What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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What The Bible Says - Vol. 2 / No. 8

Sunday, September 22, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 8 / September 22, 2019

This Is Your Invitation To Hear A Series Of
Bible Lessons
With The
East Albertville church of Christ
Meeting At 4777 U.S. Hwy. 431
Albertville, AL
September 29 - October 4
Speaker: Bobby Graham

Truth Might Not Be What You Think It Is!
Sun. 9:30 AM - What Is Truth?
10:30 AM - The Narrowness of Truth.
5:00 PM - The Truth about Life.
Mon. - Are You Searching for Truth?
Tues. - The Truth about the Church.
 Wed. - The Truth about the 1,000 Year Reign and the End of Time.
Thur. - Do You Love the Truth?
Fri. - The Truth about Salvation by Grace.

7:00 Week Nights
Listen Live At: www.eastalbertville.org

 

"ICHABOD"

    In case you’re wondering, this article has nothing to do with Washington Irving’s fictional character Ichabod Crane, but it concerns the Ichabod in 1 Samuel 4:21. When Eli was judging Israel, the Philistines defeated God’s people and seized the ark of the covenant. In the same conflict the wicked sons of Eli who had besmirched his name were slain. Upon hearing of the defeat and the death of the sons, the ninety-eight year old Eli was undoubtedly shaken; but the Scriptures say that when he heard of the ark’s dislocation by the Philistines, he fell backward, broke his neck, and died. Eli’s daughter-in-law soon heard of the compounding bad news; in her condition of grief she gave birth to a son whom she named Ichabod.

    She explained the name’s significance: “The glory is departed from Israel.” A nation once glorious in her relationship with God had now been brought low through the unfaithfulness of the people, priests, and priestly servants who despised the offerings of Jehovah, and a generally profane attitude toward the holy things of God. There was no glory in Israel for God’s people had left him, and God’s approval of his people had been withdrawn.

    One needed observation relates to the wife of Phinehas, who named the child. Apparently she had some understanding of the will of God in some important matters that were of current concern. At a time when her own husband, his brother, Hophni, and her father-in-law, Eli, had recently manifested a lack of regard for the things of God, she knew where the glory resided. Both of the sons had sinned in fornication with the women who came to the Tabernacle and in the offerings mishandled. And Eli had failed to restrain them. It was evidently left for this wife of Phinehas to uphold the divine glory if it was to be done in this family. Based on her knowledge of what God had desired and her understanding that God had not been served, she declared in this child that “there is no glory.” May she be remembered and her faith in God and reverence for him recalled as a proper model for all time to come (Rom. 15:4).

    Similar conditions at different times can produce similar results. The glory characteristic of the Lord’s church (His family, His people) can also depart through failings of our own, not through any insufficiency on God’s part. God’s design for the church was that it be glorious, “not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). Whenever the people of God turn their backs on God and resort to the idols of their hearts, their disaffection with God becomes the means of the glory departing. Such disaffection is shown by our elevating anything of man to the level of God and his will. Our love for Him must be with the whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Entanglements with the sinful element of the world in any form can be our undoing with God, causing the glory to depart. The cares, riches, and pleasures of this life can rise up like thorns to choke out the Word (Luke 8:14). We must remember that the divine glory departs from our lives as we glory in anything defiling.

    Christ’s law of entrance into the body, acceptable worship and service by his holy priests, the organizational structure of local churches, and the functional operation of local churches under local oversight in the areas identified by the Head of the church are all matters included in the will of Christ set forth in the New Testament. Only when we observe His will in these and other matters do we function to His glory in the church.

    When those in a local church depart from the will of Christ, they are glorifying themselves; but glorifying God they are not. Christ removes the candlestick of a local church when its glory has departed (Rev. 2:5). It no longer exists as a true church (Rev.1:20).

    Any who have established an agenda of changing the Lord’s church in any way that would alter those divine features of the church must understand the inevitable result of their changes. It will be Ichabod: the glory associated with God and resulting from God will depart. This is the birth of another human religious system — denominationalism all over again. The glory has departed.

—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

HAVE A BIBLE QUESTION YOU’D LIKE ANSWERED?

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…

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A CALL-IN RADIO PROGRAM
WBSA
93.5 FM & 1300 AM
also
SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 113
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

BibleCrossfire.com

 

IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE...

