THE SPIRITíS SWORD

published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

June 4, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 13

Editor: Joe R. Price

 

  

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In this issue:

 

 

EXCUSES

Ira Mikell

There are many excuses recorded in the Bible. Excuses serve no other purpose than to either delay our duty or place the blame on someone else. James says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin," (James 4:17). Let us examine a few of these excuses.

It's not my fault! This was Adam's excuse for his sin in the garden of Eden after he disobeyed God's command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He blamed Eve for his sin when he said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat," (Gen. 3:13). Likewise, the woman blamed the serpent for her sin.

The Scriptures teach that each person is responsible for his deeds done on this earth. Paul said, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad," (2 Cor. 5:10).

I'm too busy. Many people, when invited to attend church services and gospel meetings, often give this excuse. If they are too busy to attend worship on the first day of the week, then why does it seem that they have plenty of time to do things such as going fishing? There is nothing wrong with going fishing, but to do so on the first day of the week when we should be attending worship is a disservice to the Lord.

In the parable of the marriage feast, Jesus teaches the importance of putting God first (Matt. 22:1-14). When we put God first in our lives, everything else will fall into place. Jesus, in Matthew 6:33, says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." There is never a moment when God is too busy. So, why should we become so busy that there is never room in our lives for God?

"I was afraid." This excuse was given by those in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. God gives all men certain abilities. There are some talents that we are born with, and there are others that we develop on our own. Failing to utilize our talents for the Lord, whatever they may be, results in a disservice in bringing others to him and encouraging church growth.

There are other reasons people use this excuse. These include being afraid to stand up for the truth which may result in the losing of one's job or some form of persecution, and being fearful of what the world might think while living the christian life.

We must fear God, rather than men. Jesus said, "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell," (Matt. 10:28). A good example for all men, Peter and the rest of the apostles, rather than giving in to the demands of the high priest to quit preaching in the name of Jesus, they continued to preach the gospel. Both Peter and the other apostles said, "We ought to obey God rather than men," (Acts 5:29).

"When I have a convenient season, I'll call for thee." This was the excuse of Felix who put off the opportunity to become a christian until some future day. Luke says that he, "reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come," (Acts 24:25). Like Agrippa in Acts 26, he was "almost" saved.

It is important to take hold of the opportunity to be saved because another one may not present itself. The Bible says, "behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation," (2 Cor. 6:2). There is no better time to obey the gospel than today.

Furthermore, we do not know when the end of our lives shall be. James says, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away," (James 4:14). If you should die tonight, not having obeyed the gospel, what will you say when Jesus comes again?

Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we must try to refrain from giving excuses, whether it be accepting blame for our wrong-doing or obeying the gospel call of salvation. After this life has ended and we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, it will then be too late to give an excuse for the things we have neglected to do on this earth.

 

 

SERMON OUTLINES

 

For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com/road.htm

 

TRAVELING BIBLE ROADS

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 35:8-10

Intro.

The King's Highway: Jno. 14:6; Matt. 7:13-14

I. THE ROAD TO CALVARY - Jno. 19:16-20; Lk. 23:26-33; Heb. 13:12.

A. A Road Of Reproach - Jno. 19:16-17.

B. A Road Of Sorrow, Suffering & Surrender.

C. A Road Of Warning - Lk. 23:28-31.

Lessons:

1. We must walk this road with Jesus bearing our cross; bear His reproach - Lk. 9:23; Heb. 13:13.

2. Do not be ashamed of being a Christian! - Mk. 8:36-38 (humility, Acts 5:41 & joy, 1 Pet. 4:12-16)

3. If we don't walk this road - Condemned & forever lost! - Rom. 2:6-11

II. THE ROAD TO EMMAUS - Lk. 24:13-35.

A. A Road Of Doubt - 24:19-24.

B. Became A Road Of Hope - 24:21, 27, 32, 35.

Lessons:

1. Jesus & His gospel turns doubt into hope - Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 11:1.

2. Secure your faith by studying & believing the Bible! - 2 Tim. 2:15

III. THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS - Acts 9:1-19; 22:3-16; 26:12-20.

A. A Road Of Persecution & Unbelief - 26:9-12; cf. 1 Tim. 1:13.

B. A Road Of Conversion - 9:6, 9, 11, 18; 22:16.

Lessons:

