Archives for : April2008

The Lord's prayer

R.C. Foster in “Studies In The Lfe of Christ” (p. 862) recorded how someone “has pointed out the extraordinary collection of relationships which emerge in this prayer.”

(1) Our Father father and child
(2) Hallowed by thy name God and the worshipper
(3) Thy kingdom come king and subject
(4) Thy will be done master and servant
(5) Give us this day ourdaily bread benefactor and suppliant
(6) Forgive us our debts creditor and debtor
(7) Bring us not into temptation guide and debtor
(8) Deliver us from the evil one redeemer and redeemed

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).

How Christians are like sheep

A study of how Christians are like sheep:

1) Sheep are often ignorant – Jer. 5:4 – discuss ______________________________________________
2) Sheep are easily distracted – Isa. 53;6; Mk. 4:14-19 – – discuss _______________________________
3) Sheep have no personal protection – 1 Pet. 5:8 – discuss ____________________________________
4) Cost to reclaim sheep? __________________________________________________ Jn. 10:11
5) Gen. 4:4 – “early care necessary” – – discuss _____________________________________________
6) Jn. 10:5 – apply to Christianity: _______________________________________________________
7) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. What do sheep want? ____________________________
8) What do men want? ________________________________________________________________
9) Jn. 10:10
10) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – satisfied sheep lie down.
a) 4 criteria before laying down: no fear, “pest free,” not hungry, no friction with others.
b) 2 Tim. 1:7 – compare 4 criteria to us – ____________________________________________
11) He leadeth me beside the still waters – sheep (on average) are composed of 70% water.
12) Thirsty sheep are restless – Mt. 5:6.
13) Discuss man’s spiritual thirst: _____________________________________________________
14) He restoreth my soul:
15) Sheep can end up on their backs – feet in the air and panicked.
16) Discuss “restoring souls” in local congregation: ______________________________________
17) He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
a) Sheep require very delicate care. Important to “keep them moving.” Shepherds must plan.
b) Some sheep refuse to follow – discuss – ________________________________________
c) What prevents people from following? ________________________________________
18) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Shepherds faced danger.
19) Examples: __________________________________________________ Jn. 16:33.
20) I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
21) Explain “rod” and “staff”: ______________________________________________________
22) Gal. 2:11.
23) Thou preparest a table before me. Shepherds scout out areas in advance. Heb. 2:10, KJV.
24) Thou anointest my head with oil – “medical treatment” for sheep. Church is God’s hospital.
25) My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

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).

has the kingdom of God come?

World history and the kingdom of God

1) It is important to study the kingdom through the eyes of Daniel (he was living in Babylon).
2) At this time Babylon (625-538 B.C.) was the dominant world power.
3) Dan. 2:32 : Describe the image: ____________________________________________
4) Dan. 2:36-37: What part of the image represented Babylon/the king? ______________
5) Compare Isa. 14:4.
6) What happens in Dan. 5:5? ___________________________________________
7) Dan. 5 also discusses the ancient world powers – Dan. 5:18, 25-28 – READ.
8) This information is then discussed a third time in Dan. 7 using the image of “beasts.”
9) Dan. 7:3-7 – the four beasts are: __________________________________________
10) The “lion” in premillennial thought is said to represent: _____________________
11) The “eagle’s wings” on the lion are said to refer to: ______________________________
12) Why REJECT these interpretations as completely false (Dan. 7:4, 5, 6)? __________________
13) What is the bear falsely said to represent (Dan. 7:5)? ______________________
14) Why REJECT this view? _____________________________________
15) What was the third beast like (Dan. 7:6)? ____________________________________
16) This beast is often referred to as the nation of Germany.
17) One wild claim is that it must be Germany because this nation has produced “leopard tanks.”
18) The “four heads” are often interpreted as “four German reichs.”
a) Germany had two reichs, there was Hitler’s third reich, and now supposedly a “fourth reich.”
b) The fourth beast had how many horns (Dan. 7:7-8)? ___________________
c) False teachers say each horn represents a king and all will one day be joined together.
d) This accounts for much of the talk about a recreated “soviet union” or the “European union.”
e) Right now the European Union has 15 members—that does not fit premillennial doctrine.”
f) They think the number will one day be reduced to ten.
g) They further say one day this power will dominate the entire world—one world government.
h) Finally, it is said from this group a single person will emerge – a skillful politician.
i) This individual (a few think it could be a woman) will be the “beast” or “anti-Christ.”
j) Also false: In the future this leader will lead international forces in attacking Israel in “Armageddon.”

