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Understanding What Is Expedient? (Part 3)

Jim Miller

Gray, Maine

So what have we learned so far? We have established that we must have authority for the things we do in order for it to be pleasing God; that there are two types of authority (General and Specific). We have learned that anything we want to consider as expedient must be lawful, and that just because something is lawful doesn’t always make a thing expedient. We have pointed out that there is a difference in “expedients” and “requirements.” Lastly, we want to look at the difference between a true expedient and what man wants to call expedient, and show the proper and improper use of the word.


First let us look again at what a proper expedient is. We are told to go preach the Gospel: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).1 We are told to “GO,” but not how to “GO.” So, an expedient to this command would be walking, riding a horse, a bicycle, a car, etc. These things expedite going and preaching. They do not add to or take away from the command to “go.”

Today there are those among us who misuse the meaning of expedient to justify things they want to add to worship, and things that the church may do, so we have to be careful not to allow this abuse to creep in among us. Let us take a simple example: We can all agree we are instructed to sing, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). An expedient to singing would be a song leader to assist in keeping our worship in order. Another expedient would be a song book so that those who may not know the words can participate in the singing, and so that everyone is singing the same song. There are, however, those who say that we want to clap or stomp or dance around for joy while singing, so they call these things expedient, because it expresses joy according to what they choose to believe. The fact is that there is no authority given in the pattern laid out in Scripture by God for these things to be lawful or acceptable. Some among us fail to realize that if God set a pattern, He has expressed exactly what He wants from us. To change this pattern is a sin. I will quote here, from the past, from a dear brother, Forest Moyer. In an article I read many years ago he stated the following:

1. God’s teaching, whether to the individual or to the congregation, authorizes everything that is necessary to obedience to the command. For example, we realize that the command to baptize authorizes water in which to baptize. The command to assemble authorizes a place of assembly. The command to sing authorizes the words that we sing.

2. May I suggest that there is no such thing as a ‘law of expediency?’ There are expedients because there is law. Where there is no law, there can be no expedients.

a. The Bible is not ‘silent’ regarding the words of a song – it authorizes them whether written in a book or projected on a screen. The expedient is authorized by a Bible command.

b. The Bible is not ‘silent’ regarding a place of assembly – it authorizes a place of assembly by the command to assemble and by the fact that early Christians assembled in ‘places.’

c. The Bible is not ‘silent’ regarding a congregation’s ‘means’ of giving aid to the saints in need. There are adequate examples of this in the practice of the early church. It is silent concerning another organization’s receiving contributions from churches to do this work for the churches.

3. Thus, general authority includes the ways and means of obeying the command (understanding that these ways and means do not violate God’s order).

We cannot use the idea of expediency in any area that violates an order of God. For example, we might reason that it is expedient in our society today for women to preach or lead in public prayer. They might be quite effective in doing so. Yet, such would violate an established order of God as stated in 1 Tim. 2:8-12.

Friends, we must first make sure anything we want to do is authorized by Scripture. It is fast becoming clear that there are those among us who want to play fast and loose with the word of God. We, as the Christian soldiers of the world, must stand against them and demand the truth be taught and applied. I hope I have shed a bright light on this subject for you, and that you now have a better understanding of what an expedient is, and how it is to be applied.

May God Bless you all.

1All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.


 

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Understanding What Is Expedient?(2) The difference in Expedients and Requirements

 

Jim Miller

Gray, Maine

 

One problem some people have is that they fail to distinguish between a practice that is sinful because they have no scriptural authority and a practice that is a simple expedient that only differs from what most other congregations use.

We established in our last article that it would not be an expedient to have the Lords Supper on any other day than the first day of the week because it is not authorized by scripture to do so.

However, Lets say that a congregation wants to meet for Bible study on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday. So congregation (A) starts meeting on Tuesday because more of its members can be present. Some may think this is not the norm and not allowed, yet there is nothing wrong it, it is simply more expedient for congregation (A) and benefits all its members.

Now lets say congregation (B) says we are only going to offer the Lords supper every second Sunday and they start this new practice. Congregation (B) is now sinning.

Both congregation (A) and congregation (B) are doing things different from what we consider the norm. But, congregation (B) is sinning because they are breaking the command to partake the Lords Supper EVERY first day of the week while congregation (A) is not. Congregation (A) is simply using an expedient even though it isn't the norm. Congregation (B) sins because it goes beyond what is written.

Now if I haven't totally confused you lets look at another example. Lets say that congregation (C) wants to have an evening devoted to singing on every third Wednesday night, and congregation (D) chooses to devote the fourth Wednesday night to a prayer service. We would not have a problem with congregation (C) because it has been a practice among congregations for a long time and is accepted. However, congregation (D) often times has to defend itself because the practice of prayer meetings has almost ceased in the churchs over the years. In reality both congregation (C) and (D) are within authority and using a simple expedient.

The problem we have today is there are many among us who want to make things expedient that are not authorized.

For example there is the age old fight over instrumental music. Though not being authorized some still try to call this an expedient. Personally I have no problem with using expedients. However, we must remember if a thing is not lawful it can not be expedient or have an expedient.

I remember reading many years ago where members of a large congregation wanted to use an overhead projector as an aid in teaching. Yet the elders refused for no real reason. There was also about this same time a congregation who wanted to change the Sunday evening meeting time for the reason that more of the members could attend. In this case several members threatened to leave. The list goes on and on because of lack of understanding.

