Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                                                         April 23, 2017                                                                                                                            NO. 6



There are only two times when it is proper to deal with controversial subjects in the church: (1) when the church is bothered with them, and (2) when it is not. That may sound a bit "corny" but it is just plain fact. The philosophy that we should never trouble trouble until trouble troubles us may sound reasonable, but it is borne out neither in scripture nor history.

Religious controversy is prima face evidence of error. It does not always mean that one side is right and the other wrong, for both may be wrong. But it is a singular fact that both cannot be right because truth never contradicts truth. That means that all Christians must dust off their Bibles and find out just what is the truth. Paul admonished, “Be not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:17).  So there is no room for the excuse, "Well I just can't understand." If both can't be right, then every Christian is duty-bound to find out which one is, or if either is.

Religious error is like a physical disease, as long as it exists anywhere in the world, it poses an insidious danger to Christians everywhere in the world. Error is like a disease.  It does not usually remain confined to one particular area. It has cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, grand children, and even good friends, and through them it may travel right to our front door (it often uses the back door!) and creeps in unawares (Jude 3). Paul spoke of false teachers' words as eating like a cancer (2 Tim 2:17): "And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus." (Don't fail to notice that Paul called the names of the false teachers, those spreading the disease.  This is important to know so they can be quarantined!)

The world would have been dead from smallpox long ago had every community waited to vaccinate its citizens until it had an outbreak of the disease. The basic theory of immunization is to vaccinate before the disease strikes. The same thing holds true with pernicious religious error. Paul warned the Ephesian elders of dangers that lay ahead, Acts 20:28-29. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."

The church or the preacher that delays dealing with error until it strikes really is sacrificing many to the error; for often, once it strikes it is too late to save some. History proves human pride makes it difficult to reverse a commitment. All Christians have a responsibility to stand for truth and against all error. Preachers must guard that which is committed to their trust (1 Tim. 6:20) and elders are with sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers (Tit. 1:9). He who will not defend the truth is out of harmony with God's word, and fails to honor his trust.

—James P. Needham

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You've no doubt seen those tongue-in-cheek diet guides that allow a person to eat anything and everything if certain conditions are met. For instance:

- If you eat something and no one sees it, it has no calories!

- If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the diet soda cancels out the calories in the candy bar.

- Calories don’t count if you eat while standing up.

- Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking the cookies causes caloric leakage!

- Foods that are the same color have the same number of calories. Example: spinach and pistachio ice cream.

This "diet" plan is an obvious joke. No right thinking person would ever believe that eating like this could result in weight loss. Yet some folks try to reason this way when it comes to sin. They seem to think that:

- An act is not sinful as long as it is unknown to others.

- A thing is not sinful if everyone else is doing it.

- You are not guilty of sin so long as you can identify others who are doing things that are “worse."

- If you like something, then it is not a sin. Sin only involves things that you don’t personally like.

The Bible says that sin is transgression of God's law (1 Jn. 3:4). If a thing is contrary to God's will, it is a sin. It is a sin even if it is hidden from others, accepted by the majority, or considered less "serious" than other acts. Sin is always wrong. Think!

—Greg Gwin

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It is true that you may be unable to actually forgive everyone who sins against you. Forgiveness expects repentance by the sinner; forgiveness requires both parties. Did you ever try to forgive someone without their cooperation? "I forgive you for what you did to me."  You may likely hear: "I don't want your forgiveness." You cannot forgive him without his cooperation -his repentance. Even God offers no forgiveness to the unrepentant. Do not expect or require yourself to do more than God! Yet you can aspire to do just what God does -- be freely willing to forgive -- and to make every overture to graciously forgive.

If forgiveness fails, just be sure the impediment preventing forgiveness is not yours. Just be sure you have no delight in the sinner's refusal to repent - so that you do not have to forgive. Just be sure you take no delight that he is unforgiven and thus under condemnation. Just be sure you make every effort to bring him to repentance.

—Joe Fitch

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A person can feel good without really being good.  Don't trust feelings - trust God's Word.


An angry person is seldom reasonable -- a reasonable person is seldom angry.


Unresolved anger leads to bitterness.


If you don’t live it, you don't really believe it.

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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