What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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What The Bible Says - Vol. 2 / No. 20

Sunday, March 01, 2020

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 20 / March 1, 2020

CONFLICTING VOICES

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,..” (Hebrews 1:1,2). Any voice not in agreement with God's Word is a conflicting voice. We hear a lot of voices in the religious world and they all profess to be speaking God's Word. Yet, they conflict each other and this has lead to the different denominations that are in existence.

    I have yet to meet a preacher, or hear one preach, who does not say he is preaching what the Bible says. They all claim to preach only what God would have them preach. However, when I compare what they preach with what I preach, there are clear differences. Several years ago, I attended the funeral of my aunt. The preacher made the statement several times that he only wanted to preach what God would have him to preach. Well, that's exactly what I want to do so I expected him to preach the same things I preach. As his sermon progressed it was obvious that he and I don't preach the same things especially when it come to what a person must do to be saved. He was telling his audience to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and I've never preached that. Is he preaching God's word? If he is, then what am I preaching when I preach something different from him? Is he sincere in what he preaches? I'm sure he is but, then again, so am 1. One or the other of us is right or it could be possible that we are both wrong but we both can't be right. If I were to ask two people what is the sum of 3,250 and 6,750 and one answered 10,000 and the other answered 100,000, could I say both were right? So, in religious matters, we are divided and yet both he and I profess to be worshiping the same God and preaching the message of God.

    What is the way to solve this dilemma? Can I compare him to me? No! "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Corinthians 10:12). There has to be a higher standard by which we can measure the things being taught in the religious world. That standard of reference is to be the Word of God.

    We must take God's Word and take God at His Word. It is not for me or anyone else to interpret what God says because God means what He says. If I tell my children to go to the store for milk and bread, they do not have to interpret what I said, they must simply do what I've told them to do. When Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16) that is not left up to anyone's interpretation. We must simply do what He says. Since I can no where read in the Bible that a person must accept Christ as their personal Savior, I would be conflicting with what God says to preach such a thing. When we read: "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2:24), anyone who teaches a person is saved the moment they believe is a voice conflicting with what God has said.

    In all that we hear taught, let us compare it to God's Word and be sure we are "rightly dividing the word of truth" (l Timothy 2:15). God means what He says and says what He means. No one needs to interpret what God has said. It is when God's Word is interpreted that all these conflicting voices can be heard.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

THE DECEPTION OF WICKEDNESS

    We know that deception is nothing more than a fancy word for a lie. And we know that a lie is anything but the truth. This phrase is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:10: "and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved".

    Satan and the world have promoted wickedness from the beginning. The reason is because Satan does not want you to go to heaven. That is his goal, and that is what he is constantly and continuously working at 24/7/365. His domain has promoted wickedness as the all there is mentality. Live life to the fullest, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die are just two of the many phrases offered to entice people to succumb to wickedness. Most people have no problem in doing this because they want all the wickedness that they can get a hold of.

    Some still hang onto wickedness while pretending to be followers of God. Well, Romans 6:16 tells us that we are the servants of the one we serve, either of sin resulting in death or obedience resulting in righteousness. It does no good to claim to love Jesus while playing in the devils playground. That is his domain, and if you were to die, he would claim your soul on his property.

    Some know that wickedness is wrong to do and sort of want to be right with God, yet they cannot let go or what the world has to offer. Surely these must be the most miserable people on the planet. They want it both ways, but God said "MY WAY".

    We are force fed lies all the time. Satan deceives us; in fact, Satan is the father of lies or deception. Satan tries to convince us that righteousness is nothing more than mythical foolishness and such people to strive for it are wasting time and effort.

    The world is helping Satan promote this wickedness. Everywhere we look and whenever we listen, we are usually listening to lies. The commercials promise a life of luxury if we use their product. Many commercials suggest that you can have sex with beautiful people by using their product. How often have you seen a fat, ugly person with bad teeth promote any product? Not likely that you ever have.

    Even the news media for the most part are striving to promote Satan's agenda. They look for opportunities to downgrade Christians and the truth. Even to the point of printing lies. And most people are gullible enough to take what they are fed and not even question the validity of such articles.  Many news stories lately have been proven to be false information. And all this deception is used to promote wickedness and to make a mockery of righteousness.

    This is all made possible because people do not love the truth and seek after truth. Truth is the only thing that God tells us that can save our souls. Our obedience to the truth is so vital. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:22: "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart".

    2 Thessalonians 2:11 tells us that God will allow people to believe the lies all they want because that is all they want. But in the end, this deception will bring forth spiritual death and an eternity of punishment.
—Carey Scott

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

A man can't go anywhere while he's straddling a fence.
***
Satan is a fisherman, too. Deceit is his bait.
Suckers get caught.
***
Measure wealth, not by the things you have, but by the things
you have for which you would not take any amount of money.
***
Be content with what you have,
but never with what you are.
***
I asked, “Why doesn't somebody do something?”
Then I realized that I was somebody!

 

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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. 18

Saturday, February 01, 2020

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 18 / Frbruary 2, 2020

WAS THE DEATH OF STEPHEN IS UNNECESSARY?

    The title that heads this article may sound strange, but the actions and philosophies of some merit our consideration of such a question. It is true that we live in a country where we enjoy religious freedom. It is not against the law to preach Christ in our country; whereas, it was against the law of the Jews for Stephen to preach Christ. There is a vast difference between the attitude of the officials in government in Stephen’s day and the attitude of the officials in government in our day. Sometimes I wonder if there isn’t just as much a difference in the attitude of Stephen and the attitude of most preachers today. I don’t mean denominational preachers but those who claim to be gospel preachers.

    How many “gospel preachers” do you know that would use the plain language that Stephen used in his preaching? Stephen said, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:51-53). Every person who claims to be a gospel preacher needs to examine those words very carefully. We need to ask ourself the question: Would we preach like Stephen did? Would we say what the said or would we water it down and soften it up? Would we reason that it would not be using good judgment to preach the way Stephen preached? If Stephen had used some of this good judgment that we are inclined to think about, he might not have been stoned to death. Couldn’t Stephen have used a little more of what we call diplomacy and possibly saved himself from being stoned to death? Sometimes I wonder if what we are doing, when we talk about good judgment and diplomacy, is excusing ourselves for compromising the truth. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not recommending that we do not use good judgment.

    Could you image Stephen or Paul or Jesus Christ keeping quite when matters of truth are at stake? Would they excuse themselves from speaking out against unscriptural practices under the pretense of using good judgment or diplomacy? Preachers who never say anything against church support of human institutions, church sponsored recreation, church sponsored ball teams, and kindergartens should certainly ask themselves these questions. Also, the same holds true for preachers who are afraid to say anything about worldly practices, immodest apparel, and etc.


---Windell Wiser
Taken from The Sunny Hill Bulletin, May 25, 1972 

 

COMMANDMENT KEEPING

    There are varied ideas concerning "commandment keeping". Some think only in respect to the “10 Commandments” and teach a person must keep the ten commandments to be saved. Others believe that if you were to keep all God's commandments, you would still not be saved. Let it be understand that by "commandment keeping", I am not referring to the "10 commandments". Despite these conflicting beliefs, let's see what God has revealed on the matter.

KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS IS THE EXPRESSION OF MY FAITH. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:17-18).

KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS IS THE EXPRESSION OF MY LOVE. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21).

KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS DETERMINES IF I AM TO RECEIVE THE THINGS I ASK FOR. "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. " (1 John 3:22).

KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS DETERMINES IF I ABIDE IN GOD'S LOVE. "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).

    Are we better than Jesus? He kept God's commandments. "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) 

    To those who believe that faith alone is what saves, let us realize that even faith is a commandment. "And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (1 John 3:23)

    Which is it? Is commandment keeping essential or non-essential? What does the Bible say?
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

SENTENCE SERMONS

Words are windows to the heart.
***
The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
***
Think right, act right; it is what you think and do that makes you what you are.
***
How good a parent you are may depend on whether you think teenagers HAVE problems or ARE problems.
 ***
Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.
 ***
You need long-range goals to keep you from becoming discouraged by short-range failures.
 ***
Many who expect to be saved in the eleventh hour die at ten-thirty.

