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" (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
August 19, 2018
1) Jesus: Intolerant, Confrontational, and Exclusionary (Dan Gatlin)
2) News & Notes
Jesus: Intolerant, Confrontational, and Exclusionary
The typical denominational view of both Father and Son is that "God
is love," and only love. What is so easily forgotten is His severity
(Romans 11:22) and wrath (II Thessalonians 1:3-10). Jesus is
depicted as quiet, soft-spoken, harmless, almost a wimp (nothing
could be further from the truth). The consequence of this one-sided
view of Jesus is that while many believe in Him, they no longer fear
Him. Yet, Jesus taught that we are to fear Him, "And do not fear
those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear
Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell"
(Matthew 10:28). This tolerant, inclusive, non-condemning Jesus will
accept just about any scheme that man will devise or any form of
worship so long as it is offered in sincerity. But Jesus said, "Many
will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in
Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;
depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Matthew
7:22-23). Clearly, the ideas that many have about deity are
contradicted by the scriptures.
Sadly, this political correctness has crept into the thinking of
many Christians, including some who occupy pulpits and are entrusted
with the leadership of congregations. For many the motivation is
clear, a "cleaned up" Jesus who preaches a "cleaned up" gospel is
less offensive and will attract more people. But man’s desire for
God to be different than what He actually is does not make it so.
Truths That All Bible Believers Recognize
God is love. This is clearly stated in I John 4: 8, 16. His
love for man caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross as a sin
sacrifice (John 3:16), while man was an enemy (Romans 5:6-10).
Truly, this degree of love is incomprehensible. But the forgotten
side is that "the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous
God" (Deuteronomy 4:24). These are not conflicting ideas, the
two sides make a whole.
God wants all men to be saved. "For this is good and
acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to
be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy
2:3-4). While God offers salvation to all mankind (Titus 2:11) the
majority will reject His offer, and God will destroy them (Matthew
10:28; II Thessalonians 1:9).
God is no respecter of persons. The promise made to Abraham
(Genesis 12:1-3) extends to all the nations of the earth. That
promise is fulfilled in Christ (Galatians 3:16). Though Christ and
His disciples preached primarily to "the lost sheep of the house
of Israel" (Matthew 10:6), God’s plan after Jesus ascended was
that the gospel be preached to all men (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 10
& 11; Ephesians 2:11-16). While salvation is extended to all
without partiality, only those in the Lord’s church have accepted
the offer (Acts 20:28). All others are lost.
The Side Of Jesus That Is Often Ignored
Jesus Was Intolerant Of Sin And Those Who Promoted It. Much
of His time on earth was spent exposing and condemning the sins of
the Jewish leadership. He warned His disciples, "Take heed and
beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees" (Matthew
16:6). Initially the disciples didn’t understand His words. But
after Jesus explained, "they understood that He did not tell them
to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the
Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:12). His language in
Matthew 23 is among the strongest in all the Bible. He referred to
the Scribes and Pharisees as "hypocrites," "serpents," "brood of
vipers." He described them as "full of extortion and
self-indulgence," "full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." He
said that they, "devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make
long prayers." He was intolerant of those who rejected Him
after seeing His miracles, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you,
Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been
done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in
sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you"
(Matthew 11:21-22). Jesus was intolerant of those who set aside
God’s law to follow human tradition (Matt. 15:3-9). He did not
tolerate "false christs" and "false prophets" (Matthew
24:24). He told the Sadducees that they were "mistaken, not
knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).
Jesus’ disciples followed His example of intolerance. The early
church did not tolerate the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, they were
struck dead (Acts 5:1-11). When the Judaizing teachers came to
Antioch, "Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute
with them" (Acts 15:2). When these same false teachers tried
to compel circumcision Paul "did not yield submission even for an
hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you"
(Galatians 2:5). Paul wrote, "And have no fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians
5:11). The New Testament occasionally exposed false teachers by name
and the error they tried to teach (II Timothy 2:16-18).