Where as many years ago these folks were worried about using an expedient because they were not used to such, today there are those who go way too far the other way trying to justify their own desires through the use an unauthorized action calling it an expediency.

Because of all the confusion it bears repeating just what an expedient is, and what its relation is to practices the Lord has required, whether by direct statement or command, by apostolic example, or by implication of these. Basically, an expedient is an advantageous or profitable method of carrying out the Lord's directions.

We are commanded to assemble on the first day of the week, there is no specific time given, so one church may choose to meet starting at 9 a.m., and another may choose to start at 11 a.m…. So, each congregation examines its own situation, then determines what time of the day, on Sunday, it would be most spiritually profitable to assemble. The time here is the expediency and either church may meet lawfully at their given times.

One important key point is this: local church expedients are just that – local in nature. If Church (A) determines it is expedient to meet on Tuesday night rather than on Wednesday night, other congregations may not agree – and they may even discuss why Wednesday night would be more expedient. However, they must not treat Church (A) as not being sound or as being "liberal" simply because it uses an expedient not used by all other churches.

Today some congregations want to start a practice of hand clapping calling it an expedient when clearly there is NO authority for doing so. Others would have us believe that these so called praise teams, which are nothing more than glorified entertainment, are an expedient. Those who would make something expedient to justify their own desires must learn to respect the silence of God’s word. God's silence more often than not prohibits actions rather than permitting them.

Clapping would be akin to a percussion instrument, like a drum, there for it is unauthorized because all we are instructed to do is sing Eph_5:19 speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

A specific statement or example excludes those things which are not specified
Numbers 24:12,13 And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, [
13] If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak? Also see Revelation 22:18,19. We must learn to respect the silence of God’s word. So if God specifies how or what he requiers us to do, or the method by which we are to obey, we are limited to what he says.

We will conclude our study on expediency in part 3 coming in June. Till then may God bless.

 

End Notes: All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.

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Understanding What Is Expedient?(1)

Jim Miller

Gray, Maine

 

συμφ?ρω; 1 aorist participle συνεν?γκαντες (Acts 19:19); from (Homer (in middle)), Aeschylus, Herodotus down; to bear or bring together (Latinconfero), i. e.

1. with a reference to the object, to bring together: τ?, Acts 19:19.

  1. with a reference to the subject, "to bear together or at the same time; to carry with others; to collect or contribute in order to help, hence, to help, be profitable, be expedient"

Now for those of you like me a simpler definition to clear things up….. An expediency, within the framework of Scripture, is the way, means or method of doing that required by law and within the law. It is styled an expediency because it facilitates or expedites the accomplishment of a given task or the performance of a divine commandment.

An example of this would be: Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. We are told to “GO” but not how to “GO”. So and expedient of this command would be walking, riding a horse, a bicycle, a car etc. These things expedite going and preaching.

For something to be expedient however it must be Lawful. If a thing does not fall within the bounds of what God has authorized, then we have no right to practice it. If there is no inference, command or example, found in the Bible to justify a practice, it can not be done. Paul explains it this way 1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.


 

There are two categories for Biblical authority:


One is general and the other is specific. We should be familiar with both. They are easily distinguished from one another. As an example, Lets say you a Dad/Father tells his son to pick up a few groceries on his way home from school. This would be a general command. The son stops at the store and buys ice cream, candy, cookies, steak and potato's. He has then obeyed the command because all these things fall under the scope of groceries.

Now lets say the son was told to buy bread, milk, steak, beans and potato's, this would be a specific command. So the son comes home with bread, milk, steak, beans and potato's, and also cookies, chips and soda, the son has not faithfully obeyed because he has gone beyond what was commanded. So we can see that general authority includes all that is necessary to the carrying out of a command. Specific authority excludes everything except that which is precisely stated. We can also say that the car, bus, bicycle etc. used to go to the store was an expedient (the means by which to get there. As long as no Law was broken such as the son driving the car and being under age.)

So understanding the two types of authority we can now get to the heart of this article. These rules must be applied to determine Scriptural Authority, without authority from scripture an expedient is unauthorized also. An expedient does not violate any scriptural principle.

To show that an expediency can not be used with out authority let us look at some examples. Let us take the Lords Super for instance, there might be some who would say it is more expedient for them to partake of it on Wednesday instead of Sunday. However, the command is to partake of it on Sunday the first day of the week. Therefore having it on Wednesday is unauthorized and the expedient is void. We must remember true expedients are always within the purview of example, statement, command.


 

We all know the story of Uzzah in (2 Sam. 6:6). And what happened when the oxen shook the cart upon which the ark was placed. Though it might have been expedient Uzzah discovered his act was not lawful because God had prohibited anyone from touching the ark of the covenant. The real blame belongs to David though because he did not follow Gods instructions as to how the ark was to be moved. Though the cart pulled by oxen may have been an expedient it was not lawful. The law specified that it was to be carried by the Levites.

Expedients never cause others to sin. Sometimes a practice might be lawful, and still not be expedient (1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23). The eating of meats sacrificed to idols was lawful. However, it was a stumbling block to weaker brethren as it led them to violate their conscience.

