Archives for : March2010

Watch your car speed or else!

Did you see this interesting news story about speeders in USA Today?  If not, the link is here:  http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-30-speeding-cushion_N.htm.  In some cases just 5 miles over the speed limit can now get you a ticket.

Take my “speeding survey” and let others know how you feel about “speeders in a recession.”

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Wheat or weeds

Mt. 13 is a chapter where the Lord gave a number of parables, one of which involved “tares.”

  1. Verse 36 – READ
  2. The explanation of this parable begins with verse 37 – READ

1)      The Lord wants this seed to produce “sons of the kingdom.”

2)      Jesus wants to have faithful followers throughout the world – verse 38 – READ

a)      This parable reminds us of Mk. 16:15Mk. 16:15
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15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.

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– Jesus said He wanted His word taken to “Every creature.”

b)      Jesus wants to have disciples throughout the entire earth.

3)      We often think about the “seed” as describing the word of God and this is true.

4)      Here the “good seed” describes the “sons of the kingdom.”

5)      Rom. 1:16Rom. 1:16
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16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

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says God’s power to salvation is the gospel.

6)      In a sea of sin Jesus wants us to be a bright beacon.

7)      At the end of verse 38 Jesus said there are some “tares” in along with the wheat.

8)      God says there are going to be some “weeds” that try to impact our spiritual life.

a)      As our children go through school they are going to be surrounded by weeds.

b)      Adults will be surrounded by weeds in their places of employment.

c)      Some of our family members may be like weeds.

9)      In the physical realm we can often instantly recognize weeds.

10)   “Tares” (an undesirable crop) were planted along with the good crop.

11)  This reminds us that Satan seeks to surround Christians with weeds and he does.

12)  One of Satan’s tactics is trying to fill the earth with weeds.

13)  Verse 26 – READ

14)  In life there are times in life when we can’t pull out a weed because it will destroy a plant.

a)      Verse 39 – READ

b)      Weeds come from the devil and he is always trying to plant a new crop of weeds.

2)      There are consequences for this becoming involved with weeds – verse 40 – READ .

a)      God knows about all the “weeds” in life.

b)      At the proper time God will destroy each and every weed.

c)      Jesus said this will happen at the “end of the world” – verse 40 – READ

d)     Verse 41 even uses the word “all” – READ

3)      In eternity God will have a “weed free” kingdom.

4)      There will not be a single “weed” in heaven.

a)      If we are not a “son of God” (a child of God), we are like a weed.

b)      We may not be like the biggest weed or like the ugliest weed.

c)      All that we need to miss out on heaven is to fall into the “weed category.”

5)      All who are categorized in this way are going to have a very bad ending – verse 42 – READ

6)      Since we know what will happen to people who did not choose to please God, what about others?

7)      Verse 43 – READ

Study To Shew Thyself Approved

Most of our readers are probably aware of Paul’s admonition to Timothy (KJV): “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:152 Tim. 2:15
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15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.

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).   Strictly speaking, the Greek word that has been translated “study” (spoudazo) means “to make effort, be prompt or earnest…diligence, be diligent, endeavour, labour” (Strong).  It means “to hasten, make haste” (Thayer).  The word was used in ancient military literature to compliment a soldier who followed his orders out of more than a sense of duty or obligation, but because the warrior was convinced that the fight was worth the sacrifice.  He not only followed his orders but he believed in them.  Of the infantry man who gave his all in the line of fire, it was said he had spoudason.  He was intensely in pursuit of his objective.   The King James translators selected the word “study” in view of the closing words of the verse: “rightly dividing the word of truth.”  It seems rather obvious that in order for someone to “rightly divide the word of truth” he must be “diligent” in something that would help him to achieve that end; hence he must be a good “student” of the word. 

 Study is hard work. There is a difference between “reading” and “studying.”  A person might “read” the newspaper, but unless he is deeply involved in the stock market, it is unlikely that a person would spend much time “studying” the newspaper.  Study is a gathering of facts; it is determining the meaning of words, and their relationship one to another in any given sentence, paragraph or larger context such as a book, manuscript or essay.  Study seeks to determine the meaning of a passage based upon the intent of the author.   A good student of any science or art takes the time to study various fields related to the particular subject he is endeavoring to learn.  It is no different with the Bible. 

 Study begins with reading the Bible; unfortunately most folks never get past this first step.   Having read a passage, the challenge lies in digging deep into that passage to glean heaven’s meaning, and then make application to our life.  It has been properly observed, “The books which help you most are those which make you think most. The hardest way of learning is by easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty” (author unknown).   No book challenges the thinking of men more than the Bible.   Simple in its structure, it is a storehouse of spiritual truth that is easily understood while at the same time challenging to even the most scholarly of men.  As one writer put it, “The Bible is an ocean of knowledge that little children can wade around in, yet no man can fathom the depths thereof.” 

 Perhaps one of the reasons men do not study the Bible is due to a failure to understand the rich value of Bible study.  The following is attributed to Henry Van Dyke: “Born in the East and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet and enters land after land to find its  own everywhere.  It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man.  Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as parables of life.  The wicked and proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and penitent it has a mother’s voice.  It has woven itself into our dearest dreams; so that love, sympathy, devotion, memory, and hope put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech.  No man is poor or desolate who  has this treasure for his own.  When the landscape darkens, and the trembling pilgrim comes to the valley of the shadow, he is not afraid to enter; he takes the rod and staff of scripture in his hand; he says to friend and comrade, ‘Goodbye; we shall meet again’; and, confronted by that support, he goes toward the lonely pass as one who walks through darkness to light”

 Perhaps as this year draws to a close it would benefit each of us to make our resolution a month in advance of ushering in 2009.  Let each one of us determine that we are going to be students of God’s word so that we might reap the wonderful spiritual benefits that comes with “Giving diligence to show thyself approved unto God.”

By Tom Wacaster

Reading the Bible versus studying the Bible:  A Bible survey on reading the Bible versus studying the Bible.  Do you most often “read the Bible” or do you most often “study the Bible”?

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www.alexa.com

Review http://abiblecommentary.com/blog/ on alexa.com

Survey on new health care bill

Do you like the new health care bill?

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Charles Drew, director of the National Blood Bank Program

A brilliant medical doctor discovered the use of blood plasma that resulted in saving thousands of lives in World War II, Korea, and the Vietnam War. At Pearl Harbor, for example, 96% of those who received plasma, survived. After World War II Charles Drew was named director of the National Blood Bank Program, and devoted himself to teaching doctors at Howard University Medical School.

On April 1, 1950, while driving some young doctors to a conference he was involved in an automobile accident in Burlington, N.C. He was rushed to a hospital where his life could have been saved by plasma. But Dr. Drew was denied admission to the hospital because his skin was black. He died on the way to another hospital 26 miles away.

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azteca flour tortillas

Do you use azteca flour tortillas?  My family used to LOVE the azteca flour tortillas for their thickness and this was the only brand we bought.  Some time ago we noticed that these tortillas seem to be thinner.  We thought maybe we just had an unusual batch and have bought this produict at other times but now they always seem thinner.  Has azteca changed their  tortillas?  Are azteca flour tortillas thinner than in the past?  If so, was this something customers requested?  If you have tried the Meijer brand of tortillas, do you think Meijer tortillas are like what you used to get with the azteca brand? 

Let others know what you think about azteca tortillas with this “azteca flour tortilla survey”:

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NOT ENOUGH CHAIRS

 

The new preacher loaded his car with his large family and visited an old deacon on the farm. After the introductions there was an awkward pause as the unexpected guests looked for chairs upon which to sit. The parlor had only two chairs.

 “Brother, I don’t believe you have enough chairs,” suggested the preacher.

 “That ain’t it,” muttered the old man. “I got plenty of chairs — just too much company!”

 Some Christians make it clear they don’t want to spend too much time with other Christians, but how important is our fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ! Living in a hostile environment, we need the encouragement that comes from those who share the same hopes and goals that we do.