FREE ONLINE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE

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"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. 2 / No. 7

Sunday, September 08, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 7 / September 8, 2019

"GOD'S PLAN FOR ME?"

    When I graduated from high school, I had every intention of becoming a veterinarian. I thought a bit about a medical career, but given that I like animals more than people, I decided in favor of veterinarian medicine. But while in college I was preaching a good bit and was asked by a local preacher to help with some duties in a congregation outside of Tampa. After the better part of a year, I decided that I would probably end up preaching whether or not I became a vet, so I changed my major to something I thought might help me more and determined to give my life to that pursuit. And it is not uncommon when I first meet someone for them to ask me about my decision to preach, often phrasing the question in these terms: “When/How did you get your calling?” I’ve always found that an interesting question because it belies some concepts and conclusions about how God works. Preaching is not a normal ‘job’ (though some men approach it as such), but rather a life. And many people recognize that and assume that those who would choose to live such a life have received some special sign or inclination or communication from God Himself. And it’s somewhat humorous to note the reaction of some folks when I reply, “I didn’t receive some call. I simply decided that’s what I needed to do with my life”. They almost act disappointed that I don’t have a good “God moved me” story.

    I firmly believe in the power of God, and that He exercises His will upon the universe. I believe that He has, at times, interrupted the normal laws which govern this world and performed supernatural activities - wonders, signs. The Bible account is full of His power being manifested in order to accomplish some particular goal or in order to confirm His will being revealed (note the exodus account, or the signs offered to confirm the identity of Jesus). I do not believe that He acts in this way in the present age and I believe that the New Testament affirms this truth (study the purpose of miracles - Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3-4 - and the comments of 1 Corinthians 13:8f). But I do believe that He has the power to act in this world through providential means, that is, accomplishing His will without superseding any recognizable law of nature and without violating the free will of anyone. A Being Who is omniscient and omnipotent, knowing beforehand what men will do, has the capacity to bring about His determinations without the need of miraculous intervention. Thus, when we are told to pray to God regarding our daily needs or for deliverance from temptation (Matthew 6:9-13), He can provide for such without the need for bread from stones or exorcisms. But providence is a hard concept to appreciate because we can never know if God is acting unless He has told us so. Thus, people often draw conclusions that are not in evidence, and then extrapolate theories about God’s will and God’s ways that are completely un-Biblical.

    There is a troubling sentiment that seems to have pervaded the thinking of the general ‘Christian’ world of our day, namely that “God has a plan for me”. I’ve run across the idea repeatedly of late, though it is nothing new to the thinking of the modern evangelical adherent. Many people who believe in Jesus have accepted the idea that, somehow or another, God has mapped out a course for every individual and that such a blueprint accounts for every little activity, decision, and circumstance in one’s life. And then every day’s events are filtered through the lens that “this is God’s will”. When good things happen, God is blessing me. When bad things happen, Romans 8:28 is taken out of its context and perverted to affirm that “God has something good that will come of this”. I have already affirmed that I do believe in providence and that prayer would be useless without it, but I cannot find any Biblical reference that supports the idea that “God has a plan for me”. I do not deny that God has had a plan for some men. He employed men like Abraham and Joseph and Moses and Pharaoh and David and Nebuchadnezzar and John the Baptist and Jesus and Paul in order to advance, fulfill, and reveal His scheme for man’s redemption. And such certainly raises the possibility that God might put certain men in certain places in this world with the expectation that they will be an influence in the furthering of His determinations. But the New Testament no where affirms that such is the case of every believer. In fact, the idea that God is a puppet master in the life of each suppose follower can have devastating implications. I heard a ‘preacher’ recently raise this question - “What do I do if the life God promised me is not the life God has given me?” Wait a minute! If God promised me a life and then didn’t give it, doesn’t that make God a liar? And thus unholy? And thus imperfect? And thus not at all the God revealed in Scripture?

    In truth, there are serious repercussions to the ‘personal blueprint’ concept about God’s activity. If I can’t find “God’s purpose/plan for me” then have I somehow failed Him? Or maybe He didn’t properly reveal it and He has failed me? Perhaps my faith is somehow lacking or defective. Maybe I’m just too weak or ignorant to really serve God because I can’t “find my place”? What if the pursuit of “God’s plan for me” leaves me confused or frustrated because He’s not revealing things or moving me or guiding me or speaking to me? What if I don’t get the gifts and signs and tongues and dreams and emotions and feelings that I’m supposed to get? Is it me? Is it Him? Do I quit? Where do I go for my answers? To the televangelist or local pastor who has everyone convinced that God is talking to him (while he rakes in the dough and advances the show)? What do I do when I can’t figure out what I’m suppose to do? 

    The Bible tells us what God’s plan is for us. He wants us to put our trust in Jesus (Romans 10:8-23) and sacrifice ourselves to His service (Romans 12:1-2). His plan for me is that I get up every day and live my life as a child of God and disciple of Jesus (Ephesians 4:17f; Colossians 3:1f). He wants us to be holy (1 Peter 1:13f) and godly (Titus 2:11f). Can I be useful to God? Certainly! Can I be a force for good? Without a doubt. Does God hear my prayers and care for me? He says He does (1 Peter 3:10f; 5:5f). I don’t know what will come my way in life - joy, pain, tragedy, success. But as a follower of Jesus, I don’t have to have God pulling the strings. He died for me and saved me. The faithfulness, service, sacrifice, and gratitude are my privilege. I’ll try to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him. Wherever that takes me will be fine.
—Russ Bowman
via Focus Magazine, August 5, 2019

 

"WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FAITH AND OBEDIENCE?"

    There is so much teaching in religious circles about faith and salvation by faith alone, one would think that God has said nothing about obedience having a part. What is often said about obedience in these circles is of a negative nature. It goes like this: obedience is not necessary and has nothing to do with salvation.

    What do the Scriptures teach? Should this not be where we go to find the answer? "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:"(Romans 1:5). "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made know to all nations for the obedience of faith: " (Romans 16:26) [Emphasis mine, E.R.H.]. From these and other Scriptures, it becomes clear that faith and obedience cannot be separated. “But without faith it is impossible to please” God (Hebrews 11:6) and without works, our faith is "dead". (James 2:26).

    What is the conclusion to be drawn from these verses, as well as others? Those who teach and believe that a person is saved by faith, separate and apart from works, are teaching we are saved by a "DEAD" faith. If this is not the conclusion, please tell me what it is! They say, "You are saved the moment you believe and works don't save you!". The Bible says, "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). The conclusion? We are saved by a dead faith!

    Let us understand that we are saved by obedient faith. Faith that has not and does not obey is dead. It is only when our faith, which comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), moves us to repent of our sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), confess Christ with our mouth (Matthew 10:32; Acts 8:37; Romans 10:10) and be buried with Christ in baptism (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12) that we are forgiven of our sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16). While man teaches salvation by dead faith, God teaches that our faith must be obedient to save us.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

HAVE A BIBLE QUESTION YOU’D LIKE ANSWERED?

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…

BIBLE CROSSFIRE
A CALL-IN RADIO PROGRAM
WBSA
93.5 FM & 1300 AM
also
SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 113
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

BibleCrossfire.com

 

FREE ONLINE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE:

http://EastAlbertville.org/course

 

"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. 2 / No. 6

Sunday, August 25, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 6 / August 25, 2019

"DID GOD ORDER THE KILLING OF BABIES?"

    Skeptics and atheists have been critical of the Bible’s portrayal of God ordering the death of entire populations—including women and children. For example, God instructed Saul through the prophet Samuel to “go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Samuel 15:3-4, emp. added). Other examples include the period of the Israelite conquest of Canaan in which God instructed the people to exterminate the Canaanite populations that occupied Palestine at the time. However, if one cares to examine the circumstances and assess the rationale, the Bible consistently exonerates itself by offering legitimate clarification and explanation to satisfy the honest searcher of truth.

    The Hebrew term herem found, for instance, in Joshua 6:17, refers to the total dedication or giving over of the enemy to God as a sacrifice involving the extermination of the populace. It is alleged that the God of the Bible is as barbaric and cruel as any of the pagan gods. But this assessment is simply not true.

    If the critic would take the time to study the Bible and make an honest evaluation of the principles of God’s justice, wrath, and love, he would see the perfect and harmonious interplay between them. God’s vengeance is not like the impulsive, irrational, emotional outbursts of pagan deities or human beings. He is infinite in all His attributes and thus perfect in justice, love, and anger. Just as God’s ultimate and final condemnation of sinners to eternal punishment will be just and appropriate, so the temporal judgment of wicked people in the Old Testament was ethical and fair. We human beings do not have an accurate handle on the gravity of sin and the deplorable nature of evil and wickedness. Human sentimentality is hardly a qualified measuring stick for divine truth and spiritual reality.

