The Gospel Observer
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).
May 13, 2018
1) Seeing the Road Ahead (Alan Jones)
2) News & Notes
Seeing the Road Ahead
A few years ago I was traveling south on I-69 in northern Indiana
when I encountered a traffic slowdown. Soon I found out why we
had slowed to a crawl. There was a horrible accident on the
Everyone was slowing down to look. The accident involved two semis.
One was turned on its side with all of the glass gone from the
tractor. The nose of the other tractor was shoved in like an
Immediately I prayed for the welfare of the drivers and the comfort
of their families. Their lives had been suddenly and
unexpectedly changed. As the drivers left the terminal for the
highway, they did not know what awaited them on the road ahead.
The backup caused by the accident was five miles long and was
still growing. Motorists caught in it had a certain timetable
in mind to get to work or to get home from work, to get to a
vacation destination or to return home. But, they, too, did not know
what awaited them on the road ahead. Their timetable went out
the window. They were making good time when suddenly and
unexpectedly they were forced to stop and wait, and wait, and wait.
Man can’t see the future. Solomon wrote, “Do not boast about
tomorrow. For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov
27:1). A humble person will plan accordingly. James
admonished, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we will go
to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in
business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your
life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears
for a little time and vanishes away. Instead you ought to say,
‘If the Lord will, we will live and also do this or that.’ But
as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is
evil” (James 4:13-16).
Yes, far be it from us to boast of what we’re going to do in the
future when we can’t foresee a traffic tie up on the interstate or
even on the bypass as we try to get to the mall or to Walmart and
back home again…
Trusting in God Who Sees the Road Ahead
Our future is subject to the will of the Lord who sees the future
before it happens. God proved to Israel that He is God because
He knows the future. He predicted their coming destruction by a
ruler from the north (Assyria) so that when it happened they would
say, “He is right!” (Isa 10:5-6; 41:25-26). God even
foretold what would happen after He had used Assyria and Babylon to
judge His people. He would bring His sheep home by His
shepherd Cyrus, calling this king of Persia by name before He was
ever born (Isa 44:27-45:3). History verifies that
all of these things happened as predicted by God through His
prophets and hundreds of other fulfilled predictions could be added
to them to confirm that there is a God who sees the road ahead.
Commenting on the Lord’s infinite knowledge, David wrote, “Even
before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it
all” (Ps 139:4). He marveled that God could see the end
of his life from his beginning in the womb, “Your eyes have seen my
unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that
were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of
them” (Ps 139:16).
When we, as David, meditate on God’s far-reaching thoughts, we will
value them -- “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!” (Ps 139:17). We will
trust His thoughts above our own. As the wise man Solomon wrote,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on
your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge
Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov 3:5-6).
If we trust God, we will not worry about the future. If God
looks ahead and provides for the birds who do not store up for the
future, He will feed us. If God clothes the lilies of the
field without their toiling or spinning, He will clothe us.
Instead of being of little faith and anxious, we will turn
every care into a prayer, with the confidence that He who looks
ahead will provide for tomorrow. Knowing that God will take
care of us on the unseen road ahead, we experience a peace that
surpasses all comprehension (Mt 6:25-34; Phil 4:6-7).
If our confidence is in the One who holds the future in His Hands,
we will realize that, if we love Him, God will use even the tragedy
and suffering that may lie ahead on the road to accomplish His
purpose in us -- to help us to be conformed in our character to the
image of His Son and to get us home to glory in heaven (Rom
8:28-30). We need not live in fear and dread of unseen
sorrows, trusting that God will discipline us for our own good, so
that we may share His holiness (Heb 12:10).
Do you trust God? Is it seen in your respect for God’s Word?
Is it seen in your peace concerning both blessings and trials
yet unseen? Do you trust in God who sees the road ahead or in
yourself — you who cannot even anticipate an accident or traffic
What God Tells Us Is on the Road Ahead
When I passed by the exit following the end of the traffic jam and
saw cars and trucks streaming along at 70 m.p.h., I thought, “I sure
wish I could warn them of the five mile backup ahead so they could
exit and try to find an alternate route.” There was nothing I
could do but let the unsuspecting travelers run right into the
delay, but I can warn you about the things God tells us as on the
road ahead. But, I must tell you also, there is no escaping
them. There is no alternate route.