The language of the early preachers was similar to that of Jesus in
Matthew 23. Stephen called the Jews he was addressing
"stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears" and "betrayers
and murderers" (Acts 7:51-52). The apostle Paul said of
Elymas, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the
devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease
perverting the straight ways of the Lord?" (Acts 13:10). He
referred to the false teachers who would come into the church at
Ephesus as "savage wolves" (Acts 20:29). James called some of
his readers "adulterers and adulteresses," "sinners" and
"double-minded" (James 4:1-10). Truth should never be given
equal weight with error, and the faithful Christian will never
tolerate that which opposed to truth.
Jesus Was Confrontational Toward Those Who Knew The Truth But
Rejected It. Jesus intentionally provoked the religious
leaders of His day. Often the controversy was related to the Sabbath
(Mark 3:1-6; Luke 13:10-17). In Luke 14:1-6 we read, "Now it
happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the
Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him
closely. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had
dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees,
saying, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’ But they kept
silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He
answered them, saying, ‘Which of you, having a donkey or an ox
that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on
the Sabbath day?’ And they could not answer Him regarding these
Jesus also confronted people with the fact that He was deity. After
healing a man on the Sabbath we read, "For this reason the Jews
persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done
these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father
has been working until now, and I have been working.’ Therefore
the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only
broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making
Himself equal with God" (John 5:16-18). On another
occasion we read, "Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to
you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ Then they took up stones to throw
at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going
through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:58-59).
Preachers in the early church were just as confrontational. After
being arrested and released the apostles went right back into the
temple preaching the truth (Acts 5:29) contrary to what they had
been commanded. To describe Stephen’s sermon (Acts 7) as
non-confrontational is to not have a clear grip on reality. When
Peter separated himself from Gentile Christians Paul wrote, "Now
when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face,
because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from
James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he
withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the
circumcision” (Galatians 2:11-12).
Jesus Excluded Many By His Teaching. It is not that Jesus
wants to exclude anyone from salvation. As already stated His offer
of forgiveness is extended to all men. But He will exclude those who
reject His teachings. Yes, even those who claim to be His disciples.
"Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said,
‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in
Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them,
‘Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man
ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the
flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit,
and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’
For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not
believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Therefore I have
said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted
to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went
back and walked with Him no more" (John 6:60-66). Jesus
recognized that His words were offensive. His follow up comments
offended them further. He knew that many of His disciples would no
longer follow Him, so why did He say what He did? To exclude those
who would not accept His difficult teachings.
Jesus Advocated A Culture Of Obedience
Listen to His words: "He who has My commandments and keeps them,
it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My
Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John
14:21). "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they
follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never
perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand" (John
— Via La Vista church of Christ
News & Notes
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Minnie
Lanier (Bennie Medlock’s sister) who recently passed
away. Five of her children had preceded her in death.
Richard Kristianson (Marie Pennock’s youngest brother) has
been dealing with pancreatic cancer for about 5 years, having tried
various treatments. Lately, he has been having a little more
difficulty with it.
Rex “Rick” Hadley, Jr. (Anita Young’s brother) has been in
the hospital with congestive heart failure.
I (Tom Edwards) saw my urologist September 5. The
catheter was removed, but had to be reinstalled later that
day. The doctor does not think the fluid retention problem is
due to the hernia surgery (August 9), but that it is prostate
related. So I am to double the amount of Tamsulosin
("FlowMax") per day, and then try again in 2 weeks to have the
catheter removed to see if I no longer need it.
Baxter Cribbs has been dealing with back pain for the last
few weeks, due to a nerve that is being pinched by a disc in his
spine; but is now doing somewhat better.
Aldrich (Danny Bartlett's mother) had been in the hospital for
a few weeks, due to her bowels having burst; but was transferred to
a rehab unit September 5. She continues to recover, but slowly.
Others to also remember in prayer: Danny Hutcheson (had a
massive brain bleed and is paralyzed, except for one arm), Roger
Montgomery (needs a liver transplant), Jim Lively
(collagenous colitis), Doyle Rittenhouse (healing from
surgery of cancer removal), Shirley Davis (pain in legs and
shoulder), Bennie Medlock (aortic aneurysm), Deborah
Medlock (hurt herself from a fall), Pat & A.J. Joyner,
Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Rhyan Thomas, Hannah
Laughlin, Misty Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary
WordPress Version of this bulletin:
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 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10;
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. 2:20-22).
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'
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912)
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