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" (Matt. 28:19,20).
July 8, 1990
1) Beware -- What Goes In Might Come Out (Tom
2) Friendliness (John P. Sherd, Jr.)
Beware -- What Goes In Might Come Out
by Tom Edwards
Recently, a young girl called in and asked the question, "Can a
Christian listen to Rock or Rap music and still be a Christian?" The
following is part of the letter that I wrote to her in reply:
Actually, the question could include many other forms of music as well.
For example, much of today's country music often tells stories of an
immoral nature which should never characterize any child of God.
It's been proven that the media can have an effect on a person's own
outlook and disposition. Take for instance many of the movies of today.
Violence, vulgarity, indecent dress, and a disregard for what is proper
and right can have a harmful influence on especially young viewers. I
have read of crimes committed by young people who attributed what they
did to something that they had seen on TV. This has probably happened
many times. I suppose everyone needs a role model; but, unfortunately,
the movie industry is not always portraying the right kind.
We must not forget that the Bible teaches "Do not be deceived: Bad
company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33). In a sense, what
we watch on TV or listen to on the radio becomes "company" to us.
According to Paul, the wrong associations can corrupt us.
I have heard songs before that actually seem to be encouraging people
to commit suicide or do some other foolish thing. Songs of this nature
are bad enough in themselves, but when people listen to them while
under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they become even
In view of these thoughts, it is wise for a person to be careful in
what he watches and listens to. It is true that an individual does not
necessarily sin because he has heard someone speak a dirty word or
listened to someone sing suggestive or immoral lyrics, but what do you
think a steady diet of this might lead to? Will it not break down a
person's resistance to such things? We often refer to this as one
becoming "desensitized to sin," which describes a person who is losing
conviction of what is proper or right and no longer caring. Surely,
this is not good.
Why one must be cautious in what he allows to fill his mind is because
the Lord shows that we will be judged not only by what we do, but also
by what we allow our hearts to dwell upon. During this gospel age, in
which we live, an adulterer doesn't have to be the one who commits the
actual act, but merely by fantasizing of it, he has become guilty of
very same. In Matthew 5:27,28, the Lord warns: "You heard that it was
said, `You shall not commit adultery'; but I say to you, that everyone
who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her
already in his heart."
Many of today's movies are very lascivious and are designed to appeal
to the baser instincts of man, such as lust. Though it might not be a
sin because a Christian so happened to catch a glance of this type of
programming, does it really seem as the type of show that one should be
spending time with?
Perhaps we should ask ourselves -- whether it be concerning music,
movies, magazines, books we read, etc. -- the following questions: "If
Jesus were here with me in physical form, would I want to share this
movie, this song, or this magazine, etc., with Him?" "Would He approve
or be displeased?" Remember -- That what many people fill their minds
with is the very reason why Jesus had to die on the cross.
From out of his prison confinement, Paul joyfully exhorted the
Philippian brethren to give their attention to "whatever is
true...honorable...right...pure...lovely...of good repute." He
continued by saying, "if there is any excellence and if anything worthy
of praise, let your mind dwell on these things" (Phil. 4:8).
May these thoughts encourage each of us to fill our minds with good
things, for as Jesus Himself declares: "...the mouth speaks out of that
which fills the heart" (Matt. 12:34). Let us also remember that there
will be nothing impure or defiled that will ever enter into the
sinlessness and purity of God's holy and eternal, heavenly kingdom.
by John P. Sherd, Jr.
Yes, I think this church is a friendly one, but we should not "coast"
on that reputation. Just as an athlete or musician continues to hone
his skills, we should practice friendliness at all times. Let me offer
some suggestions that can help us be friendlier.
1. Think Friendly. Before
coming to worship, tell yourself that you are going to be a friendly
person. Remember that you can express friendship in your own way to
those with whom you worship.
2. Take the Initiative in Being
Friendly. Do not wait until someone speaks to you, but try to be
the first to speak. Do not wait until someone offers you his hand to
shake, but offer yours first. Do not worry about seeming obtrusive.
After all, who are we?
3. Do Not Rush Away After the Service.
Stay long enough to welcome visitors and do some visiting, especially
with those you are not around very much at other times. Too often, we
are with people socially on the weekend, then sit with them at church
and visit with them after worship -- all the while ignoring guests and
4. Learn the Names of as Many Members
as You Can. Study your church directory. Immediately write
down the names of those you do not know who make a public response to
the invitation or place membership. Remembering names will add a
new dimension to your friendliness.
5. Let Your Friendliness Extend
Beyond the Building Walls and the Ties That We Have Assembled For
Worship. Let it be expressed by a continuous flow of concern,
esteem, and good deeds.
-- In Pulpit Helps
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 3:18).
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;
lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland,
Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards