reason to be proud of his accomplishments.

 

"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. EastAlbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 18

Sunday, December 31, 2023

What The Bible Says

Vol. VI - No. 18 / December 31, 2023

MELANCHOLY

    Melancholy to me sounds like a common garden vegetable, but we all know that to be false. Melancholy is not a vegetable but was made for man by God, and it is something we can possess. In this form it is a noun. It can also be an adjective in that it can be a state of existence that we experience. We know from reading the Genesis account of God’s creation that everything He made was good. In fact, Gen. 1:31 records that “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.” So what good is melancholy, you might ask?

    Defined, Melancholy is a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause. Pensive is defined as engaged in, involving, reflecting deep or serious thought. So if melancholy is a feeling of sadness that can bring about deep serious thought, how can it serve us? It can be a good thing, right?

    The writer in Eccl. 7:2 declares that “better to go to the house mourning than the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.” If the feeling described here is melancholy, and the living understand and contemplate their destiny, then this feeling God made for man can serve toward his good.

    Have you considered that Elijah in a cave, fleeing Jezebel, saying “I alone am left” as 1 Kings 19:10 records, may have been experiencing melancholy. Possibly also David in Psa. 37:25 when he said, “I have been young and now am old” and many other of his writings would indicate, maybe, this forlorn type of feeling. Or Paul in 2 Tim. 4:6 when he said, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering.”

    Did Jesus experience melancholy in the garden when he prayed, “O my Father, if this cup cannot pass away from me, unless I drink it, your will be done.”

    If melancholy, to its varying degrees, apply describes the feelings that Elijah, David, Paul and Jesus may have experienced during their lives, then we should not expect to be a stranger to it.

    Deep thoughts of reflection and contemplating serious things can be good for us. But just like our vegetables that we so dearly love, an overindulgence in feelings of pensive sadness should be avoided. Everything that God made is good and are richly given to be enjoyed, 1 Tim. 6:17. This would include melancholy. Phil 4:8 is an encouraging thought for Gods people, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” True, Honest, Just, Pure things should dominate our thoughts.

    Be thoughtful, be serious, enjoy deep engaging thoughts of your life and your relationship with God. Obey God while you have opportunity. Stop resisting… —Blind Bartimaeus 23

 

THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS

    Simply believing something does not make it true. Faith involves more than just wanting to believe something is true regardless of the evidence to the contrary. Yet, this is where many people stand in religious matters.

    Some take a non-intellectual approach to Bible faith. They ignore all reason. They are ruled solely by emotions. Their faith is based on whatever feels good to them at the moment. However, it must be realized that God gave us a mind with the ability to think and reason and He expects us to use it. We must use our minds the way God intended and not "leave our brain at the door" as a good preacher friend of mine one time wrote concerning this same matter.

    There are others who would depend completely on rationality. They rely solely on human reasoning. Though we must use our minds to reason things out, it is important that we don't rely too much on rationality or else we might end up rejecting things in the Scriptures because they don't "make sense" to us. "There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12). "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jeremiah 10:23). There must be a balance. While our minds are to dwell on God's word, as we think and reason from the Bible, we must however allow the Bible to have the final say and not what we think.

    Faith is grounded in truth and truth is rational. God's word is truth (John 17:17). God's word, the gospel, is reasonable and not a bunch of myths and fables (2 Peter 1 :16). It is always true no matter whether you or I believe it or accept it. Truth is also objective. If not, there is no difference whatsoever between truth and error or right and wrong. God's word is true and there is no middle ground.

    Faith does not require a complete understanding of everything. Though we are to believe in God, we do not know everything there is about God. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8). There are many things beyond our comprehension about God but we are still to put our trust in Him. Neither does faith require us to understand why God has done what He has done nor why He requires certain things of us. In Genesis 12, Abraham by faith obeyed God even when he did not know where he was going. His faith did not require him to know everything. People, today, do not obey the gospel because, in their own mind, they don't understand everything about the gospel. I doubt many of us understand everything about our car's engine but that doesn't keep us from driving, does it?

    God has given us enough reason to obey without questioning His reasons. When anyone refuses to be baptized because he doesn't understand why God chose baptism, then he is not demonstrating faith.  —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
***
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
***
Honor is better than honors.
***
The strongest evidence of love is sacrifice.
***
There are no traffic jams on the strait and narrow way.

 

"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. EastAlbertville.org

What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 17

Sunday, December 17, 2023

What The Bible Says

Vol. VI - No. 17 / December 17, 2023

THERE'S MORE TO JESUS THAN A MANGER

    Presents. Shopping. Family. Christmas trees. Decorations. Lights. Santa. More shopping. 

    The Christmas season is upon us. For some this is the best time of the year, full of family and friends and good times. For others Christmas may just mean more on an already crowded schedule. For all of us, however, it can be a time to reflect on some deeper spiritual truths that often go unnoticed. How much thought have you given to Jesus?

    During this season we will all hear “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Actually, of course, no one knows when Jesus was born. The Bible doesn’t say. The Gospel of Luke tells us that shepherds were in the field the night of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8), indicating it probably didn’t happen during one of Israel’s cold and rainy winters. The celebration of Christmas is something not actually found in the New Testament but something begun more than three hundred years later when a pagan festival was “converted” into a “Christian” holiday. Sadly, through the years all sorts of practices and traditions have been hung on it that are far outside the worship described in the New Testament, and now Christmas seems to be more about merchandise and retailing than anything else. Yet it is still a chance to think about Jesus Christ. It is so that He came to this world. In a birth unlike any other God Himself took on flesh and blood and became a human being. Such a thought is incredible. People did come to that manger and worship long ago (Luke 2:8-18).

    But what is missing in so much of the Christmas time discussion of Jesus is that Jesus didn’t stay a baby! Cute and cuddly baby Jesus didn’t stay a cute and cuddly baby. He grew up! He left His home in Nazareth. He taught people. He healed people. He spoke the most important words of time. He died for the sins of the world. He rose again. The story of Jesus begins in a manger but it certainly doesn’t end there. 

    That all gets missed sometimes. There is so much focus on baby Jesus that there seems little time to talk of adult Jesus. But it is adult Jesus that demands our attention. This is the Jesus who taught us how to live, who challenges us to realize we are sinners, who demands we recognize His Lordship in our lives. Grown up Jesus doesn’t provoke the warm “ooh - He’s so cute” that baby Jesus certainly does. Instead He revolutionizes our lives as He challenges us to live differently, to be His disciple.

    We’re interested in studying and learning more about that Jesus, aren’t you? Make no mistake about it: we are profoundly grateful for the miracle of Jesus’ virgin birth. That God would come here is astounding and awesome. Yet what is more amazing is what Jesus did here: He died for our sins and arose again as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:22-24). Do you know about that part of Jesus’ life?

    We invite you to worship with us. Come and be a part of our Bible classes – there’s classes for adults and kids too! Come and meet other people interested in discovering Christianity as described in the New Testament.

    We are simply a church of Christ and that means we just want to do what Jesus, the Head of the church, wants us to do. We want to serve Jesus Christ as Lord, and to do that we know we must focus on more than Jesus in the manger. Can we help you explore and find all the Bible tells us about Jesus? Thanks for thinking about Jesus - and we hope you’ll be interested in learning more about Jesus with us!  —Author Unknown

 

THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS

    Would you be shocked to learn the word "Christmas" is not in the Bible? Would it also shock you to learn that the word "Christmas" has no reference to the birth of Christ?

    If the word "Christmas" is not found in the Bible and has no reference to the birth of Christ, where did it originate and what does it mean? When we have to resort to a good reliable encyclopedia to find the true origin of Christmas, this ought to tell us something. As far as to the name "Christmas", The Britannica Encyclopedia says, "Liberius gave this reason for having Christmas: 'We have a Mass for every Saint, but there is no Mass for Christ'." From this we can see how the word "Christmas" originated: CHRIST + MASS = CHRISTMAS.

    In fact, the birthday of Christ was never celebrated by the apostles or the Christians in the first century. The Encyclopedia of Religion by Fern has this to say: "According to authentic records, no church festival was held in celebration of Christ's birth, until the first half of the fourth century." For over three hundred years after the birth of Christ, His birth was not celebrated.

    Can you go to the Scriptures and find the day on which Jesus was born? People say it was December 25 but where is the Scripture that says such? Why, then, do people celebrate Dec. 25 as the day of His birth? Again, we have to go to encyclopedias instead of the Scriptures. The World Book Encyclopedia says, "Bishop Liberious of Rome in 354 A.D. ordered that December 25th be adopted as the birth date of Christ." Why would a Roman Catholic bishop use Dec. 25th of all days? The Lincoln Library of Essential Information can give us the answer: "December 25th was already a festive day for the sun god Mithra and appealed to Christians as an appropriate date to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the 'Light of the World’."

    Someone may ask, "What's wrong with celebrating Christ's birthday?" The answer is: The Scriptures nowhere teaches us to commemorate Jesus' birth; much less how to go about it! What the Scriptures do command is for us to commemorate Jesus' death. "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, ‘Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.’ After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.’" (1 Cor. 11:23-25). Jesus, Himself, commanded us to remember His death but makes no mention of remembering His birth. I ask, dear Reader, which do you faithfully remember: His birth or His death?

    Our denominational friends say, with the best of intentions, "Let's put Christ back into Christmas”. However, they need to realize that Christ was never in Christmas. The word itself has nothing to do with His birth. St. Nicholas, reindeer, the Christmas tree, mistletoe, and decorations that are associated with Christ's birthday did not originate from the Holy Scriptures but solely from Roman Catholic decrees and Pagan superstition.

    Indeed, why put Christ into something that He did not originate nor command us to celebrate? However, let us imitate the Christians at Troas who gathered upon the first day of the week to remember the Lord's death by partaking of unleavened bread which commemorates Christ's body and drank the fruit of the vine which commemorates Christ blood. (Acts 20:7; Matthew 26:26-28).

    Let us be thankful for His willingness to come to this earth and the fact that He was born of woman. But let us never forget that He came to this earth to die and shed His blood that we might have the remission of sins. Let that be what we remember every first day of the week as the Scriptures teach. —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others.
***
People usually pay little attention to what you say, but they definitely watch what you do.

 

"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. EastAlbertville.org

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