June 30, 2019
"Go therefore and
make disciples of all
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,
1) No Sign of Health (Bob Crawley)
2) Job's Redeemer (Taylor Pickup)
3) News & Notes
No Sign of Health
A medical student was on his first day of work in the hospital in
which he had occasion to make examination of the patients. It was
his assignment to examine certain patients and write up a report on
any significant symptoms which could aid in diagnosis. He hurried
down the hall and into the room of what he thought was the correct
patient. Nervously (for this was his first patient examination) he
made his observations and wrote the following report:
"The patient did not complain of any pain or discomfort of any kind.
There was no unnatural breathing and no irregularity of pulse. When
pressed in various vital spots, the patient did not complain of
soreness or tenderness. There was no indication that the patient had
The student was optimistic. There were no signs of any of the
symptoms which would indicate that his patient had any of the
diseases which the student expected. He concluded that the patient
must be in excellent health. When he made his report to his
supervisor, the supervisor was astonished. After some further
investigation the supervisor told him, "While all that you have said
about the patient is correct as far as it goes, your conclusion is
grossly in error. You correctly observed that your subject lacked a
number of conditions which you would have found pathological, but
you failed to note that the subject you examined was dead. You went
to the wrong room. All the facts you reported were true of a
lifeless corpse in the morgue.
Sound, or Dead?
The above reported incident is entirely imaginary. If any such
medical student ever existed, we have not heard of it. We cannot
believe that any student ever so lacked in intelligence that he
could examine a person and not detect the difference between one in
excellent health and one that was dead. Yet in many spiritual
matters, too many of us use the "reasoning" of this imaginary
medical student. In judging the soundness and healthy condition of a
church, we all too often evaluate it upon the basis of what it is
not doing. In making an evaluation of a man, we too often consider
him spiritually healthy if he shows none of the alarming symptoms
for which we are accustomed to look. In fact he may be spiritually
In the tenth chapter of Mark, we read of Jesus' encounter with a man
who felt himself to be in pretty good spiritual health. When Jesus
cited a number of the commandments of the law, he could reply,
"Master, all these have I observed from my youth." This man, then,
did not commit adultery, did not kill, did not steal, did not bear
false witness, did not defraud, and did not dishonor his father and
mother. On the other hand, what did he DO? Apparently he did nothing
by which he could lay up treasures in heaven.
In the Revelation, chapters two and three, there are letters written
from the Lord to seven churches in Asia. It is astonishing how many
times these churches are praised for not doing certain things, but
were also censured for not doing things which it was their duty to
do. The church at Ephesus (chap. 2) could not bear them "which are
evil" (vs. 2) nor did they consent to the deeds of the Nicolaitans
(vs. 6), but they were subject to the Lord's warning for not
remaining true to their "first love." The church at Pergamos had not
given up the name of Christ nor denied his faith (2:13), but neither
had they purged themselves of those who held the doctrine of Balaam
or those who had the "doctrine of the Nicolaitans."
In some quarters, today, the question of a man’s soundness is
settled to everyone’s satisfaction on the ground that he does not
teach or urge any outstanding false doctrines.
As a preacher he is considered acceptable provided he has not been
known to promote any of the trends which have become divisive issues
in the church. It may be that he has not, been awake enough or alive
enough to teach the truth on the matters, either. Such a preacher
may not be sound; he may only be dead.
Churches, too often, are given the reputation for being in sound
spiritual health on the basis of the symptoms which they do not
have. It is not enough to say that they have not digressed to the
point of adding instrumental music to the worship. A further
question needs to be raised, do they wholeheartedly engage in
worship in "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your (their) heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). It is not
enough to know that a church does not participate in such
digressions as the missionary society arrangement or the benevolent
society arrangement, or even that it does not subject itself to
another church in a "sponsoring church" arrangement. In contrast to
these unscriptural devices of men, is this church actually doing the
work which God wants his churches to do? If not, its lack of "fever,
pain, vomiting, convulsions, etc." may not be a sign of good health.