19) People forget that Dan. 7 has the same information as Dan. 2—world kingdoms from the past.
20) What Daniel said was future history for him; for us, it is in the past.
21) Babylon was the first kingdom (lion/eagle) and God said it would fall – 2:39; 5:20-21, 28.
22) In Dan. 2, Babylon was compared to fine gold.
23) After Babylon came another world empire (the Persian Empire). Dan. 5:30-31.
24) In 538 B.C. the Medes and Persians united together and formed this kingdom).
25) This is the kingdom compared to silver (Dan. 2:32) and a “bear” in Dan. 7:5. Compare Dan. 5:28, 31.
26) This kingdom lasted until 330 B.C. and then came Greece, the third kingdom (330-323 B.C.)
27) In the image of Dan. 2, this was like “brass” (Dan. 2:39). In Dan. 7:6 it is compared to a: _________
28) The fourth kingdom was Rome (B.C. 31-476 A.D.)
29) See Dan. 2:33 and 7:7. There were to be four world kingdoms and no more.
30) These world kingdoms have all come!

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).

how is a person saved?

Who saves us?

1) 1 Cor. 9:22.
a) Paul said he who was doing “all things.”
b) Did the apostle Paul save people?
c) This is not the only time he made this type of claim.
2) In the previous book (Rom. 11:14) he said “he” was the one provoking Jews to jealousy.
3) It was HIS work that was causing people to become interested in the gospel.
a) James 5:20 deals with this same topic and is even more startling.
b) READ
4) Who is converting a sinner from the error of his ways? Who is saving a sinner from death?
5) Paul had a lot to say about the subject of marriage in 1 Cor. 7.
a) In 7:16 he realized that some Christians are married to a non-Christian mate.
6) READ
7) How is the salvation being found? It is through another human being (a Christian mate).
a) How are these people going to find God?
b) The verses presented thus far give us a partial answer: through our hands and lives.
c) In many cases a person is saved by or through a fellow human being.
d) Timothy was told (1 Tim. 4:16) he could save himself as those who “heard him.”
a) People are not saved by our hands alone.
b) Disciples of Jesus once asked, “Who can be saved” (Lk. 18:26).
c) What did the Lord say to this question? With God, all things are possible!
d) God sent Jesus into the world and the blood of Christ saves us (Jn. 3:17).
e) The Holy Spirit has revealed the plan of salvation so man can have forgiveness of sins.
2) Acts 4:12 says we MUST be saved “in the name of Jesus” – no other name works.
3) Even the name of Moses (a name that people tried, Acts 15:1) will not work.
4) Salvation comes from God and His grace, Acts 15:11.
a) A person must “call upon the name of the Lord in obedience” (Rom. 10:13).
b) 2 Tim. 1:8-9 says a person is saved by the power of God.
c) God employs mercy to save human beings (Tit. 2:4-5).
a) The Bible makes a third point. It tells us that man saves himself.
2) Acts 2:40 – READ
a) Peter was certainly involved in the “salvation” process.
b) God was involved in the salvation process because of all the previous references we gave.
3) 2 Cor. 5:20 uses similar language: “be ye reconciled to God.”
a) 2 Cor. 6:17 says “come ye out from among them.”
b) James 4:8 says “draw nigh unto God.”
c) Rev. 3:18 has Jesus saying, “buy gold from me.”
d) Phil. 2:12 says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
e) Mt. 11:28-2929 has Jesus saying, “come unto me…take my yoke upon you.”
f) Jn. 6:27 says “work for the food that leads unto eternal life.”
g) 1 Cor. 9:24 says “run so that ye may obtain the prize.”
4) Salvation is really a three prong process.
a) God is at the head of it; we cannot be saved without Him.
b) Others help save people.
c) In some respects (see the previous passages) we “save ourselves.”

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).

Gave Place Not For An Hour – Gal. 2:4-5

When Paul wrote his letter to the church at Galatia he reminded them that there were those who came into their midst with ulterior motives. In this case there were Jews feigning Christianity in an effort to bring the Gentile Christians into subjection to the Mosaic Law. But Paul says, “we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:5).

Since the earliest days of the church this tactic of false teachers sneaking into the church in order to subvert the gospel of Christ has been a problem. The problem then, as it is now, is that far too many congregations did not stand, as did Paul and the church at Galatia.

Paul warned the elders of Ephesus that heinous wolves would come into their midst, not sparing the flock. Even from the eldership men rise up, teaching false doctrines and drawing away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:28-30). Paul even stated that elders must be able to hold fast to the faithful word he had been taught, “that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:9-11).

Paul also told Timothy that if a man, “consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness,” and that “from such withdraw thyself” (1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Most of the problems we face in the church today are because leaders have not followed the commands of God to stop those who preach and teach false doctrines and for the church to withdraw themselves from the same. Likewise we have failed to follow the good example of Paul and the brethren at Galatia to not, even for a moment, give these false teachers an audience to spew forth their heresy.

If we do indeed love the truth, the church, God, the souls of men, and our own souls we will start doing what we have failed to do in the past and turn the tide on the digressive movements in the church and society. Be Faithful! — Tim Dooley

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).

When good men do nothing

There is an old saying by Edmund Burke that asserts, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This is most certainly true for the lives of Christians. It has been said that if we stand still the world and denominationalism will pass us by. Many of us have seen this happen in our lifetimes regarding the church, truth, doing of good, and the souls of men.

What have we seen good men not do?

Pray (1 Thess. 5:17).
Study (2 Tim. 2:15).
Worship (Heb. 10:25).
Edify (1 Thess. 5:11).
Support (Acts 20:35).
Love (Matt. 5:43-48).
Teach (2 Tim. 2:2).
Work (John 4:35).
Give (2 Cor. 9:7).
Show courage (1 Cor. 16:13).
Fight (1 Tim. 6:12).

Certainly you could add many more things to this list, but you get the idea. Christianity is to be an active lifestyle, a work, a passion. If good men do nothing, if Christians do nothing, evil will triumph.

However, doing nothing does not remove culpability. Pilate tried to wash his hands and do nothing, but he could have stood for what was right and released Jesus (Matt. 27:24). What does this mean for you and I? Well, we don’t have to do any of the things we have mentioned. We can stand by and let evil prevail. If we do don’t be surprised when you suffer evil, loose your home in Heaven and find yourself in eternal damnation with those you allowed to win here on earth. Be faithful!

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).

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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).

Salvation is not by faith alone

1) When words begin with “mono,” they are typically associated with the idea of “one.”
2) There is the idea of something being single or alone.
3) When we open up the New Testament, we find a word called “monon.”
a) This is an adverb and it means “alone, only.”
b) Mt. 5:47 is one illustration of the point we want to make
i) A little later (Mt. 8:8 this word is used again), only this time not by the Lord.
ii) Here “only” really means “only” (alone, just this one thing—nothing else required).
c) Listen how Jesus responded to this man’s request – verse 10 of Mt. 8 – READ
i) Why did Jesus command this man’s faith?
ii) It was because this man said just one thing was required.
4) Mt. 9:21 – READ
a) The word “but” is our little adverb that is translated “only” in the passages we are citing.
b) In the ASV and the KJV, the text says “but.”
c) In the NKJV, NASB and NIV, the translators used the word “only.”
d) This woman was thinking there was only one thing—just one thing—she she had to do to get well.
5) It is therefore no wonder why Jesus commented about the woman’s faith – verse 22 – READ
6) Acts 18:25 – READ
a) Rom. 3:29. Here Paul asked a question: is God the God of the “Jews alone”?
b) Is God “only” God for the Hebrews?
c) 1 Cor. 7:39. Paul spoke of a widow and said she may want to remarry.
d) He said in a case such as this she could ONLY remarry “in the Lord.”
e) If this passage means what some say it means (she must marry a Christian), ONLY means ONLY.
f) Marrying a non-Christian cannot be done under any set of circumstances.
g) A better explanation is that “in the Lord” means in harmony with the Lord’s will.
h) If a person is divorced, Mt. 19:9 says that only the party not guilty of fornication can remarry.
i) If a widow or anyone else wants to marry, it must be ONLY in the Lord – in harmony with God’s will.
j) That marriage must comply with God’s plan outlined in places like Mt. 19.
7) 1 Cor. 15:19 is a second key passage in the First Corinthian letter with the word “only.”
a) What if Christianity would turn out to be untrue?
b) That would mean all of our hopes are false and everything we have believed is a lie.
8) 1 Thess. 1:5 is my next text. The gospel did not come in “word only.”
a) Without a written document miracles were needed to “confirm the word” (Mk. 16:20).
b) Our next verse is 1 Tim.5:13.
c) He said these women could become “idle” (lazy).
d) God said this is not the “only” sin they could commit.
e) They could go from house to house and spread gossip—God does not like gossip.
f) When people choose to engage in one sin, this text suggests that others soon follow.
g) Jas. 1:22 says do not be “hearers of the word only.”
9) Jas. 2:24 and this verse will be read – READ
a) God says a person is NOT saved by “faith alone.”
b) What does the word “only” mean in Jas. 2:24?
c) Throughout the Bible we see that alone means “only, by itself, nothing else involved.”

10) Rather than saying man is “saved by faith alone,” it says we are NOT saved by faith alone.
11) Something besides personal faith in God is required. What else is necessary?

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).