This is a good place to leave off till next month when we will look closer at this subject. Till then I would urge you to go back over this to be sure you are getting a clear understanding of expedients. Look for part 2 in May.


 

End Notes: All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.

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Making Champions

Archie R. Green

Following worship Sunday morning, I began to reflect on a conversation that had been carried on by our Young Adult Bible Class that centered on the subject of inconsistency. You see, our class participants often get into a fairly “heated” discourse over the joys and ills of parenting and erratic teaching and modeling seem to be at the base of it all. The majority of us are between the ages 25 and 55 and have experienced parenthood at least once. And no matter what the beginning subject or lesson, it seems that we all ultimately “run headlong” into what can we do better or differently in reference to childrearing. It’s not that any of us have a supreme argument over the principal found in Proverbs 22:6. As a matter of fact, the surplus of information gleaned throughout the entire Bible allows us to be sufficient in God’s will for our lives and the lives of the ones that are in our keep. 2 Peter 1:3 We are all in agreement that doctrine must be obeyed in order to be pleasing unto God and for our own personal salvation. 1 Timothy 4:16 But the question is how to go about it? Here is where I would like to offer one integral item that affects the entire matter…constancy; it’s what makes the world go round. What we often notice from generation to generation is that variations are made in what the world deems as “nurturing” and not always for the better. Deuteronomy 31:19-21. Take an example from the carnal world in the teaching styles that our parents delivered to us. A generation ago when your dad taught you driving or how to change the oil in the car he would demonstrate not only how, but also gave you the why. You see it made a difference how things were accomplished. To be meticulous was caring. When you did not do exactly as demonstrated, often there was a “POP” across the top of your head. This meant you needed to focus and concentrate. What about Mom when she taught the girls how to cook? She would painstakingly give you more than enough reason as to when, where, how and the why of how to prepare a loving meal for the entire family. She would make a soufflé and not even allow you to breathe for fear that it would “drop” and the entire endeavor would have to start all over. She taught you how to cook with your ears, eyes, nose and the touch of your hand…details. When we were young we were taught to color "between the lines" now it is considered creative when our children scribble all over the place. How many times a day did you hear, “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” Now it obviously does. A different age group saw these things as a means to ensure that precious possessions would not end up damaged or destroyed by carelessness. And many God fearing Christians have resolved that these are the guards that have continually held true within scripture. Titus 2:1-8 But times have changed. And many of these deficiencies have lapped over into the spiritual. Remember when you did not have to teach someone that they should have their own wife or their own husband? 1 Corinthians 7:1-3 “Sleeping around” meant we were headed off to camp. There was no such thing as a “little white lie” it was taught that it was wrong anytime and for any reason. The “end did not justify the means”. Proverbs 12:22 Remember when God’s Plan of Salvation was clearly delivered to us as children over and over again so that we would understand that it is eternal and without flaw. Ephesians 1:4 You could never walk out of worship without having been explained why we “this do in remembrance of me”. Luke22:19 It was taught that this is not just a “habit” we have or just a “practice” of the church of Christ, but one that is mandated from Heaven and unavoidable towards salvation. Deuteronomy 29:24 Details, details and more details and perhaps that’s just the problem. Possibly we just got tired of hearing and doing it over and over again. We just simply decided to give it to our kids. With no application it just became useless information and ritual to them. (Possibly with many of us also) Maybe, just maybe we have neglected being unswerving in our teaching. 1 Corinthians 7:17 Or maybe we have decided that God does not know best for our lives. As Bible students, have we ever taken into consideration the prayers and actions of Hannah? 1 Samuel 1:10-11 Shouldn’t we realize that the children we have are only “on loan” and must be given back to God? 1 Samuel 1:28 What about the request made by Manoah, the father of Sampson, in Judges 13:8, “Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” And the question he prompted in verse “Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” Are we that unwilling as a generation, as a people of God, to delay in asking Him what He desires of us? If we only have our children for a short time, is there any more precious gift we can give them other than the wisdom and fear of God? Our kids still need the specifics today. Our Father in heaven stands firm and consistent as an example to all. Hebrews 13:8 He encourages us to rise above the standards of this world and become victorious in Christ. 1 Corinthians15:57 Remember, God has no “grandchildren”; only joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 They are not our personal possessions. We should not treat them like cheap “Bric-a-brac” that can so easily be replaced. Proverbs 20:7 I am reminded of a time when I was in West Texas working for Athletic Supply Warehouse. They sold CHAMPION brand gear. I loved their logo and still feel it is valuable statement today for us all and in all things…"It takes a little more to make a Champion!" The statement implied that in order to be better, you have to do better than what everyone else is willing to do. The world does not care about our children and definitely will not subscribe to Biblical wisdoms. Proverbs 14:33 What about us? Are we willing to put out just a little bit more effort for what is right and become like many of those honorable people that came before? Hebrews 11 No matter what it takes…no matter what the sacrifice is…let's commit to making our selves Champions…and our kids as well! Romans 8:37 God Bless.

 

 

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Guilty or Not Guilty?

Scott D. Crawford
Clay, Alabama

So, a few weeks ago I was sent a summons for Jury Duty. Yuck, right? Well, when I was finally selected to be considered for a jury, we were examined and this question came up: “Do you think you could convict a man of murder knowing that the death penalty could be imposed?”

