What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

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What The Bible Says - Vol. 4 / No. 19

Sunday, February 13, 2022

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 19 / February 13, 2022

"ALMOST THOU PERSUADEST ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN"

    “King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” (Acts 26:27-29)

    The word “almost” is the saddest word in the English language. “Almost” can change a lot of things. Let’s examine this statement.

“ALMOST” defeats the doctrine of salvation by faith only. Faith alone did not save Agrippa. In John 12:42-43 we read of the chief rulers who believed would they were not saved. Faith without works is dead according to James 2:14-24. Yet a good number of religious people would try to have you believe that faith alone will save. They are quick to point out the thief on the cross and as if he was baptized. The answer is, “No, he was not!” but the thief was also living under the Old Testament and before Christ died on the cross. Christ’s blood and not been shed. You and I live after Christ’s death and under the New Testament. Can we not see that the the case of the thief is altogether different from us?

“THOU” refers to the apostle Paul for he was the one trying to persuade Agrippa.Since Agrippa refers to Paul having a part in persuading him, this defeats the doctrine of salvation by miraculous works of the Holy Spirit. There is no other power in force to save mankind from sin than the pure simple gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). Some may be quick to point out Saul’s conversion in Acts 9 as proof of the need for miraculous events to happen in conversion. Indeed, a great light shined about him and he fell to the ground and heard the voice of Jesus. Yet, when he asked Jesus, “What wilt thou have me to do?”, Jesus replied, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:6) Saul went to the city of Damascus and when Ananias came to him he said, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16) If Saul was saved because Jesus spoke to him, Saul didn’t know it, Christ didn’t know it, and Ananias didn’t know it! Too, if Saul was saved on the road to Damascus, as some claim, he still had his sins because Ananias told him to wash his sins away!

“PERSUADEST ME” destroys the concept of the mourner’s bench. Long ago, John Calvin said we must persuade God to save us and many denominations have accepted his doctrine. Thus, if you were to go to the services of  many churches you would hear a call made for anyone that is a sinner to come and kneel down at the altar to pray their sins away. In doing this they plead with God to forgive them of their sins. The problem with all this is that you cannot find anyone doing this in the Bible! No alien sinner ever prayed their sins away! If they did, where is the book, chapter, and verse that teaches such? Agrippa knew who had to be persuaded and it was him and not God! In 2 Peter 3:8-9 we see how God is willing that all men should come to repentance. Peter told people in Acts 2:40 to “save yourselves from this untoward generation”. God had done His part by providing His only begotten Son and man must do what God requires in order to be saved. Thus those in Acts 2 that “gladly received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41).

“TO BE” is not the same as ‘to feel’ or ‘to get’. Religion is not something ‘you get’ but it is something “to be”. Neither is it an ‘experience’ because when you begin to hear people explain how they know they are saved, no two ‘experiences’ are the same. Yet, denominational creeds rely upon ‘experiences’ as evidence of salvation and, therefore, acceptance into the membership of their churches. However, in the book of Acts we have people being saved from their sins but there is a striking similarity in every case: the word of God was preached, they heard, believed, and were baptized. We don’t read in the Bible what we hear so much talk about today where people are told to “just accept Jesus as your personal Savior”, “Jesus come into my heart”, or “Lord save me”! Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

“A CHRISTIAN” The name is important and there is something in a name. The word “Christian” refers to “one who belongs to Christ”. Calling yourself a Christian doesn’t make you one. If I were to call myself a mechanic and sit in a garage all day, that would not make me one. It makes a difference what name we wear religiously. Acts 4:12 states: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” If we can be saved by no other than Christ, does it make any sense to call ourselves by any other name other than a Christian? Then what justification can there be for people calling themselves Baptist? Was John crucified for them? This can be done to all the names that people were religiously. Why not BE A CHRISTIAN, nothing more and nothing less, instead of “almost”.    —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

INTEGRITY

Required Under the Law
• Deuteronomy 16:19: Thou shalt not wrest judgement; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
• Deuteronomy 16:20: That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherhit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

The Just Man Described
• Proverbs 20:7: The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are  blessed after him.

