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).
October 21, 2018
1) Your Most Valuable Possession (Wayne Goff)
2) Responsibility (Fred A. Shewmaker)
3) News & Notes
Your Most Valuable Possession
If someone were to ask you what is your most valuable possession,
then what would you say? Your house, your car, your bank account,
your retirement portfolio? In reality, it is none of these things.
Your most valuable possession is your human spirit, your soul,
because it alone lasts for all eternity!
Jesus taught us that when He said, “For what profit is it to a
man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what
will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
What would you give for the well-being of your
eternal soul? Everything. Literally. Period. Everything. You may not
believe it now, my friend, but Jesus was not mistaken about
it. He has been to heaven. He dwelled in eternity before
coming to earth as a lowly Servant. You should listen to Him who not
only gave His life on the cross of Calvary for your sins
(Matthew 26:28), but who also gave up His high station in
eternity to come here to help you (Philippians 2:6-7)! While He was
rich in eternity, being in the form of God, He became poor for your
sakes (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus thought your soul’s well-being was
important enough to come down to the earth and die on the cross. Don’t
you think it’s important, too?
Another thought worth considering is how one’s hope of heaven
serves as an anchor in this life! There is something
irreplaceable in the knowledge that heaven is your ultimate goal,
and nothing in this life can prevent it. “This hope we have as an
anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the
forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus,…” (Heb. 6:19-20).
When life’s troubles get you down, when earthly suffering makes life
unbearable, when your earthly hopes and dreams have been smashed to
pieces . . . there’s still the hope of something better on the other
side. So don’t give up! Don’t grow weary in doing well!
Jesus is our “forerunner" who has entered the eternal abode
behind the veil of this flesh. Follow in His footsteps in this life
and you will wind up exactly where He is today — in heavenly bliss!
Your most valuable possession will thank you for it if you do.
— via Articles from the Roanridge church of Christ, October
Fred A. Shewmaker
A generally accepted rule among brethren is that ability plus
opportunity equals responsibility. As given, this appears to me to
be a good rule. However, there seems to be a tendency on the part of
some to make this rule say something else altogether. We are so very
much aware of mathematical equations that some are apparently trying
to apply this equation as they would in mathematics. The reasoning
seems to be that responsibility equals opportunity plus ability. But
thus stated the equation is not always and in every circumstance
In Acts 3, 4, and 6 we see that the local church has a
responsibility to provide for the physical needs of her members. In
these chapters the Jerusalem church had the opportunity plus the
ability to provide relief of the physical needs of some of her
members. Thus she was responsible to do it.
Years later when the church in Jerusalem had poor saints among her
members, did she still have a responsibility to provide for their
physical needs? If our equation would work backward, we could say
that Jerusalem now had no responsibility to provide for the physical
needs of her poor members. WHY? Because if responsibility equals
opportunity plus ability, the Jerusalem church being without ability
would be absolved of responsibility. We can occupy a position or
have a relationship in which responsibility is inherent. What I am
saying is that the loss of ability does not necessarily absolve us
Why were the saints in Jerusalem in need? They did not have the
ability to provide for their own physical necessities. These poor
saints were responsible to provide for themselves food, shelter,
clothing, and medical supplies as required. But they had lost the
ability to provide these things for themselves. They were in the
condition of being responsible to do a thing that they did not have
the ability to do. Their need was for the ability to be supplied. A
church has the responsibility to provide her members with the
necessities they can not provide for themselves. The Jerusalem
church had the opportunity to provide her poor members with that
which they could not provide for themselves: ABILITY. The
responsibility of the Jerusalem church to provide her poor members
with the ability to fulfill their own individual responsibilities
was inherent in the relationship that existed between her, as a
church, and her members.
The Jerusalem church did not have the ability to fulfill her
responsibility to her poor members. The Jerusalem church thus became
a needy church. She did not need some other church to take over her
responsibility. She needed ability to be supplied her. Those
churches in Macedonia, Achaia, and Galatia that could help supplied
Jerusalem with ability. Jerusalem could then supply her poor members
with ability, fulfilling her responsibility to them. With ability
the poor saints could fulfill their individual responsibility of
feeding, housing, clothing, and supplying medicine for themselves.
Some have suggested the following hypothetical situation to show
that the church may and does on occasion relieve non-saints.
"There are two families in a congregation each with a fifteen year
old son. The parents are members of the church and one of the boys
is a member but the other is not. Each of these boys is stricken
with a serious disease. The hospital bills have consumed the savings
of each family and are still piling up. Now according to the ‘saints
only’ contention the church could only help the family where the son
is a Christian. To help the other family would be helping, a
NOT SO! The church is not responsible to relieve either of these
boys. Neither boy is financially obligated in any way. Therefore
neither boy is in need of financial relief. The fathers of these
boys are the ones responsible for the hospital bills. If you think
that I am wrong, just try to get a fifteen year old boy admitted to
any hospital on his own financial responsibility. Now both these
Christians who are the fathers of these boys are lacking in ability
to fulfill their individual responsibilities. A church can supply
her members with the necessities they can not provide for
themselves. The church can supply both fathers with that which they
need: ABILITY. When the ability is supplied, it is supplied to
saints. The idea that non-saints are relieved in the situation
described is altogether incorrect.
The benefit derived by a non-saint in such circumstances is not the
result of the church helping a non-saint but due to the relationship
that the non-saint has with a saint. In the case considered, the
relationship would be that of son to father.
It seems that we have learned how to determine new responsibility
but have failed to understand inherent responsibility or how to
determine the duration of responsibility.
Consider the following:
1. We have responsibility because it is inherent in our position or
2. New responsibility is acquired when we have an opportunity plus
3. Responsibility legitimately acquired is not absolved by a lack of
4. Responsibility ends when the opportunity, position, or
— Via TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 11, pp.21-22, August 1968
News & Notes
Rick Cuthbertson started having pain in his left side.
C-scans show a small nodule in each lung and fluid in the bottom of
the left lung. He will also be having a PET scan to determine if
there is any cancer.
Pat Joyner is in need of two heart valve replacements.
I, Tom Edwards, had prostate surgery October 22 and was
released from the hospital on the following night. The surgery
went well. After 74 days (beginning August 9) of not being
able to empty my bladder without the use of a catheter (and having 7
over 70 days), it is now no longer needed and was removed October
23! I have no pain. I do have to take it easy for a
while, however, such as by not lifting more than 10 pounds, avoiding
strenuous exercise, and not driving until I receive the okay from
the doctor. And here's one I had never been instructed before:
"Don't sit more than 60 minutes without getting up." I guess
I'd better start using a timer for that one. :) I am glad and
thankful unto God for the prayers and good wishes of others.
Let us also be praying for Shirley Davis’ upcoming knee
replacement surgery October 30; Joyce Rittenhouse (healing
from Bell’s palsly), Deborah Medlock (healing from recent
surgery), Bennie Medlock (aortic aneurysm), Jim Lively
(collagenous colitis), A.J. Joyner (health problem), and Mary
Vandevander in the nursing home.
Others to include: Danny Hutcheson (almost total paralysis
and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery (having
complications following his liver and kidney transplants); Mary
Aldrich (under-going rehab); Rex & Frankie Hadley,
Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse.
WordPress version for this week's 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 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. 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
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 2 p.m.
(Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
Edwards (912) 614-8593
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