    How incredibly ironic that the atheist, the agnostic, the skeptic, and the liberal all attempt to stand in judgment upon the ethical behavior of God when, if one embraces their position, there is no such thing as an absolute, objective, authoritative standard by which to pronounce anything right or wrong. As the French existentialist philosopher, Sartre, admitted: “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist.... Nor...are we provided with any values or commands that could legitimize our behavior” (1961, p. 485). The atheist and agnostic have absolutely no platform on which to stand to make moral or ethical distinctions—except as the result of purely personal taste. The mere fact that they concede the existence of objective evil is an unwitting concession there is a God Who has established an absolute framework of moral judgments.

    The facts of the matter are that the Canaanites, whom God’s people were to destroy, were destroyed for their wickedness (Deuteronomy 9:4; 18:9-12; Leviticus 18:24-25,27-28). Canaanite culture and religion in the second millennium B.C. were polluted, corrupt, and perverted. No doubt the people were physically diseased from their illicit behavior. There simply was no viable solution to their condition except destruction. Their moral depravity was “full” (Genesis 15:16). They had slumped to such an immoral, depraved state, with no hope of recovery, that their existence on this Earth had to be terminated—just like in Noah’s day when God waited while Noah preached for years, but was unable to turn the world’s population from its wickedness (Genesis 6:3,5-7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:5-9). Including the children in the destruction of such populations actually spared them from a worse condition—that of being reared to be as wicked as their parents and thus face eternal punishment. All persons who die in childhood, according to the Bible, are ushered to Paradise and will ultimately reside in Heaven. Children who have parents who are evil must naturally suffer innocently while on Earth (e.g., Numbers 14:33).

    Those who disagree with God’s annihilation of the wicked in the Old Testament have the same liberal attitude that has come to prevail in America just in the last half century. That attitude has typically opposed capital punishment, as well as the corporal punishment of children. Such people simply cannot see the rightness of evildoers being punished by execution or physical pain. Nevertheless, their view is skewed—and the rest of us are being forced to live with the results of their warped thinking: undisciplined, out-of-control children are wreaking havoc on our society by perpetrating crime to historically, all-time high levels.

    Those who reject the ethics of God’s destructive activity in the Old Testament, to be consistent, must reject Jesus and the New Testament. Over and over again, Jesus and the New Testament writers endorsed and defended such activity (e.g., Luke 13:1-9; 12:5; 17:29-32; 10:12; Hebrews 10:26-31). The Bible provides the only logical, sensible, meaningful, consistent explanation regarding the principles of retribution, punishment, and the conditions under which physical life may be extinguished.

—Dave Miller
Apologetics Press, August 19, 2019

 

"CAN MAN SAVE HIMSELF?"

    There is a great deal of emphasis being put on a man-made doctrine which teaches it is impossible for a person to do anything towards salvation from sin. This doctrine sets forth the idea that any action, on the part of a person, nullifies the grace of God.

    The Bible teaches that salvation is dependent upon both DIVINE and HUMAN action. It shows very clearly what God does to save the sinner and what the sinner must do to save himself. God's part in our salvation is comprehended in the word "GRACE". Our part in our salvation is comprehended in the word "FAITH". Our faith is shown by our obedience to the will of God. "For by grace are ye saved through faith..."(Ephesians 2:8).

THE DIVINE SIDE. God conceived the plan of salvation, Christ made it possible by His death, and the Holy Spirit revealed it through inspired men. Thus God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit play a most vital part in our salvation. We are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8) as we are cleansed by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). We have no righteousness or merit with which to boast ourselves to God and He is under no obligation to save us. We must depend upon God's mercy and upon Christ's atoning blood.

THE HUMAN SIDE. When the gospel is preached, we must hear it with an open mind and receptive heart (Romans 10:17; Ephesians 1:13). We must repent of all sins, for this is what God has commanded us to do (Acts 17:30). We must confess Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9,10). Then we must be baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:37-39). Baptism is always "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), to "wash away sins" (Acts 22:16), to put us "into Christ“ (Galatians 3:27), and to "save us (1 Peter 3:21). These are actions which WE MUST TAKE. God cannot believe for us, nor repent for us, nor be baptized for us. We are commanded to do these things in obedience to HIS REQUIREMENTS. When we do that which God has commanded we have not earned nor do we merit salvation. This is how we benefit from the grace of God or else everybody will be saved and no one will be lost.

