What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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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.

 

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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. 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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also
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SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

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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. 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

What The Bible Says - Vol. 2 / No. 3

Sunday, July 14, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 3 / July 14, 2019

"THINGS THAT INFLUENCE US"

    Influence is defined as, "a power indirectly or intangibly  affecting a person or a course of events" (AHD, 660). We all have influence and we all are influenced. In the most notable sermon that Jesus preached in Galilee, he spoke of the influence that Christians would have on the world as light and salt. Jesus, thinking that influence to be powerful, said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

    It stands to reason that if we, the people of God, have an influence on the world, the world is likely to have an influence on us. Paul warned of the same, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ..." (Rom. 12:3).

    It is also true that Christians have influence on one another.The diligent have an impact on those who could do better (1 Tim. 4:12). The life of those who slip into sin works like leaven (1 Cor. 5:1-6). Their influence, though subtle, could permeate the whole church.

    Those who have the greatest impact are those that are most like us. 1 Cor. 5 establishes that point. The vile and wicked drug addict is not as likely to influence us as some seemingly strong Christian who sees nothing wrong with it and suggests that you are being petty for questioning it.

    Let’s consider some things that influence our thinking and change our lives.

1. What becomes accepted in the world can, in time, become "norm" for us, too. Little by little what the world thinks to be okay can eventually infiltrate our minds. At first we may consider the rest of the world as being careless and loose with God's word. However, as time goes on, we think more and more like they do. Consider how we have come to accept what the world would have "condemned" years before: women in the workforce, divorce, wearing short and tight clothes, R-rated movies, etc. That is not to say that all that is accepted in the world and then by us is necessarily wrong. At times, it may simply involve custom or tradition. I'm simply pointing to the power of influence.

    However, I'm fearful what those in my grandchildren's day may accept. What the world accepts now, God's people could easily begin to accept in the future. For evidence of how this works consider how the natives of the land of Canaan turned God's people toward evil (see the book of Ezra). It happens little by little. We become accustomed to the ideas of the world. Whether we agree or not, we become used to the idea that "that's what everyone is doing." So in time, we are "desensitized" enough that we think it is okay for us too.

2. What we see at home. Most of us would admit that at least in part we are what we are today because of what our parents did or did not do in our training. This is true even in things that do not involve right or wrong. More and more I find myself doing things that I remember my parents doing. More and more I see that I judge things based on how I was raised. My point is our home life has a powerful impact on the rest of our lives (Prov. 22:6).

    We can be influencing our children to gradually drift and become looser in their thinking by the little things we do or allow. Do you ever think that in the future your children may base their determination of what is right or wrong upon what you, as a parent, allowed them to do as a child? A child that is allowed to miss services for a ball game or to stay home because some in the family are tired will remember that as he gets older. That child may later reason "What's the difference in missing for a ball game and going fishing?" You see, with every move we make we are building a "value system" into our children that will guide them in the future. Don't forget, that those we teach (especially our children) may carry the principles they learn from us further than we had in mind. Now be honest. Have you ever "justified" something in your own mind thinking, "When I was a child we used to ___________ and we didn't think anything about it. What is the difference in ____________ and doing _________ ?" If you reason that way, don't kid yourself thinking your children will not do the same.

3. We are affected by those with whom we associate. Paul said, "Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33, ASV). Though usually quoted to say we need to watch who are friends are, the context is talking of false teachers. Listening to those who issue uncertain sounds can corrupt our lives. Paul's warning is that we can be influenced by them. Sometimes people drift as much because of what they have not heard as they do from what they have heard.

    It is not just preachers and teachers that influence us. Other "Christians" whose thinking differs from our own can change us and our children. We are now facing ideas and concepts that indicate that a parting of ways among brethren is coming. It is obvious that there are two mind sets. Those with a looser, more tolerate attitude could have an influence on us and our children as our ear is bent to their voice.

    The problem with influence is that by the time we realize the impact it has had, it may be too late.
—Donnie Rader
Guardian of Truth XLI p. 18-19,
September 18, 1997

 

"ONE BODY"

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

    God wants us to understand there is “one body” and He has revealed that “body” to us through His word. Despite what we think this “body” refers to, God’s word clearly reveals what it is. “And hath put all things under His (Christ, ERH) feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:21,22). “And He (Christ, ERH) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18).

    What is “the body”? The Scriptures reveal that it is “the church”. There is “one body” thus there is “one church”, for the inspired Scriptures teach that it is. 

    However, people today do not speak in terms of “the church” but instead they ask, “WHICH church are you a member of?” Some say they believe all churches are acceptable but, while they say it, they don’t really believe it. For example, at a local nursing home, Tim Shepherd and I were trying to make arrangements for one of the residents to attend services with us. The supervisor of the home had permitted him to attend a denomination but when we began making arrangements for an ambulance to transport him to and from services at Wise, the supervisor said, “It doesn’t matter where you go to church for they all are OK.” She made this statement and yet refused him to attend services with us. If it really didn’t matter, why didn’t she allow him to go with us since we had already made arrangements? Even though she said all churches are OK, she really didn’t believe it because here was her opportunity to practice what she preached.

    Just recently I was talking to one of my relatives who maintained that all churches were OK and before our conversation ended, she  expressed concern for her brother being a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. If all churches are OK, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are just as right as all the others because they have their doctrines and practices that are peculiar to them like all churches do. Again, I say that I’ve yet to meet the first person who says all churches are OK who really believes what they say.

    The Scriptures do not teach nor has God ever said that all churches are OK. If all churches are OK where are the teachers of FALSE doctrine and where are the VAIN worshipers? “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (1 Peter 2:1,2) Where are the false teachers and where are the many who are following them if all churches are OK? “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9) Are there any churches in existence that teach the commandments of men for their doctrines? When you have one church teaching that baptism has nothing to do with saving and another church teaching people to be baptized for the remission of sins, which one is teaching the commandment of God and which is teaching a commandment of men? Both can’t be teaching the commandment of God because they contradict each other and teach the exact opposite of one another. Any church that teaches the commandment of men causes their worship to be rendered vain. Is it alright if you are a member of a church that renders vain worship? Then it does make a difference, doesn’t it?

    We must go to the inspired Scriptures for therein we find authorized what God would have us to teach and practice. If it’s not in the Scriptures it cannot be a commandment of God but rather a commandment of men. If it matters whether our worship is acceptable to God or vain, it matters which church we are a member of.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

 

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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.
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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. 2

Sunday, June 30, 2019

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 2 / June 30, 2019

"1000 YEAR REIGN AND REVELATION 20"

 

    Revelation 20 is a "hot bed" for all types of ideas and beliefs: (1) Thousand year reign of Christ on earth (2) The Rapture (3) The Battle Of Armageddon (4) More than one resurrection at Christ's return, etc. Many of these ideas are contained in the theory of “pre-millennialism". If there is ever a verse quoted from the book of Revelation in support of this theory, chances are it will be from chapter 20.

    There are some things we need to remember about the book of Revelation: (1) It uses signs and symbols to reveal its message. The reason for this is John wrote during troublesome times. The personal safety of both the writer and reader were in danger if the enemy understood the true meaning of the book. The proper way to understand symbols is like that of understanding parables: find the main point and let the details fit in the most natural way. (2) Revelation CONCEALS and REVEALS: Conceals the message from the enemy and reveals the message to the people of God. (3) No interpretation of Revelation is correct if it is meaningless and fails to bring practical help and comfort to the Christian's of John's day. (4) The main point of Revelation is: Despite persecution and oppression, from whatever it's source, if we will remain true and faithful to the Lord, the victory will ultimately be ours through Christ. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." (Rev. 5:12)

    The Bible is the best commentary we can use. So, let's allow the Scriptures to interpret themselves. Revelation 20 is similar to Ezekiel 37-39:6. In Ezekiel 37 we have the restoration of Israel out of Babylonian captivity being compared to the resurrection of a valley of dry bones. However, neither passage is talking about a bodily resurrection. It is symbolical: As God resurrected Israel from the captivity of Babylon, He would resurrect the martyred saints who had been killed by the beast.

    Gog of the land of Magog were ancient enemies of God's people. (Ezek. 38:17). Thus, the Holy Spirit could have no better way to describe enemies against Christians in John's day than to describe them as "Gog and Magog" in Rev. 20:8. The battle of Armageddon was not a final "war to end all wars" in Ezekiel and neither is it here in Revelation 20. No sooner than Satan is "bound" by defeat until he is "loosed" to begin his work of deceiving again. No sooner is Satan defeated than he is out again to "make war" against God's people. It was true in Old Testament times and it continues to be true of Christians in the past as well as present. This will continue to be so until the final and ultimate destruction of the Devil in "the lake of fire and brimstone". (Rev. 20:10; Matthew 25:41.)

    Revelation 20 says nothing about: (1) Christ setting up a kingdom (2) Christ reigning on earth a thousand years. (Does not mention "reign of Christ" but "reign of souls with Christ" (3) A rapture (4) A bodily resurrection (5) All Christians reigning. (6) Second coming of Christ (7) Throne of David, or any other throne on earth (8) Jerusalem or Palestine (9) Us.

  There is a reign which the inspired apostle Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 15. Let us examine the contrast in this reign and the one in Revelation 20:

Revelation 201 Corinthians 15
A. Christ reigns with beheaded souls.A. Christ reign with all saints.
B. Christ reigns where souls are.B. Christ reigns on David's throne.
C. Reign began when souls were beheaded and Satan was bound.C. Reign began on Pentecost - Acts 2:30-35
D. Reign continued until Satan loose out of prison for little season.D. Reign continued until last enemy is destroyed.

    The book of Revelation stands to assure us that if we are "faithful unto death", we will be given a "crown of life" (2:10). If we "do His commandments", we can have the "right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (22:14).

—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

"LET ME FIRST"

       On one occasion Christ heard these words, "I will follow thee, but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house" (Luke 9:61). Some say, when confronted with the passionate pleas of the Gospel, "Let me first get my education, a better job, a home, a new automobile, and the other necessary things of life." These folks have a place for Christ in their lives --- second place! They seem convinced that material security will somehow prepare them to follow Christ. Such a perception fails to grasp the meaning of Christ's words: "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). So many have actually reversed the saying of Christ and are seeking first the wealth of the world thinking the kingdom of God will be added unto them. To gain the entire world and to lose Christ is to lose all.

    There is nothing wrong with having a good education, a better job, a home, a new or better car. The harm is in allowing these things to take precedence over the things of God's kingdom. What is first in your life? Is it money, pleasure, education, or is it Christ Jesus?
—Michael W. McLemore

 

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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