 

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...

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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. 17

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 17 / January 19, 2020

PAUL'S THIRD EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY

Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, to Timothy, Associate Youth Minister of the church at Ephesus. 

I besought thee to abide still in Ephesus, when I went to the Macedonian workshop, that thou mightest share thy dynamic motivational personality with the keen teens. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, candlelight devotionals be held for all cell groups. Meditate upon new schemes to keep them stirred up and on fire, give thyself wholly to them, lest the aged men and women teach them to be sober-minded. 

But watch out for them in all things. Do the work of a recreational director, plan a social calendar, entertain at hootenanies, chauffeur to amusement parks, referee ball games, make full proof of thy ministry. For bodily exercise produceth firm believers. 

These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the fieldhouse of God, the backboard and track of progress. 

Let no man despise thy youth rallies: but be thou an example of the latest fad, in hugs, in applause, in altar calls, in neo-charismatic spirituality, in cliches. Do thy diligence to schedule Hymeneus and Philetus for next year. 

Study to show thyself an intellectual. But progress beyond the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing the rigid traditionalists from whom thou hast learned them. Let the elders that rule be told they have no authority, especially over you. 

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, preach self-image psychology: relate, placate, and motivate with all values, clarification and counseling. Use vague speech, that cannot be pinned down, that he that is of the contrary part may look foolish, having no charges that you cannot later deny. These things suggest and present as all personal opinion so that anyone who disagrees may be ignored. 

Hold back the faithful word, which you were taught, that you may be able by new doctrines both to find and fill felt-needs. For there are many dynamic speakers and misunderstood thinkers, especially they of the circumcision, whose mouths must be given a wider hearing. A man that is a heretic to the old brethren, after the first and second brotherhood backlash, take a caravan of children a hundred miles to hear. Lay hands suddenly on anyone who seems to be an "anti"; keep thyself popular. 

O Timothy, keep that which unknowing parents have committed to thy trust, avoiding doctrinal issues and oppositions of knuckleheads, so called. 
—Selected

(I’ve lost track of who wrote this and am therefore unable to give credit to whom credit is due. However I think it to be what Paul might have written had he been conforming to conditions in the church today. Now read his two letters to Timothy in the New Testament and see what he really wrote by the Holy Spirit. —E.R. Hall, Jr.)

 

HOW SOME MARRIAGES SUCCEED

1. There is genuine love between husband and wife (Ephesians 5: 25,33). The relationship is not based on mere physical attraction. Love deepens with passing years. 

2. There is unselfishness. Each has a sincere desire to please the other (Ephesians 5:28,31). The husband wants his wife to be happy and the wife wants her husband to be happy. 
 
3. The pledge of loyalty is never forgotten no matter what happens (1 Corinthians 7:2-3). Each mate always thinks back on the serious vow of loyalty made to his or her companion: ‘ ... in sickness or in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse; till death do us part.’
 
4. Forgiveness is practiced (Ephesians 4:32). When mistakes are made or misunderstandings occur do tempers flare and are harsh words spoken or are apologies offered and forgiveness freely extended? 
 
5. Understanding is shown (1 Peter 3:7-8). A good wife understands her husband and is charitable toward his weaknesses and pecularities. A good husband demonstrates sympathy and understanding toward his wife. 
 
6. There is togetherness (Ephesians 5:31). Neither companion wants to be away from the other for long. They live, love, work, plan, laugh, cry, talk, and dream together. Marriage is a state of sharing. 
 
7. There is mutual trust. A faithful wife is one in whom the heart of her husband safely trusts (Proverbs 33:11). A devout husband is one in whom his wife has confidence that dispels suspicions and fears. 
 
8. There is honesty. Neither partner in marriage lies to the other (Colossians 3:9). Problems are discussed frankly, difficulties are admitted openly, and each feels free to confide in the other. 