 God knew that we would need each other, that the Christian life would be difficult if not impossible to live in isolation. That’s what the church is all about. The early Christians certainly recognized the value of being together:

 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” (Acts 2:46Acts 2:46
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46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,

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, NIV)

 Take time today to spend a few moments with a fellow Christian, encouraging and being encouraged. Just be sure to have plenty of chairs ready!

Alan Smith

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Are You A Pouter?

 
Pouting is popular with the prepubescent, but occasionally it occurs in even the older.  The latter would be especially amusing, if not for how pathetic they appear.  Pouting is, by design, an exercise in immature manipulation and an expression of excessive self-centeredness.  Perhaps the best (worst?) example of this mode of operation comes from the infamous Ahab, arguably Israel’s most wicked king.  After his encounter with the prophet who rebuked him for failing to kill Syrian King Ben-Hadad, Ahab “went to his house sullen and displeased” (1 Kings 20:431 Kings 20:43
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43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

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).  “After these things” (1 Kings 21:11 Kings 21:1
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21 1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

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), Ahab desperately wanted to own the vineyard of his unfortunate neighbor, Naboth.  Naboth declined the purchase offer, leaving Ahab once again to go “into his house sullen and displeased” (1 Kings 21:41 Kings 21:4
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4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

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).  Can you almost envision him slamming the door and stomping with his lip protruding?  There are even hints of his pouting when Jehoshaphat asks for a true prophet and Ahab begrudgingly acknowledges the existence of Micaiah (1 Kings 22).  Ahab says of the good prophet, “I hat him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (8).  You read about him and you want to say with exasperation, “Be a man, why don’t you?”

Do we ever struggle with pouting?  Your initial response may be, “Are you kidding?  Never!”  Not even with your spouse, when you disagree, cannot have your way, or do not have your wishes granted?  Not even with the elders, when they make a judgment call you totally disagree with or they choose not to enact an idea you have?  Not even with a friend, when you feel they neglected you or they seemingly chose someone or something over you? 
Here is a test we can take.  Call it the “pouting test.” 
  • When displeased in a matter, do you clam up and expect the other person to read your mind?
  • If something is not done your way, do you try to punish the other person by passive resistance, gossip, silence, or other verbal or non-verbal clues that scream your unhappiness?
  • How do you handle it if told, backed by rational evidence, that it is too expensive, too unreasonable, too much or not enough in whatever way?
  • Do you give off physical sounds of sulking or pouting-clear visual cues of your displeasure?
I remember, as a teenager, not liking my mom telling me, “Nobody ever gets their way all the time.”  We understand the logic of that, but when do we ever have a single occasion when we feel our way is not the best way?  If we thought of it, thought it through, and built our case, surely that is the way it ought to be.  The problem with that thinking is that we are not living on a deserted island.  We are surrounded by people able to independently exercise judgment, form opinions, and make decisions.  Sociability, in marriage, friendships, the church, on the job, with parents, and elsewhere, demands an attitude that puts others before self (my Philippians class will remember that principle).  Let us encourage each other to grow toward spiritual maturity, part of which includes putting away things like Ahabean pouting.
 
–Neal Pollard
How to deal with pouting: Take this “pouting survey:
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Curing Scurvy – how to cure scurvy

Today, only “primates” and guinea pigs get scurvy since their bodies cannot process a natural vitamin so needed to prevent it. Rarely, if ever, do you hear of a human today coming down with scurvy, yet in the heyday of shipping on the open seas (the 17th-19th centuries) it is commonly said that a million people died of the disease. Stephen R. Brown, who literally wrote the book on “Scurvy,” described the vicious ailment. He says, “Scurvy is a hideous and frightful affliction by which the body’s connective tissue degenerates, resulting in bleeding gums, wobbly teeth, rot-reeking breath, anemic lethargy, physical weakness, the opening of old wounds, and the separating of once healed broken bones. Untreated, it leads to a slow, agonizing, and inevitable death.” Though Hippocrates, who was alive the same time as the prophets Zechariah and Malachi, knew about scurvy, it was not until the early 1800s that steps were taken to eliminate the scourge of scurvy.

The most amazing thing is that the cure for scurvy was suggested almost 300 years before people began to believe in and utilize it. Such well-known and highly-regarded people as Portuguese explorers Pedro Cabral (1510) and Vasco da Gama (1510s), French explorer Jacques Cartier ( 1535), British surgeon James Lind (1753), British sea captain James Cook (1776), and many others suggested that citrus fruits and even to a lesser degree green vegetables could prevent scurvy. Sometimes, natives in lands where these explorers went knew these facts. Other times, the cure was found in a desperate means of guesswork or the process of elimination. Yet, the results, when Vitamin C was given to sailors, was dramatic and seemingly miraculous.

In fact, it was too obvious and too easy. Many doubted the cure because it just could not be that simple. It had to be something more hidden, complex, or nefarious. But, finally, in the 19th century, after a million sailors had succumbed to it, did the cure “catch on” with people. How tragic!

Yet, for 2,000 years, people have done the same thing with baptism with infinitely more tragic results. The Bible makes abundantly clear the role baptism plays in curing man’s greatest problem (Acts 2:38; 8:35-39; 22:16Acts 2:38; 8:35-39; 22:16
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38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 35 And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 [And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, for he went on his way rejoicing. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

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; Romans 6:1-6Romans 6:1-6
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6 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? 3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;

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; Galatians 3:27Galatians 3:27
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27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.

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; Colossians 2:12; 1Colossians 2:12; 1
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12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians 1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ that are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 even as ye learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; 14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; 17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; 20 and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens. 21 And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 22 yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: 23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church; 25 whereof I was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given me to you-ward, to fulfil the word of God, 26  even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints, 27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ; 29 whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

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Peter 3:21). However, the vast majority of the religious world rejects that baptism is essential to salvation. Some reason that it cannot be that simple, that immersing someone in water cannot be so important to God and His plan for saving us. So, they refuse to be baptized. Many religious people, Christ-believing people just will not be baptized to have their sins washed away. The Lord has spelled out the cure. We must place greater faith in God’s wisdom than man’s wisdom! The cure is evident and simple, but we still must submit to it.

Neal Pollard

Vitamin Survey – take this “vitamin survey”:

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ODD AMUSEMENT

In Kent, England, you can go to “Digger World,” and enjoy and even reenact your favorite parts of the Bob The Builder show and books. Or if you prefer a Buddhist-themed amusement park, you might try Suoi Tien Park in Vietnam–complete with waterfalls coming out a sage’s beard or an aerial bicycle ride over a lake filled with 1,500 crocodiles. What fun! If in the Baltic region, try “Stalin World.” This is Lithuania’s attempt to remind people of the dark days of Communism. You can even be interrogated by a KGB officer and wear a gas mask! America is not exempt from eclectic amusement parks, as New York’s Coney Island that perhaps enjoyed its heydays in the heart of the 20th Century. Freak shows and side shows aplenty give Coney Island its offbeat reputation (information from travel.yahoo.com).

People find the strangest things to amuse themselves. Back in the period of the Judges, the Philistines found a deadly means of “amusing themselves.” It was the Samson Show they all came out to see, the last thing 3,000 of them ever witnessed. Do you ever wonder what they tried to get Samson to do or why they thought that trotting out the formerly strong, now blinded judge would be amusing? Their amusement became their annihilation (see Judges 16:25-30Judges 16:25-30
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25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison-house; and he made sport before them. And they set him between the pillars: 26 and Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house resteth, that I may lean upon them. 27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. 28 And Samson called unto Jehovah, and said, O Lord Jehovah, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house rested, and leaned upon them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead that he slew at his death were more than they that he slew in his life.

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God created us intelligent beings, and with that endowed us with creativity, inquisitiveness, aesthetic appreciation, ingenuity, and the like. Put another way, we often enjoy being amused. It might be a funny comedian or movie, a hobby, books and literature, or any number of similar things. Amusement can be a great way to cope with the often painful realities of life.

Yet, let us keep something in mind about the ways we amuse ourselves. God has guidelines that govern such things. Beware any amusements that pander to the lusts of the flesh and detract from our cultivation of the fruit of the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:19-23Gal. 5:19-23
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19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, 21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

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). If we are amused by the sinful, the smutty, and the suggestive things of life, we are setting ourselves up for a more terrible end than that experienced by Samson’s tormentors. There is nothing in the world worth our embracing it to the loss of our own soul (cf. Matt. 16:26Matt. 16:26
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26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

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). Enjoy life! Have fun! But avoid anything that will drive a wedge between you and God because that’s not funny!

Coney Island Poll: Have you ever visited Coney Island?

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Neal Pollard

Louis Braille

It was 1818 in France, and Louis, a boy of 9, was sitting in his father’s workshop. The father was a harness-maker and the boy loved to watch his father work the leather. “Someday Father,” said Louis, “I want to be a harness-maker, just like you.”

“Why not start now?” said the father. He took a piece of leather and drew a design on it. “Now, my son,” he said, “take the hole- puncher and a hammer and follow this design, but be careful that you don’t hit your hand.”

Excited, the boy began to work, but when he hit the hole-puncher, it flew out of his hand and pierced his eye! He lost the sight of that eye immediately. Later, sight in the other eye failed. Louis was now totally blind.

A few years later, Louis was sitting in the family garden when a friend handed him a pine cone. As he ran his sensitive fingers over the cone, an idea came to him. He became enthusiastic and began to create an alphabet of raised dots on paper so that the blind could feel and interpret what was written. Thus, Louis Braille opened up a whole new world for the blind–all because of an accident!

“Bad circumstances” can sometimes lead to “good things.”

Survey question: “Have bad times in your life led to ‘good things'”?

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In Christ Alone My Hope is found

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” – Hebrews 1:1-2Hebrews 1:1-2
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The Epistle to the Hebrews 1 1 God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, 2 hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;

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Unless you are willing to say that these verses are not true, the only possible conclusion is that everything, we need to know, was given to us solely by Jesus Christ. 

In fact, Jesus says this of Himself:  

            “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him.  The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.  And I know that His command is everlasting life.  Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” – John 12:48-50John 12:48-50
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48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I spake not from myself; but the Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life eternal: the things therefore which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto me, so I speak.

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If you want to know how to attain salvation, then you need to know by what you will be judged.  As stated clearly throughout Scripture, we will be judged by the word of God.  That “Word” was and is Jesus Christ. (See John 1 & 5) 

It is concluded that we will indeed stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be judged by His Word.  

The problem lies in the fact that most people (even in the Lord’s Church) do not believe that Christ Himself delivered all we need to know.  Let’s examine what was preached in the “New Testament days.”  

Paul writes to the churches in Galatia: 

            “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.  For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 1:11-12Galatians 1:11-12
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11 For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. 12 For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.

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Did Paul or any other New Testament writer preach anything that took away or added to the teaching of Christ?  I don’t believe they did.  In fact, Paul even said in verse 8 of Galatians chapter one that “if we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”  When Paul mentions “we” and “him,” he is including himself.  

 Jesus said in the Great Commission: 

             “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” – Matthew 28:19-20Matthew 28:19-20
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19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

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 We ONLY have the authority to teach what Christ taught.   

 Are we teaching anything as doctrine that Christ did not teach?

 Do we make the word of God void through our tradition”?   

 If you are teaching or believing anything that Christ did NOT teach, then you should abandon completely whatever that teaching is. 

 Christ taught us how to be saved; he taught us about worship, living, and all things pertaining to eternal life. 

 Salvation: Mark 16:16Mark 16:16
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16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

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Worship: John 4:21-24John 4:21-24
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21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. 22 Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

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Living: Matthew 22:37-40Matthew 22:37-40
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37 And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.

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Eternal Life: John 6:63-64John 6:63-64
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63 It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him.

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 If Christ told us to do something, then we better do it.  If He told us not to do something, then we had better not do it.  If He did not teach on something, then it is not important for our eternal salvation.  To say that Christ did not give us everything important for eternal salvation is to call Him a liar.  And that is blasphemy. 

             “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?  Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.  And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.  But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.  And the ruin of that house was great.”

 – Luke 6:46-49Luke 6:46-49
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46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: because it had been well builded. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great.

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 The Lord Jesus Christ alone is our foundation for faith.  Any doctrine built on anything but the teaching of the Son of God alone, is heresy. 

Sermon by Luke Jackson

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God sent a teacher and a savior to the world

If our greatest need had been information,

God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology,

God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money,

God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,

God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need was forgiveness,

so God sent us a Savior!

–Source unknown

Jesus survey: A survey on Jesus

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Buying a car at an auction

A man recently described his visit to a Charity auto auction in this way. “The Vehicles were classified as either “Running” or “No Start. I watched the auction as it made its way through the many cars in the parking lot. Then a particular vehicle was reached on the parking lot on the block was a No Starter. It had a shattered windshield, two missing tires, a sagging front bumper, and a cockeyed grille, a hood that was sprung up at an angle, and dings and dents all over the body.

Before he started the bidding, the auctioneer announced the car’s year, make, and model, and then read the previous owner’s comments: ‘Please note – the radio does not work.'”

Humm, I don’t think I would have listed the “radio” as the most important non working part on that car, but perhaps it had belonged to a teenager!

I realize, as I hope you do, someone’s priorities were out of balance. But we tend to look at things in a pretty out of balance way concerning our lives also, don’t we? The things that should be of real importance get shoved to the back of our lives by the next urgent thing that falls in our lap.

I was asked recently, “How do you know that you are really putting God first in your life?” I guess I would say it was when you stop letting him be pushed to the back of your life by the urgent as a matter of course.

We tend to get into the habit of dealing with the urgent and not the important. We need to get a handle on prioritizing our life and making sure that God is at the top of the list in everything we do. You are more than likely familiar with the saying “What would Jesus do?”, this asked the question of us concerning how we will respond to everyday events in our lives. Perhaps we also need to ask ourselves, “If God is first in my life, where will this thing, event or action fit into my life as a priority?”

It’s like this: What’s more important to your car, a working engine or a working radio? Or perhaps like this, “What is more important in your life, whatever you are doing or what you should be doing for God?” A couple of scriptures come to mind regarding this. In Matthew 6:21Matthew 6:21
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21 for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.

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Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” And James adds this thought, “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do,” (James 2:18James 2:18
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18 Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith.

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).

So the bottom line just may be this: Your actions speak just as loudly as your words regarding what is really your top priority. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:15-16Matthew 5:15-16
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15 Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. 16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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, “Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Your life may have, “a shattered windshield, two missing tires, a sagging front bumper, a cockeyed grille, a hood that is sprung up at an angle, and dings and dents all over your body and your radio may not work, but if your engine still runs (if you have a heart that serves God) that’s all that really matters. You can tell your priorities by your actions. So, what is most important to you? Hopefully it is your relationship with our God!

–Russ Lawson

Auction survey – an auction survey on cars:

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First Corinthians commentary

First Corinthians commentary:  Would you like to know more about the New Testament book of First Corinthians? Check out the new First Corinthians commentary from www.abiblecommentary.com.  This First Corinthians commentary may be reviewed through Google’s book program at this link – http://books.google.com/books?printsec=frontcover&id=lzXK9YMllHEC#v=onepage&q=&f=false – or purchased from http://www.abiblecommentary.com/.  If the Google book link does not work, here is a shorter URL:  http://bit.ly/dfw86d.

Here is a book review for this new First Corinthians commentary.

Are you in the foxhole?

Jessie Pope spent about seventy days on the Vietnam War front.

Despite the fact that his military service occurred more than four decades ago, the memories associated with his duty are still strong in his mind. With a mere moment’s recollection, Jessie can re-live and vividly re-tell some of those harrowing experiences as if they had happened only yesterday.

