published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

April 30, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 09

Editor: Joe R. Price



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--The End Does Not Justify The Means!

--"How Much Owest Thou Unto Thy Lord?" - Jim Sasser


----Perfect Hatred

----Internal Evidences: Prophecies About The Nations: Israel (Lesson 4)

--Noteworthy News: Old Ways Work For Jazz


The End Does Not Justify The Means!

Joe R. Price

We are witnessing more and more of this sort of thinking in our world. From the events surrounding Elian Gonzalez case to the justification of churches being involved in purely social activities, America has succumbed to the "end justifies the means" rationale. Why do you suppose this is true?

One reason for this kind of thinking is it allows people to decide what is morally correct. There is no absolute rule to honor and no individual moral accountability. Evil is only in the eye of the beholder. Sin is no longer sin if there is a "greater good" according to this mindset. All this amounts to selfishness and the elevation of man over God (cf. Rom. 3:8).

We are witnessing the fruition of humanistic, man-centered thinking and living. As with the Gentile world of old, even so today there are more and more refusing to have God in their knowledge, professing their wisdom and promoting perversion in the name of enlightenment (see Rom. 1:20-23). Evil is called good, and good is denounced as reprehensible (cf. Isa. 5:20-23). Here is an example from this week's news: "A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down an earlier ruling by a federal judge in Columbus, Ohio that permitted the state to use, "With God, all things are possible," as its official motto, prompting critics to question the federal government's role in limiting a state or individual's right to free religious expression." ('With God, all things are possible,', April 26, 2000). If this ruling is allowed to stand it would seem that both Jesus and the Bible are unconstitutional (since this is a quotation of Jesus from Matt. 19:26!) Having sown the wind of godless humanism, evolution and the moral wasteland of relativism, America is now reaping the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psa. 11:3) Not standby and wring our hands. Not fret and worry. Not compromise because we cannot change them.

No, we should instead following the exhortations offered in Psalm 11:

1) Put our trust in the Lord (11:1-2). He is a mighty fortress of refuge for the weak and those pursued by their adversaries. He will not fail His people (Heb. 13:5-6). Keep the faith! (2 Tim. 4:7)

2) Remember that God is sovereign (11:4-6). God continues to rule in the kingdoms of men in spite of what men say (Dan. 4:28-33). He sees the evil and the good, and He will punish every sinner (Rom. 12:19).

3) Remember that God is righteous (11:7). He sees every injustice He and will right every wrong. Judgment is surely set for evildoers (Eccl. 12:14; 2 Thess. 1:4-9). And, He will reward those who live by faith (Heb. 10:36-39). May we all walk by faith, not by sight! (2 Cor. 5:7)



Jim Sasser


1. "Tenth of all," said Abraham. (Gen. 14:20).

2. "I will give a tenth," vowed Jacob. (Gen. 28:20-22).

3. "Our gold, silver and jewelry," said the children of Israel when they were about to build. (Exo. 35).

4. "A tenth and more," said the devout Jew under an inferior covenant (Lev. 27:30-33).

5. "According to ability," says the Old and New Testament. (Deut. 16: 17; 1 Cor. 16:1,2.

6. "A tenth of all," say the heathen to his false god.

7. "All that I have," said the poor widow. (Mk. 12).

8. "Your body and all that pertains to it," said the inspired apostle. (Rom. 12:1)

9. "Beyond our power and ability," said the Christians in Macedonia. (2 Cor. 8:9)

10. "One tenth of my income," says the Mormon, the Seventh Day Adventist and others.

11. "We do not owe Him anything," said the apostate Jews. So they robbed Him, robbed Him by withholding the gifts. (Mal. 3:8, 9)

12. What is your answer? "As much as I spend on pleasure," says one. He places the god of pleasure on an equality with the only true and living God.

"What I do not need," one says. He does not have the spirit of God. The great example.

"Whatever I find in my pocket when the plate is passed," says one who ignores the divine law of purpose. (2 Cor. 9:7)

"What I have, that I cheerfully give," say the true Christians. (Acts 3) The Lord loves a cheerful giver. Jesus gave His life. The Father gave His only begotten Son. (Jno. 3:16).


For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS at:



Scripture Reading: Psalms 139:17-24



1. God hates sin - Prov. 6:16.

2. Do we hate sin like God does? Should we? How?


I. OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN MUST BE LIKE GOD'S - Psa. 97:10; 119:104; 139:20-24 (pure, absolute, intense hatred).

A. When We Do Not Hate Sin We Do Not Fear Of God - Prov. 8:13; cf. Acts 10:35.

B. Our Hatred Of Sin Reveals Itself In Our Conduct - Jer. 44:4-5.

C. There Will Be A Corresponding Love For Good - Amos 5:14-15; Rom. 12:9.



A. A True Commitment To Not Love The World - 1 Jno. 2:15-17; Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Pet. 4:1-5.

B. Refuse Fellowship With Error & Evil - Psa. 26:1-5; Eph. 5:7-11; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Jno. 9-11.

C. A Genuine Aversion To Error - Psa. 101:3; Gal. 2:4-5; Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Tim. 2:16-18.



1. Some will say this lesson is too narrow, too strict, too judgmental.

2. But, like God, we are to have no friendship with & take no delight in sin - In any of its forms!


For the complete text of this sermon visit BIBLE ANSWERS at:




(Lesson 4)

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 41:21-26

God challenged idols to fulfill prophecy to show their divinity. And, God offers fulfilled prophecy to prove His presence & power: Isa. 41:21-24; 42:8-9; 44:6-8; 45:20-22; 46:8-10.


I. GOD RULES OVER THE NATIONS OF MEN - Jer. 27:1-5-8; Dan. 4:32; Acts 17:26.

A. Prophets Spoke God's Will About The Nations - Jer. 18:1-10.

B. If Their Words Failed, They Were False Prophets & Their God (And Ours) Is A False God - Deut. 18:21-22. {Reverse is also true!}

C. All Bible Prophecies Against The Nations Were Fulfilled - cf. Josh. 21:45; 1 Kgs. 8:56.



A. The Time Element (Isa. 46:10).

B. Current Conditions Do Not Suggest Prophecy.

C. Not A Guess, Speculation: CYRUS - Isa. 44:28.

D. Many Prophecies Conditional - Deut. 28:1, 15.



A. Prophecies Concerning Israel (c. 1400 BC).

1. All these blessings - 28:1-14--Psa. 105:44-45.

2. A king - 28:36 -- Saul (1050 BC) and others.

3. Go into captivity - 28:36,41 -2Kgs.17:6;24:10f

4. Hiss & byword - 28:37 -- Jer. 29:18(~597 BC)

5. Serve other nations - 28:47-48 -- Jer. 28:13-14

6. Nation from afar come against Israel-28:49-51

7. Suffering during sieges - 28:52-57.

8. Scattered among the nations-28:64-Ezk. 20:23

9. Sold into slavery in Egypt - 28:68 -- 70 AD

10. Remnant would return to land - Deut. 30:1-3 -- Neh. 1:3.

11. Always a people, never fully eliminated - Jer. 30:10-11 (46:27-28).

-Isa. 43:9-13: Israel testifies the Bible is true!



(Current events in the light of Scripture)


Old Ways Work For Jazz

Greg Boeck (USA Today, Wed. April 26, 2000)


SALT LAKE CITY - Karl Malone was the first to arrive shortly after 8 a.m. John Stockton wasn't far behind.

By 8:45 a.m., most of the Utah Jazz players had joined the two Hall of Fame-bound superstars in the weight room at the team's practice facility. This was almost 11/2 hours before a scheduled 10 a.m. practice Tuesday - and barely eight hours after most of the players arrived home following a 101-87 pasting of the Seattle SuperSonics for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five playoff series.

"That's how things are done here," says Olden Polynice, a 13-year veteran who joined the Jazz this season. "Nobody breaks rank. Nobody. And if a guy does break rank, then you hear it from them."

You hear it from the top, from Malone and Stockton. They are approaching 40 in a game that celebrates 20-year-olds, but they still set the agenda for this working-class franchise nestled in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Sleep in late after a late-starting playoff game? Not on this team. "Now we go home and take naps," Stockton quips.

Here, far from the hype of the NBA-proclaimed youth movement, the Jazz celebrate experience - and they do it the old fashioned way. They're all business.

"These guys are leaning toward the nerdy side, and that's good," says Jazz newcomer Armen Gilliam. "A lot of teams have Mercedes and gold chains and wild haircuts, but that's not the Utah Jazz."

Says Polynice: "We are textbook. We are what the league is about. We follow all the rules. That's what they have to promote, and they don't because it doesn't sell shirts. You don't hear anything about anybody on this team into spousal abuse or child abuse or drugs. The drug program people from the league come here - and it's a short meeting." (edited for length, jrp)



Joe R. Price

Yes, I'm a Utah Jazz fan. But this article is not about them winning or losing. It's about how we approach Christianity. It's about working hard - even when you don't get noticed. It's about doing things right, because they are right. The picture of the methodical, even "boring" Utah Jazz against the backdrop of the glitz and glamour of the NBA is a microcosm of our society - and even of the church in some respects. We can learn some lessons from the Jazz.

Many churches are trying to impress people to draw them into their number. You name it and some church somewhere is probably using it to grow. And, they are growing - but at what cost? At the cost of the truth of the gospel.

I fear that preaching is being defined by this modern-day definition of success. Wow the audience with stories. Make them feel good. Entertain them, even. But don't condemn sin. Don't expose error. Don't urge righteous living. You will "offend" people and "run them off!" (Matt. 15:12; 11:16-19) Don't preach Bible authority, it's "boring!" (Col. 3:17)

Gospel preachers should give attention to "reading, to exhortation, to teaching," not self-promotion, testing the winds of acceptability or practicing the art (?) of church politics (1 Tim. 4:13, 6-16; 2 Tim. 4:2-5).

Like the Jazz, when Christians do things "right" without thought of self-promotion, they will likely be labeled spiritual "nerds" (cf. Matt. 5:11-12). So be it. We must continue to do things right - God's way - not man's (Gal. 1:10).


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