Receiving the kingdom of God (Hebrews 12:28)

1) Why is the word “receiving” important? ________________________________
2) What does “shaken” remind you of? ___________________________________
3) What errors are refuted by Heb. 12:28? ____________________________________________
4) This “unshakable kingdom” is a key point throughout the Bible. Many spoke of it.
5) What did John the Baptist say (Mt. 3:2)? ______________________________________
6) Who else spoke of it (Mt. 4:23)? _____________________________________________
7) Jesus said this message ___________________ be preached (Lk. 4:43).
8) Who else knew of the kingdom message (Lk. 8:1)? ______________________________
9) How “soon” was the kingdom to come (Mk. 1:14-15)? ___________________________
10) Discuss the expression “word of the kingdom” in Mt. 13:19 – _________________________
11) Compare this to Heb. 4:12.
12) The apostles went on a “limited commission” and preached what message (Mt. 10:1, 7)? ______
13) Jesus later appointed ________ (Lk. 10:1) and what was their message (Lk. 10:9-11)? ___________
14) Passages that are impossible to explain if the kingdom of God has not come:
a) Mt. 6:33 – ____________________________
b) Jn. 3:3, 5 – ____________________________
c) Acts 8:12 – Why preach this if there is no kingdom? ______________________________
d) Acts 28:23, 31 – ____________________________________________________________
15) A kingdom must have four components: a territory, a kingdom, a system of law, and subjects.
16) This is an earthly definition that is certainly consistent with scripture.
17) In the truest sense of the word “kingdom” in the Bible means “the reign/rule/power of God.”
18) This full meaning of the term is reflected in other parts of the letter – Heb. 10:27, 31.
19) Part of God’s kingdom (ruler/power/reign) is the kingdom created by Christ—the church.
20) This kingdom is described in both general and specific terms. We start with the general.
a) Dan. 7:13-14 – _________________________________________
b) Fulfilled by Christ – Mt. 28:18.
c) It was to be set up in Jerusalem (Isa. 2:2-3; Mic. 4:2).
d) Fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Lk. 24:46-49 + Acts 2:1-4).
e) Ps. 2 is Messianic – it predicted a universal reign – Ps. 2:6-8.
f) Fulfilled – Phil. 2:9-11.
g) The kingdom was to be one of righteousness (Isa. 9:7).
h) This has been fulfilled – Eph. 4:11-16.

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 Holy Visitor – the pope visits the U.S.

This past week, those who practice Roman Catholicism, and some who don’t, the news media and political figures, were all abuzz with the arrival of the Pope. Visiting with a friend Wednesday I expressed my angst with the moniker given to this man as “the holy father.”

Now there is nothing wrong with referring to another as “holy.” We are commanded to be so. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). How great would it be if every Christian lived a holy life and that we could refer to one another as holy?

My objection is then not with the word “holy” but with the definite article “the,” and the joining of such with the spiritual title of “father.” Jesus clearly taught that it is not permissible to do so (Matthew 23:9). We have a Father in heaven and to claim that a mere man (Joseph Alois Ratzinger) is “the holy father” would be to state that he is God (we know he cannot be God because his birthday was yesterday, April 19).

It boggles my mind to think of so many people being so naïve. But when tradition and false doctrine take place of God’s Word, this is always what takes place. There is no difference between this situation and the sad state of those who are part of the polygamist cult in Texas that has been in the news recently.

Truth is we have had a holy visitor. In John 1:14 we read, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (emphasis mine, tld).

Unlike the warm and enthusiastic reception the Roman Catholic Pope received, Christ, “came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). He came to seek and save the lost (Matthew 18:11). But instead of receiving Him as the promised one, the Messiah, the savior of all mankind, they rejected Him, ridiculed Him and killed Him.

Unlike the Roman Catholic leader who rode through our streets in a bulletproof “Popemobile,” Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem seated upon a donkey. Instead of standing before the world (the Pope spoke to the UN the other day) and having the support of his fellowman, Jesus was betrayed and all His disciples forsook Him.

But we have this promise in the same text. That if we will receive Him, reject the will of men, and be born of God, He gives us the power to be the sons of God (vs. 12-13). Will you? Be faithful! Tim Dooley

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 Purpose of Preaching

This year, I plan on preaching 104 sermons, not counting Gospel meetings, lectureships, Bible classes, private Bible studies, and newspaper articles. But what is the purpose of all this? Believe it or not, preaching does have a purpose.

Preaching should exegete and explain inspired literature. The first Gospel sermon preached by the apostles is found in Acts 2. Luke used 25 verses to record Peter’s sermon. Of these 25 verses, 12 are direct quotes from Scripture. Nearly 50% of the sermon was Scripture. Is that the way it is in today’s pulpits? Many know the “gist” of the Bible, but if that’s all we need, why didn’t God just give us the “gist” of His Will?

Another purpose of preaching is to disturb the audience. Many who heard the first sermon were “pricked in their hearts” (Acts 2:37). Peter did not preach in such a way as to leave his hearers feeling good in their sin. Preaching that leaves men satisfied and contented in their sin has no purpose. The primary purpose of preaching is to convert and change people. This can only be done by the Holy Spirit convicting men of sin (John 16:8), and He does this through preaching of God’s Word (1Corinthians 1:21b).

Preaching must present Christ as man’s only Hope. Preaching must produce conviction. Preaching must cause men to think and to ask questions. Much, and perhaps most, of the division in the religious world today can be attributed to the fact that people do not ask questions or investigate the Scriptures. They are simply content to take someone’s word for it, whether it be a parent, spouse, preacher, priest, etc. We are told that the Bereans were, “noble…in that they received the word with all readiness, and then searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Preaching has many other purposes such as telling men how to be saved; leading men into the Lord’s church; and helping Christians grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. –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).

"To Oil, or not to Oil?

The question comes from James 5:14 which says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”

No, we do not need to anoint with oil today, unless it be with “The oil of gladness” (Hebrews 1:9). Oil is representative in our day and time of making the sick as comfortable as possible and using every physical means available that would aid healing.

“But doesn’t the Bible mean what it says?” Certainly, but what exactly does the Bible say?

The Greeks had two words for this, very similar, but still two different words. Ah-lay-thoe, which refers to the common use of oil, and Chree-oh which is used in reference to sacred things such as anointing.

Consider the use of this word “ah-lay-thoe,” also translated “anointed” in Luke 7:38 & 46. A woman anointed Jesus’ feet with oil; then Jesus reprimands Simon for not anointing His head with oil. Other passages where “ah-lay-thoe” is translated “anointed” are: John 11:2; 12:3; Mark 16:1, as well as James 5:14. Compare those passages with Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38, and Hebrews 1:9, which translate the word “chree-oh” as “anointed,” and you will see the difference in meaning, a difference which cannot be ignored. One cannot use the word “ah-lay-thoe” in reference to the sending of the Spirit upon Jesus or the ceremony of inaugurating a king, etc. The word “Christ” literally means “the Anointed One.” Christian is derived from this word, and both terms are forms of Chree-oh.

All Christians have an “anointing” from God (2Corinthians 1:21; 1John 2:20 & 27). The word in each of these passages is “chree-oh.” It is a sacred anointing. It is NOT the word which James uses in 5:14. He uses the word “ah-lay-thoe” which simply means “an oiling.” “…and let them pray over him, oiling him with oil in the name of the Lord…”

If what the Elders are to do is what the Catholic priest does, that is, put a bit of oil on the eye lids, the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the hands, the kidneys, and the feet, then James could not use the word “ah-lay-thoe” because what the priest does is supposedly a sacred act. Linskey says that the participle which James uses means that the sick person’s body is to be rubbed with oil just as the nurse now rubs a patient’s body with alcohol. The ancients used olive oil in this way. Isaiah 1:6 used the expression, “mollified with oil” (ASV), “soothed with ointment” (NKJV) in relation to treating bruises, scratches, etc. The good Samaritan applied oil and wine to wounds and bruises (Luke 10:34). Herod the Great was bathed in a vessel full of oil when he was thought to be near death’s door (Josephus, Ant. 17).

Th oiling was to be done “in the name of the Lord.” Praying was the main act, using oil in the name of the Lord was a second and minor act. Both the imperative and the participle are aorist’s which simply means that single acts are referred to. Also, the imperative (praying) is antecedent to the oiling. That is, “having oiled with oil, let them pray.”

We also note that James writes, “If ANYONE…” This would include women and children. I am of the opinion that when an elder or two came to a woman’s or child’s bedside, some member of the family was asked to apply the oil before the prayers were offered.

The addition of “the name of the Lord” to the application of oil does not make this a sacrament or a ritual, for “all that we do, we are to do in the name of the Lord” (Col. 3:17), and “whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, we do it all to the glory of God” (1Cor. 10:31).

There are other words translated “anointed” in our English versions (e.g.. John 9:6), that have no practical application to this particular topic.

In summary, the application of the oil was preparatory in nature. Using the common word, literally meaning “rub with oil,” James is referring to the common practice of using oil as a means of bestowing honor, refreshment, and grooming. If a person is sick, we should do all we can to comfort them; utilize any medical treatment available; and put it all under the umbrella of prayer. 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 God's grace

1) This morning we want to see engage in a brief study of what God’s grace is and does.
a) God’s grace says punishment can be avoided. His grace encourages us to find forgiveness.
b) God offers great grace to the world, but His grace must be accessed.
c) Once it is accessed, it must be maintained.
d) Acts 13:43 says people must “continue” in the grace of God.