The Viet Cong lobbed mortar rounds and rockets at Jessie and his fellow comrades-in-arms on a perpetual basis. At times, all the unit could do was hunker down and pray that a shell did not land nearby.  Jessie said the difference between life and death during those attacks was a well-fortified fox hole. He said that prior to VC engagements, the U.S. soldiers would dig simple foxholes to escape the shelling. They would then surround the foxholes with piles of heavy sandbags stacked several feet high.

Unless a shell actually dropped squarely in the shelter, the men would be safe from the hot shrapnel that exploded at impact. On the other hand, if a careless soldier decided to venture outside a foxhole during a time an attack was initiated, he invariably suffered injury, even death. Life outside the foxhole was dangerous at best and fatal at worst.

For Jessie, there was only one place for protection from enemy fire–it was a foxhole. Anywhere else meant trauma or loss of life.  As I think about it, God has always had a kind of foxhole for folks:

• In Noah’s day, safety could only be found in the ark (1 Peter 3:201 Peter 3:20
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20 that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water:

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). Everyone outside that gopher wood barge perished in the global flood (Genesis 6-8).

• In Israel’s day during Egyptian bondage, safety could only be found in a house with lamb’s blood on the door post (Exodus 12:1Exodus 12:1
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12 1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

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ff). Anyone who failed to go in the house where blood was applied suffered the effects of the death plague.

• In Rahab’s day, safety could only be found in the house with the scarlet thread (Joshua 2:12-21; 6:17Joshua 2:12-21; 6:17
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12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by Jehovah, since I have dealt kindly with you, that ye also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a true token; 13 and that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and will deliver our lives from death. 14 And the men said unto her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business; and it shall be, when Jehovah giveth us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. 15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the side of the wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. 16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers light upon you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. 17 And the men said unto her, We will be guiltless of this thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt gather unto thee into the house thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household. 19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we shall be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. 20 But if thou utter this our business, then we shall be guiltless of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. 21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. 17 And the city shall be devoted, even it and all that is therein, to Jehovah: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

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).  Citizens found outside her home died at the hands of the conquering Israelite army.

• In Joshua’s day, safety could only be found in one of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20:1Joshua 20:1
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20 1 And Jehovah spake unto Joshua, saying,

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ff; Exodus 21:12-13Exodus 21:12-13
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12 He that smiteth a man, so that he dieth, shall surely be put to death. 13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.

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). To be caught outside of either Golan, Ramoth, Bezer, Kedesh, Shechem or Hebron (Joshua 20:7-8Joshua 20:7-8
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7 And they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill-country of Naphtali, and Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba in the hill-country of Judah. 8 And beyond the Jordan at Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness in the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.

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) meant that you would perish.

Safety and protection could only be found in God’s appointed place–whether it was the ark, a specific house, or a chosen city. The same is true today. There is ONLY ONE PLACE where spiritual safety can be located. Jehovah’s foxhole is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; 1:1, 3-7; 3:10-11Ephesians 1:22-23; 1:1, 3-7; 3:10-11
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22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians 1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus: 10 to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

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). All blessings are there (Ephesians 1:3Ephesians 1:3
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3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ:

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); salvation is there (Acts 2:27Acts 2:27
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27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption.

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). It is the only place of real security from the wages of sin.

For Jessie there was but one objective–stay in, stay down, and stay alive. What about you, dear reader? Do you want to experience eternal life (Matthew 25:46Matthew 25:46
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46 And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.

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b)?  If you do, then you must believe in Jesus (Mark 16:15-16Mark 16:15-16
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15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

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; John 8:24John 8:24
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24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