Job’s Resolve
• Job 27:4: My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter  deceit.
• Job 27:5: God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

Is Open to Inspection
• John 3:21: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his  deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

HOW IS YOURS?
—George Leath

 

SENTENCE SERMONS
If you will get on the right road and go straight, you will not get lost. 
***
Common sense is one of the most uncommon things around.
***
You may need false teeth but be sure that your tongue is always true.
***
It takes far more effort to make a good life thana good living.
 ***
Often the chains of bad habits are two small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
***
To be sound, an argument must be true.

 

"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. 4 / No. 18

Sunday, January 30, 2022

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 18 / January 30, 2022

"HOW TO LEAD SOMEONE TO CHRIST"

    The above title was taken from a Bible correspondence course being offered by a denominational church. It goes on to give five steps: “1. I have sinned. 2. God loves me. 3. Christ died for me. 4. I receive Him. 5. I have everlasting life.” The Bible definitely teaches there are five steps a person must take to come to Christ but they differ drastically from the five just mentioned.

1. A person must HEAR. The fact that we have sinned, God loves us, and Christ died for us is learned when the gospel is preached    . In EVERY case of conversion found in the book of Acts, people first had to HEAR (Acts 2:37; 8:6,35; 9:6; 10:33; 16:14,32; 19:5) As we hear we learn that we have sinned (Romans 3:23), that God loves us (John 3:16), and that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Without hearing the gospel, we cannot come to Christ (John 6:44-45).

2. Upon hearing God’s word, we must BELIEVE. This is another way of saying we must have FAITH. Jesus in John 8:24 said, “…if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” Some denominations teach a person is saved the moment he believes. If that be true, why was Agrippa just “almost” a Christian? He believed (Acts 26:27-28)! Why are the devils saved? They believe (James 2:19)! No, it takes more than just faith only (James 2:24).

3.  A person must also REPENT. Jesus taught repentance was absolutely necessary in Luke 13:3 and 5 or else “perish”. That’s why Peter commanded people in Acts 2 to repent. Repentance is a turning: a turning FROM sin and turning TO God.

4.   If, upon hearing and believing God’s word, we are willing to repent, we must then CONFESS Christ to be the Son of God (Matthew 16:16; Acts 8:37). Confession is made with the mouth unto (in the direction of) salvation as stated in Romans 10:10.

5.  After confessing Christ to be the Son of God, all that stands between us and our being “in Christ” is BAPTISM (Galatians 3:27). Baptism is the final step that “saves us” (1 Peter 3:21) because baptism in the Bible is “for (in order to have) the remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 2:38). Let our salvation be patterned after those we read about in the book of Acts!  —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

"A THOUSAND TIMES, NO!"

    Ever notice that you can say "no" a thousand times, but all those no's are canceled by one "yes"? "No, you can't have a cookie, can't have a cookie, can't have a cookie! Okay, yes!" The cookie will be eaten! To concede and fail you don't have to say yes as many times as you must say no to remain steadfast and succeed.

    A thousand no's to fornication are deleted by one yes that robs one of his virtue and virginity. A thousand no's to adultery are swept away by a yes that destroys family, home and soul. A thousand no's to drugs are erased by a yes that opens the door to all kinds of destruction and excess. A thousand no's to stealing are forgotten by a yes on our record when we stand before the law. A thousand no's to pornography are overwhelmed by a yes that writes indelible images in the mind. It applies across the board to all sin.

    While it is certainly true that forgiveness in Christ is available for any sinful yes decision we make, this must not be seen as license to make that errant decision even once. We are called to completely die to sin (Rom. 6) -- it is to have no part in us, or us in it.