2) Sometimes I get the impression that people view God’s grace as a one-time arrangement.
3) Acts 14:3 – READ
a) God’s grace is joined with His word.
b) We are not going to find the grace of God unless we open up the word of God.
c) Acts 15:11 says salvation and grace go hand in hand. We cannot be saved without grace.
4) Acts 20:32 – READ
a) God’s grace “builds up people.”
b) False teachers build up people by misusing God’s grace.
c) Jude 4.

5) False teachers tell people “It does not matter what you believe.
6) “You may believe what you want because God is a God of grace.”
7) Acts 14:3 – God’s grace is joined with His word.
a) Grace and scripture go together.
b) False teachers may build people up with lies and false promises.
c) They use smooth talk to describe a type of grace the Bible never mentions.
d) (Rom. 1:7); (1 Cor. 1:3); (1:3), etc.

8) Not only does God want us to have grace, He wants us to “stand” in it. Rom. 5:2.
a) Rom. 5:15 says God’s grace is a gift.
b) Gifts are given to people who have a relationship with the giver.
c) Gifts are not randomly passed out to strangers.
d) Grace is given to those who are “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
9) God’s gift of grace is a very great gift – Rom. 5:17 – READ
10) God’s grace is “abundant” (it is more than enough).
11) Christians at Rome thought God’s grace was a pretty good deal but they took things too far.
a) Rom. 6:1-2 – READ
b) Grace helps us in many ways.
c) Sadly, there are those who do not want to remain in God’s grace.
d) In the Galatian letter (5:4) the apostle Paul spoke of those who “fell from God’s grace.”
12) Paul said “grace through faith” in Eph. 2:8. Grace is God’s part; “faith” is our part.
13) Eph. 2:8 does not say “faith alone.” It says “faith.” Faith involves many things, including obedience.
a) Col. 1:6 – READ John said “grace and truth” have come through Jesus (Jn. 1:17).
14) 1 Pet. 1:2, 22.
a) Gal. 3:27 baptism puts people into Christ – the location of God’s grace.
b) All need God’s grace to avoid eternal condemnation. Have we accessed it?

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).

Tit. 2:3: not given to much wine

Many times in the world we find people confused about their “role.” Society has tried to redefine the roles of men and women, and even some religious groups have done a poor job concerning what men and women are to do. God is the creator of all things (Genesis 1-2), the Bible claims to be His word (and there is sufficient proof to believe that the scriptures are the word of God), so we may turn to the sacred writings to learn about the role of men and women.

One passage that does a good job of summarizing what men and women should do is the second chapter of Titus. Here are the first five verses in the second chapter of Titus:

But speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine: 2 that aged men be temperate, grave, sober-minded, sound in faith, in love, in patience: 3 that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; 4 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5(to be) sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed: 6 the younger men likewise exhort to be sober-minded:

How should people get along with one another? How should people act towards one another? These verses give us specific information that is easy to follow. In this blog article we want to concentrate on just one item: “enslaved to much wine.” Paul said “aged women” are to be “reverent in demeanor” and not “enslaved to much wine.” The KJV and the NKJV says “not given to much wine.” NIV translators chose “addicted to much wine.”

The key term behind these translations is the Greek word douloo. Readers may be interested in looking at some of the other places this term occurs in the New Testament. For instance, the word is used in Acts 7:6 and there is translated “bondage.” Peter used this word in 2 Pet. 2:19 when he described the “bondservants of corruption.” Paul used it twice in Rom. 6 to describe “servants of righteousness” (verse 18) and “servants to God” (Rom. 6:22). It is wrong for Christians to be slaves to booze or anything else that is addictive.

Someone might say, “I know that being ‘given to wine’ is wrong, but what if someone just ‘drinks a little.’ Is this okay? What is usually meant by this is “social drinking.” Is it okay for a Christian to be a “social drinker?”

The expression “not given to much wine” does not justify drinking an amount of alcohol that is less than an addictive amount. This is easily demonstrated by a parallel expression. If we are told it is wrong to be “addicted to speeding,” that does not mean we are allowed to “speed a little bit.” If the Bible said we cannot be “addicted to lying” or “given to lying,” that would not mean it is okay to “lie a little.” This expression means the subject being discussed in inconsistent with the Christian faith and must be avoided.

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).

Premillennialism is false doctrine

There are many premillennial views in our world. Preachers and authors speak of “post tribulation,” “pre-tribulation,” and “a new order,” a “new world government,” the “mark of the beast,” “666,” the “man of sin,” Jesus one day “ruling on the earth,” a “kingdom to be established on the earth,” and a coming “anti-Christ.” From the Catholic Pope to American Presidents, wild religious claims have been made.

If people would simply read their Bibles they would see that all the premillennial theories so zealously preached are false. One of the places where the error of Premillennialism is especially visible is Heb. 12:22-28.