That question was just before we went home so I got to mull it over all night (maybe that’s what the defense wanted). I’ve been in the Military; guns don’t scare me and I feel that I could have defended my country. I’m a good ole Southern boy – God first, family second, Barbeque third. I study my Bible and feel I have a fairly good grasp on what God wants for us, but I wanted to remind myself about what the Bible says about this … I needed to remind myself.

Of course the first place to start is the Old Testament since the idea of “lex talionas” is prominent, very prominent in the old law. Take a moment and read Exodus 21:12-25 – what some versions have set off and labeled as the “Rights of the Accused.” Three crimes are listed as Capital, or deserving of death: murder (Exo. 21:12), striking or cursing father or mother (Exo. 21:15, 17), and kidnapping (Exo. 21:16). The legal idea that we are discussion is firmly expressed in these verses:

23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exo. 21:23-25, NKJV).1

Some important considerations do come into focus. First, those that believed they were innocent of another person’s death were allowed to seek shelter and safety until the case could be adjudicated. Second, the victims of violence – if they did not die – had the right to receive monetary recompense for lost labor and medical expenses, or freedom for slaves. Third, “lex talionas” may appear harsh, yet in actuality the principle limits the amount of retribution that could be demanded for a crime. Good stuff to be sure, but …

The OT and the Law of Moses are there for our learning (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11), but because Christ has “broken down the middle wall of separation” (Eph. 2:14) and has “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us … having nailed it to the cross” (Col. 2:14); I had to keep looking.

Of course the best place to look for Christians is the New Testament – the very words by which we will be judged (John 12:48). Many look into the NT and see a pacifist position being described.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matt. 5:38, 39, NKJV).

Some affirm that it was here that the idea of Capital Punishment was abolished, as with the rest of the old law. One of the crimes deserving death in the OT was adultery (Lev. 20:10), and yet Jesus put that law aside and forgave a woman caught in the very act. Jesus says “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Retribution is replaced with pardon. In John 15:13 we find that greater love does not exist than for one to lay down their life for friends. In First John 3:16 we find that the act of Jesus on the cross was how we know He loved us, and that we should be willing to do the same. Therefore, it is suggested as inconsistent to love someone enough to give our lives for them and yet kill their body. If this was all that was written on Capital Punishment we might feel justified in taking a negative position, but there’s more to be considered.

The NT also makes it very clear that the courts are established for a purpose.

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment’” (Matt. 5:21, NKJV).

For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom. 13:4, NKJV).

In the first verse above Jesus is speaking during The Sermon on the Mount – the same sermon in which we find the Beatitudes and the Model Prayer. Jesus uses many of the commands from the OT as a starting point and then He moves past the physical to the heart, something the Jews ignored. Jesus did not change or modify the command, but instead used the command as a vehicle to teach a deeper application and understanding. Paul, in the second verse above, is speaking about “the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1) and “rulers” (Rom. 13:3), even noting that by resisting the authority we resist God, bringing judgment upon ourselves (Rom. 13:2). The “authority” is put in place to act as God’s minister to avenge evil, and Paul lists murder with other evils in First Timothy 1:9; John does the same in Revelation 21:8. Further, when Jesus is standing before Pilate (John 19:11) and Paul is standing before Festus (Acts 25:11), both recognize that the appointed representative of the civil government has the authority to administer Capital Punishment.

The answer continued to be elusive until finally I realized that as much as the Scriptures speak to us about love, they also speak to us about justice and the price to be paid for our actions. It is imperative we understand our actions have a cost, and that cost will have to be paid – here and in eternity.

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matt. 25:41, NKJV).

in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” (2 Thess. 1:8, 9).

There will be a judgment for all people one day (Rom. 14:11), and at the name of Jesus every knee will bow (Phil. 2:10). All will receive justice at the hand of the Lord, and part of that justice will include those entering the wide gate and going down the broad road to destruction (Matt. 7:13). Do we love the sinner but hate the sin? Of course; yet, just as the Court of Heaven will condemn sinners to an eternal damnation, the earthly courts have the power – on the behalf of society – to condemn and execute judgment on those that break the law. For the Christian the real point is summed in as:

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28, NKJV).

Needless to say … I was struck.

 

1 Scripture taken from the new King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Be With Me Lord

 

Archie R. Green

 

One of God’s greatest gifts to mankind was His blessing of the sung word. From the Song of Moses to the echoes of David stating that Israel should, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100 And all throughout the New Testament humanity has been ordained to offer up to God the “fruit of our lips” which is our proper definition of praise to glorify the Father. Hebrews 13:15 A great song leader will sometimes stop to emphasize the words that may connote the passion and reverence that the artist has exuded as they penned a particular hymn, song or spiritual song. I for one am thankful that God has designed for us to all sing as one. Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16 To be encouraged in singing one to another and having the insight to meaningful words of a song when sung in unity is truly amazing. One of those boundless hymns that will remind me of this principle is “Be With Me Lord” by T. O. Chisholm. The song fetches countless images of desire, strength and humility to the Christian that has fought through this frail life on their way to glory. I would like to revisit just a few of those points here if you don’t mind. The first verse states:

Be with me, Lord, I cannot live without Thee. I dare not try to take one step alone. I cannot bear the loads of life unaided; I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.”