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), repent and turn from your sins (Acts 2:38: 3:19Acts 2:38: 3:19
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2 1 And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, 10 in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words. 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: 18 Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day. 21 And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; 23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance. 29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne; 31 he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. 34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? 38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. 40 And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. 41 They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. 46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved. 3 1 Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man that was lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and raised him up: and immediately his feet and his ankle-bones received strength. 8 And leaping up, he stood, and began to walk; and he entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 and they took knowledge of him, that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 11 And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. 12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this man? or why fasten ye your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him to walk? 13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. 14 But ye denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted unto you, 15 and killed the Prince of life; whom God raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16 And by faith in his name hath his name made this man strong, whom ye behold and know: yea, the faith which is through him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17 And now, brethren, I know that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18 But the things which God foreshowed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus: 21 whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spake by the mouth of His holy prophets that have been from of old. 22 Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me. To him shall ye hearken in all things whatsoever he shall speak unto you. 23 And it shall be, that every soul that shall not hearken to that prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people. 24 Yea and all the prophets from Samuel and them that followed after, as many as have spoken, they also told of these days. 25 Ye are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Servant, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities. 4 1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being sore troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in ward unto the morrow: for it was now eventide. 4 But many of them that heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. 5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, By what power, or in what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, 9 if we this day are examined concerning a good deed done to an impotent man, by what means this man is made whole; 10 be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 He is the stone which was set at nought of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner. 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. 13 Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man that was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been wrought through them, is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to hearken unto you rather than unto God, judge ye: 20 for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard. 21 And they, when they had further threatened them, let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22 For the man was more than forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was wrought. 23 And being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said unto them. 24 And they, when they heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, O Lord, thou that didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is: 25 who by the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: 27 for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, 28 to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, 30 while thy stretchest forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of thy holy Servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need. 36 And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas , a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 37 having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. 5 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him round, and they carried him out and buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much. And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 But Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to try the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out. 10 And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost: and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things. 12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 13 But of the rest durst no man join himself to them: howbeit the people magnified them; 14 and believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women; 15 insomuch that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that, as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some one of them. 16 And there also came together the multitudes from the cities round about Jerusalem, bring sick folk, and them that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 17 But the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him , and they were filled with jealousy, 18 and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public ward. 19 But an angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them out, and said, 20 Go ye, and stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this Life. 21 And when they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison-house to have them brought. 22 But the officers that came found them not in the prison; and they returned, and told, 23 saying, The prison-house we found shut in all safety, and the keepers standing at the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were much perplexed concerning them whereunto this would grow. 25 And there came one and told them, Behold, the men whom ye put in the prison are in the temple standing and teaching the people. 26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them, but without violence; for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, We strictly charged you not to teach in this name: and behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. 29 But Peter and the apostles answered and said, We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. 31 Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 33 But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and minded to slay them. 34 But there stood up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in honor of all the people, and commanded to put the men forth a little while. 35 And he said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves as touching these men, what ye are about to do. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, giving himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the enrolment, and drew away some of the people after him: he also perished; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will be overthrown: 39 but if it is of God, ye will not be able to overthrow them; lest haply ye be found even to be fighting against God. 40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. 42 And every day, in the temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ. 6 1 Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Look ye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch; 6 whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, wrought great wonders and signs among the people. 9 But there arose certain of them that were of the synagogue called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. 11 Then they suborned men, who said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and seized him, and brought him into the council, 13 and set up false witnesses, who said, This man ceaseth not to speak words against this holy place, and the law: 14 for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered unto us. 15 And all that sat in the council, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. 7 1 And the high priest said, Are these things so? 2 And he said, Brethren and fathers, hearken: The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3 and said unto him, Get thee out of thy land, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. 4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Haran: and from thence, when his father was dead, God removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell: 5 and he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: and he promised that he would give it to him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. 6 And God spake on this wise, that his seed should sojourn in a strange land, and that they should bring them into bondage, and treat them ill, four hundred years. 7 And the nation to which they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob the twelve patriarchs. 9 And the patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt: and God was with him, 10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 11 Now there came a famine over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our fathers the first time. 13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's race became manifest unto Pharaoh. 14 And Joseph sent, and called to him Jacob his father, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 15 And Jacob went down into Egypt; and he died, himself and our fathers; 16 and they were carried over unto Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver of the sons of Hamor in Shechem. 17 But as the time of the promise drew nigh which God vouchsafed unto Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 till there arose another king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. 19 The same dealt craftily with our race, and ill-treated our fathers, that they should cast out their babes to the end they might not live. 20 At which season Moses was born, and was exceeding fair; and he was nourished three months in his father's house. 21 and when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and works. 23 But when he was well-nigh forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, smiting the Egyptian: 25 and he supposed that his brethren understood that God by his hand was giving them deliverance; but they understood not. 26 And the day following he appeared unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wouldest thou kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian yesterday? 29 And Moses fled at this saying, and became a sojourner in the land of Midian, where he begat two sons. 30 And when forty years were fulfilled, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 And when Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold, there came a voice of the Lord, 32 I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. And Moses trembled, and durst not behold. 33 And the Lord said unto him, Loose the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I am come down to deliver them: and now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? him hath God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them forth, having wrought wonders and signs in Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, who said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me. 38 This is he that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel that spake to him in the Mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received living oracles to give unto us: 39 to whom our fathers would not be obedient, but thrust him from them, and turned back in their hearts unto Egypt, 40 saying unto Aaron, Make us gods that shall go before us: for as for this Moses, who led us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. 41 And they made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, Did ye offer unto me slain beasts and sacrifices Forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 43 And ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, And the star of the god Rephan, The figures which ye made to worship them: And I will carry you away beyond Babylon. 44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he appointed who spake unto Moses, that he should make it according to the figure that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered on the possession of the nations, that God thrust out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; 46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built him a house. 48 Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 The heaven is my throne, And the earth the footstool of my feet: What manner of house will ye build me? saith the Lord: Or what is the place of my rest? 50 Did not my hand make all these things? 51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? and they killed them that showed before of the coming of the Righteous One; of whom ye have now become betrayers and murderers; 53 ye who received the law as it was ordained by angels, and kept it not. 54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. 57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. 8 1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church which was in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul laid waste the church, entering into every house, and dragging men and women committed them to prison. 4 They therefore that were scattered abroad, went about preaching the word. 5 And Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed unto them the Christ. 6 And the multitudes gave heed with one accord unto the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard, and saw the signs which he did. 7 For from many of those that had unclean spirits, they came out, crying with a loud voice: and many that were palsied, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was much joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who beforetime in the city used sorcery, and amazed the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is that power of God which is called Great. 11 And they gave heed to him, because that of long time he had amazed them with his sorceries. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 And Simon also himself believed: and being baptized, he continued with Philip; and beholding signs and great miracles wrought, he was amazed. 14 Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 16 for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right before God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee. 23 For I see that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. 24 And Simon answered and said, Pray ye for me to the Lord, that none of the things which ye have spoken come upon me. 25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans. 26 But an angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza: the same is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship; 28 and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, So he openeth not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: His generation who shall declare? For his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other? 35 And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 [And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, for he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. 9 1 But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, it came to pass that he drew nigh unto Damascus: and suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven: 4 and he fell upon the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: 6 but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; and they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said unto him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth; 12 and he hath seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how much evil he did to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17 And Ananias departed, and entered into the house; and laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, who appeared unto thee in the way which thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 18 And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened. And he was certain days with the disciples that were at Damascus. 20 And straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God. 21 And all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that in Jerusalem made havoc of them that called on this name? and he had come hither for this intent, that he might bring them bound before the chief priests. 22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ. 23 And when many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel together to kill him: 24 but their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates also day and night that they might kill him: 25 but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket. 26 And when he was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them going in and going out at Jerusalem, 29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord: and he spake and disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking to kill him. 30 And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. 31 So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied. 32 And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all parts, he came down also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda. 33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had kept his bed eight years; for he was palsied. 34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ healeth thee: arise and make thy bed. And straightway he arose. 35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. 36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died: and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38 And as Lydda was nigh unto Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men unto him, entreating him, Delay not to come on unto us. 39 And Peter arose and went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa: and many believed on the Lord. 43 And it came to pass, that he abode many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner. 10 1 Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 He saw in a vision openly, as it were about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in unto him, and saying to him, Cornelius. 4 And he, fastening his eyes upon him, and being affrighted, said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are gone up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa, and fetch one Simon, who is surnamed Peter: 6 he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. 7 And when the angel that spake unto him was departed, he called two of his household-servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; 8 and having rehearsed all things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. 9 Now on the morrow, as they were on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour: 10 and he became hungry, and desired to eat: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance; 11 and he beholdeth the heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth: 12 wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the heaven. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unclean. 15 And a voice came unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common. 16 And this was done thrice: and straightway the vessel was received up into heaven. 17 Now while Peter was much perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men that were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate, 18 and called and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, were lodging there. 19 And while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20 But arise, and get thee down, and go with them, nothing doubting: for I have sent them. 21 And Peter went down to the men, and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? 22 And they said, Cornelius a centurion, a righteous man and one that feareth God, and well reported of by all the nation of the Jews, was warned of God by a holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words from thee. 23 So he called them in and lodged them. And on the morrow he arose and went forth with them, and certain of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the morrow they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his kinsmen and his near friends. 25 And when it came to pass that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and findeth many come together: 28 and he said unto them, Ye yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to join himself or come unto one of another nation; and yet unto me hath God showed that I should not call any man common or unclean: 29 wherefore also I came without gainsaying, when I was sent for. I ask therefore with what intent ye sent for me. 30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago, until this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel, 31 and saith, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call unto thee Simon, who is surnamed Peter; he lodgeth in the house of Simon a tanner, by the sea side. 33 Forthwith therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all things that have been commanded thee of the Lord. 34 And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him. 36 The word which he sent unto the children of Israel, preaching good tidings of peace by Jesus Christ — 37 that saying ye yourselves know, which was published throughout all Judaea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38  even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom also they slew, hanging him on a tree. 40 Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest, 41 not to all the people, but unto witnesses that were chosen before of God, even to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he charged us to preach unto the people, and to testify that this is he who is ordained of God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins. 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision that believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. 11 1 Now the apostles and the brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4 But Peter began, and expounded the matter unto them in order, saying, 5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even unto me: 6 upon which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw the fourfooted beasts of the earth and wild beasts and creeping things and birds of the heaven. 7 And I heard also a voice saying unto me, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. 8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath ever entered into my mouth. 9 But a voice answered the second time out of heaven, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common. 10 And this was done thrice: and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, forthwith three men stood before the house in which we were, having been sent from Caesarea unto me. 12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, making no distinction. And these six brethren also accompanied me; and we entered into the man's house: 13 and he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, Send to Joppa, and fetch Simon, whose surname is Peter; 14 who shall speak unto thee words, whereby thou shalt be saved, thou and all thy house. 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit. 17 If then God gave unto them the like gift as he did also unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God? 18 And when they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto life. 19 They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number that believed turned unto the Lord. 22 And the report concerning them came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas as far as Antioch: 23 who, when he was come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad; and he exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord: 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. 25 And he went forth to Tarsus to seek for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together with the church, and taught much people, and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 27 Now in these days there came down prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great famine over all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius. 29 And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren that dwelt in Judea: 30 which also they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul. 12 1 Now about that time Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. And those were the days of unleavened bread. 4 And when he had taken him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him; intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison: but prayer was made earnestly of the church unto God for him. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and guards before the door kept the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shined in the cell: and he smote Peter on the side, and awoke him, saying, Rise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And he did so. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. 9 And he went out, and followed; and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel, but thought he saw a vision. 10 And when they were past the first and the second guard, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth into the city; which opened to them of its own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and straightway the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a truth, that the Lord hath sent forth his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. 12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gate, a maid came to answer, named Rhoda. 14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for joy, but ran in, and told that Peter stood before the gate. 15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she confidently affirmed that it was even so. And they said, It is his angel. 16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed. 17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him forth out of the prison. And he said, Tell these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went to another place. 18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. 19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and tarried there. 20 Now he was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: and they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was fed from the king's country. 21 And upon a set day Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat on the throne, and made an oration unto them. 22 And the people shouted, saying, The voice of a god, and not of a man. 23 And immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. 24 But the word of God grew and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministration, taking with them John whose surname was Mark. 13 1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John as their attendant. 6 And when they had gone through the whole island unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus; 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer withstood them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith. 9 But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him, 10 and said, O full of all guile and all villany, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord. 13 Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departed from them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 But they, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia; and they went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 16 And Paul stood up, and beckoning with the hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, hearken: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they sojourned in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm led he them forth out of it. 18 And for about the time of forty years as a nursing-father bare he them in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land for an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years: 20 and after these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; to whom also he bare witness and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who shall do all My will. 23 Of this man's seed hath God according to promise brought unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus; 24 when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was fulfilling his course, he said, What suppose ye that I am? I am not he. But behold, there cometh one after me the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to unloose. 26 Brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us is the word of this salvation sent forth. 27 For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet asked they of Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 and he was seen for many days of them that came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses unto the people. 32 And we bring you good tidings of the promise made unto the fathers, 33 that God hath fulfilled the same unto our children, in that he raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he hath spoken on this wise, I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David. 35 Because he saith also in another psalm, Thou wilt not give Thy Holy One to see corruption. 36 For David, after he had in his own generation served the counsel of God, fell asleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37 but he whom God raised up saw no corruption. 38 Be it known unto you therefore, brethren, that through this man is proclaimed unto you remission of sins: 39 and by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken in the prophets: 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you. 42 And as they went out, they besought that these words might be spoken to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee for a light of the Gentiles, That thou shouldest be for salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth. 48 And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews urged on the devout women of honorable estate, and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and cast them out of their borders. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy with the Holy Spirit. 14 1 And it came to pass in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed. 2 But the Jews that were disobedient stirred up the souls of the Gentiles, and made them evil affected against the brethren. 3 Long time therefore they tarried there speaking boldly in the Lord, who bare witness unto the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the multitude of the city was divided; and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5 And when there was made an onset both of th