1. When we live in sin and unbelief we fight against God - 9:5 (26:14).

2. All past sins can be forgiven - 1 Tim. 1:14-16.

3. When sin is forgiven we must stop practicing it & be faithful to Christ - Col. 3:9-10.

IV. THE ROAD TO JERICHO - Lk. 10:29-37.

A. A Road Of Choice - 10:31-33.

B. A Road Of Service - 10:33-35.

Lessons:

1. We all choose to serve or not - Gal. 6:10.

2. Our choice shows our heart - Lk. 10:27.

3. Do not serve to be seen by men - Matt. 6:1-4.

 

 

For the complete outline of this sermon please visit BIBLE ANSWERS:

http://www.bibleanswer.com/evidenc8.htm

 

(Lesson 8)

INTERNAL EVIDENCES OF THE BIBLE

Compiling, Assessing & Using The Evidence

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55:6-11

I. SUMMARIZING THE EVIDENCE.

A. Unity Of Bible - Deut. 6:4.

B. Unusual Style - Isa. 55:8-11.

C. Fulfilled Prophecy - Isa. 41:21-24.

1. Nations - Jer. 18:7-10 (Israel, etc.)

2. Messiah - Jno. 5:39 (over 300 - Probability is astronomical!). Lk. 18:31-33

D. Bible & Science - Psa. 19:1-4, 7-9.

E. Purity of Bible Ethics.

1. Rom. 1:20-25 - Religiously (Exo. 20:4-5).

2. Rom. 1:24-27 - Morally (Matt. 5-7).

F. Historical Reliability.

II. THE PROPOSITION UPHELD: THE BIBLE IS A SPECIAL, DIVINE REVELATION TO MAN.

A. The Combined Weight Of Evidence Is Conclusive, Not Circular - 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

B. Faith That The Bible Is God's Verbally Inspired Word Is Secure - Eph. 3:3-5; Rom. 10:17; Matt. 7:21; Jas. 1:25 (Matt. 7: 24-27).

III. USING THE EVIDENCE.

A. To Meet Our Need To Know God & To Obey His Will - Jer. 10:23 (Prov. 14:12).

-Bible accomplishes this task - cf. Jno. 6:44-45; 14:6; 20:30-31; Don't reject it - Jno. 12:44-48.

B. To Be Prepared Servants Of Christ - 1 Pet. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:15.

C. To Be Saved Eternally - Acts 20:32; 1 Ths. 2:13; Jno. 17:17; 8:51.

Conclusion

1. Do you believe the Bible? Then, commit yourself to obeying it completely - l Pet. 1:22-25.

2. Bible is God's revelation to man.

 

 

 

NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

POLL: GAY PARTNERS DESERVE BENEFITS

(The Bellingham Herald, Thursday, June 1, 2000 - A9)

Just over half of Americans say gay couples should not be allowed to marry, according to an Associated Press poll.

But just as many say gay partners should have some legal rights of a married couple - such as inheritance, Social Security benefits and health insurance.

More women than men feel gay marriage is OK. So do more Democrats than Republicans, more young people than old, more people who feel gays are born with that sexual orientation.

The poll, conducted for the AP by ICR of Media, Pa., found that 51 percent were opposed to allowing gay couples to marry, while 34 percent approved.

Half the respondents were asked the question a bit differently - whether they approved of allowing gays to form a "domestic partnership" that would give them the rights and benefits of opposite-sex marriage.

In that question, which did not refer to "gay marriage," the number that approved allowing such a relationship grew slightly to 41 percent while the opposition was almost half.

The AP poll found that at least half of Americans support the rights of gays to receive health insurance (53 percent), Social Security benefits (50 percent) and inheritance (56 percent) from their partners.

The poll of 1,012 people was taken May 17-21. Its error margin was plus or minus 3 percentage points, slightly larger for the split sample.

___________

 

COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

We are witnessing the remaking and reshaping of American society and accepted morality. It is a sad day indeed. Sin (in this case, homosexuality) is now "good" and worthy of governmental recognition and protection (Isa. 5:20; Prov. 17:15). "Domestic partnership" is the politically correct term for the sin of sodomy (Rom. 1:26-27). God has overthrown societies for such vile conduct and will do so again (Gen. 19).

Christians must resist this societal shape-shifting. We must continue to have the mind of Christ and be willing to suffer for it, just as our Lord did (1 Pet. 4:1-5, 12-19). The influence of godliness which Christians have in the world must not be diluted through compromise, silence or complicity with sin. If the salt looses its flavor, how shall it be restored?! (Matt. 5:13; Lk. 14:34-35)

 

 

The Spirit's Sword is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA

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