Premillennialism says we should “look forward to a future kingdom.” God says (Heb. 12:28) that a kingdom has already been established. Who will we believe—premillennial teachers or God?

Premillennialism says everything is still in the future, and they often claim the “near future.” Look at Heb. 12:22 – “ye are come unto Mount Zion.” “Come” is a perfect tense verb. The perfect tense means this had happened in the past and the condition (state) was still true (existing). To what had these Christians come? They had arrived at “Mount Zion, the city of the living God.” They had come to the heavenly Jerusalem.”

Is it not incredible to find that people will deny what God has said? Whenever someone says the “best is yet to come,” they contradict Heb. 12:22. Who wants to trade the “city of the living God” for some type of future life on earth? Why would God want to remove people from the “heavenly Jerusalem” and put them back on the earth? Premillennial thought says Jesus will come back and reign on the earth.

Rather than coming to “set up” the kingdom, the Lord is returning to “give up” the kingdom for He is REIGNING NOW (1 Cor. 15:24-26). Jesus IS King of Kings (Rev. 17:14); Premillennialism says He WILL BE King of Kings. God’s word says “then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:17). Jesus will meet people in the air, not the earth.

There are other reasons to reject Premillennialism, but the preceding information provides enough of an overview to know all premillennial doctrine is wrong. God began putting people in His kingdom more than 2,000 years ago (Col. 1:13). Jesus said those in His day would not die before they saw the kingdom come with power (Mk. 9:1). Jesus tell the truth (and thus the kingdom came), or did He not tell the truth? Think of the preaching done by John the Baptist as well as Jesus Himself: “the kingdom of God is at hand?” Did Jesus and John tell the truth or did they not?

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).

Must we obey God's commands?

“Commands” (the Greek word “Protasso”) 4.6.08

1) READ Gen. 47:11.
a) The word “command” is the word we want to focus our attention on this morning.
b) This word is used 8 times in the New Testament.
c) Before we see how the term is used in the New Testament, we want to study it a different way.
d) About 250 years before Jesus came into the world the Old Testament was translated into Greek.
2) Sometimes it is valuable to study the Greek Old Testament because many of the words are also used in the NT.
3) Next on our list is Ex. 36:6. READ A command is a very serious thing.
4) If it is not followed, a person will often get in trouble.
a) Lev. 10:1 – READ What was the consequence of not following God’s command?
b) Verse 2 tells us – READ
5) God could have punished these men with a fate less than death.
6) A final verse from the Old Testament is found in the book of Deut. 27—Deut. 27:1.
a) In this section of Deuteronomy we read about the “blessings and cursings.”
7) Moses “commanded” the nation to make the right choice – Deut. 27:1 – READ
8) Even back in Old Testament times people knew God had “commandments.”
9) They also realized something else: ALL God’s commands are to be kept.

WHEN WE STUDY WORDS IN THE GREEK VERSION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT (THE TRANSLATION THAT WAS MADE ABOUT 250 YEARS BEFORE JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD), WE FIND MANY OF THE SAME TERMS USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. IN SOME CASES THE DEFINITIONS FOR WORDS IN THE GREEK VERSION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT ARE VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL TO THOSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. IN OTHER CASES, SOME WORDS HAVE A DIFFERENT MEANING.

1) With this foundation in mind, let’s go to the first book of the New Testament, Matthew.
a) The passage we want is Mt. 1:24. READ
2) Joseph was “commanded” to be Mary’s husband.
a) God’s commandments stay constant; we see that in our next reference, Mt. 8:4. READ
b) Moses law is what Jesus spoke of it and it had been given more than 2,000 years earlier.
c) God’s commands do not lose force with time.
3) All God’s commands need to be followed, even if they seem a bit strange.
4) Our next passage that has this term is Mt. 21:6.
a) Jesus indicated that His disciples might be asked about their actions (verse 3).
b) Verse 6 is the passage we want – READ
5) I like the KJV in this text because it uses the word “commanded.” Acts 10:48.
a) Most will recall that in Acts 10 and 11 we have information about Cornelius.
b) This man was a worshipper of God, but he was not a Christian.
c) He was told to call for Peter and listen to some Bible teaching.
d) This was done and the Holy Spirit came to show that Gentiles could also be Christians.
e) When Peter realized it was okay for this man to be a fellow Christian he did something.
f) Notice what is said in Acts 10:48 – READ
6) Many say baptism is “important” but not required by God.
7) God and His apostles “commanded” baptism. It is not optional. It is not “recommended.”
8) It is absolutely required because it is the final step in the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38.
9) Baptism is not the only command of God, but it is one heaven’s commandments.

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).