    These are some reasons how marriages do succeed in this modern world. Regardless of how modern the world gets, let us live according to the age old principles found in God’s word.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

THE MUSIC WE LISTEN TO: REVEALS AND REFLECTS

    The music we listen to, the music we enjoy, the music we sing does two things: 
(1) It reveals our taste, our appetite, what we are interested in, what appeals to us, and, therefore, the kind of person we are. 
(2) It exerts an influence upon us, playing a role in molding our thoughts, attitudes, conduct and character, and, therefore, the kind of person we are becoming. And that’s rather powerful! 

    The most important part of music (purely instrumental excepted) is the lyrics, the words, and the lyrics of much of most kinds of music are becoming worse with every new generation. So suggestive, so vulgar, so obscene, so crude, so violent, so tasteless are the lyrics of many songs that they have to be edited before being printed in the magazines sold to the public. If you want the full text, you have to buy the albums, many of which come with complete printed sets of the lyrics, or listen closely as the songs are played on the radio stations.

    God help us for what, to a large extent, music has become. As parents, we need to know what our children are listening to, and as adults we need to he concerned about what we are listening to.
—Bill Crews

 

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

 

IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE...

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. 16

Sunday, January 05, 2020

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 16 / January 5, 2020

DOES CONTEXT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

    Have you ever talked with someone and later found out they took something you said out of context? They had you saying something about a person or thing that you really did not say. You said the words but not in the context which they are now taking them. Taking things out of context can mislead us to say the least and sometimes can have serious consequences. I suppose all of us have had this to happen at one time or another. When we learn that someone has taken what we've said out of context it enrages us and makes us disappointed in people.

    Do you suppose God feels the same way when His word, the Bible, is taken out of context? Do you suppose there might be serious consequences when we take what He has said out of context? Let's look at a few examples of how this has been done.

    Many people are found quoting Matthew 10:19,20: "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." This verse is quoted to prove that preachers today must get their message directly from God without forethought or preparation. Just get up, open your mouth, and the Lord will fill it with what He wants said. Are these verses directed toward preachers or, for that matter, anyone today? We must begin by asking, "Who were these words spoken to?" The beginning of chapter ten has Jesus selecting twelve disciples who were to become the apostles. It was to them "He gave power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease" (verse 1). In verses two through four, we have their names given. In verse five we find these words recorded: "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying...". Notice this verse for it is very important! It sets the context to show who these things commanded are being commanded to: "THEM", meaning the twelve. It is not until chapter 11:1 that we read: "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence...". Thus, all that can be read from chapter 10:5 to verse 42 are the things Jesus commanded the twelve. Therefore, when anyone today takes verses 19 and 20 and tries to apply them to the way preachers are supposed to preach today, they are taking the things Jesus said out of context. Jesus was saying this to apply to the twelve, not E.R. Hall or anyone else who professes to be a preacher. If I could just open my mouth and expect God to fill it with what to say, I could also expect to go to the hospitals and nursing homes and heal the sick and raise the lame. Yet, I can do neither of these. I cannot, neither can any person living today, do the things the twelve did. Jesus was speaking of things that had a limited application to a select few.

    The promise of Holy Spirit baptism is also taken out of context. There are those today who teach and believe Holy Spirit baptism has been promised by Christ to all Christians. In fact, they teach you are not a Christian until you have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The first mention of this promise is found in Matthew 3:11 where John taught concerning Christ: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not able to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:" The promise that Jesus made is found in Acts 1:4,5: "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Again, the question must be asked, "Who is Jesus talking to when He makes this promise?" In verse 2 of Acts 1 we read that Jesus "had given commandments unto the APOSTLES whom he had chosen." From verses four and five, which we quoted above, we see He was "assembled together with THEM, commanded THEM that THEY should not depart from Jerusalem,...". In Acts 2 when the baptism of the Holy Ghost came upon the apostles, we have "Peter, standing up with the eleven" (verse 14). The baptism of the Holy Spirit came upon those to whom Jesus promised it; the apostles! There is no evidence in all of the book of Acts where Holy Spirit baptism came upon every individual that became a Christian. We read in Acts 10 of Holy Spirit baptism coming upon Cornelius and his house because of this being the first time the gospel of Jesus Christ had been preached to the Gentiles. This was fulfillment of prophecy concerning the Spirit being poured out upon all flesh, both Jew and Gentile (Acts 2:16-21). In Acts 2 it was upon Jews and in chapter 10 it was upon Gentiles. It convinced the Jews for they said, "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18).

