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"
August 7, 2016
1) The Truth is Still the Truth (T. Sean Sullivan)
2) News & Notes
The Truth is Still the Truth
T. Sean Sullivan
What causes people to walk away? Many of Christ's disciples walked
away for fear in John 6:66. The brethren in Galatia were wooed by
another message (Gal. 1:6-8). Paul warned Timothy that many would
turn aside to lies (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
Those who left Jesus must have believed someone else had the
truth. The Galatians must have believed that something other
than the "gospel" was the truth. Those mentioned by Paul as leaving
the truth for lies, in the future must be those who grow weary of
the truth and attempt to seek their own idea of truth. All of these
examples are of people who were influenced by the truth of God's
word and then for some reason came to believe that the truth had
In all these cases we see a divergence from the truth of God's word
and an acceptance of some "alternative." Is that how truth works?
No, according to the Bible, it doesn't. Truth as pictured by God is
absolute. Titus states plainly that God cannot lie. That means that
every word of God is truth (Tit. 1:2). Jesus declared the same
in his prayer recorded in John 17. Verse 17 resounds his words of
"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
God's word is the truth -- the only soul saving truth. The plan of
salvation made available by Jesus Christ is the only plan. Jesus
said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life no one comes to the
Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Knowing these things, how
important is it for every one of us to search out, know, and do the
truth of God's will? Why then do so many walk away?
We need to consider some real life reasons we have seen others use
to justify their leaving. Perhaps, we have had them cross our minds
as well. These thoughts need to be exposed for what they are:
lies. We need to know more about these thoughts so that we might
"reject" them and "exercise ourselves toward godliness" (1 Tim.
The reality of this article is: we have one hope of heaven (John
14:6). We cannot afford to let anything distract us from that hope.
Knowing that in heaven we will live in perfection forever and we
will not be in hell -- suffering forever (Rev. 14:11). Even when
things go wrong, the truth of God's word, and your personal
responsibility to obey it, does not change.
The Truth Does Not Change If You Reject It
Many people have come to know the truth -- through reading and
studying the source of truth: the Bible. Everyone who comes to the
knowledge of truth is faced with a decision -- he must choose to
flee or follow. Of course, choosing to follow the truth will set him
free (John 8:31-32); and the doing of God's will results in his
rewards (Matt. 7:21; Heb. 10:35-39). On the other hand, when
people refuse to follow God's way they will reap the wrath of God's
judgment (2 Cor. 5:10-11).
Why would someone reject the truth? Some reject it for worldly gain
-- social acceptance (Matt. 7:13-14). Others, because they do not
want to give up what they already have (Matt. 18:8-9; 19:20-22).
Many reject the truth because the truth condemns a loved one (Matt.
Whatever reason one might give for leaving, the fact still remains
-- the truth is still the truth and it will always be the truth.
When one rejects the truth, he rejects his only hope. Consider what
Jesus said on this matter: Accept my words of truth and be set free
by the truth (John 8:31-32). "Reject" my words of truth and be
judged by the truth in the last day (John 12:48).
The Truth Does Not Change If Our Brethren Err
How many people have left the Lord's church over another brother or
sister's error? The battle cry of "Hypocrite" rings out and another
soldier turns on their heels and runs from the church. This reason
has been worn out by overuse -- brethren leaving the church because
brother or sister "so and so" is a hypocrite. The one who leaves
sees the hypocrite as one who did wrong, or one who hurt his
feelings, or one who sinned. This may, at first, sound like proper
grounds for leaving, but wait . . . if you leave was there any
corrective measures taken? If you leave have you allowed sin to
continue without proper rebuke?
There is only one church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:4). If you leave are
you not also doing wrong, hurting your brethren and sinning (Heb.
10:35-39; 1 Pet. 1:6-9; Rev. 2:10c)?
When one of our brethren errs what should we do? We must seek to
resolve this problem according to the truth of God's word. We need
to correct the error quickly and get back doing the Lord's work.
There is a list of procedures found in Matthew 18:15-17. Many have
wrongfully believed that these words contain the rules of kicking
someone out of the church. What a sour attitude. Look carefully at
this passage. These words are clearly focused on "gaining back" not
"kicking out." Yes, when all else fails, if the one in question will
not return, he is to be no longer recognized as one of the brethren.