Degrees of reward and punishment in heaven and hell

Have you ever wondered if there are “degrees of reward” for those who will go to heaven and “degrees of punishment” for those who will go to hell? Many have; in many Bible classes this has been a “hot topic.” Opinions may be many and strong, but as with any other issue, we must turn to God’s word because only it is an authoritative source for Bible questions.

Studying whether or not there are degrees of reward in heaven should begin with one key point: all the saved receive salvation (i.e. this will be one thing all the righteous have in common). In Heb. 5:9 the Bible says: having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation.

Although all the saved will receive salvation, does the Bible says there will be degrees of reward? The answer to this question is YES! Consider these verses:

Matt 25:14-28: 14 For (it is) as (when) a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Straightway he that received the five talents went and traded with them, and made other five talents. 17 In like manner he also that (received) the two gained other two. 18 But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and maketh a reckoning with them. 20 And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 And he also that (received) the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter; 25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own. 26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; 27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest. 28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents.

In the First Corinthian letter 1 Cor. 3:8 says: Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Matthew 6:20: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Will all “lay up the same amount of treasure?”

In the book of Hebrews (Heb. 10:28-29) the writers speaks “of how much sorer punishment.” Just as there will be differences in reward, so such will also occur with punishment. In fact, Jesus made this specific point in Lk. 12:47-48: Luke 12:47-48: And that servant, who knew his lord’s will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many (stripes); 48 but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few (stripes). And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.
For additional verses on this subject, see Rom. 2:6 and Mt. 11:21-22.

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).

How is Christianity different from other world religions?

Many are familiar with four names: Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, and Jesus Christ. All four of these historical characters founded three religious movements that have made an impact throughout the world. Of these four characters, however, there is a huge difference between them. Confucius died and is still dead. Buddha and is still dead. Mohammed died and is still dead. Jesus Christ died but is no longer in the grave.

One of the greatest gospel preachers of all time was the apostle Paul. Paul began by strenuously opposing the gospel of Jesus Christ, but later became so supportive of it he was willing to give his entire life for advancing the message of Jesus (Rom. 1:14-16). He said “necessity was laid upon him to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). As Paul preached the good news (this is the meaning of “gospel”), he emphasized the resurrection of Jesus. Consider these words from 1 Cor. 15:1-4:

Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, 2 by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures.

Is Jesus different from Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed? YES! Only Jesus has been raised from the dead. Too, as Luke wrote in Acts 4:12: And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved. Since Jesus is “alive and well” (now reigning in heaven), the Bible says in Heb. 7:25 that Jesus “ever lives” to make intercession for His people (Heb. 7:25). Seek out Jesus, the “author and finisher” of a person’s spending eternity with God in heaven (Heb. 12:1-2).

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 Hell eternal? Is Hell everlasting punishment?

Many wonder if Hell is a real and an eternal place of punishment. Some religious groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses have tried to deny the existence of Hell by saying Hell (Gehenna) is simply the “Valley of Hinnom” (a deep cleft just south of Jerusalem). Certainly this valley did exist (in first century times it was a kind of public “garbage dump”) – a place where a fire burned and maggots could be found in abundance. Did Jesus mean people would “end up in a garbage dump” and this punishment was worth losing body parts to avoid (Mt. 18:8-9)? No one can believe that. Jesus used a public garbage dump to illustrate the terribleness of Hell.

Jesus spoke of Hell more than any New Testament author. One of the places where we see Him issuing a severe warning about it is Mk. 9:43-48. Due to a manuscript variation, some translations contain verses 44 and 46 while others do not. If a Bible translation does have all three verses, the text should be identical in all three places.

• The ASV reads: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
• The KJV says: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
• The NKJV has: where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.
• The NIV says: where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

In Mk. 9:43 Jesus stressed the awfulness of Hell in yet another way. He said this place is “unquenchable.” In the Greek text this term is “asbestos” (yes, the Greek word asbestos is spelled the same way as the English word asbestos). Used as a Greek word in the New Testament, asbestos means “unquenchable” or “inextinguishable.” Since the fire that used to burn in the garbage dump around Jerusalem is no longer burning (it has been quenched and extinguished), the “Gehenna” Jesus had in mind was not in the land of Israel. He had in mind an eternal place of punishment. Hell is a real place, and it is reserved for those “that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:8). God and the Bible says Hell is real; uninspired men say it is not. Who will we believe?

A final point about asbestos (the Greek word for unquenchable fire in Hell) relates to its origin. Ralph Earle (Word Meanings in the New Testament, One-Volume Edition, p. 42) offers this fascinating insight: “The reported discovery of asbestos is an interesting story. It is told that a man who was burning some wood in his fireplace noticed that a bird’s nest in one of the small branches did not ignite with the wood. Investigators in the forest produced more of the material. Some scientist who knew the Greek gave to the substance the name ‘asbestos.’”

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).