    If it is true that we cannot do anything to save ourselves, then it follows that our salvation is wholly dependent upon God and it will be the fault of God if anybody is lost! If not, why not? However, God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). If a person is lost, it will be because HE CHOOSES to be lost. The same is true if we are to be saved; WE MUST CHOOSE to do what God commands.

    The Bible says, "...save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40). Again, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). Christ is the "author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9).
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

HAVE A BIBLE QUESTION YOU’D LIKE ANSWERED?

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…

BIBLE CROSSFIRE
A CALL-IN RADIO PROGRAM
WBSA
93.5 FM & 1300 AM
also
SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 113
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

BibleCrossfire.com

 

FREE ONLINE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE:

http://EastAlbertville.org/course

 

"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. 2 / No. 5

Sunday, August 11, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 5 / August 11, 2019

"GOD'S CONCIOUSNESS"

    A truly godly man is one who lives with a constant realization of God's divine presence. He is God-conscious. When he awakes in the morning, there is God. As he dresses for work there is God. As he goes in to breakfast with his family, as he drives to work, as he works through the day, as he drives home, as he spends the evening hours, as he lies down on his bed at the close of the day, there is God.

    Enoch was a man who was God-conscious, for he "walked with God" (Genesis 5:24). He enjoyed constant companionship with God. Wherever Enoch went, God went with him, and Enoch was always aware that He was there. He could not flee from God's presence (Psalm 139:7), nor did he seek to do so. He was a godly man.

    How fortunate is that man who has developed within himself this God-consciousness. It is easy for him to pray, for God is to him a close, ever near, companion whose "ears are open unto his prayers" (1 Peter 3:12). His talking with God is as natural as his talking with any companion.

    He does not fear, for he just places his hand in God's in his times of trouble. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear..." (Psalm 46:1, 2). Even when walking "through the valley of the shadow of death," he can "fear no evil," for God is with him.

    The power of temptation is greatly reduced, for he never forgets that "all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13). His desire to please his ever present God is greater than the power of temptation.

    He is thankful, recognizing God, with whom he walks, to be the source of “every good gift and every perfect gift". (James 1:17)

    He loves God. He talks to God. He walks with God. He is always conscious of God's presence. He is never without God. Yet, this relationship never degenerates into a "buddy-buddy" relationship, for he reverences God; he recognizes His awesomeness; he gratefully acknowledges his own personal unworthiness of such a relationship with Almighty God.

    This is the very essence of godliness. Someone, years ago, observing the similarity between "godliness" and "God-like-ness," assumed that the two words meant the same. That false assumption was passed on to others, and has now gained a strong foothold in the thinking of a great number of people. W. E. Vine says that godliness "denotes that piety which, characterized by a godward attitude, does that which is well pleasing to Him." A godly person, then, is one who has a godward attitude, and whose constant consciousness of God leads him to be obedient to Him.

    While visiting in a hospital, recently, we observed this sign, “Have you said, ‘Thank you, God' today?" A godly person probably would have done so. Have you said, “Thank you, God" today? 
—Bill Hall

 

"HOW DOES ONE BECOME A FRIEND OF CHRIST?"

    One cannot become a friend of Christ by going "to the altar and praying through to salvation." Advocates of the "praying through" theology never give a Scripture that teaches that alien sinners can be saved from their past sins by going to the altar and praying. No where in the Scriptures do we find where any alien sinner was ever told to "come to the altar and pray.”

    Neither does one become a friend of Christ by “picking out some good church" he likes and joining it. Every denominational   church is destined to "be rooted up." (Read Psalms 127:1 which says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who   build it," and Matthew 15:13 which says, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up").

    A religious "experience" does not make one a friend of Christ. There is no Scriptural evidence that one is a friend of the Lord  just because he may have had a religious "experience." Giving so-called "testimonials" about how good the Lord is and how much one loves Him does not make one a friend of Christ. 

