What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 13”
What The Bible Says
Vol. VI - No. 13 / October 23, 2023
TO OUR BAPTIST FRIENDS
Why do Baptists desire to wear John's name, do business in John's name, and glorify John's name? In fact, "Baptist" was never a part of John's name! "His name is John." (Luke 1:13,60,63).
What are the legal names of Al the plumber, Jack the electrician, or John the baptist? Are they not Al, Jack, and John? The terms "plumber", "electrician", and "baptist" (baptizer or immerser) are merely describing the work they do. Thus to style oneself a "baptist" does not personally honor John anymore than calling oneself a "plumber" or an "electrician" would be a personal honor to Al or Jack.
Why wear the name "Baptist" anyway? There are those who would say they are not trying to bring any honor to John whatsoever but is that really true? Do people not know us by the name we wear? Certainly they do! By what name do people most often refer to you religiously: a Baptist or a Christian? The name "Christian" does bear the name of Christ. Are we to be followers of John or Christ? Who shed His blood for us: John the immerser or Jesus Christ? Who brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10)?
Is it not wrong to rob Christ of the glory that is rightfully His and give it to another (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). In John 3:29 we read that Jesus is the bridegroom and John was the bridegroom's friend. While Baptists claim to be married to Christ, they wear the name of the bridegroom's best friend. For Christians to be called Baptists is like a woman who married a Smith but wears the name of Jones, the bridegroom's friend.
“…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (Acts 11:26). Let us be content to be called Christians and only Christians. This is the only thing we find the followers of Christ called in the New Testament. No disciples of Christ were ever called Baptist or any one of the hundreds of other religious names that we are so accustomed to hearing today. Simply be a Christian! Wear and honor the name of Christ! —E.R. Hall, Jr.
A sentinel is a soldier whose assignment is to stand watch. Its meaning and usage come from French and Italian words associated with vigilance and one’s ability to perceive. Most often we would simply use the word guard. The opposite of sentinel would be the one who poses the hazard or menace.
When I think of a sentinel, I am reminded of a childhood friend who served a tour of duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during his Marine Corps tenure. I have been at the memorial during the changing of the guard ceremony. It is to me quite a stirring and somber event. There has been a sentinel on duty every minute of every day since 1937. The Sentinel’s Creed in its final statement says, “this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance”.
There are multiple scriptural references to guarding and watching that have much more significance than the sentinel posted at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, though important to our nation’s military and our citizenry. One such guard is recorded in Gen. 3:24 and was placed by the Lord God: “and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.”
The cherubim depicted here seem to be the four faced, four winged angelic beings that Ezekiel saw as recorded in Ch 1:6 and Ch 10:14. These are the attendants of God with supernatural abilities. In Ezekiel 28:14, they are said to be able to walk amid stones of fire. They are further described in Isa 37:16 and Psalms 80:1 when pictured as being the ones whom God dwells between. Also of note is that these cherubim that God placed is plural, cherubim being the plural for cherub. Have you considered whether the sword that God placed with the cherubim could perform its duty independently, or was it wielded by a cherub? Without knowing this answer, I do know that every directive of God, if followed correctly, will accomplish what He desires. We, in our day and in our culture, would say that God placed an armed guard to guard the way to the Tree of Life. I have never found any reference to a security breach pertaining to the Tree of Life, nor do I know of any valid claim to a man being able to live forever, apart from Jesus in Jn. 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
Another guard I would like to consider is man. The text of Proverbs 4:23 directs the reader to, “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The word heart is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible, more than holy, blessed or sacrifice. The NIV reads “above all else, guard your heart.” There can be no doubt that man’s heart, the thinking part of man’s being, has the utmost impact on his eternal destiny. God has stressed this repeatedly. The heart pictured here is like a rudder to steer man on his journey. Mat. 6:21 declares that “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Verse 20 of the same chapter encourages man to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”. Men to varying degrees are treasure seekers, always looking for more, better, newer treasure. The right-thinking man understands that his soul is the most valuable treasure he possesses. Mark 8:37 asks the question “or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” This man also understands there is a day coming when all will appear before the judgement seat of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:10. At this judgement, if found faithful, then certain rights and privileges will be awarded. If found unfaithful, then certain destruction. God has given direction, but also all the necessary equipment for man to win his spiritual battle. If we are daily fighting the good fight of faith that we might lay hold of eternal life as 1 Tim. 6:12 directs, then we can have what the writer of Philippians penned in chapter 4 and verse 7 “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
One of the beneficial rights promised to the faithful, can be found in Rev. 2:7 “…to him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” This same right is confirmed later in Rev. 22:14, “Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city.”
Consider the two guards discussed here and how they both relate to the Tree of Life. In one scenario, man was driven from the garden to prohibit him from eating the fruit of the Tree of Life because of disobedience. In the other, if he overcomes through obedience, will be afforded the right to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Life.
Have you done all that is necessary to guard your heart? If not, why not? Your heart is your key to valuable treasure, eternal life. Obey God while you have opportunity. Stop resisting… —Blind Bartimaeus 23
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--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. EastAlbertville.org