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), confess that He is Lord (Acts 8:37Acts 8:37
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

37 [And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.]

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), and be immersed for the forgiveness of sins (1 Peter 3:211 Peter 3:21
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21 which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

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; Acts 2:38Acts 2:38
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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), at which time the Lord will add you to His church.

Are you in the foxhole?

–Mike Benson

Survey for veterans: Have you served in the armed forces?

[polldaddy poll=2808956]

Sermon on why Jesus went to the cross

The sermon is offered in a full outline as well as a one page version 

  1. Imagining opening up the book of Matthew and finding that this book is 2,000is 2,000
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    Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se za?ne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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    pages long.
  2. We then turn to Mark we see that this account of Jesus’ life is also 2,000so 2,000
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    Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se za?ne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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    pages long.
  3. The book of Luke is another 2,000 pages.
  4. Then we come to John and it is 2,400is 2,400
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    pages long.

 IT HAS BEEN ESTIMATED THAT THE FOUR RECORDS OF JESUS’ LIFE COULD EASILY EXCEED MORE THAN 8,400 PAGES.

   a)      About 20% of what the 4 authors of  Jesus’ life said deals with the final three days of Jesus’ life.

b)      If these writers had written the same amount of information about Jesus’ 3 ½ year ministry,

c)      The 4 accounts of the Lord’s life would be more than 8,400 pages long. 

2)      Using 20% of the gospels to discuss Jesus’ final three days and this fact is significant.

3)      Jesus’ final three days on the earth were a time when some of the greatest events in the world took place.

a)      One of these events took place on Calvary.

b)      When we think about who Jesus is we must say He was someone who was born to die.

c)      In Mt. 20:28Mt. 20:28
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

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Jesus said He came to give His life as a “ransom” for many.

d)     In Mk. 9:12Mk. 9:12
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 And he said unto them, Elijah indeed cometh first, and restoreth all things: and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?

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Jesus said it was “written” that He was to be rejected and suffer.

4)      Many times before we partake of the Lord’s Supper we read some portion of Isa. 53 read.

a)      This Old Testament prophet said the Lord would be “numbered with transgressors” (Isa. 53:12Isa. 53:12
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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).

b)      Thousands of years had led up to what took place on a cross about 2000 years ago.

c)      Because the cross was so central to God’s plan, Jesus’ final days make up about 1/5 of the gospels.

d)     The gospels are written as we have them because man has a serious problem called sin and           

e)      Because Jesus is the solution to this problem. 

5)      In the opening chapters of the Bible we read about sin – Adam and Eve both sinned.

6)      In the final chapters of the Bible we also read about sin.

7)      As our English Bibles end, God says people are eternally condemned because of sin or forgiven.

8)      One of God’s most popular messages to the world throughout time has involved sin sin.

9)      Sin was a common subject for Old Testament prophets. 

10)  One of the great passages in the Old Testament is Isa. 59:1-2Isa. 59:1-2
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

59 1 Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.

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a)      We heard this for our scripture reading – sin separates people from God.

b)      Sin causes (figuratively speaking) God to “hide his face” from people. 

11)  Eph. 2:13Eph. 2:13
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ.

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says sin causes people to be “afar off from God.”
Jesus was willing to go to the cross and “made peace” with His sacrifice (Eph. 2:15Eph. 2:15
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace;

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).

a)      This “peace” is something that man really needs.

b)      Judg. 16:20Judg. 16:20
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

20 And she said, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him.

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says the “Lord departed from Samson.”

c)      This departure was due to sin.

d)     The Old Testament tells of how the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul (1 Sam. 16:141 Sam. 16:14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

14 Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him.

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).

e)      This was also due to sin. 

12)  In life our physical bodies can absorb some deadly items in small amounts and still be okay.

13)  There are other times which will destroy us, even if the amount is very, very small.

14)  Sin is so powerful that the smallest amount of it will completely destroy our eternal spirit.

a)      Think of Gen. 3:6Gen. 3:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

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– Eve saw the forbidden fruit and ate of it.

b)      The Bible does not say this fruit was an apple – we do not know what the forbidden fruit was.

c)      We can, however, know a couple of things for certain.

d)     How many pieces of fruit did Eve need to eat before she was guilty of sin?

e)      Most have enough sense to realize that one piece of fruit was all she needed to eat to sin.

f)       Eve did not need to ingest a bushel basket full of this fruit to be affected and infected by sin.

g)      If only one piece was required, did Eve need to eat the entire piece of fruit?  No.

h)      The first bite was all that was necessary for Eve to be permanently stung by sin.

 15)  Can we imagine how powerful something is that just a single taste of it destroys us?

16)  This is what the Bible teaches about sin in the opening chapters of the Bible. 

17)  This point is not limited to Gen. 3; it is also taught in Gen. 19.

a)      Gen. 19 is the place where we read about Lot and his family.

b)      Heavenly beings showed up and said some cities were going to be destroyed.

c)      Lot and his family needed to flee to safety.

d)     Lot “lingered” (Gen. 19:16Gen. 19:16
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

16 But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

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) and the Bible says the heavenly beings “laid hold on his hand.”

e)      When heavenly beings say “it is time to go,” it is time to go.

f)       The heavenly visitors said those leaving were not supposed to look back. 

18)  This point is specifically made in Gen. 19:17Gen. 19:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the Plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

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– READ

19)  When God says “do not do something” and people do it, they are guilty of sin (they break God’s law).

20)  It does not take much effort to sin; we all break God’s laws at one time or another.

21)  The people with Lot knew what was said, but Lot’s wife decided to look back – Gen. 19:26Gen. 19:26
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

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a)      How many looks did Lot’s wife need to take before she was guilty of sin?  Just one.

b)      Like the fruit eaten by Eve (and Adam), only the minutest amount of sin makes us guilty before God.

