Archives for : January2008

Are there signs from God?

Are you looking for a “sign from God”? Do you think you have received a sign from God? Do other people receive signs from God?

If you are willing to listen to what the Bible say, the answer is “no.” People are no longer receiving special signs from God. There are certainly individuals who want a sign from heaven (Mt. 12:38). Jesus, however, said that heaven now offers to man the gospel (Jn. 20:30-31). We believe because of what has been “written,” not because of some sign.

In Hebrews 11:6 we are told that we cannot please God without faith. We must, therefore, ask how faith comes. Many think faith is created by a sign from God. A persons may think and believe this, but it is not what the scriptures say. We are told that faith comes by “hearing God’s word” (Rom. 10:17).

Instead of a sign being God’s power to salvation, the Bible says the gospel is God’s power to salvation (Rom. 1:16). Those who do not believe the gospel regard God’s word as foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18), but those who do have faith know the scriptures are the “power of God.”

Rather than a sign from God, the Bible says God’s word “works in people (1 Thess. 2:13). People are “brought forth by the word of truth” (Jas. 1:18). A person must “receive the implanted word to be saved” (Jas. 1:21). This means being “begotten by the word of God” (1 Pet. 2:23), not a supernatural sign from God.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Spiritual wealth (2 Cor. 8:9) – A sermon on being spiritually rich

WHAT IF SOMEONE SAID TO US, “GOD WANTS US TO BECOME RICH.” HOW WOULD WE AGREE OR DISAGREE?

1. Our answer is found in 2 Cor. 8:9 – READ
2. When we hear the word “rich,” we may instantly think about money and possessions.
3. In the New Testament, this is not the sense of rich in 2 Cor. 8.
4. Paul had in mind “spiritual wealth.”
5. Jesus said in Mt. 6:21 that where our “treasure is,” there will be our “heart.”
6. We can set our heart on the things of this earth.
7. Or, our idea of wealth can take the form of spiritual wealth.
8. The greatest wealth is not physical – it is divine.
9. The first reason for this is based on duration.
10. In Mt. 6:19 Jesus said physical treasure is subject to at least three problems.
11. Heaven is a place that offers a type of “durable protection” for spiritual wealth.
12. A long time ago this was stated by a wise-man (Prov. 8:18 – READ).

13. When it comes to earthly treasure we know it can fluctuate in value.
14. God’s riches are guaranteed.
15. Mt. 25:34 says a kingdom has been “prepared from the foundation of the world.”
16. With treasure on the earth, we can know what it is worth.
17. We can put a price on virtually anything that man values.
18. God tells us the heavenly treasure is above our ability to fully comprehend – Eph. 3:8 – READ
19. We want to make a note of some of what He offers.
20. Eph. 1:7 refers to the “riches of His grace.”
21. God’s grace is a treasure. Forgiveness is a great, great gift.
22. Not only does forgiveness make us rich, sanctification becomes part of our spiritual portfolio.
23. Sanctification means “to set apart.”
24. This word is used in places like 1 Cor. 1:2.
25. One spiritual benefit available to all people is salvation, 2 Tim. 2:10.
26. Another spiritual treasure is found in 1 Thess. 4:15-18.
27. The Bible alone is a priceless treasure.
28. The riches of Christianity are also demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ.
29. In Heb. 7:25 we are told Jesus can save us to the “uttermost.”
30. The Lord is a great spiritual treasure, but He is just one of the things found in Christianity.
31. Maybe one of the most intriguing treasures is found in 2 Cor. 4:16.
32. The spirit of a Christian is renewed each single day.
33. For the rest of our body, Rom. 8:18 says “glory is waiting.”
34. All the problems and issues of this life will one day be past.
35. Are we spiritually rich or are we spiritually poor?
36. Are we trying to help our children be spiritually rich, or are we leaving them in spiritual poverty?

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

The word heart in the Bible

1) The human heart beat roughly 35 million times a year.
2) In a lifetime, the heart pumps about one million barrels of blood.
3) More than 2,000 heart transplants are performed each year in the U.S.
4) When a person really becomes a Christian, their heart is changed.
a) That change usually does not come all at once—it is a process.
b) As the heart is molded into the way God desires, a person becomes different.
c) 2 Cor. 3:1-3.

