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" (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
December 16, 2018
1) "Lest You Become Weary and Discouraged in Your Souls"
2) The Conversion of the Ethiopian (Mike Johnson)
3) News & Notes
"..Lest You Become
Weary and Discouraged in Your Souls"
"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against
Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged" (Heb.
The devil uses various cunning and deceptive means to lure a child
of God back into sin. One of the strongest and most pervasive
is discouragement, to which many Christians succumb.
The Apostle Paul said, "And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9).
Trying to cope with the present, while worrying about the future
causes people to become discouraged. Someone once said, “God
gives us strength to bear our present burdens, but He never
calculates for us to carry over yesterday’s grief and borrow on
tomorrow’s worry.” We must, with God’s help, bear today’s
burdens, and let tomorrow take care of itself. Jesus said,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry
about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own
trouble” (Matt. 6:34).
Allowing others to “get us down” can also be a cause of
discouragement. For example, we invite someone to worship
services, and with their assurance that they will definitely be
there, we excitedly await their coming. But suppose they don’t
show up. What do we do? While that is disappointing, we
should not allow it to get us to the point of deciding not to ever
invite anyone else to services. Disinterest on the part of
some is disheartening and sad, but there are others who are just as
lost and would love to hear and obey the gospel. We must keep
on working until we find those who are desirous of truth and
spiritual matters. Yes, men often let us down, but may we ever
be mindful of the Lord’s promise: “For He Himself has said, ‘I will
never leave you nor forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5).
Sometimes we become discouraged by the small number of Christians
who make up the local church where we worship. But rest
assured, if we are worshiping God “in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24),
the Lord will be with us when we meet— “For where two or three are
gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them”
Sometimes when our sins are rebuked by the preacher or the elders,
we get discouraged (as well as offended) and become
unfaithful. However, we should appreciate their efforts and
their interest in our salvation. Preachers have been given the
charge to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of
season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and
teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). Concerning the elders, Christians are
told to “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they
watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let
them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be
unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13:17).
It is true, we all may succumb to discouragement at times. No
doubt, Satan uses discouragement to lure Christians back into his
domain. But we must resist the devil (Jas. 4:7). We must
therefore resist becoming discouraged. We have too much for
which to be thankful here in this life, as well as the glorious hope
and promise of everlasting life in heaven. The Apostle Paul
admonished, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that
your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Consider further the inspired words of the Hebrew writer "looking
diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root
of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become
defiled" (Heb. 12:15). Again, let us look and labor
diligently..."lest you become weary and discouraged in your
souls" (Heb. 12:3).
— Via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales,
Louisiana, October 7, 2018
The Conversion of the Ethiopian
The conversion case of the eunuch from Ethiopia is one of the more
familiar conversion cases in the Bible. We know the facts are
accurate because they come from the inspired Word of God (II Tim.
Acts 8 is where the conversion is recorded. The account takes
a natural division. First, verses 26-29 tell us about the
bringing together of the preacher and the sinner. Next, verses
30-35 reveal Philip “preaching Jesus” to the Ethiopian, and then
verses 36-39 tell of the response of the eunuch. Consider some
important lessons to be learned from the conversion case.
We see the importance of the individual. Philip, according to Acts
8:5-25, had been preaching in the area of Samaria. This was a
populated area and was a place where Philip had much success.
Yet, an angel of God spoke to Philip and told him to go to the road
between Jerusalem and Gaza. There he met the eunuch and
preached to him. Thus, Philip was sent from a populated area
to preach to one person. This shows us that God views each
individual as important. He wants salvation for everyone (II
A religious man needed to be saved. The eunuch was a
religious man. He had been to Jerusalem to worship God (v.
27). Nevertheless, he still needed to hear the truth and obey
Christ so that he might be saved. Such was also the case with
Cornelius who was a God-fearing man (Acts 10:2, 22) but was an
unsaved man (Acts 11:14). It takes more than being a religious
person to be saved.
Preaching Jesus meant preaching baptism. Verse 35 says that
Philip “...preached unto him Jesus.” After hearing “Jesus
preached,” they came to a certain water, and the eunuch said, “See
here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” This helps
us to see that preaching Jesus involves preaching baptism. The
Bible tells us that baptism is necessary for salvation (Acts
2:38). Many claim to “preach Jesus,” and yet they hardly ever
mention the subject of baptism.
The proper mode of baptism is seen. The Bible teaches that
baptism is a burial” (Rom. 6:4, Col. 2:12). The word
translated baptism means “immersion.” The case of the
eunuch (Acts 8) is in perfect accord with the rest of the Bible’s
teaching that baptism is a burial or immersion. They came
“unto a certain water” (v. 36), they “went down both into the water”
(v. 38), and they “came up out of the water” (v. 39). The
language is quite clear if immersion is being described.
However, it is difficult to understand if sprinkling or pouring
water is under consideration. Sprinkling or pouring water on a
person’s head is not baptism at all. The Bible teaches that
baptism is immersion or burial.
He confessed Christ. The eunuch was not required to confess
and memorize various articles of faith or to pledge allegiance to a
denomination before his baptism. No, he simply confessed
Christ (Rom. 10:10). Many are guilty of adding conditions
before baptism that the Lord does not require.
He was baptized immediately. The eunuch did not have to wait
for the church to vote on him before his baptism. He did not
have to wait for others to decide to be baptized so that they could
have a big baptizing day. He did not have to tell his
experience. He simply responded to God’s Word and became a
Christian. He was baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3-4, Gal.
3:27). Have you ever read in the Bible where one had to be
“voted on” before he could be baptized?
The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch serves as a pattern for us
today. Each individual is important to God and worthy of our
teaching. Our teaching must center on Christ and baptism
cannot be ignored in salvation. Most important, we must follow
God’s will explicitly and not take it upon ourselves to change His
will for our convenience.
— Via The Elon Challenger, Volume 16, Number 4, December 2018
News & Notes
Shirley Davis is feeling better. Though the hurt on the
side of her leg since the surgery became more of a pain yesterday,
she sounds in good spirits and has been thankful for the food
brought to her by some of the brethren and for their visits with
We are glad that Melotine Davis’ gall bladder surgery went
Joyce Rittenhouse is now almost 90% healed of her Bell's
palsy as she continues to improve, but is still having vision
trouble with one of her eyes.
Others to remember in prayer: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively,
Bennie & Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Judy Daugherty,
Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, Danny Hutcheson, Roger
Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie
Hadley, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Tommy Lin
WordPress version of this 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,
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. &
5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m.
(Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
Edwards (912) 281-9917
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