    Parents often tire of the "May I have a cookie?" question and finally concede with a yes. Kids know this. Satan knows this. We tire of saying no and looking different from others. We tire of our "no" answer causing abstinence from activities that appear pleasurable and fun. We tire of always being the one to say “no". In time, sin nags us to the point where we finally want to say, "Okay, yes, just this time!" How much more can God expect us to resist -- how many more times must we say no?

    The Hebrew writer reminds us, "You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin" (Heb. 12:4). We're not just talking about saying no to the point of alienation and missing out on some of life's pleasures. Resisting "to bloodshed, striving against sin" means saying no to sin until it kills us! That means a thousand times no to the sin that tempts us from within and from without. And when we have said no a thousand times it is then time to say it a thousand and one times, and more!
—David Diestelkamp

 

ARE YOU FAITHFUL?

    It was a sunny morning when James stepped outside to get his morning paper. Only a moment later James returned with a disgusted look on his face. No paper! James said, "I'm gonna have to get me a new paper boy. He's just not faithful." The problem was that James' paperboy would deliver about 1 out of every 3 days.

    Fred was in a hurry to get to work, but it happened again. His car wouldn't start. He had hoped this used second vehicle would be just what he needed, but about 1 out of every 3 turns of the ignition, the car wouldn't start. Fred told his wife, "I'm gonna have to trade that car in. I just need one that's more faithful.”

    Are James and Fred right to call the paperboy and the car unfaithful? Would you be pleased with a paperboy who delivered I day out of 3? Would you be pleased with a car that only started 2 out of 3 times? Certainly not!

    The apostle Paul was chosen by God to carry the gospel because God counted him faithful. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry" (1 Tim. 1:12). Paul was trustworthy. God could count on him when He needed him. Paul would never fail in his duty to God.

    What about me and my attendance to the assemblies of God's people? My brethren are counting on me to be there. I need to consider the impact of my absence upon them. My presence helps to stir up my brothers and sisters to love and good works. Furthermore, I am drawing near to God and holding fast to my faith (Heb. 10:23-25). Am I faithful if I hit one out of every 3 services? Am I faithful if I hit 2 out of 3? Does God consider me reliable and trustworthy? Is he pleased with such performance?

    It's something to think about, isn't it? If I wouldn't call the paperboy faithful and the used car faithful then why do I consider myself faithful in my service to God if my performance is no better? All of us need to realize our obligations to God and to our brethren regarding our attendance. We grow weaker through our absence. Someone once compared this to an automobile: "Brethren are often like cars. They 'sputter' before they 'miss' and they 'miss' before they 'quit.'"  —Jeff May

 

"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. 4 / No. 17

Sunday, January 16, 2022

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 17 / January 16, 2022

RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD

    What does it mean to rightly divide God’s word as found in 2nd Timothy 2:15? There are many people who believe that the Old Testament scriptures are applicable today for law/salvation! What do the scriptures teach? We understand from a study of the Bible that the old law, the law given to the Israelite nation through Moses, was to last until Christ came. Read Matthew 5:17.18. We understand that Christ, upon His death, fulfilled that law, nailed it to the cross. Read Colossians 2:14. Thus ending that law-making way for the law of Christ. Read Hebrews 10:9. We are now under law to Christ. Please read Hebrews 9:13-17.

    All but one of the Ten commandments in the old law were restated in the law of Christ which is found in the new testament. The one that commands to “remember the sabbath day to keep it holy” is not restated therefore this one does not apply today. There is not a scripture in the new testament, after Christ established His church in Acts chapter 2 that demands us to remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. So how do we use the old testament scriptures today? Romans 15:4 teaches us: These scriptures were written for our learning. There are numerous things we learn. Prophesies of the coming of Christ, how God spoke to others in olden times, how God has always expected obedience from his children, blessed those who obeyed and punished those who were disobedient.

    We learn of God’s love, mercy and long suffering and many things too numerous to mention in this short article. We need to understand that we must not go back to the Old Law today to follow its teaching for our law/salvation today. We are to rightly divide God’s word! Please read all references and be aware many others can be given. Please, read and study the Bible for yourself! 
—Byron Pledger

 

HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM

    There are many today who claim to have received Holy Spirit baptism. Numerous preachers from pulpits, radio, and television are preaching you must receive Holy Spirit baptism to be saved or as evidence of salvation. Did Jesus or His apostles ever teach these things about Holy Spirit baptism? Let’s look at some facts about Holy Spirit baptism. (1) We see from such passages as Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, and John 1:33 that Holy Spirit baptism was always a PROMISE but NEVER A COMMAND! When Holy Spirit baptism was promised, it was always promised to the apostles (John 14-16; Acts 1:5). (2) There are only two recorded cases of Holy Spirit baptism: one in Acts 2 and the other was seven years later in Acts 10. Those who received Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2 were Jews and the ones in Acts 10 were Gentiles. Both cases fulfilled Joel’s prophesy of Joel 2:28 concerning God’s Spirit being poured out on “all flesh”. (Joel’s prophesy was quoted by Peter in Acts 2 to explain the occasion of Holy Spirit baptism upon the apostles.) (3) Every time the Scriptures refer to the Holy Spirit, it is not referring to baptism. A dollar is money but not all money is a dollar. If we can understand this, we should likewise understand the Holy Spirit can be mentioned in the Scriptures and it not always refer to Holy Spirit baptism. (4) When the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles in Acts 10, Peter had to go all the way back to Pentecost in Acts 2 to find another case (Acts 11:15). This shows it was not a common thing to happen as it is tried to be made into today.

    The PURPOSE of Holy Spirit baptism was to guide the apostles into “all truth” (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:13). The “you” in these passages refer to the apostles. The other purpose was to confirm to the Jews that the Gentiles were accepted under the same terms of the gospel (Acts 10:45,47; 11:15-18).

    In Ephesians 4:5 we read there is “ONE BAPTISM”. At one time there was Moses’ baptism (1 Corinthians 10:2) and the baptism of John (Mark 1:4). After the Judgment Day there will be the baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11). In the first century, there was Holy Spirit baptism to serve the purpose of the things we’ve already stated. Today, there is but “one baptism” and it is commanded to be done in water for the purpose of remitting sins (Acts 2:38; 8:36; 10:48). No, there is no Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism for that would make TWO BAPTISMS! The Scriptures teach there is only ONE just as there is only ONE God, ONE Lord, ONE Spirit, ONE faith, ONE body, and ONE hope (Ephesians 4:4-6).

    There is no need for Holy Spirit baptism today. God’s Word has been revealed in its total truth so that we have the “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25; Jude 3). If people today have received Holy Spirit baptism, why don’t they preach what the Holy Spirit says about salvation, worship, and the Lord’s church?
—E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

MARITAL FAITHFULNESS

    A recent report revealed that "thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married?" For years we've preached against and bemoaned the high rate of divorce in this country. But divorce doesn't just happen. There are any number of attitudes and actions that lead up to it. Wrong attitudes toward God, toward spouses, and toward the institution of marriage itself lead to foolish and harmful actions that destroy homes and condemn souls.

    God created the institution of marriage. It is He who joins man and woman together in the bonds of matrimony, and He intends for them to stay that way until separated by death (Romans 7:2). Jesus said that man is not to separate what God has joined together (Matthew 19:6). In Malachi 2:16, God literally says that He "hates divorce." Any married person with an ounce of respect for God and His will, will not take out a personal ad for a date or engage in any other activity that could lead to a divorce. It's a matter of having the right attitude toward God.

    It is also a matter of having the right attitude toward one's spouse. Spouses are to be loved, honored and cherished. A husband who is enraptured with the love of his spouse will not "be enraptured by an immoral woman" (Proverbs 5:19-20). He will honor his wife as the weaker vessel, and cherish her as he does his own flesh (1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:28-29). The wife who loves her husband will "see that she respects" him (Ephesians 6:23). "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones" (Proverbs 12:4). This mutual love and respect between marriage partners leaves no room for activities which bring pain, shame and dishonor to one's spouse. Simply put, divorce and its painful consequences are often the result of being unfaithful to God and to one's spouse. Truly, "the way of the unfaithful is hard" (Proverbs 13:15, NKJV)

—Steve Klein

 

QUOTABLE QUOTES

    "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” - William Penn

    "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” - Unknown

 

"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. 4 / No. 16

Sunday, January 02, 2022

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 16 / January 2, 2022

IS TELEVISION SAFE TO WATCH?

    This is a legitimate question in view of the facts: 1) Television has a definite influence. It is stated that "modern visual technology is now perhaps the single most influencial means of molding public opinion and changing moral values", and I am in total agreement. 2) Ninety-eight percent of homes have one or more television sets and DVRs. 3) The average child will have watched 21,000 hours of television by the time they graduate from high school. (Compare this to the 13,000 hours they are in school!)

    Television is a CONSTANT form of advertisement. (Not just only when there are commercials.) Television promotes situation ethics, fornication and adultery, alcoholic lifestyles, humanistic values, and materialistic values. There is no denying that we buy the advertising because our nation has the highest percentage of divorce and violent crime of any other nation in the world, television keeps our society highly stimulated sexually, and television is the largest single cause for the rise of sexual promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, unwed couples, marital infidelity, divorce, teen-age pregnancy, and venerial disease.

    All these things being true, television has DESENSITIZED us morally and has contributed to the breakdown of the family. Programs that would have been turned off years ago are left on, and gradually we have become "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13). Instead of being ASHAMED, BLUSHING, and being REPULSED, we have learned to "tune out" obscenities and profanity with our minds instead of the channel changer or the on-off switch. Most folks would not allow family members to use any type language and engage in indecent or violent acts in their home but still we sit and watch and listen to total strangers curse and commit almost every form of ungodliness on the TV screen! (Isn't that being hypocritical to say the least?) Anymore, being able to find a decent program or movie to watch is about as rare as thinking we can go to the garbage can and find something sweet to eat.

    There are definite Bible principles we need to follow when viewing programs on television. We must deny "ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly" (Titus 2:11,12). We become like what we associate with. "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners".(1 Corinthians 15:33). We must guard our minds, for what we put into our minds is what we get out. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). We need to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). Therefore, what we view on our television screen should help us to think on the right things.
 —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

COLLEGE PROFESSORS AND CHRISTIANITY

    Have you ever wondered why there seems to be so few college professors that are Christians? The Bible gives us the answer …

     Many college professors are like the Greeks of I Cor 1:22 who sought after the “wisdom” of men. God goes on to say in verse 26 that “not many wise men after the flesh” (college professors) “are called.” Then God gives us the answer to our question of why in verses 27-29. "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." According to these verses, the reason not many of the so called intellectuals among us have obeyed the gospel is because God planned it that way! He chose a foolish thing in the eyes of the world (“the preaching of the cross” - verse 18) to save them that believe (verse 21). He did this so no one could glory in themselves (verse 29). The implication is that had God chosen a way for people to be saved that appealed to the intellectual (like working calculus problems), the intellectual would have bragged that his great intelligence brought about his salvation. So God chose something simple in the eyes of the world (preaching the cross), so "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (verse 31).

     What about each one of us? Are we trusting in our own wisdom, or are we trusting in God's wisdom (His word)? We are trusting in our own wisdom any time we try to explain away the plain meaning of a verse. Are we doing the doing the will of the Father in heaven (Matt 7:21)?
—Patrick Donahue

 

BEFORE WE CRITICIZE...

    There are times when mistakes are made and things need to be pointed out. And, unfortunately, we all know that offering criticism can sometimes make a bad situation even worse. Serious thought needs to go into what we will say. Maybe it would help if we would ask the following questions before offering criticism:

1. Why am I doing this? Do I really want to help this person, or am I just doing this to make myself feel better? Am I trying to improve the situation, or do I just want to say, "I told you so!"? What is my motive? "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). Regardless of what the world believes, we don't have the right to let off some steam at the expense of another. Criticism that is only going to make us feel better needs to be kept to ourselves.

2. Do I have a right to criticize? Was I available when this person could have used some help before? Can I sympathize with what they are going through? Can I offer some positive suggestions to go along with the criticism? Some people like to just sit on the sidelines and criticize the labors of others. Such people really have no right to criticize.

3. Have I examined myself? It is not right for me to give criticism that I am not willing to take. Jesus says that I must make sure that the log is out of my eye first, then I can offer to help my brother get the speck out of his eye (Matt. 7:3-5). Criticism is respected when it comes from a respectable person, but no one appreciates a hypocrite.

4. What will I say, and how will I say it?  This is very important. I must choose my words very carefully. They have the power to build up or to destroy (Proverbs 12:18, 16:24). As Paul said, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt" (Col. 4:6). What we say, and the way we say it, will make all the difference in the world. 

5. Will it glorify God?  “…Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). Who's glory am I seeking? Am I saying something to help the cause of Christ or just to be heard? If it is just to be seen and heard by men, then truly I have my reward (Matt. 6:1-6). 

—Heath Rogers

 

WHO ARE WE?

    The East Albertville church of Christ is not a part of any denomination (1 Cor. 1:10-13). We are simply a local body of Christians (1 Cor. 1:2) who meet together to worship the Lord (Acts 20:7) and do God’s work collectively (1 Tim. 5:16) through the use of funds donated on a free will basis by our own members each first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:1-2). We have no clergy (Matthew 23:8-12). We follow no human creeds or human doctrines (Rev. 22:18-19). We strive to give scriptural authority for all we believe, teach, and do (Col. 3:17). The worship is not according to human traditions (Matthew 15:7-9) but is in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23-24). Members of the church are expected to live holy lives (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Our one hope is a home in Heaven. (1 Pet. 1:3-5).

 

"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. 4 / No. 15

Sunday, December 19, 2021

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 15 / December 19, 2021

FACT AND FICTION ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

    At this time of year we hear a lot talk about the religious significance of Christmas. We thought it might be useful to separate the facts from all the fiction that has been generated about the birth of Christ.
 
Facts About The Birth Of Jesus:

    There was a baby boy named Jesus born in Bethlehem more than 1900 years ago. He grew up to be one of the most influential men in history. Secular writers of history confirm that there was such a man (Josephus, Tactitus, Suetonius, Pliny).

    The circumstances of his birth have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries. There was an imperial census, Cyrenius was governor (Luke 2:2), and each Jew was required to go to his ancestral home.

    Angels announced His birth to shepherds (Luke 2:8-14), and wise men from the east came to worship Him (Matt. 2).

    He was born of a virgin, and this was attested to by his mother, Joseph, Elisabeth, John the Baptist, and the inspired writers.

    He came on a mission of salvation (Luke 2:29-32).
 
Fiction About The Birth Of Jesus:

    It is not a known fact that there were three wise men. The three gifts could have been brought by a smaller or larger group.

    The wise men did not visit the stable, as the so-called “nativity” scenes often depict. Matthew 2:11 says they visited Jesus later, when He was in a house.

    There is no evidence that Jesus was born on December 25th. In fact, there is a strong indication that it was during a warmer time of year. (The shepherds were still in the fields with their sheep at night - Luke 2:8.)

    We have no instruction in the Bible to observe a special day in honor of the birth of Jesus. This is not to say that we are not grateful for His birth. Obviously, we are. But the only special observance taught in the New Testament is the Lord’s Supper which commemorates His death - and that is to be done each first day of the week (Acts 20:7).