    For anyone today to teach that Christians must receive Holy Ghost baptism is to take the promise Jesus made out of context? It only serves to mislead people from what the truth actually is.

    So it is, that every time God's word is taken out of context, people are being lead away from the truth. Only the truth makes us free from sin (John 8:32). Anything that is not the truth is a lie, a falsehood. We are only saved when we believe and obey the truth. Paul warned the Galatians, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?" Indeed, how can we, who have a copy of God's word, allow others to use it out of context and bewitch us that we not obey the truth? Keeping things in context carries with it the consequence of where we will spend eternity. It's that serious! 
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

THE PROBLEM OF APATHY

    Problems facing the body of Christ are many and varied. The devil opposes us with persecutions, false doctrines, and all kinds of fleshly temptations. But one of his most successful devices is apathy - an attitude of indifference which afflicts Christians and eats away their zeal like a cancer. It is highly contagious and, if unchecked, is fatal to the souls of men and women. In many areas, it has now reached epidemic proportions.

    Indifference was the problem with the church in Laodicea. To that dead congregation, Jesus said, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot; I would that thou wert cold or hold. So, because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16). How many churches of Christ are in that same condition today?

    Brethren, when we spend more time watching TV and playing ball than we do studying and teaching the word of God, are we not indifferent? When we find time to go to the movies and other places of entertainment, but not to visit the sick and erring, are we not indifferent? The time has come for us to wake up and get to work. Our indifference will send us to eternal hell!

—Steve Cawthon

 

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

 

IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE...

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
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What The Bible Says - Vol. 2 / No. 15

Sunday, December 22, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 15 / December 22, 2019

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

    It comes as a surprise to many religious people that the celebration of Christmas as the birth of Christ is completely and totally of human invention. God’s word never tells us when Christ was born, never calls His birth Christmas, and never commands that the birth of Christ be celebrated by His followers.

    The Catholic Church rightfully takes credit for establishing Christmas as a religious celebration. Recently I re-read the article on “Christmas” in the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is a large reference work produced by Catholic scholars (It can be viewed online at www.catholic.org/encyclopedia). The article contains several eye-opening truths about Christmas which we would do well to ponder. The following points are my observations from the encyclopedia article, each followed by a related quotation from the article.
 
* The word Christmas was not even invented till the 11th century A.D. “The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131.”

* Church leaders in the first few centuries did not sanction the celebration of the birth of Christ. “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen. . . asserts that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday.”

* Early celebrations of the birth of Christ were considered strange and were not done on December 25th. “The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. About A.D. 200, Clement of Alexandria says that certain Egyptian theologians ‘over curiously’ assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ’s birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May). . . ”
 
* December 25th was not celebrated as Christ’s birthday until the 4th century. “At Rome the earliest evidence is in the Philocalian (an illustrated calendar, sk) compiled in 354.”
 
* December 25th was chosen because it was also the date of a popular pagan holiday. “The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.” Pagans celebrated December 25th as the rebirth of the sun. On this day that the sun reversed its southward retreat and proved itself to be unconquered. Some connected the rebirth of the sun to the birth of Jesus.
 
* Virtually all Christmas traditions had their origins either in pagan practices or in Catholic tradition. Regarding “Cards and presents: Pagan customs centering round the January calends gravitated to Christmas.”

    God has given Christians great personal liberty in areas where He has not given us a specific law to follow. For instance, we may choose to eat meat or we can be vegetarians. We may keep days, or not keep them (Romans 14:2-6). If an individual wishes to recall the birth of Christ and express joy regarding the event, surely he is free to do so any time. Giving gifts, displaying colored lights, and eating a big meal with family are also things that we are at liberty to do on any day of the year.
 