    The fact that one lives an upright moral life does not necessarily mean that he is a friend of the Lord. In John 15:14 Jesus told His disciples: "Ye are my friends IF ye do whatsoever I command you." It is quite obvious from this statement of Jesus Christ that one can not be, and thus cannot become a friend of His unless he does what Jesus commands. 

    To do what Jesus commands one must learn and believe what Jesus says. Only then can he truly do what Jesus says. The   source of information must be the Scriptures. As we study the Scriptures we learn that FAITH, REPENTANCE, CONFESSION,     and BAPTISM are conditions set forth by the Lord that we must meet in order to become His friends. 

    Please read and study carefully Heb 11:6; John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17; Acts 17:30-31; Rom 10:9-10; Mark 16:15-16 and Gal 3:26-27. Do you believe what these verses say? If so, you will become a friend of the Lord when you obey them! To continue to be His friend, you must continue to learn, believe and obey whatever Jesus commands. This is how one becomes and remains a friend of Jesus Christ.  
 —Carrol R. Sutton

 

"ACCEPT THE GIFT"

    This was spotted on the marque of a denominational church whose preachers teach that if ANYTHING is done to have forgiveness of sin, salvation is no longer a gift. The idea is that if you have to do anything to receive a gift, it is no longer a gift but is earned.

    In view of their teaching, I find this statement on their marque to be contradictory. Is not to "accept the gift" doing SOMETHING and if we do something it is no longer a gift but something we've earned? If not, why not?

    Indeed, salvation is a gift. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) but is it free in that it demands or costs nothing of us? The gift of our salvation cost the Father His Son. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."(John 3:16). The gift of our salvation cost Jesus His life. "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). The gift of our salvation came at a high cost to both the Father and the Son.

    There is also a high cost for us to "accept the gift". We must "deny self". "And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23). We must deny self and follow Him (do as He says). And He says, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:10). Was Jesus EARNING anything from His Father? No, no more than we are EARNING anything when we do what He tells us to do. That is what it means to deny self and follow Him! Therefore when we do what He tells us to believe in Him (John 8:24), repent of sin (Luke 13:3), confess Him (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized into His death (Mark 16:16; Romans 6:4) we are NOT EARNING anything. We are simply denying self and following Him.

    What cost God and Christ such a supreme price, does not come cheap to us. Jesus must be Lord (Ruler) over ourselves, our lives, and all that we have.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

HAVE A BIBLE QUESTION YOU’D LIKE ANSWERED?

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WBSA
93.5 FM & 1300 AM
also
SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 113
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

BibleCrossfire.com

 

FREE ONLINE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE:

http://EastAlbertville.org/course

 

"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. 2 / No. 4

Sunday, July 28, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 3 / July 14, 2019

"HOW TO SEE EYE TO EYE RELIGIOUSLY"

    Why do some people not see religious things the way we see them? Why is there so much difference between what we teach and what the denominations profess? Do we not all have the same Bible? Are we not all trying to serve the same God? Do we not all believe in the same Savior? These are perplexing questions, and they are not easily answered to everyone's satisfaction.

    Basically, our understanding of the Scriptures differs from the majority of the religious world because we operate on a different principle of interpretation. To most religious people "truth" is relative, adjusting freely to different times and circumstances. For us, however, truth is truth. It is unalterable, unchangeable, and everlasting. But did "we" just arbitrarily decide this would be our regard for truth? Not at all. God's own word boldly claims "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17) and "the word of the Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth." (Psalm 33:4) While there are scoffers at the idea of absolute truth, we accept Bible teaching that such does exist, and we are determined to know it. Pilate's piercing question, "What is truth?" (John 18:38) was prompted by these words from Jesus: "I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

    This then, is the basis upon which we may come to see religious matters alike. There must be a commitment to the same standard of truth. No one would ever attempt to use differing standards of measurement if building a house, marking off a football field, or sewing a garment. This would guarantee error and disaster. Twelve inches must equal one foot on all our rulers if we desire uniformity. There must be a healthy regard and respect for the Bible on the part of every religious person in order for understanding to occur. Without this common devotion to God's word, all efforts to see things the same will fail. In order to come to agreement on matters essential to salvation, we must begin where we agree. From this point we must study the Scriptures, resolving differences as we go along. Major problems of difference are solved in small steps, and then we can be united in Christ. But we will never see things the same if we cannot agree on the existence, necessity, and location of the truth.

    No Bible discussion is profitable unless every participant is a truth seeker. If everyone concerned really wants the truth, then coming to an agreement and an understanding of truth will be achievable. Believe it or not, it is possible to discuss religious differences without becoming rude or creating hurt feelings. People who love the truth are not concerned with who is right, but with what is right. Every truth seeker is willing to surrender any position if it is false. There is no other honorable course for an honest man. An honest man will seek the truth, and when he finds it he will believe it. “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding." (Proverbs 23:23).
—Mark W. White

 

"WHAT IS YOUR STANDARD?"

    When it comes to religious matters, there are many standards that are accepted.

    Many, who profess to be Christians, use the WORLD as their standard for the way they talk and dress. But Christians must "...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1,2). Also, we must not forget "...that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4).

    Religious organizations and those who are members of them, often are bound by HUMAN CREEDS, manuals, and disciplines. If these human creeds are nothing more than what the Bible teaches, as some claim, then what useful purpose do they serve? The truth in the matter is that human creeds contain more and they also contain less than what the Bible teaches. They contain the commandments of men. Yet Jesus said, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9) Any religious organization which uses a human creed is rendering their worship vain.

    Many people do what they do in religious matters because they have their own THOUGHTS about certain things. "I think it would be pleasing to God" is often the statement that is heard. However, God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9). What I, or anyone else, think about something does not mean God thinks that way! Just because I think it is right doesn't make it right!

    Many accept HUMAN TRADITIONS as a standard. When questioned about why they do a certain thing in religion, they respond, "We've always done it that way!" We must realize that traditions of men are not after Christ (Colossians 2:8). Jesus asked a very relevant question in Matthew 15:3 when he asked, "...Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" Do you suppose He could ask the same question of religious denominations today if He were here on earth?

    Some see no need for anything more than their own CONSCIENCE. They do things in religion because they believe their conscience is a safe guide. Let us realize our conscience is the product of what we teach it. If we are taught the wrong things, our conscience will condone us as if we were doing the right things. We will feel just as good about doing wrong because we have been taught wrong. Saul of Tarsus persecuted Christians (Acts 9:1) and consented to the death of Stephen (Acts 7:59-8:1), all with a good conscience (Acts 23:1).

    While there are many who accept the BIBLE, GOD'S WORD, as a standard for some things, very few are willing to completely accept the Bible as their standard. What about you? What really is your standard? Test yourself!

    What do you accept as authority in answering the question: What must I do to be saved? Is a person saved the moment they believe faith only? Where does the Bible teach that a person today can be saved by faith only? The only verse containing the words ‘faith only' are found in James 2:24 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and NOT BY FAITH ONLY." (Emphasis mine, ERH) We do have the words of Jesus in Mark 16:16 saying, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." If you reject the part that baptism plays in the forgiveness of sins, you have accepted the wrong standard!

    What do you accept as the terms or conditions of church membership? Did a group of people have to vote on your acceptance into the church you are a member of? Where does the Bible teach that church membership is determined by a vote? We don't find any such thing in the standard of God's Word but we do find them in the creeds of man. The Scriptures teach: "...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47). The reason the Lord does the adding is because it is His church; not yours or mine. The Lord built it (Matthew 16:18), He purchased it with His blood (Acts 20:28), and He is the "Head" of it (Colossians 1:18).

    What is it that governs you in your worship? The church at Jerusalem "...continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42) The early church's fellowship was in the gospel and in the breaking of bread to commemorate the Lord's death. Where is your fellowship; in the "Fellowship Hall"? What does your breaking bread pertain to; the eating and drinking of a common meal? Every Christian is to teach and admonish "one another" in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19). What about where you worship; do all Christians sing or are there solos, duets, quartets, and choirs, instead? Is there singing or is there playing upon mechanical instruments of music?

    God's Word must be our guide in all these things. It is His Word that we must accept as the standard by which we believe and practice the things we do. Won't you accept God's Word as your only standard? All other standards will not stand in the Judgment Day.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

HAVE A BIBLE QUESTION YOU’D LIKE ANSWERED?

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…

BIBLE CROSSFIRE
A CALL-IN RADIO PROGRAM
WBSA
93.5 FM & 1300 AM
also
SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 113
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

BibleCrossfire.com

 

FREE ONLINE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE:

http://EastAlbertville.org/course

 

"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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