 

Our Father in Heaven IS the Great Provider. He alone has the saving power and grace for our very existence. “ For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” Acts 17:28a Anyone who has decided for themselves that they can live separate and apart from the Almighty will only find despair. David states it simply in Psalms 36:9, “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” God literally sustains a man in areas. Some of which we cannot see or often value and appreciation. He is our Rock and Steadfast Master…He is truly THE ONE that will never leave nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5 Verse two goes like this:

 

Be with me, Lord, And then if dangers threaten, If storms of trial burst above my head, If lashing seas leap everywhere about me, They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.”

 

The Psalmist David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 If he could live in such confidence knowing that God is our DELIVERER; then we all can know as well! Jesus calmed the physical storms while here on earth and our Father in Heaven can calm the spiritual storms of our lives that will and often come our way. Isaiah 41:10 Trusting in Him and in Him alone is what makes us sure. Proverbs 3:3-5 We also notice in verse three:

 

Be with me, Lord, No other gift or blessing. Thou could'st bestow could with this one compare. A constant sense of Thy abiding presence, Where'er I am, to feel that Thou art near.”

 

That Jesus spoke of an eternal residence provided by His father in heaven for all those that obey Him. Luke 6:23 Can our hearts even fathom the eternal bliss to come? Colossians 1:5, 1 John 2:24-25 Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 The grandeur of the entire manner is that He now walks with us and the journey is never alone. 1 John 1:7 And finally in verse four, we might find the most paramount theme of the entire song:

 

Be with me, Lord, When loneliness o'ertakes me; When I must weep amid the fires of pain; And, when shall come the hour of my departure For worlds unknown, Oh, Lord be with me then.”

 

The Bible guarantees that all of mankind has a common destiny. Hebrews 9:27 Only one thing will make that ending worthwhile…and that is to go home with God. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 The peace that we find in God comes now sometimes in the form of our earthly brethren and the relationships that we form between us. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 And whenever we have the opportunity to assemble AS the Lord’s Body, it should be considered a blessing! And it ought to create in us a longing and a sense of comfort when songs like this are lead. I pray that we all sing with the understanding and heart that pleases our Father in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 14:15 So that when it is our time to leave this world, we can all leave in peace. God Bless.

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The Christian And Controversy

Clinton Hamilton
Tampa, Florida

 

There is an attitude in the hearts of some Christians that regards debating as beneath the dignity of the followers of Christ and as detrimental to the spread of the Kingdom. The world regards debating with suspicion. This almost universal disapproval of religious debating outside the church has had its effect on the members of the church. For this reason it is good to examine the Scriptures to learn the true attitude one should have toward such matters.

Truth is in constant conflict with error. In view of this situation, what should be our disposition and action amid such a conflict!

 

A Clarification

 

Some of those who find debating obnoxious remonstrate with us when we try to reason with them by saying that "debating" is condemned in the Bible. They then quote Romans 1:29 and 2 Corinthians 12:20 from the King James Version: "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers . . ." "For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults." The words debate and debates in these passages are pounced on to condemn religious discussion.

These words are translated strife in the American Standard Version. They are derived from a term which means a disposition to be quarrelsome and contentious and is an outgrowth of enmity (W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol. 4, p. 82). This is strife for its own sake and not discussion to learn the truth. Strife causes division. In fact, those engaged in it are divided and such conduct is inimical to real Christianity. But the idea of bringing truth and error into conflict is not in the word debate in the above passages. To condemn debating on the basis of these passages is to pervert the Scriptures.

 

Contend for the Faith

 

Jude's exhortation to contend for the faith once for all delivered is most familiar to Christians. Yet, some brethren have not felt the impact of this passage for they have a distaste for debates. The word contend is compounded from two words. One means about or upon; the other means a contest. One engages in a contest as a combatant. Thus is follows that a Christian must intensely (indicated by earnestly in Jude 3) contest that opposed to the faith or the gospel. Obedience to this commandment makes it impossible for one to be a non-controversialist. Since error and truth are constantly in conflict, it follows that the Christian is and must be in constant conflict with all those who espouse the cause of error. This conflict of necessity involves controversy.

 

An Apology

 

The word defense occurs in a number of passages and means a verbal answer made in favor of one or his belief. An examination of some passages in which the word occurs will aid us in arriving at its meaning.

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one do it of love, knowing that am set for the defense of the gospel; but the other proclaim Christ of faction, not sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in my bonds (Phil. 1:15-17). Paul was set for the defense of the gospel. Whether against Epicurrean and Stoic philosophers in intellectual Athens, or

in a Jewish synagogue, or before a heathen king, Paul made answer showing why the gospel should be accepted and the other systems rejected. When they remonstrated with him, he disputed with them. These disputes are studied elsewhere in this article.

On numerous occasions Paul had charges levelled against him. To these he made an answer or a defence. Festus laid the case of Paul bef ore King Agrippa stating that Roman law provided for the accused to face his accusers and to make a defence, an answer (Acts 25:16). Paul made answer to the false teachers who tried to undermine his influence with the Corinthians but he called this answer his defence (1 Cor. 9:3). When attacked by a Jewish mob, Paul stood and made a defence (Acts 22:1). Finally, Paul stood alone in making his defence or answer in Rome (2 Tim. 4:16. These four inci(tents from the life of Paul should clearly indicate the essential meaning of defence. There is in the term the idea of putting two things side by side in order to determine which is right.