That church may be dead.
— Via Truth Magazine, XV: 20, pp. 6-7, March 25, 1971
The book of Job contains an enormous amount of wisdom and comfort.
It deals with very personal and sensitive subjects that make a
strong impact on the reader. Much of the book focuses on the
innermost feelings of man. In particular, chapter 19 gives us an
amazing look into the heart of a man of faith.
By the time we reach chapter 19, Job had already lost his oxen,
donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, and worst of all, his children.
His wife gave him no comfort, and his skin was covered with painful
sores. Also, the high standing and respect that he once had in
society had completely vanished, leaving him a pitiful outcast in
the eyes of his countrymen. On top of that, his own friends had
become a painful burden to him because they were insisting that his
situation was the result of some flagrant sin.
Some of Job’s deepest pain came from the fact that he just didn’t
understand why. He didn’t know why all of this had happened to him.
He didn’t know why God was treating him that way. Job had asked God,
“Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you?”
(7:20). And Job had said to his friends, “Who will say to Him, ‘What
are You doing?’” (9:12). Job didn’t understand God’s actions and was
frustrated because he couldn’t even fathom asking God to explain.
But in chapter 19 we read that, in spite of all of this, Job’s heart
was committed to the Lord. In utter despair he cried out, “For I
know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the
earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I
shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall
behold, and not another” (19:25-27).
As miserable and utterly confused as Job was, he still proclaimed
his belief that one day he would see God and be rescued by Him. This
ran contrary to everything Job could see at the time, but that
didn’t change his conviction that the Lord was alive and would bring
redemption. What an incredible example of commitment to God.
Like Job, people of faith have felt pain and despair. Death,
disease, and heartache are all around. Like Job, people of faith
don’t always understand God’s actions. They wonder why specific
painful events have happened to them. Like Job, people of faith
struggle for answers, yet they can’t even fathom asking God for an
Like Job, we must be able to see past our present circumstances and
be committed to our Redeemer. Often when we look around, it appears
like peace and glory and joy are nowhere to be found, and God’s
providential decisions only bring about more heart-wrenching
questions. But God intentionally preserved the story of Job for us.
Like so many other stories in the Bible, Job teaches us to be a
people who are faithfully obedient no matter what the circumstances.
And one day our Redeemer will bring our redemption. Paul told the
Christians in Rome, “For I consider that the sufferings of this
present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be
revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).
If there is anyone who understood suffering, especially undeserved
suffering, it is the Lord Himself. Death and pain were experienced
by Jesus, something that should connect us to Him. Our God
personally knows what pain is, and He will redeem us from it.
No matter how much death we are surrounded by, no matter how much
suffering we endure, no matter how much heartache comes our way, may
we still have the faith to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives,” and
“I shall see God.”
-- Via articles of the University church of Christ (Tampa, FL), June
News & Notes
Folks to remember in prayer:
We are glad that things went well for Jan Bartlett in her
recent surgery. The tumor was removed and the area around it had no
signs of cancer, as well as the two lymph nodes that were also
Danielle Bartlett had been at the Mayo, too, for a
kidney problem that is now being treated with medication.
Ronnie Davis has had back-trouble for many years, which acts
up even more at times. About three months ago, he also started
having pain in his knees from arthritis.
Mildred Hagan has not been well and is now on hospice care.
Let us also continue to keep the following in our prayers: Melotine
Davis, Shirley Davis, A.J. and Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Bud
Montero, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Mary
Vandevander, Nancy Pinckard, Mary Martin, Waylon Murray, Michelle
Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Rex
& Frankie Hadley, and Roger Montgomery
WordPress Version of the last two bulletins:
that is how
2) Believe in
the deity of
3) Repent of
5) Be baptized in
water for the
1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in
the faith, living
for the Lord;
for, if not,
be lost (Heb.
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: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but
back to March 1990)