22)  A lot of people in life think they are going to be okay because they are not murderers and bank robbers. 

23)  Eve and Lot’s wife were not bank robbers and murderers.

24)  These two women, by our standards, were guilty of small things.

25)  How could eating a piece of fruit and taking a look back at one’s home be that big of a deal?

26)  The answer is that these actions were a violation of God’s will.

27)  These small acts were enough to dirty their soul to the point where they needed forgiveness.

28)  If they did not obtain forgiveness, they will be eternally separated from God. 

29)  Lest someone walk away and think I only used ladies for illustrations, let’s turn to males for a moment.

a)      It is true that women have been guilty of small things that made them guilty before God.

b)      Men have been and are just as guilty.

c)      In 2 Sam. 6 we read of how the Ark of the Covenant was being transported.

d)     2 Sam. 6:62 Sam. 6:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 And when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled.

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says the “oxen stumbled.”

e)      This is a story that we can understand without difficulty. 

30)  Imagine if we transporting something like a glass window.

31)  The glass started to tip and we could see that it was about to fall.

32)  Our natural reaction would be to reach out and try to prevent an accident.

a)      Let’s suppose that we were told before we started out that we were not authorized to touch the glass.

b)      Everything is going fine until right towards the last and our glass begins to fall.

c)      Many would still have a natural tendency to reach out and try to prevent the accident.

33)  We might act before we think about the instruction to not touch the glass.

34)  Uzzah was not entitled to touch the ark, but he reached out when the oxen stumbled.

35)  Today some would compliment him.

a)      Some would say, “Yes, he was not authorized to touch the ark.  An accident was about to happen.”

b)      “Uzzah prevented the accident and his actions are commendable.”

c)      This is now how this story reads – 2 Sam. 6:62 Sam. 6:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 And when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled.

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-7 – READ

d)     Sin comes from the smallest of things and sin is serious, serious business. 

36)  Men sin and women sin.  In some cases husbands and wives sin together.

37)  Do we remember the story about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11Acts 5:1-11
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

5 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him round, and they carried him out and buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much. And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 But Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to try the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out. 10 And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost: and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things.

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?

a)      This husband and wife were both Christians and these  church members are important.

b)      Some would look at the preceding references and say, “Those are all Old Testament passages.”

c)      “In the New Testament we find all kinds of grace and mercy associated with God. 

38)  There was grace and mercy in the Old Testament and the New Testament does not excuse small sins.

a)      Acts 5 says Ananias (the husband) lied about a contribution to the church.

b)      His wife came in a little later; she also lied and died.

39)  Our world thinks that many lies are insignificant; some think that some lies are actually good.

40)  The smallest lie is enough to eternally separate us from God.

a)      Teresa and I recently learned about someone who got a speeding ticket (not a member here).

b)      The ticket was issued for going just 5 mph over the speed limit.

c)      Some of the comments about the ticket were, “I can’t believe they issued a ticket for 5 miles over.” 

41)  We often have a hard time seeing “little things” (small sins) as “big things.”

42)  God does not see things as we do.

43)  Any sin is a “big thing” –Jesus had to go to the cross for what we think of big sins as well as small sins.

44)  What the Lord did was truly spectacular.

45)  Listen to 2 Cor. 8:92 Cor. 8:9
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich.

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– – READ    

a)      Through Christ we become “rich.”

b)      A lot of  people think of “rich” in secular terms.

c)      If we have more money than we can ever spend, then some think they are rich. 

46)  Some would say a rich man is someone who:

47)  He has 7 cars, one for every day of the week.

48)  He has homes in a dozen places throughout the world.

49)  He has private jets that are always at his disposal.

50)  He is surrounded by personal assistants, maids, aids, and advisors.

51)  This man also has more money than 100 people could spend.

52)  Such a man might be regarded as rich by the world, but he is really one of the poorest men who has ever lived.

53)  Unless this man has been washed in the blood of the lamb, he really has nothing.

a)      Every single sin he has committed will be brought up on the day of judgment.

b)      When this man’s life ends, how rich will he be?  He will have lost it all.

c)      I submit that people as I just described are among the poorest people in the world. 

54)  The person who has been cleansed from every single sin is rich beyond words, 2 Cr. 8. 

55)  Part of the wealth in Christ is found in the fact that God never wants to give up on people.

56)  Adam and Eve broke the first rule God gave to man, but God did not quit on them.

57)  Sarah laughed about the idea of having a child, but God did not turn from her.

58)  Moses went into hiding for quite a while, but God didn’t forsake him.

59)  David plotted against Uriah and had him killed, but God did not turn away from David.

60)  The nation of Israel was destroyed, but God did not forget about the nation He had redeemed.

61)  Peter denied the Lord, but Jesus did not count this sin as being too much to forgive. 

62)  Sin is man’s worst problem, Jesus came to cure that problem, and God is a persistent physician.

63)  For thousands of years God has been in the business of curing men from sin.

64)  Today as we assemble here:  Have we received the proper treatment for this terrible problem?

65)  The cross tells us that sin is man’s worst problem, but God has the cure for sin.

66)  Sin promises liberty, but it brings slavery.

67)  Sin appears to be attractive, but it is really ugly.

If you like this trimmed down outline, please check out my other materials, especially the NEW First Corinthians commentary available at www.abiblecommentary.com — this is really a GREAT commentary.

One page sermon outline:

Why Jesus went to the cross

 a)      When we think about who Jesus is we must say He was someone who was born to die.

b)      In Mt. 20:28Mt. 20:28
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

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Jesus said He came to give His life as a “ransom” for many.

c)      In Mk. 9:12Mk. 9:12
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 And he said unto them, Elijah indeed cometh first, and restoreth all things: and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?

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Jesus said it was “written” that He was to be rejected and suffer.

2)      Many times before we partake of the Lord’s Supper we read some portion of Isa. 53 read.

3)      In the opening chapters of the Bible we read about sin – Adam and Eve both sinned.

4)      One of the great passages in the Old Testament is Isa. 59:1-2Isa. 59:1-2
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

59 1 Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.

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a)      Sin separates people from God.

b)      Sin causes (figuratively speaking) God to “hide his face” from people.

5)      Eph. 2:13Eph. 2:13
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ.

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says sin causes people to be “afar off from God.”
Jesus was willing to go to the cross and “made peace” with His sacrifice (Eph. 2:15Eph. 2:15
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace;

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).

a)      This “peace” is something that man really needs.

b)      Judg. 16:20Judg. 16:20
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

20 And she said, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him.

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.

c)      The Old Testament tells of how the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul (1 Sam. 16:141 Sam. 16:14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

14 Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him.

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).

6)      Sin is so powerful that the smallest amount of it will completely destroy our eternal spirit.

a)      Think of Gen. 3:6Gen. 3:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

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– Eve saw the forbidden fruit and ate of it.

b)      How many pieces of fruit did Eve need to eat before she was guilty of sin?

c)      Eve did not need to ingest a bushel basket full of this fruit to be affected and infected by sin.

d)     The first bite was all that was necessary for Eve to be permanently stung by sin.

7)      This point is not limited to Gen. 3; it is also taught in Gen. 19.

a)      Lot “lingered” (Gen. 19:16Gen. 19:16
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

16 But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

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) and the Bible says the heavenly beings “laid hold on his hand.”

b)      The heavenly visitors said those leaving were not supposed to look back.

8)      This point is specifically made in Gen. 19:17Gen. 19:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the Plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

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– READ

9)      When God says “do not do something” and people do it, they are guilty of sin (they break God’s law).

10)  It does not take much effort to sin; we all break God’s laws at one time or another.

11)  The people with Lot knew what was said, but Lot’s wife decided to look back – Gen. 19:26Gen. 19:26
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

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– READ

a)      How many looks did Lot’s wife need to take before she was guilty of sin?  Just one.

12)  A lot of people in life think they are going to be okay because they are not murderers and bank robbers.

13)  Eve and Lot’s wife were not bank robbers and murderers.

a)      Males have been and are just as guilty.

b)      2 Sam. 6:62 Sam. 6:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 And when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled.

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says the “oxen stumbled.”

14)  Uzzah was not entitled to touch the ark, but he reached out when the oxen stumbled.

15)  Today some would compliment him.

a)      2 Sam. 6:62 Sam. 6:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 And when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled.

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-7 – READ

b)      Sin comes from the smallest of things and sin is serious, serious business.

16)  Men sin and women sin.  In some cases husbands and wives sin together.

17)  Do we remember the story about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11Acts 5:1-11
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

5 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him round, and they carried him out and buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much. And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 But Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to try the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out. 10 And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost: and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things.

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?

18)  Jesus had to go to the cross for what we think of big sins as well as small sins.

19)  What the Lord did was truly spectacular.  2 Cor. 8:92 Cor. 8:9
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich.

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– – READ            

a)      Through Christ we become “rich.”

b)      A lot of  people think of “rich” in secular terms.

20)  Sin is man’s worst problem, Jesus came to cure that problem, and God is a persistent physician.

21)  For thousands of years God has been in the business of curing men from sin.

22)  Today as we assemble here:  Have we received the proper treatment for this terrible problem?

23)  The cross tells us that sin is man’s worst problem, but God has the cure for sin.

Forsaken by God: A sermon on the word forsaken

A sermon on the word “forsaken”

 1)      For our scripture reading we heard the opening verses of Gen. 12.

2)      Abraham was told to “forsake” some things.

3)      Imagine if we were told to literally forsake the United States and go to another country.

4)      Try to imagine making this trip without a car, a moving van, or an airplane ticket.

5)      In Gen. 12 God said to Abraham, “Leave your family behind.”

6)      Go to a new country and go without your relatives.

7)      Today some have the idea that God would not require them to forsake anything.

8)      This is not what we find in Gen. 12.

9)      Someone might think to themselves, “Well, this was early in Bible history.

10)  “This was probably just a one time thing; after all, Abraham was a special character.”

a)      In Mt. 24:2-35Mt. 24:2-35
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

2 But he answered and said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man lead you astray. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. 8 But all these things are the beginning of travail. 9 Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray. 12 And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold. 13 But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place , 16 then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains: 17 let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house: 18 and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak. 19 But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! 20 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or, Here; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told you beforehand. 26 If therefore they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness; go not forth: Behold, he is in the inner chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. 28 Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 Now from the fig tree learn her parable: when her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth its leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh; 33 even so ye also, when ye see all these things, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

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Jesus discussed the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

b)      Jesus said there would be signs that helped people identify when Jerusalem would be destroyed.

c)      Beginning in verse 36 Jesus spoke of His next and final return.

d)     In verse 36f there are no signs; here Jesus taught that we cannot know the day of His return.

11)  Let’s start with verse 15 and read through verse 20 – READ

12)  Imagine being in a situation where we must forsake our home and leave behind all we own.

a)      We forsake our cars, our computers, our furniture, our pictures, our food – we abandon it all.

b)      About the only thing we are able to take with us are the clothes on our back.

c)      Moving from the book of Matthew, we turn to the book of Luke, Lk. 5.

d)     Verse 11– READ

e)      Here were men who “forsook all” to follow the Lord.

13)  Abraham was willing to forsake many things to follow the God of the Bible.

14)  Some have had to forsake their homes because of war and natural disasters.

a)      Have we ever given up one thing for the kingdom of God?

b)      Have we ever forsaken something to fulfill the will of God?

15)  Listen to Mark 10:29Mark 10:29
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

29 Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake,

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16)  Giving up things we want or things that interest us is not the American way.

17)  Lk. 5 says there were men who gave up “all” – these men literally gave up a business for Christ.

a)      If we were a business owner, would we be willing to forsake (give up) our business for our faith?

b)      If we are a homeowner, would we be willing to give up our house if that were required?

c)      Would we give up our car and our other possessions for the sake of Christ.

d)     Jonah – God called on this prophet to forsake some things.

e)      God told him to go preach but Jonah forsook this divine mission.

f)       Jonah needed to forsake his prejudices against the people of Nineveh.

18)  Judg. 10:10Judg. 10:10
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10 And the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, saying, We have sinned against thee, even because we have forsaken our God, and have served the Baalim.

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says the children of made a confession to God.

19)  The Hebrews said they had “Forsaken God” to serve a false deity.

20)  God told the people of Israel that because they had forsaken Him He would forsake them.

21)  In Jn. 6:66-67Jn. 6:66-67
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

66 Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away?

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we learn that “many” of Jesus’ disciples “walked no longer with Him.’ 

a)      Today people can still forsake God.

b)      Sometimes this forsaking takes the form of attendance.

c)      Today some forsake New Testament Christianity for some other religious group.

d)     Some forsake services for t.v. or something else.

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e)      Are we “forsaking” some things?

YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE

In the boiling pot of politics in which we find ourselves, emotions can run extremely high.  Of course, that did not start with this political season.  Unfortunately, the respect and honor that people once gave those in “high office” is eroding.  The current president has been treated contemptuously and shown great disrespect, even by those in places of great influence.  Even a movie portraying him in less than honorable ways reveals a disturbing trend.  The president who served before him, with whose views and platform I happen to mostly disagree, was also shown much disrespect during his eight years.

The upcoming election stands to strongly displease half of this nation, which ever way it goes.  Which ever way it does go, we have the same God-given obligation toward the man who assumes that important position.  It was an obligation was first laid out under the first covenant, but one that continued under the New Testament.  After Paul was arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 21:34Acts 21:34
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34 And some shouted one thing, some another, among the crowd: and when he could not know the certainty for the uproar, he commanded him to be brought into the castle.

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), the Sanhedrin Council called him to answer before them (Acts 22:30Acts 22:30
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30 But on the morrow, desiring to know the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.

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).  While being examined, Paul was struck by someone standing near him at the command of Ananias, the high priest (Acts 23:2Acts 23:2
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2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

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).  Paul, apparently not knowing who authorized his being hit, rebuked Ananias (Acts 23:3Acts 23:3
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3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: and sittest thou to judge me according to the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

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).  Observers inform him he was “reviling” God’s high priest, to which Paul replied, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people” (Acts 23:5Acts 23:5
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5 And Paul said, I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.

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).  That is a quotation from Exodus 22:28Exodus 22:28
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28 Thou shalt not revile God, nor curse a ruler of thy people.

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.  Notice that this was spoken to the people of God.  Nothing was said about the quality and goodness of the leader.  Later, Paul urges Timothy to teach the church at Ephesus that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:21 Tim. 2:2
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2 for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.

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).  This is said to be good and acceptable in God’s sight (1 Tim. 2:31 Tim. 2:3
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3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

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).  Note that it is for “all in authority.”  Let us not forget that the Caesars were the kings and that the Roman government was filled with all manner of unsavory types, from the top down to magistrates and city authorities.  Peter urges Christians subject to the same government and officials to “Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:171 Pet. 2:17
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17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

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). 

We should never admire and imitate the bad morals of our leaders.  We should do whatever is legally within our power to prevent the greater of two evils from having power.  But, God has given us His will regarding how we treat those who are in office, these ones “ordained of Him” (cf. Rom. 13:1-7Rom. 13:1-7
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

13 1 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same: 4 for he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6 For this cause ye pay tribute also; for they are ministers of God's service, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

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).  We are not to speak evil of them.  We are to pray for them.  We are to honor them.  Commands are easy when they coincide with our will and inclination already.  Discipleship is tough when the commands go against our will.  Let us pray about the present situation and do what is within our power.  Then, let us leave the rest to the unlimited power of God!  — Neal Pollard

Take this “presidential survey poll”!

[polldaddy poll=2785958]

Election survey – how often do you vote when elections come?

[polldaddy poll=2785967]

For those in the U.S. here is a “party” survey:

[polldaddy poll=2785979]