And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume 24, Number 02

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

As Death Nears
Joe R. Price

Hospice care is designed to ease physical pain and suffering as death nears. It is a helpful service that offers dignity, palliative care, and comfort to the person approaching death and their family.

Surprisingly, many people will not even talk about death; their own or that of a loved one. Of course, that does not slow death’s approach or prevent its arrival. Perhaps they convince themselves by not thinking and talking about death they can avoid its encroachment. Or perhaps the topic is too unpleasant and painful for them. Nevertheless, death is common to us all.

The wise man Solomon said it is wise to go to the house of mourning because “that is the end of all men” and “the living will lay it to heart” (Eccl. 7:2). Visit the house of mourning with me for a moment as we ask ourselves a few questions.

(1) Am I ready to die? This is not a question about whether we want to die right now, but whether we are ready to die should it happen now. We do not know when we will die. This is why we must be watchful and ready; only a breath separates us from death. Paul could say, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). He was ready to die because he was living for Christ. That is how we are ready to die as death nears (James 4:13-15).

(2) Am I right with God? How you answered the first question depends largely on how you answer this one. Being right with God does not mean I “think” I am right (remember the people of Matt. 7:21-23). Paul was ready to die because he had fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7). The man with great wealth was not right with God when his soul was required of him and is a tragic illustration of treasuring up riches but failing to be “rich toward God” (Luke 12:15-21). Get right with God now. Obey the gospel of Christ and live by faith in Him. Then you will be right with God as death nears (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:36-41; Gal. 2:20).

(3) What spiritual legacy will I leave? What matters, in the end, will not be how large a financial estate we leave behind. Each of us will leave a spiritual legacy to the next generation. Will our lives speak beyond the grave of faith, of love for God, and of service to others (Heb. 11:4)? Will the next generation know God because we spoke His truth and lived a faithful life (Ps. 71:18)? What spiritual legacy are you preparing to leave as death nears?


Sinking into Apostasy
Joe R. Price

4 Yet I am the LORD your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; For there is no savior besides Me. 5 I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 6 When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me (Hosea 13:4–6, NKJV).

Yahweh saved Israel from Egyptian oppression and He sustained her in the wilderness. But instead of giving God thankful, obedient service, Israel forgot the Lord and turned to idols (Hosea 13:1-2). Israel added sin upon sin by worshiping Baal and the golden calves Jeroboam set up. What led to Israel’s apostasy warns us not to fall like she did (1 Cor. 10:6-12).

Hosea 13:6 describes the sequence of Israel’s apostasy. (1) Israel became satisfied in her prosperity. Israel was “at ease” in her abundance and failed to humbly obey God and serve each other (Amos 6:1-7). The church of the Laodiceans provides a similar warning against spiritual apathy (Rev. 3:15-17). (2) Israel’s heart was filled with pride. Pride is an insidious enemy that elevates us above God in our minds. Pride is an undeniable step away from God and is abhorrent to God (Amos 6:8). The church in Sardis needed to fight against pride’s self-righteous fruit (Rev. 3:1-2). (3) Israel forgot God in her self-sufficiency. Israel forgot God was their savior and sustainer. Israel’s prosperity led to prideful sufficiency and ignoring God (Deut. 8:1-20; 32:15). The parable of the rich fool warns us not to trust riches but to lay up heavenly treasures (Luke 12:15-21). “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).  -Sword Tips #2310


The Most High Rules in the Kingdoms of Men
Joe R. Price

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down
(Daniel 4:37, NKJV).

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was driven from his throne to live as a wild animal because he pridefully boasted in his accomplishments while ignoring God (Dan. 4:22-33). Instead of praising the Most High God, who “rules in the kingdoms of men,” the king praised himself and his majesty (Dan. 4:25, 28-31). God brought him down.

God has not abdicated His rule over the nations (Ps. 22:28; Acts 17:26). Those in power who honor the true and living God are blessed; those who pridefully dishonor Him face inevitable defeat (Ps. 33:10-22). “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect” (Ps. 33:10). And “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). Nebuchadnezzar learned God’s “works are truth, and His ways justice” (Dan. 4:37).

God calls national leaders and all the earth’s inhabitants to humble themselves before Him. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” is true of individuals and nations (Prov. 16:18).

Daniel’s counsel to the Babylonian king remains relevant: “Break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Dan. 4:27).  -Sword Tips #2320


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

The Collapse of a Nation
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 18:5-11

1. Today’s greatest problem? Sin, Rom. 3:23 (9-18); 6:23 (Eph. 2:1-3); Luke 19:10; Acts 4:12.
2. Nations rise and fall as they turn to or away from God, Jer. 18:7-11.
3. Hosea 7: Collapse of Israel (no. kingdom) is an example our nation (and Christians) either takes to heart or follows into ruin, 1 Cor. 10:11.


  A. Hearts Defiled by Wickedness, 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 4:2; 1 Kings 12:25-30; Num. 32:23.
  B. The Nation Was Prepared for Destruction, 7:4-7 (2 Kings 15); Rom. 1:22-32.
-Christians must not lose reverence for God and respect for fellow human beings, Acts 24:16; 1 Tim. 1:5; 4:2; Titus 1:15.


  A. Israel Was to be a Separate Nation, Exod. 19:5-6 (Hosea 4:11-13, 17; 6:4-6; 9:7-9).
-Christians must live pure and undefiled religion without compromise, James 1:26-27; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1.


  A. Israel was Complacent about Her Past Redemption, Hosea 7:13; Micah 6:3-5.
  B. Israel was Complacent about God’s Present Help, Hosea 7:14.
  C. Israel was Complacent about God’s Blessings, Amos 6:1, 3-7.
-Christians must resist the urge to become complacent in serving God and man, Rom. 12:11 (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:25; Titus 2:11-12).


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS


Different Gospels
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 15:1-11

1. Paul was set for the defense of the gospel, Phil. 1:17 (1 Pet. 3:15).
2. The gospel is the good news of Jesus and salvation from sin, Rom. 1:16 (Eph. 1:13). It is a revelation from God, Rom. 1:17.
3. Some are confused and spread error about what the gospel is:
  a. Only the life, death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus (cf. 1 Tim. 1:10-11).
  b. Only for and preached to lost (cf. Rom. 1:15; 1 Thess. 2:9; 3:2).
  c. Many things that pervert gospel (Gal. 1:6-7).


  A. Source and Subject of the Gospel.
  B. Nature of the Gospel.
  C. The Gospel was Preached and Heard.


  A. Different (Perverted) Gospels We Never Read of in the NT.
    1. Social gospel (John 18:36; 1 Cor. 11:22, 34).
    2. Medical mission gospel (2 Tim. 4:20).
    3. Community food pantry gospel (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim . 5:16).
    4. Prosperity gospel (1 Cor. 4:11-13).
    5. Youth ministry gospel (Eph. 6:4).
    6. Church counseling gospel (Phil. 4:4-9).

1. The gospel, once for all delivered, is sufficient to save and direct our lives, Jude 3.
2. Different gospels condemn; only the gospel of Jesus saves, Acts 4:12 (2 Thess. 1:8).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Bad News, Good News
Joe R. Price

I must admit I sometimes tire of reading through the news looking for items for this column. Bad news dominates and discourages – crime, the economy, war, rumors of war – the list is endless. Criminals hurt innocent people with little or no consequences. Governments often enable bad behavior through misguided policies. (An example is giving out needles and “safe smoking kits” that feed addicts’ destructive habits in the name of “harm reduction.” So, the problem of addiction is not addressed.) Misinformation spreads as the truth. We must be careful reading and listening to the “news” these days. Political agendas (left and right), opinions, and propaganda are sometimes served up as straight news stories. Discernment and verification are a must when digesting news stories, or we will be misinformed and misled.

More importantly, we must discern and verify what people tell us is the “good news” (gospel) of God. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The good news (gospel) of Christ was revealed to and taught by His apostles (Matt. 28:19-20; Eph. 3:3-5). Therefore, when someone claims to teach the gospel, we must examine (test) it to see if it is genuinely “good news.” We do so by comparing it to the apostles’ teaching: “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). Doing so requires careful attention to God’s word while not injecting human opinions and personal (hidden) agendas (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Thess. 2:1-12; 2 Cor. 4:2).

Remember the good news that saves our souls (Mark 16:15-16; Rom. 1:16). Bad news will always exist.


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  02/14/2022

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