    It is also fiction to imagine that anyone could please Him by thinking of Him and worshiping Him one day per year. We must serve Him faithfully every day!  —Greg Gwin

 

"I WANT TO BE RICH"

    There was a song popular in the late 80’s called “I Want To Be Rich”. Some of the lyrics are “I want money, lots and lots of money…” and “I wanna be rich for a little love, peace and happiness.“ Sometimes we are led to believe all our problems can be solved with money. Countless millions are spent each year on various ways to strike it rich. But if we had millions, would we really be satisfied? Eccl. 5:10 says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance with increase.” But there are some things in which we should desire to be rich – and it is not money or things. In James 2 we are warned of showing partiality to the wealthy. He says in verse 5, “Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom…” In many cases it was the poor who were willing to listen to Christ and His apostles. And I think to a large extent that is still true today. Those we would consider wealthy have very little time for God or obedience to His will. These James talks about had little materially but were rich in faith. Faith is the foundation of our Christian life. We should all desire to be rich in faith. In I Timothy 6 Paul gives instructions to the rich saying in verse 18 “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works.” These people may have had a lot but there were more important things for them to do. No matter our station in life, wealthy or poor, we can be rich in good works. In the latter part of verse 18 Paul continues by saying that they be ready to give, willing to share. We should always be ready and willing to help. We may not have much to share but the attitude and intention behind our helping is a large part of it. Jesus gave the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12. This man had a lot materially and there was nothing wrong in him having many goods. Or even in his tearing down his barns to build bigger ones. He failed in his attitude. He trusted in his wealth and didn’t give the glory to God. In verse 21 Jesus speaks of those not rich toward God. To think about what is required in being rich toward God might seem a little daunting. However, we can begin by having a strong faith. Stephen in Acts 6:5 was described as a man full of faith. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that said of us? By doing good works. In Acts 9:36 Tabitha is said to be a woman full of good works and charitable deeds. I would love to be known by the good things I have done! By seeking first His Kingdom and laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven. That is the type of wealth we should want to accumulate.  —Lee Pack

 

EXPECT A MIRACLE

    There is much ado about miracles. Turn on your television and you don’t have to listen very long to the religious networks to realize all the talk that is being made about miracles.

    Since miracles are a Bible subject, everything we need to know about them can be found in the Scriptures. One thing that would make for a good study is to examine what the Bible says about the PURPOSE of miracles.

    First, Christ preformed miracles to prove Himself to be the Son of God and that purpose has been served. Nicodemus, in John 3:3, was able to know that Jesus was from God “…for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” When Peter preached to those in Jerusalem he said, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” (Acts 2:22). Thus Jesus was confirmed and proven to be the Son of God by the miracles He performed.

    Second, God gave miracles for the purpose of confirming the WORD that was preached because the New Testament had not been written for mankind to follow. In Mark 16:19-20 we read: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them (the eleven according to verse 14), he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they (the eleven) went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Another passage in Hebrews 2:3-4 reads: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” Again, the purpose of New Testament miracles was to prove Christ to be the Son of God and to confirm the Word of God that had not yet been written.

    Today we hear so much about miracles when in fact no miracle has occurred. Today there are only “so called” miracles. There are so many that are making puppets of people with these “professed” miracles, Some of the TV evangelists attempt to establish a belief in themselves. Others strive for financial gain and material prosperity and some offer miracles for the personal benefit of the person being healed. After going through a series of testimonials, you are encouraged to not only ask but EXPECT A MIRACLE! During all this, there is usually an 800 telephone number of a website given for you to call and make a financial pledge to the evangelist or make a “donation” and receive some book or printed material.

    It shouldn’t take much to see the one who is truly benefiting is the TV evangelist! Can we read anywhere in the Scriptures of Jesus or even one of His apostles begging money after a miracle was performed? Can you even imagine Jesus or one of His apostles begging money in this way?

    The purpose of miracles was to reveal and confirm the Word of God and not for someone’s personal benefit.  —E.R. Hall, Jr.

 

"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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