5) When we evaluate people we often look at the outward appearance.
6) Often that is the worst indicator of what a person is like.
7) In 1 Sam. 16 the prophet Samuel was told to go and anoint a king.
8) What was God looking for in a king? The answer is found in verse 7.
a) God pays special attention to a person’s heart.
b) Outwardly a person may not seem to have any positive quality.
9) Heaven is not all that interested in outward appearances.
a) We see this in our next reference, Lk. 11.
b) Jesus had been invited to dine with a Pharisee (Lk. 11:37).
c) Verse 38 says – READ
d) The Pharisees were really concerned with what they could see (outward appearances).
e) God was and is interested in the heart.
10) The man in Lk. 11 must have expressed surprise or shock because Jesus said something to him.
11) What the Lord told him is in verse– verse 39 – READ
a) A heart is transformed by becoming a Christian.
b) A heart is “sprinkled” with the benefits of Christ’s blood when we are baptized, Heb. 10:22.
12) When a heart has been changed by being obedient to the gospel, it becomes sensitive.
a) I do not mean sensitive to criticism.
b) I mean sensitivity to knowing and following the will of God.
13) During this time David quietly cut off part of Saul’s robe.
14) David’s action showed he could have killed the king, but he did not want to do that.
15) Later David had some remorse about cutting Saul’s robe.
a) He was a man who had a sensitive heart.
b) God wants good hearts, and that process begins with spiritual surgery.
16) A lot of people
17) want a heart that is soft toward God and a heart attached to the world.
18) Jesus responded to this type of thinking in Lk. 9:61-62.
a) If a man puts his hand to the plow and turns back, he wants two kinds of hearts.
b) James said this is spiritual adultery, Jas. 4:4.
19) We can have only one heart; it is for God or it is for the world. It cannot be divided.
20) The Bible goes on to tell us that we make our choice very early in life.
21) In Gen. 8:21 God says man’s heart is “evil from his youth.”
22) Mk. 7:23 – READ
23) God wants to create a new heart within people through His plan of redemption.
24) Unfortunately there are those who prefer to keep their hearts closed and hard.
25) Mk. 3:1-3 – READ
26) Pharaoh also had a hard heart (he chose to harden himself to the instructions given by God).
27) We also make a choice about our hearts: we can harden them or let them be softened.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Divination – What does the Bible mean by divination?

This term may be briefly defined as “heathen magic.” It should also be understood as something that stands in contrast to divine miracles.

Unlike modern magicians who rely upon “sleight of hand,” divination was an attempt to reach out to and supernatural (and evil) powers. This type of activity was repeatedly condemned by Old Testament writers Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:6; Isa. 8:19; Jer. 27:9), and God said it was a capital crime (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 20:27).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Known by God: Does God "know" you?

Does God “know” you? The Bible speaks about being “known” by God and “not being known by God” (Mt. 7:23). When a person is “known by God,” he or she is saved, redeemed, and is pleasing to God. The expression “known by God” is used in places like Gal. 4:9 and 1 Cor. 8:3.

Be “known by God” by being obedient to heaven’s plan of redemption (Heb. 5:8-9).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Amanuensis – What is an amanuensis? Did the Bible writers ever use an amanuensis?

An amanuensis was a person who wrote a letter while it was spoken (dictated) by someone else. An amanuensis does not interfere with Bible inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16-17); it simply means the document was not physically written by someone like an apostle. One example of an amanuensis appears to be in Romans 16:22.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Is suicide a sin? What does the Bible say about suicide?

1) Samson took his life (Judg. 16), yet he is spoken of favorably in Heb. 11.
2) Judas took his own life and he is spoken of unfavorably (Jn. 17:12).
3) Christians have generally opposed suicide (Rom. 14:7-9; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 5:29).
4) Some cultures have had “laws” about suicide – “no Christian burial.”
5) Why do people commit suicide? _______________________________________________________
6) Is it limited to a particular age? ________________________________________________________
7) Is overeating a form of suicide? What about other acts? ___________________________________
8) Does society contribute to suicide? ________________________________________________
9) Is suicide “a form of atheism”? ___________________________________________________
10) Can suicide be related to hypocrisy? ________________________________________________
11) Who does suicide wound (1 Cor. 12:12)? ________________________________________________
12) Do Christians ever get VERY discouraged? Ps. 38:3, 6, 8, 10?
13) What do we find with Jonah – Jon. 4:3? ________________________________________________
14) How did Solomon feel (Eccl. 2:17)?
15) Moses (Num. 11:15) – __________________________
16) Is suicide a sin? Is it an “eternal sin”? _______________________________________________
17) Explain “accountability” and sin – ___________________________________________________
18) Might be a person who commits suicide be condemned, but not for suicide? __________________
19) What should we NOT do if someone threatens suicide? __________________________________
20) What ARE some things we can do? __________________________________________________
21) Remind the person we are accountable to God – Ps. 100:3..
22) Gen. 9:6 – suicide is “self-murder.”
23) Can we learn from the Ten Commandments (Rom. 15:4)? ________________________
24) What does Ex. 20:3 teach us about suicide? ______________________________________
25) Relate suicide to Heb. 4:15 and compare Mt. 4:5-6. ______________________________________
26) The solution is not suicide; it is ____________________________.
27) Is suicide always pre-mediated (Acts 16:27)? ____________________________________________
28) When people do think about it, what can they do (Phil. 4:8)? ____________________________
29) Many points about suicide come from the book of Job.
30) Several points in Job’s life are related to modern suicides.
31) He thought God no longer answered his prayers (Job 16:16-17).
32) He thought God singled Him out for punishment (Job 19:8-11).
33) He did not see purpose in his life.
34) Poor self and image and felt like a failure.
35) Felt all alone – friends and family had abandoned him (Job 16:20).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Fellow Workers in Romans 16 – Michael E. Brooks

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in
Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my
life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all
the churches of the Gentiles” (Romans 16:3,4).

I read Romans 16 with much greater appreciation
now than I did several years ago. I must confess
that at one time I considered it merely a rather
tedious collection of personal notes from Paul
that had little relevance or meaning to Christians
today. I suspect that others have shared those
views. After all, what difference does it make to
us whether the Romans said hello to Rufus and his
mother (verse 13) or to the household of
Aristobulus (verse 10). Who were these people
anyway? Why should we care? What application or
doctrine can be derived from such details?

I no longer feel that way, however. For the past
twenty years God has given me the privilege of
traveling to a number of different countries where
I have met and worked with many Christians. I know
what it is to have coworkers who put their own
lives at risk for the Gospel’s sake, and sometimes
even for my sake. I have witnessed and sometimes
assisted those who have responded with faith to
the Gospel and who have obeyed the commands of
Christ, in spite of opposition and persecution. I
now better understand Paul’s love for Mary “who
labored much for us” (verse 6), and for Epaenetus,
“the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ” (verse 5).

The church in Rome had a remarkable collection of
workers, gathered apparently from many different
parts of the Empire. Paul, who had helped to
convert at least some of them and worked with
others, sends his love and regard for them in such
a way that not only would the church there know of
them and their work, but also so that Christians
of every age and in every place would respect and
admire them. Jesus said of the woman who anointed
him with perfume, “Wherever this gospel is
preached in the whole world, what this woman has
done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark
14:9). So the labors of Phoebe, Urbanus, and many
others in Rome are still being told today.

It is important for us to recognize that there are
still many faithful Christians laboring in the
Gospel throughout the world today. Faithful
workers have not vanished. Bangladesh, Nepal,
India, Brazil, Nigeria, Guyana, and the United
States, to name but a few, contain dedicated
servants of Christ, as do most other nations of
the world. According to brethren in Florence,
Alabama, only eight countries lack at least one
Church of Christ today. Wherever the Church
exists, it is because someone worked to preach the
Gospel and produce obedient faith. It is also
because work continues to build up and increase
those churches.

Let us give honor to the many little-known co-
workers of Christ who labor throughout the world.
In New Testament times it was the apostles who
received most of the attention. Today it may be
missionaries and preachers. But God knows and
loves all those who serve him. We are thankful for
every one of them, and pray God’s blessings upon
them.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Discerning the Scriptures

My wife and I lived in England doing mission work in 1978 and ’79. While there, the news media reported a ten year old paperboy had been found dead along a dirt road in the country. Police asked that anyone on that road that day report to them. A mother and daughter went to the police saying they had been on that road but saw nothing unusual. In fact, while they were leaning on a fence looking out over a meadow, they heard a car, turned and glanced at it, and that was all. They couldn’t remember the make or even the color of the car.

Under hypnosis in separate rooms, both the mother and daughter were asked about the car. They were able to give the police the make and model, the color of the car, the license plate number, the color of the interior, and even the color of the drivers eyes! The murderer was captured.

All this information was recorded in the mother and daughter’s minds from just a momentary glance at the vehicle. They were unaware of it, but it was there.

This incident brings to mind Romans 14:12, “Each of us shall give account of himself to God.” We may forget, but our entire lives are still in our minds. We will personally reveal it to God at the Judgment, whether it be good or bad (2Corinthians 5:10). We will be held accountable for every sin that has not been cleansed by the blood of Christ by means of obedience to the Faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26).

The cleansing blood of Christ flows only through His Body, which is His church (Colossians 1:24). Are you in contact with the cleansing blood? (1John 1:7). — Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

A sermon on forgiveness – the Bible and forgiveness

1) There are seven special words used throughout the Bible to express the forgiveness.
2) Today we want to look at just one word for forgiveness, and it is a New Testament word.
3) The word that is the basis for our study means “to send away” or “to let go.”
4) This word occurs as both a noun and a verb in the New Testament; we will start with it as a noun.
5) Our first passage, as you will see on the sheet, is Mt. 26:28.
a) He gave His life on the cross for the “remission” of sins.
b) Remission is one of the special words used to describe forgiveness (send away).
6) A good illustration of what this forgiveness is may be found in Lk. 4:18.
a) The text says, “He sent me to proclaim release from the captives.”
b) Release is the word for “forgiveness.”
7) We have seen people who were held captive and released.
8) God is very serious about communicating this point.
9) One of our accounts of the great commission is found in Lk. 24:47.
a) Jesus said heaven had a message for people. He said this message was for all people.
b) What were all nations to hear? There is “remission (the sending away) of sins.”
10) If we want to be completely freed from our sins, how does the process work?
11) Our answer is found in Acts 2:38.
a) “Forgiveness” (the word we have been studying) is also used in this passage.
b) In Acts 2 it was the Day of Pentecost and Peter the apostle was preaching.
c) Faith alone will not cut away a person’s sins.
12) Peter said in Acts 2:38 the people needed to “repent.”
13) Repentance is necessary (Lk. 13:3), but repentance does not take away the sins of a non-Christian.
14) Peter said, “be baptized unto (for, in order to receive) the forgiveness of sins.
a) If we want God to send away our sins, we must be baptized.
b) Without baptism, we retain every single sin.
15) Over the years many have mocked the importance of baptism.
16) Baptism allows us to contact the benefits of Christ’s blood and then our sins are sent away.
17) It is therefore not surprising that after baptism people were “added to the church” (Acts 2:41, 47).
18) Holy people (those with their sins forgiven) were put into the church.
19) The religious doctrines of men say put unholy people into the church and then baptize them.
20) Men have gotten the divine plan backwards.
21) Heb. 9:22 says without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.

LET’S NOW TURN OUR ATTENTION TO PLACES THAT USE THIS SAME WORD, ONLY IT OCCURS AS A VERB.

a) Mt. 6:12 is the first passage we want to cite in this regard.
b) To forgive means to send away; to get rid of something.
c) When we forgive someone, the matter is put in the trash and burned. The ashes are buried.
2) Mt. 18:21f, verse 35 – read
3) The word we are looking at is also found in Luke’s gospel, Lk. 23:34.
4) God is “faithful and just” to forgive us of our sins (1 Jn. 1:9).
5) Part of our being faithful and just is extending forgiveness to others.
6) Have we done that?

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Bible study blog – http://www.preacherfiles.com/

Are you interested in a Bible Study Article blog? Get free Bible-based articles are designed with a two-fold purpose:

1. To encourage the reading and studying of God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15 – ASV; Acts 17:11)

2. Teach others who are interested in knowing more about the saving gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:1-2).

These articles are printable, making them easily available for distribution to others. They can be distributed through the medium of e-mail, can be used for church bulletins, Bible class material, prison ministry, or any other Bible-related ministry.

May the Lord receive the glory of our efforts (Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 5:16).

—Mike Riley

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Was God just in ordering the Canaanites to be destroyed?

Many wonder how God could have ordered the people of Israel to destroy the Canaanites. Is it not wrong to kill? How could a just God command that an entire group of people be exterminated?

God did command that the residents of Canaan be destroyed (Deut. 20:16-18). Although many seem to have the idea that this action happened all at once and the people in the land had no opportunity to change. This belief, while common, is wrong. In Deut. 20:10-11 we are told, “When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. 11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that are found therein shall become tributary unto thee, and shall serve thee.”

Not only did people such as the Canaanites have an opportunity to do what was right, they had been exposed to the righteous lives of many patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Though they had many chances to change, they chose sin—the most terrible type of sin. Corruption had reached a point where the people sacrificed their after-birth children to pagan idols (Deut. 12:31).

Sin had reached a point where it was like a cancer—the land had to be purged of evil so Israel could be used to bring Jesus the Messiah into the world. Other nations and peoples that became so wicked God had to destroy them include Tyre, Babylon, and Nineveh).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Comparing the Sabbath Day (Saturday) to the Lord's Day (Sunday)

A. The Sabbath Day celebrated the finished work of Creation.
B. The Lord’s Day celebrates the finished work of Redemption.

A. The Sabbath Day celebrated the beginning of natural life.
B. The Lord’s Day celebrates the beginning of spiritual life.

A. The Sabbath Day celebrated life in Adam.
B. The Lord’s Day celebrates life in Christ.

A. The Sabbath Day celebrated the demonstration of God’s power.
B. The Lord’s Day celebrates the demonstration of God’s Grace.

A. The Sabbath Day celebrated the work of God’s hands.
B. The Lord’s Day celebrates the work of God’s Heart.

A. The Sabbath Day was given to physical Israel.
B. The Lord’s Day was given to spiritual Israel (Christ’s disciples).

When John said he was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day, we don’t have to think very long about what day he was referring to (Revelation 1:10). In other words, Sunday is not just another day of the week for us to try and satisfy our insatiable appetite for worldly things. We have six other days to do that. Sunday is the “Lord’s Day.”

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

"We have seen strange things today."

We find the above quote in Luke 5:26. People had seen a man rebuke the belligerent authority of the Scribes and Pharisees. They saw a man who claimed to forgive sins, and then prove the claim by healing a paralytic right before their very eyes! The man was Jesus, and as people watched Him, they concluded, “We have seen strange things today.”

As we read of His life in the four Gospels, we find that people looked upon Him from His birth to His ascension with bewilderment, fascination, and astonishment. He was truly unique and distinctive.

People heard Him speak and they were amazed (Matthew 7:28); “Never a man spoke like this man” (John 7:46). When He went into His own country, He taught in their synagogues and “they were astonished” (Matthew 13:54). “And all bare Him witness, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:22). “And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with power” (Luke 4:32). Even His closest disciples marveled at the things He did (John 4:27). When he discussed the dangers of riches, His disciples were “exceedingly amazed” (Matthew 19:25). And, even His own mother was amazed at Him (Luke 2:48).

This same “distinctiveness” will be evident in His Body, which is the church (Colossians 1:24). Even the Sanhedrin, after arresting Peter and John, “took notice that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Jesus did not shed His blood to purchase a church that would blend in with society and become invisible. –Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Weeping in the Bible

Weep (klaio) is a verb; it describes weeping, mourning, and showing emotion. It occurs more than 30 times in the New Testament. Readers can find this term associated with physical death in places like Mt. 2:18; Jn. 11:31, 33; 20:11, 13, 15). It is also used to describe remorse (Mt. 26:75). It is joined with people weeping over divine judgment and eternal doom (Rev. 18:15, 19; Mt. 8:12). We find it joined with Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem (Lk. 19:41) and in a woman anointing Jesus (Lk. 7:38).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

"DON'T GET USED TO THE SCENERY!"

I was visiting in a house not long ago where the TV was on. I couldn’t help but notice how blurry the picture was. Eventually, I asked the couple about it. They said it had been that way for about two years and they had gotten used to it.

On my way home, I began to wonder if there are blurry areas in our lives that we tolerate just because we have gotten used to them.

Are there any who have gotten so used to the scenery of worship, the singing of praise, prayer, listening to a sermon, and seeing the lost die in their sin, that it means little to them, and they just accept it?

52 percent of Americans believe that pre-marital sex is a morally gray (blurry) issue, so they tolerate it. The same can be said of many sins that have mushroomed to the spotlight in recent years.

Paul writes in 1Corinthians 4:16b that “our inward man is renewed day by day.” Everyday is a “renewal!” How then can a genuine Christian’s vision become blurry if he is renewed everyday? The answer is that he has swerved, perhaps unknowingly, off the straight and narrow road, and needs help getting back to the path that leads to Heaven.

Is that you? Have you become used to the scenery? Do you look forward to attending the Sunday assemblies in anticipation of worshipping the great transcendent God of Heaven? Do you look forward to Bible study wherein you may learn how to better glorify God and enhance your spiritual life? Or, is your spiritual outlook “blurry?” If the latter, would you like to bring it back into focus by upgrading your knowledge of the Bible? — Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Was Paul uninspired?