Death is on the road ahead of you. God says,
“It is appointed for men to die once” (Heb 9:27). This is
an appointment we must all keep (unless we are alive at the coming
of Jesus — 1 Thess 4:15). Jesus told the story of a rich
farmer who made big plans with no thought of this appointment. The
farmer had more harvest than he knew what to do with. He
planned to tear down his barns and build bigger ones and then sit
back and enjoy life for many years to come. But, he didn’t
have many years left to live. In fact, God required his soul
that night (Lk 12:16-20). Are you living like your life
on earth will be forever or are you looking down the road?
Judgment is on the road ahead of you. God continues
His sentence, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this
comes judgment.” John described a vision he saw of this day,
“And, I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the
throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened,
which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things
which were written in the books, according to their
deeds” (Rev 20:12). God will pronounce sentence on you
based on how you lived compared to His Word and whether or not your
name is in the book of life, His record of those who have a
relationship with Him.
Heaven or hell is on the road ahead of you. At the
Judgment, Jesus will hand out to you either the sentence of eternal
life or eternal punishment (Mt 25:46). The eternal
punishment is hell, the torment of the eternal fire that God has
prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41; Mk 9:43-48).
Eternal life is never-ending fellowship with God and His Son
in heaven, being honored as His children. God will wipe away
all the tears of earth life and its sorrows will never be
experienced again (Rom 8:19; Rev 21:1-4).
Death and judgment you cannot change, but your eternal destination
you will choose. You will choose either to receive the wages
of your sins (Rom 6:23) or you will choose to have Jesus pay for
them with His blood so that your name can be added to the book of
life. Believe in Jesus and confess Him as your Lord (Rom
10:9-10) and repent of your sins and be baptized (Acts 2:38).
Continue in the book of life by walking in the light as God is
in the light, confessing your sins so that the blood of Jesus will
make you pure (1 Jn 1:5-10). Remember, no one will arrive at
heaven by accident and you must get there by the road less traveled
Is heaven or hell at the end of the road you are traveling?...
— Via The Auburn Beacon
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is
right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first
commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND
THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH" (Ephesians 6:1-3, NASB).
News & Notes
The doctors are still seeking to find the reason for Hannah
Laughlin’s loss of speech, along with the severe headaches,
body tremors, and nausea that she has at times.
Rick Cuthbertson’s surgery, due to cancer of the liver,
is to be the 27th of this month.
Tommy Lindsey (Tori McCarthy's grandfather) has been seeing
doctors recently, due to several health issues, such as chlorosis of
the liver, an enlarged spleen, and his platelets being destroyed by
what might be an auto immune disorder. He will be undergoing
more tests, is now being treated with new medication, and is to see
a surgeon May 15 regarding a liver transplant.
Several years ago, Rhyan Thomas (Tori's sister's son) had a
brain tumor removed. Recently, however, he began having
seizures, for which he will soon be undergoing testing.
Belinda Medlock is now back home where she will continue
with her physical therapy in recovering from her stroke.
Shirley Davis was recently on antibiotics for cellulitis. Due
to the swelling in her legs, she is not yet able to have the
knee surgery. She spends most of her time in her scooter and can be
on her feet for only a few minutes.
Danny Bartlett has been having some pain in his legs
recently, which required a chiropractor’s help for some relief, but
had not totally eliminated it. It has also made it difficult
for him to even walk.
Charles Crosby is healing from his recent knee surgery.
Pat Joyner is not feeling well and is experiencing a sore
throat and coughing.
I (Tom Edwards) saw my primary physician again, but this time
for his advice, recommendation, and getting scheduled for hernia
surgery as soon as possible. And, in preparation of that, I
also had some lab work done.
Others to also include in our prayers: Jim Lively, Deborah
Medlock, Rex & Frankie Hadley, A.J. Joyner, Misty
& Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary
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
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
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
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
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m.
(Ladies' Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures,
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