And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 14, Number
In this issue:
September 25–30, 2011
Bible lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
Sunday Class - According to Jesus: Five Principles of Prayer
Sunday AM – The Man Born Blind
Sunday PM – Born of Four
Monday - God Created Man
Tuesday – Just Give Me the Bottom Line!
Wednesday – The Age of Accountability
Thursday – Do Not Sin Against the Child
Friday - The “Kinds” of Genesis
(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
I knew a wonderful Christian once upon a time who had a saying I have never forgotten. He would say it pensively and reflectively when referring to good, decent people he knew, some of them relatives, who were not Christians and who attended some denominational church. Quite sadly, he would declare: “They are in the right pew, but the wrong church!”
What he meant by this was that they had the right habit of going to worship each Lord’s Day and were good in their day to day behavior, not wicked and worldly in their ways, and believed basic tenets of the Bible, yet would not leave denominationalism for the truth of Jesus Christ and His church. How many of us have woefully considered the loss of such good people. Because we are saddened and concerned for lost souls and recognize the great value of the soul we may begin to fantasize a bit how they yet may be saved.
No doubt, we have been impressed in our own study of the scriptures with the concept of the great worth of the soul. Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” It is not unusual at all for us to adopt the same strong wish that the Lord Himself has expressed: 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Beloved, my question is this: Have you constructed deep in your secret heart some false, hopeful view that maybe, just maybe, no matter what the scriptures teach, these might can be saved without ever obeying the gospel of Christ? We must realize that wishing it so does not make it so. If God entertains such thoughts, He has never in the scriptures revealed them to man.
Here is what we know to be absolutely the truth…
The Bible plainly teaches, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). What is the church? In Colossians 1:24 Paul said, “for his body’s sake, which is the church.” He is over the process and has stated how it will be achieved. “There is one body” (Ephesians 4:4) and that body is Christ who “is the savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). The only conclusion that can be drawn necessarily is that one must be in the Lord’s church to be saved. This means that anyone not in the Lord’s body will be lost and only those in His body can be saved.
Therefore, resolve in your mind any conflicts you may have entertained and allow God’s will to reign in your heart…
Is it possible that some of the agony that Christ was in as he prayed that last night before His crucifixion that some of these thoughts were in His own mind? He gave His life in obedience to the will of the Father so that mankind might be saved. He lovingly submitted to the Father’s will to accomplish this great benefit to man. Matthew 26:42, “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
With such an example as that of Christ Himself, we need to acknowledge, that this is an absolute truth that is not to be achieved by any of our own second guessing or humanizing. Souls cannot be saved by our peddling false notions to the lost that soften the nature of truth in its godly purity.
Our era, which many refer to as the Post-Modern Age, strongly tends to destroy the truth of God’s word with subjectivism in every aspect of our lives. In our time, when anyone states a truth, instantly someone will say, “Who are you to judge?” We are now used to this undermining and this spreading miasma of pathetic secular humanism. How can believers simply parrot what the world with great evil repeats over and over till all numbly say and practice such impotent drivel? (Recall that scripture has already introduced this false notion for us to see clearly in all its sophistry in Pontius Pilate’s question: “what is truth?” John 18:38.)
With the knowledge of what our souls have cost to redeem, how can we so unwisely take away the greatness of what has been purchased to save our souls from eternal damnation with our desire to somehow “fix” the doctrine of Christ for salvation with our own weakness and any false notions of a tolerance for sinfulness? No matter the age we live in: 2 Timothy 4:2. “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
-Watchman Magazine, Oct. 22, 2010
Joe R. Price
Assembling ourselves together (Heb. 10:24-25)
to hear God’s word
the things of the Spirit
More online: www.bibleanswer.com/gospelmeeting.htm
Cheerleaders Told to Cover Up
“Gimme an R, gimme an I, gimme an S, gimme a Q, gimme a U, gimme an E -- what does it spell? RISQUÉ!”
I doubt you’ll hear that cheer at high school football games this fall. But, the cheerleaders at Piedmont Hills High School, San Jose, CA are being told they cannot wear their cheerleading outfits to school. If they do, they must wear sweat pants under them. The school’s administration is cracking down on miniskirts worn by students (“Miniskirt ban at San Jose school also applies to cheerleader uniforms,” MercuryNews.com).
We applaud this effort at modesty, even though its view of modesty is not up to biblical standards. Since the skirts are too risqué for the classroom, why are they acceptable before a crowd of people at the football game on Friday night? Additionally, Principal Traci Williams said if the uniforms were mid-thigh “this wouldn't be an issue.” (Ibid) We disagree. Scripture teaches that exposing the thigh reveals one’s nakedness; a shameful and immodest display (Isa. 47:2-3; Exo. 28:42). Girls (women), mid-thigh skirts/shorts are immodest (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Guys, ditto for bear chests and your shorts.
The reaction at Piedmont Hill High has been intense. Some are supportive, but many object (what do you expect from worldly-minded people?). Here is a summary of the negative reactions:
1. The uniforms are expensive (after all, they cost $300 and now the girls are being told they can't wear them!).
2. They are being unfair. The girls are made to feel like outcasts (since they still wear them at the games).
3. It’s hot (95 degrees). (Weather dictated modesty!)
Sounds a lot like what some Christians say when the immodesty of cheerleading outfits worn by their daughters is pointed out. Instead of repentance, preachers have been pressured to “move on” (even fired) when they preach the truth on such immodesty. This ought not to be so! We cannot let the world set the standard of modesty. The world tolerates what God says is sin (1 Jno. 2:15-17; Eph. 5:6-11). Don’t be worldly!
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 09/24/2011
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA