The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them
to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
September 29, 2013
1) Refuse Not Him That Speaketh (Connie W. Adams)
2) We Believe, And, Therefore, Speak (Bill Hall)
3) News & Notes
Refuse Not Him That Speaketh
by Connie W. Adams
The book of Hebrews introduces us to God's spokesman for the last
days. "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" (Heb. 1:1-2). A contrast is drawn
between "time past" and "these last days." A further contrast
is seen in that he "spake unto the fathers by the prophets" while he
speaks "unto us by his Son."
The thought that "God...hath...spoken" is sublime. What if God
had not spoken? The natural world testifies to his "eternal
power and Godhead" (Rom. 1:20) but it gives us no light as to the
character of God, nor a single word as to our relationship to
him. Had God not spoken in understandable terms to man we
would know nothing of our origin, purpose or destiny. Life
would be nothing more than a vain striving after the wind.
But, from the beginning of human history, God has revealed himself
to man in rational terms. To the patriarchs of old he spoke
directly. At other times he spoke in a dream or from a burning
bush. When the Jewish nation was formed, God raised up
prophets to be his spokesmen to "the fathers." Moses was a
prophet in a special sense. "Yea, and all the prophets from
Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have
likewise foretold of these days" (Acts 3:24). The prophets
through whom God addressed the nation of the Jews foretold the days
in which God would speak "by his Son." "For all the prophets
and the law prophesied until John" (Mt. 11:13). These were
valiant servants of God who often lifted up their hands to a
rebellious and gainsaying people.
The "last days" describes the time period stretching from the day of
Pentecost when the church was established and terminating in the
second coming of Christ. Once that period began, all men must
look to Jesus Christ and his revelation in order to know the mind of
God and to be at peace with him.
The Better Spokesman
God's spokesman for these last days outshines every human spokesman
God ever sent. Moses was a most faithful and able servant. But he
was a servant in his house whereas Christ was a "son over his own
house" (Heb. 3:5-6). Time would fail to describe the greatness of
Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos and all the
rest. They were worthy as "God's servants, the
prophets." Yet none of them could be described as "heir of all
things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of
his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all
things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our
sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb.
1:2-3). What honor the Father has shown the human family in
sending such a spokesman!
But wait! This spokesman rises in rank above every angelic
messenger God ever sent. Angelic messengers were sent to warn Lot.
We read of Michael the archangel and of Gabriel. The law was
given "by the disposition of angels" (Acts 7:53) and was "ordained
by angels in the hand of a mediator" (Gal. 3:19). This was
"the word spoken by angels" under which every sin was punished (Heb.
2:2). But we have a far better spokesman than any angel,
regardless of his rank. "Being made so much better than the
angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name
than they" (Heb. 1:4). God never said "Thou art my Son" to any
angel (v. 5) but he said that of the Son. This he did both at
the baptism of Jesus and the transfiguration scene (Mt. 3:17;
17:5). Furthermore, at the advent of the Son into the world,
"he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him" (v. 6).
Never did the Father say to an angel, "Thy throne, O God, is forever
and ever" but he said that of the Son (v. 8; Psa. 45:6, 7). No
angel was credited with laying the foundation of the earth nor
making the heavens with his hands. Yet, all of that was said
of the Son (vv. 10-12). No angel was ever invited to "Sit on
my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (v.
13). This honor was only accorded the Son of God, our
spokesman in these last days.
The Confirmed Word
God does all things well. Not only has he honored man by
sending, in the form of man, such an exalted spokesman, but God has
confirmed the word of that messenger in such a way that no doubt can
reasonably exist as to the source of his word. This word of
salvation which at the first was spoken by the Lord "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" (Heb. 2:3-4). Here we
are introduced to the province of miracles, not only in the ministry
of Jesus but especially in the work of his apostles. They were
promised such confirming power in Mark 16:17-20. Confirmation
of the message belonged to the original declaration of it. Not
only did Jesus speak God's truth to man, he selected and trained the
apostles and said "as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have
I sent them into the world" (John 17:18). They were sent out
with credentials (miraculous signs and wonders) to confirm their
testimony. Paul said "We have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor.
2:16). To reject the ambassadors of God's Son is to reject the
Son himself. To reject him is to reject the Father who sent
The Inescapable Word
Under God's revelation to the fathers by the prophets (the word
spoken by angels) "every transgression and disobedience received a
just recompense of reward." The inevitable question for those
who live "in these last days" in which God speaks to us by such a
superior spokesman, is this: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so
great salvation" (Heb. 2:3)? The answer is that there shall be
no escape. The very fact that God has spoken to us obligates
us to respond to what he said. This is the word which shall
judge us in the last day (Jno. 12:48).
It is for this reason that "we ought to give the more earnest heed
to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let
them slip" (Heb. 2:1). It is to this very point which the
writer of Hebrews brings us with his sober directive: "See that ye
refuse not him that speaketh" (Heb. 12:25). The warning
continues: "For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on
earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that
speaketh from heaven... Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which
cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming
fire" (Heb. 12:25-29). To refuse the word of God's Son is to
forfeit eternal life. To hearken to his word is to live now
and forever. No wonder the Son of God concluded the sermon on
the mount by saying, "Every one that heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his
house upon a rock" (Mt. 7:24). Indeed, "It shall come to pass,
that every soul, which shall not hear that prophet, shall be
destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:23). The choice is
clear: it is either "give the more earnest heed" and enjoy "so great
salvation" or else it is "refuse" and perish. Let none of us
be deceived as to our option in the matter, nor as to the eternal
-- Via Searching the Scriptures, January 1978, Volume XIX,
We Believe, And, Therefore, Speak
by Bill Hall
The preaching of the apostles proceeded from hearts full of
conviction. They had observed the miracles of Jesus; they had heard
His teaching; three of them had been with Him in the mount, and had
heard those words spoken from heaven, "This is My beloved Son, in
Whom I am well pleased. Hear Him"; they had seen His composure as He
was arrested in the garden; they had carefully examined evidences of
His resurrection, and had talked with Him, eaten with Him, felt of
Him; they had watched as He ascended until a cloud received Him out
of their sight. They believed! And so full were they of
faith that their faith overflowed in words. They could not
hold back that message which burned in their hearts.
They preached it everywhere: in the synagogues and in the temple; in
the streets and from house to house; in governor's mansions and in
prisons; in market places and from Mars Hill; on ships and in
chariots; in upper rooms and on riverbanks.
They preached it to the rich and to the poor; to worshipers of God
and to worshipers of idols; to the humble and to the proud; to the
lowly and to the mighty; to the educated and to the uneducated; to
the good and to the bad; to the moral and to the immoral.
They preached it to drunkards, to adulterers, to homosexuals, to
idolaters, to sorcerers, to kings, to governmental officials, to
army officers, to jailers, to ship captains, to beggars. They
preached it, and preached it, and preached it!
Because they preached it, they were imprisoned, beaten, scourged,
mocked, ridiculed, threatened; they were victims of lies, deceit,
conspiracy, uproars, mob violence, shipwreck, ambush; they lived in
poverty, often hungering, and with "no certain dwelling place"; but
nothing could stop them from preaching as long as they had
breath. They believed, and their faith forced them to preach
regardless of the consequences. They believed, and, therefore,
spoke (II Corinthians 4:13).
What did they preach? They preached that message revealed to
them by the Holy Spirit, God's divine message (I Corinthians
2:6-13). They had no time for politics; nor was their faith
centered upon such things. The message that burned in their hearts
was a message concerning the Christ and salvation through Him.
They believed in Christ, in the efficacy of His blood, and in the
power of His gospel. They believed, and, therefore, spoke that
message, and that message only.
Faith! In that one word may lie the most important element of
effective evangelism. When we come to believe as did those
apostles; when we become so full of faith that we can hardly
restrain ourselves; when the message of salvation burns within us as
it did in them, we will be teaching others and we will be doing so
effectively. Until then, our words may contain an unmistakable
emptiness that will render them powerless in changing the hearts of
-- Via The Bulletin for the Church of Christ in New Georgia, June
News & Notes
For all of the following who have health problems, let those of us
who are Christians be praying for them: Bill Barfield, Virginia
Fontenot, Jean Calloway, Shirley Young, Cheryl Crews, and Terry
and Pam MacDonald.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom.
10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can
be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
9923 Sunny Cline Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 6 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (225) 667-4520
(Gospel Observer website)