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 15, 2019
1) Would You Like to be Rich? (H.E. Phillips)
2) News & Notes
Would You Like to be Rich?
To some degree just about everyone wants to be rich. The sad part is
that most want to be rich in earthly treasures and care nothing for
true riches. “Rich” is a relative term and does not say how much
wealth one must have to be considered rich. It would depend entirely
upon comparison with others. The word does not tell the nature of
the wealth. One may be rich in one thing and poor in another.
The Love of Money
The Holy Spirit warns: “But they that will be rich fall into
temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,
which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money
is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have
erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many
sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:9-10). Here those who “will be rich” are those
who “love money,” and while they covet after it, they depart from
the faith and bring upon themselves many sorrows. I suppose there is
nothing that has not been done or will not be done “to be rich.” One
sure way to make a fortune is to devise a scheme which promises to
make men rich and then offer it for sale. The greed of men will
drive them to invest in or purchase the plan in the hope of becoming
False Concept of Riches
I can tell you how to be rich! But unlike some of the get-rich-quick
schemes, I do not propose to offer the “uncertain riches” that fade
away with time. “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they
be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living
God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). The
tendency to trust in uncertain riches is plainly taught by the word
in a parable of a certain rich man whose ground brought forth
plentifully. His major concern was to find the room to store his
wealth, and when had he made ample arrangements he thought to say
within himself: “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years;
take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” God called him a fool
and said he would die that night. Now what about his riches? Jesus
concludes by saying: “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself,
and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
The man who thinks he is rich because he has much money, property,
stocks and bonds, and all that is considered wealth in this world,
is miserably mistaken. The lukewarm church in Laodicea considered
itself rich. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with
goods, and have need of nothing . . . ” (Would not a man in this
state be considered secure and successful?) ” . . . and knowest not
that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and
naked” (Rev. 3:17). I could hardly imagine a worse condition, yet
these people thought of themselves as being rich, increased with
goods, and have need of nothing. In reality they were wretched,
miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou
mayest be rich . . .” The real wealth comes from God and we must
“buy” it. “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23). This
suggests that the truth is obtained by some effort on our part and
at some expense to us. Whatever you have to pay for it, do not sell
it for any consideration.
Now, do you really want to be rich? I mean rich in the full sense of
the word, with riches that cannot be taken from you. The Laodiceans
were to “buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be
rich.” “Buy” cannot mean that value for value is given, because
there is no price man can bring to purchase the priceless riches in
Christ. This simply indicates the effort on the part of the one
desiring these riches to obtain them. The “gold tried in the fire”
is the pure gold refined by fire and separated from the dross. “That
you may be rich” is that true wealth in contrast to the riches of
Jesus taught that men should “Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).
How to Become Rich
The true riches come from God through Christ: “But my God shall
supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ
Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). They come through Christ by the gospel. Paul
said he had been made a minister “to fulfill the word of God; even
the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but
now is manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is
the riches of his glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is
Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:25-27). “That their hearts
might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches
of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the
mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2-3). Again Paul
said: “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this
grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).
All this means that you can be rich if you will hear the word of
truth concerning the unsearchable riches of Christ and understand
it. But you must do something to receive these riches.
Both Jew and Gentile must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved
(Rom. 10:13). In order to call upon him, they must believe; and in
order to believe they must hear; and in order to hear, there must be
a message given and a messenger to preach it. In the verse leading
to this point we read: “For there is no difference between the Jew
and Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call
upon him” (Rom. 10:12). The Lord is rich only to those who call upon
him, and this is done by obeying the truth believed.
James 2:5 says that the poor in this world are “rich in faith.” Of
course, this does not mean that one who is poor in things of this
world is automatically “rich in faith.” Since the whole context is
dealing with “respect of persons” even in the assembly, based upon
how much of this world’s riches one possesses, the “poor” would be
those saints who are not rich in goods, but rich in faith.
A wealthy man may be “poor” in that he does not regard his wealth as
important when compared to his faith in Christ.
The Lord said unto the church in Smyrna: “I know thy works, and
tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the
blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the
synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9). This church was in poverty, yet they
were rich! How can this be? The answer, of course, lies in the
difference between the riches of this world and the riches of faith
in Christ. Moses elected to suffer affliction with the people of God
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; “esteeming the
reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb.
Not many can be persuaded to accept the riches that come by
faith in Christ. They are not nearly so interested in the treasures
in heaven as the treasures of this world. In this affluent society
in which we live anything that is not valued in terms of dollars and
cents is not important. The great majority would not turn around for
the privilege of learning the truth of God’s word. Most are not
concerned about what their children are taught by way of television,
movies, books, magazines, not to speak of back alleys and lonely
roads in parked cars. Just so they can “make plenty of money” to
“provide for their children,” nothing else makes any difference.
Your child needs money less than anything else in this generation.
He needs to become rich in things that extend beyond this life. He
will never be rich, even if you leave him a million dollars, unless
you teach him the wisdom of God that he may be rich in faith. Find
the riches of the wisdom of God in Christ, and obey it; you will be
rich beyond anything this world can offer.
— Via hephillips.org
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Jeannette
Darden who passed away December 7, following an extended
Brooke Richardson (Katryna Hayes’ daughter) is now healing
from 5 broken ribs and a broken spine. She is walking on her
own and doing more each day, though it is painful.
Kaydance Richardson (Brooke’s daughter) had broken two
bones in her leg (the femur and tibia), her left arm, and a bone in
back of her shoulder. She is now healing from a second surgery.
Kelly Stoneheart will be having a double mastectomy and
reconstruction surgery on December 19.
Bennie Medlock has been in much pain, due to loss of
cartilage and bone rubbing against bone in his knee, and also has
gout. He is now on extra medication and will be seeing his
orthopedist December 23.
Emma Thomas will be having surgery on her hands December 17.
Kerry Williams has an inoperable aneurysm behind her eye and
has been on dialysis every week for the last two years, due to
Danielle Bartlett recently received two stents, due to a
urinary track problem. Her follow-up appointment will be
December 15. If her previous problem reoccurs, surgery will
then be discussed.
Jan Bartlett has completed her chemo treatments and is now
trying to get over a bad cold she has had for the last few weeks.
She will eventually begin radiation treatments to make any
recurrence of cancer even more unlikely.
Also for prayer: the family and friends of Katryna Brinkley
Hayes and Mary Ruth Corley Allen who both recently passed away,
Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Joyce
Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, and Rex &
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal
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 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. 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)
p.m. (Bible class)
Edwards (912) 281-9917
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(Older version of Gospel Observer website without
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