This is when all attempts to "gain back" have been used. When you
have left the congregation, how can you work on gaining back one of
your brethren? Does it say, "Moreover if your brother sins against
you. . ." leave the church? No! Seek to correct the problem, now!
Seek to gain your brother back so that together you might hold fast
to the truth and find your hope of Heaven.
The Truth Does Not Change if the Whole World Refuses It
Another reason that we have heard is, "How can this be right when so
few people accept it?" There are two ways of looking at an answer to
that question: First, Jesus said, "Few there are that find it"
speaking in regard to God's will (Matt. 7:13-14). Second, this
answer points the finger back at you. It is our work to share the
truth with everyone else, so that more will hear and obey the gospel
(Matt. 28:19). Perhaps there are so few because we have not been
To God a few faithful is far better than many faithless (Heb. 11:6).
God was willing to spare Gomorrah for the sake of ten souls who
would not reject him (Gen. 18:32). Jesus died on the cross at a
point where only eleven chosen men and the disciples totaled one
hundred and twenty (Acts 1:13-15). One hundred twenty faithful out
of the entire population of the earth and Christ still went to the
cross to save them from sin. Few or many makes no difference with
regard to the price that was paid (Heb. 10:22-28).
The world cannot be allowed to set your standards. We must obey
God's truth not the world's popular decisions (Jas. 4:4-8; 1 John
2:15-17). We must obey God's truth even when our "friends" mock us
(1 Pet. 4:1-4). We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). If the
whole world rejects God -- "they will give an account to Him
who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1 Pet. 4:5).
Your only hope is this book -- the Bible: God's revealed will for
your life. Do not reject your only hope. Rejecting the Bible is the
same as rejecting a rope that is thrown out to save you from
drowning. In our case, God is holding on to the other end; and his
rope will save your soul from destruction. For you to get to Heaven,
you must obey the truth and worship God with your brethren in a
local congregation. To succeed, you must rely on your brethren; be
patient with them and they must be patient with you. Everyone of us
must trust and do the truth no matter what. For any congregation to
be what it needs to be, we must pull together, never running away
from the battle. When a brother or sister enters into error, we must
work to gain him/her back until they absolutely refuse to return.
Then we must move on in our battle without them. We cannot walk away
from problems. Problems must be resolved. Sin must be corrected and
the Lord's work must continue to be done. "Do you also want to go
away?" "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal
life" (John 6:67-68).
-- Via Truth Magazine, June 15, 2006, Volume L, Number 12
News & Notes
Let those of us who are Christians continue to remember the
following in prayer:
Jim Lively's open heart surgery is
scheduled for August 17, which will involve 4 to 5 bypasses.
Myrna Jordan has not been feeling well recently, though she
is now doing somewhat better.
We were glad to hear that Easton Cox's chest x-ray was
"clear, and his abdomen ultrasound was normal." His mother
also writes that Easton "will still have routine checks (lab work
and scans) done throughout the years to come"; but they are thankful
unto God and "so beyond happy" for their "little man."
(More recent update:
Easton went back into the hospital on the 9th, due to having a fever
over 102; but the fever has now gone, so he will be going home
Penny Medlock had to return to Saint Simons By-the-Sea
Wednesday and is still there.
We are glad that Melotine Davis had been free from pain for
a couple weeks; but it has now come back, though not as severe as
her last recent experience with it. It is caused by a slip
disk in her neck that, from time to time, will press on a
nerve. Right now she is feeling that mainly in her arm.
Deborah Medlock continues to have trouble with her neck from
time to time.
Others, too, that we have been praying for: Rex Cothren
(brain surgery), Camp Tatum (cancer cells of the spine), Kelly
Fleeman (receiving treatments for lymphoma), Shirley Davis
(back and foot trouble), Doyle Rittenhouse (bursitis,
arthritis, trouble with hips and back); Joyce Rittenhouse
(liver tests), Michelle Rittenhouse (heart trouble), James
Medlock (for his health), Brianna Mackey (has about a
year more to go with therapy), Mary Vandevander (housebound),
and Sue Wooten (nursing home).
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
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. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if
not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10
AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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