 

The truth is that no Christian can be loyal to the cause he expoused and fail to defend his position. "But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15). The word answer in this passage is the same word defence in the passages immediately above and could be translated apology.

 

The Good Fight

 

The word fight in I Timothy 6:12 and 2 Timothy comes from a word that originally meant to lead, then to an assembly and finally a conflict or a contest. (Vine, Ibid, Vol. 2, pg. 94) Timothy, "fight the good fight of the faith." Here then is a conflict or a contest involving the faith. He was to lead in this conflict in favor of the truth. Christianity is aggressive. The gospel is God's might or ability to save the soul (Rom. 1:16). It expunges error from the heart and life and instills the wisdom of God. This is a mighty conflict! No true disciple can avoid the fight. The life of a Christian is a FIGHT of the faith.

When ready to lay his armor aside, Paul said tersely, "I have fought the good fight." We shall have denied the Lord if we cannot so comment when we are about to depart. Yes, the Christian's life is a militant battle with the forces of error whether in the form of false religions, perverted gospels, infidelity or immorality.

 

Dispute or Reason

 

"For three sabbath days" Paul reasoned from the Scriptures with the Thessalonian Jews (Acts 17:2). Likewise at Corinth he reasoned in the synagogue seeking to persuade both Jews and Greeks (Acts 18:4). Whether in the synagogue with Jews and religious persons, or in the marketplace with any who would talk, Paul reasoned seeking to win people to Christ through his argumentation (Acts 17:17; 19:8, 9; 18:19). Before a ruler of this world he reasoned about righteousness, self-control and the judgement to come (Acts 24:25).

The word reason or dispute used in these above passages originally meant to think differently about a thing with one's self; therefore, the idea of arguing or disputing with others was an easy tradition in meaning. What Paul did when he reasoned was to argue or dispute with others. There is the interplay of truth and error with the idea being to cause truth to stand out in contrast. Truth is made to shine brightly when set beside error. Error appears in darkness when set against the real light of truth. May no Christian shrink back from this worthy effort of arguing for the truth!

 

Proving the Point

 

Confounding the Jews at Damascus, Paul proved that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 9:22). A joining or compacting together is the Mea of the word prove in the statement before us. The word knit in Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:19 is from the same word. Thus Paul stirred up the Jews by knitting or compacting Scripture together to demonstrate to their minds that Jesus was the promised Messiah or Christ. Frequently, some one says that he does not like all this "skipping" from passage to passage. The idea in the passage before us is that Paul took various passages and knit them together and that which he compacted proved his point! The conclusion from such a joining together denies every false conclusion. It is therefore impossible to prove one point without arguing against the false notions on the same point. One cannot help being a controversialist.

 

Conflict

 

It was amid "much conflict" that the Thessalonians first heard Paul preach the gospel (1 Thess. 2:2). From the shameful treatment at Philippi, Paul entered Thessalonia to be opposed by the jealous Jews, by vile fellows of the rabble and by an unruly mob who set the city in an uproar against the apostle (Acts 17: 1-9). He was in continual conflict with the enemies of the gospel. But, today, in many quarters this kind of conflict would be vulgar and beneath the dignity of the gospel and the "respectability" we have gained of late. May God help us to the end that such warriors as Paul may always be with us and not ashamed to meet error head on.

 

Confute

 

"And when he was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him: and when he had come, he helped them much that had believed through grace; for he powerfully confuted the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ" (Acts 18:27, 28). This word confute in the original is formed by a combination of three words: through, (town, and to convict. Hence Paul met their opposing arguments in turn, brought them down to the ground and consequently brought their blame to them. He convicted them by this process of reasoning. He convicted by taking the arguments in turn and showing their falsity. This is a truly classic example of truth routing error and its exponent. Who said debating is sinful?

 

A Summary

 

Contend, answer or apology, fight, reason or dispute, prove, conflict and confute are expressions used that demonstrate that debating is not foolish and wrong. A Christian is forced, if faithful to his duty, to debate the exponents of errors, to throw down his arguments that truth might stand in the eyes of men.

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Is EVERYONE a Christian?

Mike Conner

It seems that everyone calls themselves a Christian. The disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch according to Acts 11:26. A disciple according to Vines Expository dictionary of New Testament words : “a learner, in contrast with a teacher. A disciple was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher.” Jesus said in John 8:31-32 that if they CONTINUED in His word they were His DISCIPLES and they would KNOW the truth and the TRUTH would make them free. We know from John 17:17 that the TRUTH is God’s word. Christ is saying that for one to be a disciple they must CONTINUE that is learn and continue to obey and observe His words. Those words will judge one day. (John 12:48)

Jesus rebuked and condemned the Pharisees for drawing nigh (close) to Him with their LIPS but their HEART was far from Him, and He says their WORSHIP was VAIN. (Matt. 15:8-9)This is NO different today. Many will claim to be followers of Christ with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. In their worship and practice, there is NO biblical authority. This principal is seen clearly in 1 Pet. 4:11, where Peter says if any man SPEAK let him speak as the oracles of God. What Christians teach and practice should be found and based on the New Testament.