Was the apostle Paul uninspired? Did Paul ever claim he was not speaking by inspiration? Are the words of the apostle Paul mere opinion? Some think and say so, and one argument for this position is 1 Cor. 7:25: Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be trustworthy.

Have no commandment of the Lord has been used to say Paul lacked inspiration. If Paul had said nothing else about this subject, this conclusion might be correct. Later in this chapter (1 Cor. 7:40) Paul did claim to have inspiration. He had and wrote by the “spirit of God.” He also claimed inspiration in Gal. 1:11-12.
Often people claim Paul was not inspired so the teaching of scripture can be dismissed. In the case of 1 Cor. 7:25, Paul had not received a specific statement from God on this issue. The lack of specific instruction on this point in no way affected his inspiration on other matters.

Be wary about people who claim the Bible and the apostles do not have God’s stamp of inspiration. Usually people make these claims because the Bible does not support what they believe or do.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

"Who are you to reply against God?"

We would think that no one would be so arrogant as to reply against God. However, men were doing it in the first century, and it continues today.

The question is rhetorical. The answer is obvious. No man has any authority to argue with anything God says. After all, He is God, man isn’t!

If God commands how we are to worship Him, and He does (John 4:24), if you ignore with those commands, you are guilty of “replying against God.”

Churches and pulpits are filled to the brim and overflowing with men who are replying against God. Whether this is being done intentionally, or in sincere ignorance, makes no difference. There is no excuse for sin (John 15:22).

Today, the Bible is being heralded as antiquated and out of touch with modern society. But I ask, “How can anything be outdated when it exists in a realm where there is no time?” (cf. 1Peter 3:8). But this attitude is real and it’s causing religious leaders to write their own bibles and build their own churches based on the likes and dislikes of the majority. Do they really think they can manipulate the true God of Heaven? If they do, they are wrong. After all, “God’s word is forever settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89); “I will not altar that which is gone out of my lips” (Psalm 89:34).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Calling Evil Good

In Isaiah 5:20, we read, “Woe unto them who call evil good and good evil.” Yet, it seems that a great majority of our society has adopted this sinful philosophy. There is an effort to rename all sorts of sins trying to make them more “respectable.” For example: the evil of premarital and extramarital sex is widely accepted as normal in our modern society. I am told, “Lighten up Toby, that’s just how it is these days!” However, the Bible still calls it “sin.” Since it is sin, it must be repented of before God will forgive the sinner (Luke 13:3). Furthermore, giving consent to sin is to make one’s self guilty of the same (Romans 1:32).

Social drinking is common among many who claim to be Christians. It is proclaimed that the Bible condemns drunkenness, but a little drinking is okay. The same passage that condemns drunkenness also condemns adultery, homosexuality, stealing, etc. (1Corinthians 6:9-10). If “a little” drinking is okay, then so is “a little” adultery, “a little” homosexuality, “a little” stealing.

Another evil that is being called good is the sin of indifference. “Just don’t bother me. I’m comfortable just the way I am!” Our Lord condemned the church at Laodicea because they were “indifferent.” They approached Holy and Sacred things in a much to mediocre way, and had a far too casual approach to Christianity (Revelation 3:15-16). He encouraged them to “be zealous and repent”(Revelation 3:19).

While these and many other things go against the grain of modern societal thinking, still, they are truths that must be dealt with if one has any expectation of being saved by Jesus Christ (cf. Hebrews 5:9). Is it any wonder that Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen?” (Matthew 22:14).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

"The Danger of Casual Christianity"

“Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:16 – NKJV). To be a lukewarm Christian nauseates Jesus. He will not tolerate it. This truth raises great concerns in a society that views spiritual matters with mediocrity.

Acording to Jesus Himself, a casual approach to things like worship, Bible Study, and in general, being about our Heavenly Father’s business, meets with Divine rejection.

We all have our “comfort zones,” and it seems we are unwilling to step out of them even when it concerns preparation for eternity. We may go to worship, as long as it doesn’t interfere with something else we would rather do; we may study the Bible, if there isn’t something good on TV; and we may even inquire about a hurting soul, as long as it doesn’t mean getting involved.

Generally, we have pleasant things to say about the church, the Bible, and we put forth a little effort to be somewhat of a moral person, but that is as deep as our spiritual commitment goes. “With their lips they honor Me, but their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:8).

If we want to hear Jesus say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,” (Matthew 25:21), we will have to “do well” in this life. Doing well means rising above a casual commitment to the will of God. Jesus urges, “Therefore, be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).