Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume VI, Number 29 - November 03, 2002
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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In this issue:
How many times have we heard people say words to the effect, “If you tell me
that there is only one way to Heaven, then you are condemning me (or “my
family,” “others,” etc.).”? Is this a valid charge?
Friends, when one takes a stand
for the truth, he will be condemning those who are not following the truth.
Please read Hebrews 11:7.
Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,
prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which
condemned the world,
and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
When Noah built the ark, following God’s plan to the letter (Gen. 6:22), the
Bible says he condemned the world. How did Noah do this? He condemned the
world in three ways:
He condemned the world by living by faith
(Heb. 11:7). God told Noah what to do and he did it without question (Rom.
10:17; Gen. 6:22). His
family followed his lead (I Pet. 3:20). The rest of the world refused to
listen to God (through the preaching of Noah, II Pet. 2:5) and drowned in
the Flood. Notice that this verse begins and ends stating that Noah lived
He condemned the world by heeding the warnings of God
(Gen. 6:13). Again, when the people heard Noah’s preaching, they refused to
follow God’s will and get into the ark. When Noah was warned of
“things not seen
as yet,” he
heeded the warning. In like manner, we are warned by God of an eternity in
Hell for our disbelief and disobedience. Are we heeding the warning of the
Lord who has said He will come
“in flaming fire
taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ”
(II Thess. 1:6-9)?
3) He condemned the world by preparing for the coming flood. Noah’s preparation of the ark showed that he not only believed in God, but believed God. Those who have faith in God will do what He says to do (Rom. 10:16). He prepared and condemned a world of fools (Matt. 25:1-13). In Matthew 25:1-13, we see an occasion where those prepared were rewarded and those who refused to prepare were condemned.
Did Noah talk down or act rude to the people? Of course, not! Nevertheless, he condemned the world at that time because he followed God and had the backbone to stand for his convictions and preach God’s word to others. He did God’s will regardless of the consequences to himself or his family. There are too few people like this today. Let us stand behind God’s will and have the backbone that was characteristic of Noah! Have we complained that someone was “condemning” us? Perhaps it was because they were doing God’s will, and we were not! Let us repent while we have time (Lk. 13:3; II Cor. 6:2).
It is not unusual these days to hear a teenager say to his parents, “I’m so tired of all these rules and regulations that you lay down for me that I’ll be glad when I’m on my own and can do as I please!” Quite often the “rules and regulations” to which they refer are those which are for their own good, however vexsome. While it is possible that parents can sometimes be unfair and arbitrary in fixing rules, most often parents have the good of their children in mind when they supply the regulations for a family.
Children are often too impatient to attempt to see the wisdom behind rules. They are not looking at events from the mature standpoint that only years of experience can bring; they are viewing events through the impatience and immaturity of youth. Such immaturity seldom seeks to find the wisdom behind a rule, particularly if it interferes with the immediate gratification of a desire. The guiding light of youth is expressed in the sentiment, “I want...” and “I want it now...” Consequently, when any restricting rule is enforced which inhibits or restricts, a young person who has no respect for experience or for the Biblical injunction of obedience will rebel. Whether the rule is a curfew on dating nights, attendance at worship services, homework, housework or personal grooming guidelines, compliance is grudging, if at all.
Adding to this problem is the fact that young people are encouraged in rebellion by their peers at school, by a lawless generation and by lyrics of music which teach and propagate a rebellious spirit. Parents are portrayed as old-fashioned, over-the-hill, “out of it” and unfair. With a wave of the hand, all experience of a preceding generation of parents is dismissed if it interferes with “doing your own thing.” And not too subtly, the mistakes of the older generation are used to show the irony of anyone “telling me what to do.” However, if, with all our experience and regulations we have made such a botch of things, what will a generation do that refuses to respect experience or be restricted? Already we are reaping the terrible results of this philosophy in broken homes, abortion, drug addiction, increased crime rates and a multitude of problems. Unlicensed restraint surely is not the an
Understand the Consequences
But if our young people get their way, if they overthrow all restrictions, and if they get out on their own, they need to realize something. They really are on their own!
If I know the intentions of most parents, it has been their purpose to provide a kind of life that will prepare their children to be on their own and to prosper. Parents lay down rules and regulations so that when their children leave home, they will be prepared morally, spiritually and educationally to meet the challenges of life and be productive. These are the basic reasons for rules in the home. It is inevitable, given the normal course of events, that children leave home. The question is, “Will they be prepared when they leave home?” As parents, we fully agree with our children that, when they leave home, “you are on your own.” In fact, we realize it more fully than our children!
Yes, my friend, you will be on your own, to stand or fall, for good or bad. There will be no one to blame but yourself. Your mistakes will be yours and no guilt can be handed back to your parents any longer. And there is an additional thought worthy of consideration: when you have children, you will be faced with the same responsibilities your parents had. If you love your children, if you want their life to prosper, if you want them to grow up respecting others and being prepared to face life, you will have to set some rules. And the cycle will have come full circle! You will be the parent and your children will be saying, “Boy, when I leave home and get on my own, I’ll do what I want to do.” And when you hear these words (probably not before then), you will appreciate what your parents went through to raise you. The next time you want “out on your own,” think about it.
Watchman Magazine (Oct 2002)
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
"God's Way to Straighten Me Out"
Do you remember the half-clad father and son who ran out onto the baseball field and attacked a first base coach in the middle of a major league baseball game in September? The assault was captured on video, and we were all “treated” to a disgusting display of criminal violence against an innocent man. William Ligue, Jr. has been indicted by a grand jury on three counts of aggravated battery and one count of mob action for the crime; his son pleaded guilty in juvenile court to one charge of aggravated battery and two counts of mob action.
Now, Mr. Ligue, Jr. has given an interview to a Chicago-area newspaper. In a phone call to the paper he apologized for his conduct. He expressed regret, admitted having a drug addiction for which he needed help, and said he could not remember much from the episode at the ballpark.
What got our attention is his statement that the incident was “God’s way to straighten me out by putting me here.” Well, it is indeed God’s way to punish the evildoer (Rom. 13:1-5). And, it is God’s way which says “the way of the transgressor is hard” (Prov. 13:15). At the same time, Mr. Ligue, Jr. should understand that God did not make him run out onto that field and start pummeling an innocent man - he chose to do that. Neither did God make him use drugs – he chose to do that. While the trouble we get ourselves into can indeed be an occasion for one to turn back to God, rest assured God would prefer that we abstain from sin to begin with (Lk. 15:11-19; Gen. 2:16-17; 3:11). And, if Ligue does straighten out while in prison it will be because he chooses to work at it – God will not miraculously “straighten (him) out.” It will take his hard work to reform his character, his temper and his conduct.
Ligue’s sister said he had been in a tailspin since the death of his infant daughter in May. “I was going through so much stress,” he told the newspaper. We are sympathetic toward the loss he has suffered. While it may explain his actions, it does not excuse them. An angry assault is not effective (nor proper) stress management (Eph. 4:31-32). We hope he will “straighten himself out” while he still has the chance. Is there something in your life that you need to straighten out before God? If so, do it now while you still have the chance (Lk. 13:5; Acts 17:30-31; Heb. 9:27).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 11/02/2002
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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