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).
April 23, 2017
1) The Greatest Reason for Our Being (Tom Edwards)
2) Offended By the Truth (Frank Himmel)
3) Consequences (Bill Crews)
4) News & Notes
The Greatest Reason for Our Being
Though not recognized by all, nor acted upon by everyone who does
know, the greatest reason for our existence is seen in 1 Corinthians
8:6. Here, after pointing out that God is the One “from whom
are all things,” the apostle Paul then declares that “we exist for
Him” (NAS77)! Or as the Weymouth New Testament expresses it,
“and for whose service we exist.”
That we are here to serve the Lord is also what Solomon expresses in
Ecclesiastes 12:13, where he speaks of “the conclusion of the whole
matter,” and defines it as, to “Fear God, and keep his commandments:
for this is the whole duty of man” (KJV).
We each, therefore, regardless of who we are, certainly do have a
great purpose for our being here, and which we need to be aware of
and not shirk our responsibilities therein.
That we can even enter into a relationship with God, through Jesus
Christ, should be quite humbling to each of us! To think that
we who are mortal, sinful creatures can become a part of God's
forever family -- and have that connection with Him who is our
perfect, sinless, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-surpassing,
omnipresent, eternal Creator, and loving Father -- is truly amazing!
Even for those of us who feel like nothing in God's sight, or
terribly ashamed for being such wretched sinners and so unworthy,
yet our existence does mean something to the LORD! For did not
Jesus die for every transgressor – and regardless of how
sinful? When the scribes and Pharisees were trying to find
fault with the Lord for eating and drinking with the tax collectors
and sinners, Jesus responded by saying, “It is not those who are
well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not
come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Luke
5:31,32). And at Calvary, Jesus went to the cross to make an
atonement for every transgressor – not just a certain few.
Hebrews 2:9 shows that the Lord became a man in order that He would
be able to “taste death FOR EVERYONE” by His suffering on the
cross. For “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and
not for ours only, but also for those of the WHOLE WORLD” (1 Jn.
2:2). Yes, God truly did make salvation possible for every
lost soul and does want all to be saved and none to perish (cf. 2
Pet. 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4).
God also wants us to have a relationship with Him, to belong to Him,
and to not only be blessed forevermore in heaven's glory, but also
to be blessed in the here and now while we await that world to come!
To live for God truly is the greatest of all reasons for our being
here; and Jesus Christ suffered a most terrible death so that not
only could our sins be forgiven, but also so we could live that new
life unto Him. For “He died for all, so that they who live
might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose
again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15). Yes, Jesus “gave Himself
for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for
Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds”
(Titus 2:14). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would
walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). “For you have been bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).
We begin that new life after having been baptized in water for the
remission of sins (cf. Acts 2:38), which must be preceded by our
faith in Jesus (Jn. 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:5), and an
acknowledgement of our faith in Christ (cf. Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
8:36-38). For Paul shows that baptism is “in order that...we
too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4, NAS77).
What great concern God has shown to the world by going to such an
extreme of sending the best of heaven, His only begotten Son, so
that we who have fallen away from God can be brought back into a
meaningful relationship with Him. May we each, therefore,
certainly make the Lord a top priority in our lives by carrying out
— and continuing to do so — what should always be our most important
reason for being here!
(All emphases mine; and all Bible verses from the NASB, unless
Offended By the Truth
These days it seems that someone is always being offended by what
another person says or does. Offended groups call for apologies,
resignations, boycotts, and the like. The mere fact that someone may
be offended has become a major concern, so much so that people are
increasingly unwilling to declare anything wrong or unacceptable.
This growing concern about offending has affected churches and
preachers. Some won’t preach the truth about Christianity’s
uniqueness lest they offend Jews, Muslims, or other groups. Some
won’t talk about the identity of the New Testament church lest they
antagonize those who belong to some other group. Some won’t plainly
preach the conditions of salvation lest they hurt the feelings of
those who haven’t complied. Increasing numbers won’t take a stand on
moral issues lest they upset those who are acting immorally and
perhaps “drive them away.”
Matthew 15 records an incident we need to consider. Some
Pharisees came to Jesus and complained that His disciples did not
keep the tradition of the elders by washing their hands. Jesus’
response was pointed. He indicted the Pharisees with breaking God’s
commandments in order to keep their own rules, in practicality
nullifying God’s word. He called them hypocrites. He said their
commitment to God was mere lip service and was in vain (vv. 3-9). He
then called together the crowd who had overheard this exchange and
explained the error in the Pharisee’s view of the value of washing
hands (vv. 10-11).
What happened next? The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Do You
know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this
statement?” (v. 12). Perhaps the disciples could see it on their
faces. Perhaps some of the Pharisees said something to the
Jesus was unmoved. He responded, “Every plant which My heavenly
Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are
blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man,
both will fall into a pit” (vv. 13-14).
In summary, the Lord pointed out three things: 1) the Pharisees were
wrong; 2) it mattered that they were wrong; 3) they were going to be
lost because they were wrong, despite their claims of rightness with
God. Why did Jesus say these things? Because they were true, because
the Pharisees needed to hear the truth while they had opportunity to
repent, and because the crowds and the disciples needed to be warned
that if they followed the Pharisees, they, too, would be lost.
The Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15),
and, to the extent we rightly can, to accommodate those we are
trying to reach (1 Corinthians 9:20-23). But if people are offended
by the truth, so be it. It is nothing new. Jesus did not compromise
the truth to appease the disobedient, and neither should His
-- Via Pathlights, July 3, 2016
Thoughts entertained, words uttered, and deeds done have
consequences. Like seed that is sown, they bear fruit --
pleasant or bitter, good or evil. Decisions made, choices
selected, steps taken, courses begun bring us, in time, to the
goals, the destinies to which they inevitably lead.
Many are traveling toward goals and destinies of which they seem
absolutely unaware or foolishly unconcerned -- goals and destinies
that will prove tragic and painful. Only God can see the end
from the beginning; in His revealed word He tries to tell us.
-- via bulletin articles from the Collegevue church of Christ,
August 14, 2016
"Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in
Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For
You I wait all the day (Psalm 25:4,5, NAS77).
News & Notes
The heart surgery for Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively's
sister) went well last Thursday. Not only did they replace her
mitral valve, but also repaired a hole in her heart that was
discovered during the operation.
The surgery for Don Swain (Myrna Jordan's brother) also went
Shirley Davis has 5 different appointments next month,
involving 5 different doctors. Then on June 1, she will be seeing
another doctor to have stents put in her feet, due to poor
circulation. Her legs have been swollen, and she has been having
some back pain. Her eye, following her cornea surgery, is still a
little blurry, but should clear up in 6 to 8 weeks.
James Medlock was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but was
able to return home the same day.
Others who also need prayer are Lexi Crawford, Kay Byars,
Jim Lively, Melotine Davis, Mary Vandevander, La Donna
Andrews, Michelle Rittenhouse, Brianna Mackey, Billy Lowe,
and Tom Haney.
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;
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
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, living for the Lord; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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