    However, celebrating December 25th as if it were in fact the birthday of Christ, equating this birthday with something called Christmas, and generally behaving as if God has ordained December 25th to be the holiest day of the year, is misguided to say the least. How easy it is to replace true spirituality with the inventions of men. On every street corner we see men who know little more of God’s Son than what they hear and see around Christmas – much of which is false and has no Bible basis. Celebrating Christmas as the birth of Christ provides at best a dim unsatisfying copy of the grace, love, charity, joy, hope and fellowship that the Lord wants us to experience every day of the year. 
—Steve Klein

 

MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS

    After learning that she was to be the mother of the Son of God, Mary went to visit Elizabeth, a relative who was at that time the expectant mother of John the Baptist. While in the house of Elizabeth, Mary offered a beautiful poem or song of praise to God (Luke 1:46-55). Though the emphasis was on magnifying the Lord (Luke 1:46), she also said of herself, “henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” No one who accepts the Bible as the inspired word of God should doubt that Mary was a special woman and selected to bear the Messiah because she had found favor with the Lord. Even 2,000 years later we should appreciate and give the proper honor to the young woman willing to accept the shame that came with being thought of as having conceived a child before marriage. We should have the deepest appreciation for this one who was there at the cross for her Son, but did not interfere.
 
    Mary is worthy of honor! This time of year many are giving special thought to her role in human history and the redemption of mankind, but what should her role be in the church today? Should we honor her with special days? Offer up to her special prayers? This article is sent forth with the hope that all will benefit from it, but especially that it might help adherents to the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican faiths get a better perspective on the role of Mary today. Please consider carefully the following facts from the Scriptures.
 
    The last specific mention of Mary in the NT comes in Acts 1:14. Not once as the apostles carried out the Great Commission does the book of Acts record a mention of her in their sermons. As Paul, Peter, and the other writers wrote to Christians in various parts of the Roman Empire they never saw fit to even mention Mary.
 
    Since she is not mentioned in any of the epistles and is in fact never mentioned again after the beginning of the Lord’s church on Pentecost of Acts 2 it is easy to see that the New Testament does not contain a single reference to Christians offering prayers to Mary or requests for her intercession. While the Rosary, in its most common form, requires the recitation of the Hail Mary (Ave Maria) fifty-three times, the New Testament does not contain even one Hail Mary. While some of the phrases found in the Hail Mary may be found in Luke 1, all of its words are not there and never once are the phrases of Luke 1 used as an address to Mary by first-century Christians.
 
    If first-century Christians, under the leadership and guidance of the apostles, saw Mary as the “portal to Life Immortal” (as she is called in the People’s Mass Book), absolutely no evidence of such has been preserved in the Scriptures, the same Scriptures which are said to complete and thoroughly equip the man of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Instead of seeing Mary as the “portal to Life Immortal,” they believed Jesus was “the way, the truth, and the life,” and the only way one could approach the Father (John 14:6).

    While Mary is sometimes referred to today as the Queen of heaven, Queen of the universe, Mother of Mercy, Ever Virgin, Patron, and Advocate, not one of these titles of honor is given her in the New Testament. Not one! While the Bible does refer to her as a virgin until the time of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38), it says nothing about her remaining Ever Virgin. In fact, all available evidence indicates that she and Joseph enjoyed a normal marital relationship after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:24, 25; 12:46, 47; 13:54-56; Hebrews 13:4). As for Queen, patron, etc., there is simply no Biblical foundation for them.
 
    Mary was a great lady and it is proper that we call her blessed, but we must also keep things in perspective. It is her Son who is our Savior and the One we should worship, adore, and be devoted to. Never forget what Jesus Himself said when one offered words of praise to Mary.
 
    “And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!’ But He said, ‘More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’ ” Luke 11:27, 28
 
    May God help us to be those who hear and keep His word.
—John Gibson

 

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WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

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