We see individuals calling themselves by different names, names that are foreign to the Bible. Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal , Roman Catholic, just to name a few. Where in the scriptures do ANY Christians call themselves these names? Paul rebukes the Corinthians for “being of” Paul, or Cephas, or Apollos. None of these men were crucified for anyone. Those that follow Christ are identified with their Lord, simply being Christians.

Denominations promote division that Paul condemns in 1 Cor. 1:10. Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21 that those that believed on Him would be ONE, as He and the Father are one. Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 that He would build HIS church. This shows ownership. He ONLY built ONE church. Paul says in Eph. 1:22-23 that Jesus is the head of the CHURCH which is His BODY. Paul tells us in Eph. 4:4 that there is ONE body. So, we can clearly see that the BODY IS the Church and the CHURCH is the BODY. There is only ONE body therefore there is ONE church. In Eph. 5:23 Paul says that Jesus is the Savior of the Body.

There are hundreds of denominations ALL teaching something a little different. Could they ALL be pleasing to God? According to 1 Cor. 4:17 Paul was able to teach the same thing in EVERY church. They were ALL a part of the Lord’s church. (Rom. 16:16)

Many will say “well…it doesn’t really matter what church you go to.” But can we HONESTLY say something like that in light of Acts 20:28? There the passage says that God purchased the church with His own blood. Would Christ have shed His blood on the cross for something that doesn’t matter? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Christ only built ONE church. He will only SAVE ONE church. He only shed His blood for ONE church. Let’s just speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. (1 Pet. 4:11) God has given us all things that pertain to Life and Godliness. (2 Pet. 1:3) All that we need to know is contained in the Scripture. They are PERFECT and COMPLETE inspired of God. (2 Tim. 3:16-17) And the Bible says that the SAVED (Christians) are added to the church. (Acts 2:47) They ARE the members in particular (1 Cor. 12:27) We should ALWAYS make sure that what we believe and practice is right, and pleasing to God. We do that by comparing it and “testing it” with the word of God. (1 Thess. 5:21)

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Eternity Is For All

Eternity Is For All
Matt 25:46

Our goal as Christians should be to help people prepare for their journey their eternal home at the end of their days. We must be ready to show others the way. We now live in an ever changing world and one day we find ourselves before the great throne of God to give an account of our lives and that without partiality. (Act 10:34-35).

So what do we already know?

1. Life has much sorrow and disappointment (Job 14:1-2).

2. Life also has much uncertainty and we can never depend on what will happen tomorrow we must take each day as it comes to us and live for Christ.

3. There is only one reliable source of information that will set us free (the word of God). So we must stand and we must defend God’s word. It helps us to see where we are from, where we are going, and how to get there. For without our obedience to the word, we will be lost.

4. Studying God’s word will give us our insight. We must continue to prepare ourselves for that day when we stand before God.

Some think honesty and sincerity is all that is needed in our walk with our Lord. Many times we find out that we are honestly and sincerely wrong. A true follower of Christ knows that there is one church that Christ died for. So we can have confidence in the one church established by the Lord for our eternal salvation.

What is the Nature of Eternity?

We may “see” the unseen things in eternity. 2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Verse 18 shows the principle for the Christian which governed the life of our Lord (Phil 2:7-11). we should follow Christ’s example for our lives?

It is hard for the human race to look beyond the here and now. We live in a world of days, months, decades. We are unable to grasp the idea of eternity. For most do not want to deal with or care about something that is not tangible to them. People feel eternity is some abstract place they cannot see that is under the sole rule of God (Act 17:28).One day we will all stand before him. (2 Cor 5:10).

The Nature of Man

All men have a soul they will be held accountable for. Rich or poor, in the eyes of God we are all the same. He shows no partiality. Therefore, as Christians we must look forward (2 Cor 4:16) so we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

What a grand opportunity. We are forever looking to Christ as our helper in this present world.

(Hebrews 12:2-3) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3) For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

We must help, not hinder in the Kingdom., (1 Peter 1:22-25)

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

23) having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

24) because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,

25) but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. The spirit or soul which cannot be killed. This is true and if true should we not perpare ourselves for that day in eternity. O we must get ready, forever watching. (Matthew 10:28) “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

We must not lose sight of this very fact. Man will exist forever in one of two places; heaven or hell. For it is NOT God’s will that any should perish. (1 Tim 2:4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Don’t you see, my friend. It is NOT God’s will that you lose your soul in Hell.

Make no mistake, there is an Eternal Punishment.

(Matt 25:46) “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

A. The unrighteous man will receive punishment for what he has done on earth, in his life. (1PE 1:17-21)

17) And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear;

18) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

20) He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

21) who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

B. This punishment is revealed by Paul’s inspired pen.

(ROM 2:5-16).

5) But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

6) who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:

7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

8) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath,

9) tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;

10) but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

11) For there is no partiality with God.

12) For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law

13) (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;

14) for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,

15) who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

16) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

According to these verses, what sort of people should we be? For our days are numbered (2 Cor 6:2) For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Can you hear Jesus pleading with you so you will not lose your soul in Hell? (Matt. 11:28-30).

Each day that we live. we have an opportunity to choose where we will spend eternity.

Yes, my friend, time is fleeting. We see in James that our lives are but a vapor (Jam 4:14).

Won’t you consider your ways today , walk circumspectly and prepare yourselves for eternity?

Sincerity will not be sufficient. You must obey the will of God.

For we see in (Prov 14:12) There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Those that do not obey the gospel will suffer eternal punishment. (2TH 1:7-9).

7) and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

8) in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Also the ones that were faithful at one time and have become unfaithful, sin wilfully, shall suffer punishment

(Heb. 10:26-31).

But there Is Eternal Life Promised To God’s People (Matt. 25:46).

a. The righteous will live with God in His kingdom.

b. Eternal life is living glory and honor. ( Rom. 2:7).

WE NEED to “LAY Hold” on eternal life (1 Tim 6:12). Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. Where will you be in eternity? That is determined by the choice you make presently. What will you decide?

Will it be Heaven or Hell? You choose. If you do nothing the choice has been made.

Today is the day of salvation. This is the time to be saved (2Cor. 6:2).

Why spend a few years on earth in sin and forfeit eternal life? The choice is yours. Won’t you come to Christ this very hour?

Consider this, if you will? Sin takes you further than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

Yes, all can have Salvation. We can Hear the word (Rom 10:17) WE can believe that word (JOHN. 8:24) Repent of one’s sins (Acts 2:38). Confess the name of Christ (Rom 10:9-10). and then be Baptized into Christ (Acts. 22:16). Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

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Better Things

Scott D. Crawford

Clay, Alabama

Isn’t the book of Hebrews wonderful? It seems the idea of better things winds through the entire letter – from Jesus who is better than the angels and obtains a better name (1:4), to Jesus’ blood that speaks better things than the blood of Abel (12:24). Near the middle of the epistle, the author makes this statement:

9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, thought we speak in this manner” (Heb. 6:9i).

So … what would one suppose the better things are that the writer is speaking about? The following may not be what everyone sees, but perhaps there’s a kernel of truth in the following thoughts. Consider …

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14).

Often when one verse is read it’s the surrounding verses that really highlight what the writer is trying to say. Reading the end of chapter 5 shows us that the writer thinks the Hebrews needed something better than they had; a better beginning. At a time when the Hebrews should have been teaching others, they turn out to need the fundamental lessons of the oracles of God taught to them again. Paul tells the Corinthians practically the same thing. By the time Paul ends up writing the first of those two letters, he points out that he fed them with milk, not solid food, and then reminds them they still aren’t ready for the meat (1 Cor. 3:2). What a sad state of affairs when after becoming a Christian some folks tend to stagnate, never moving past the milk phase and their growth becomes stunted. Too many people forget that Christians are supposed to “grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ” (Eph. 4:15). We can’t just sit back and believe there is nothing left to do as Christians. As the culmination of the initial salvation process, baptism is the point where the very blood of Christ is contacted. Christians cannot, dare not point to that event and say, “I am done, there is nothing left to do.” Christians move forward!

1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits” (Heb. 6:1-3).

The Hebrews seemed to have a fair handle of the fundamentals: repentance and faith, baptism, miraculous gifts, the resurrection and the final judgment; yet, it also seems they were missing something, something that would have helped in their maturity. Who else had a similar problem? Of course it was the Corinthians; the problem child of the New Testament. Paul reminds them in 1 Cor. 14:20 that they should “not be children … but in understanding be mature. Apparently there is a facet of religious practice that goes beyond the nuts and bolts so to speak, and focuses on a better understanding. Jesus addresses that very problem with the scribes and Pharisees in Matt. 23:23; they were keeping the particulars of the Law but were ignoring the more important, the more spiritual, and the deeper understanding that accompanies true worship to God. It matters deeply that we “do church” correctly; and yet, to get everything correct, down to the smallest comma and colon but without our heart in what we do produces only empty ritual. Joshua showed wisdom when he told the Israelites to “incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel” (Josh. 24:23).

Back to the text.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:4-6).

If the writer wasn’t addressing the Hebrews directly as those that had fallen away, then surely he was speaking about people the Hebrews knew had fallen away. More than once in the Scriptures there’s the admonition to have a better outcome. Jesus tells us that “no one, having put his hand to the plow, looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Paul marvels at the Galatians for being turned away so easily (Gal. 1:6, 7). Further along in Hebrews the writer, the Holy Spirit, says that we are “not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those that believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:39). There are those in the world today that believe once one is saved, one is always saved; yet, that doesn’t seem like what Paul thought. Paul viewed the Christian life as a race to be run (1 Cor. 9:24-27), as a life to be lived (Rom. 6:16), as a course to be completed (Phil. 3:12-14), and that no one had ever made it until the probation of life has been completed (2 Tim. 4:7)!ii

Why does all this matter: a better beginning, a better understanding, and a better outcome. Look what the writer of Hebrews tells us:

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb. 6:10).

Often one recalls the story of Cornelius, when the angel comes and says, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God” (Acts 19:4). When speaking about the good works of those that stood before the Lord in judgment, Jesus reminds us that “inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40). What we do in this life has consequences in the next; we are the seeds here of a flower that blooms in eternity.

What a person does precedes them to the throne of God – a sobering thought, yes?

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Coffman, James Burton. “Commentary on Philippians 3”. “Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament” http://classic.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=php&chapter=003
Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

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