VOL. 10 January
Never before in the history of man has
the ability to communicate been as integral a part of society than now. Cell
phones have opened up the air ways with endless hours of conversation all over
the world. Rarely can you find someone that does not have a cell phone to their
ear. Young and old, in the automobile, shopping, at the beach, in restaurants,
jogging, at dinner tables the nonstop verbiage flow unabated. Texting is a
societal norm almost required for relationships. Facebook, Twitter, Skype,
YouTube and a host of methods are employed to keep in contact with updates,
news, notes and hello how are you doing with unceasing control over our time
Everyone is talking so why are we not a
closer people? The lack of communication has always been at the root of
relationship problems, lack of knowledge and confusion. Yet with all the talking
going on the conversations do not draw us closer but farther apart. Signs are
placed in windows and counters telling people to not talk on cell phones while
doing business. Reception rage happens when we lose our signal or cannot call
with our cell phone. All this talking seems to be driving us mad.
It has been said the reason God gave us
two ears and one mouth is so that we can listen more than we talk. James writes,
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to
speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of
God (James 1:19-20). A rabbinical adage says, Talk little and work much.
Albert Barnes noted on James 1:19, The ancients have some sayings on this
subject which are well worthy of our attention. Men have two ears, and but one
tongue, that they should hear more than they speak. The ears are always open,
ever ready to receive instruction; but the tongue is surrounded with a double
row of teeth, to hedge it in, and to keep it within proper bounds.
Paul described the process of faith as
hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). This involves time to
listen, meditate and contemplate the mind of God. If we talked with God through
prayer and supplication as much as we spent time on the cell phone and Facebook
postings our lives would be filled with the Lord on every hand. We have become
people as described by Paul quoting the prophet Isaiah: Go to this people
and say: Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will
see, and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. their ears
are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with
their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their
hearts and turn, so that I should heal them (Acts 28:26-27).
Everyone is talking but few are
listening. Everyone is glued to their cell phones with every app imaginable to
fill their days with technological futility and waste. This wisdom does not
descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and
self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom
that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full
of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (James
3:15-17). Wisdom from above comes from all scripture (2 Timothy
3:16-17). Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine
on these things (See 1 Timothy 4:13-16).
Examples For Our Learning
"Now all these things happened
to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the
ends of the ages have come"(1 Cor. 10:11).
One might write about the extremes
in a society which has turned its back on God, but then, the Old Testament is
filled with such cases. As they say, folks should not expect to learn every
lesson the hard way -- life is just too short -- so, we have to learn from the
mistakes of others.
The folks of Noah's day, had no
regard for marriage, engendered violence, and continually entertained ungodly
thoughts. God was revolted and regretted creating man. (Gen. 6:1-6). Consider
the problems of today -- shallow marriages, winking at violence, outrageous
media -- and you would think that Gen. 6, was written for us! (2 Pet.
One of the outstanding kings of
Judah was the young king Josiah, who restored Jerusalem, the temple, and the
nation to what God had in mind for them. He "defiled" the altars, shrines, and
priesthoods of those who worshiped everything and anything but the God of
heaven. He tore them down, including "the ritual booths of the perverted persons
that were in the house of the Lord" (2 Kgs. 23:7). The footnote in the NKJV
explains: "Hebrew qedeshim, those practicing sodomy and prostitution in ritious
rituals"--this activity in the temple built specifically to worship
We are not told what manipulators
were used to justify such godless activities, but today perversions come when
folks cannot distinguish the difference between rights, such as freedom of
religion, and religious truths, such as the Bible's teaching about the one true
God. Forsake duty to God, and, who knows, you might end up with homosexuals in
the churches, even leading in the worship services, shrines of Mohammed at
Ground Zero, or some other thing diametrically opposed to reason and Bible
Folks in every age, without God, are
like the Ninevites: "Persons who cannot discern between their right hand and
their left" (Jonah 4:11). That's quite a blind spot in one's
The first murder in the Bible was
the result of two different approaches to worship, (Gen. 4). On this occasion,
God accepted Abel's offering, but refused Cain's. God tried to reason with Cain:
"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well,
sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over
it" (vs. 7). But it was after this admonition that Cain rose up and slew
Now, we might say that Abel lived
under religious oppression, having to do exactly what God required of him to the
letter. But it was Cain that became the murderer and arose and killed his
brother, seemingly out of envy. Cain represented about twenty-five percent of
the world's population. Surely, Abel would have been glad to sit down with
Cain and reason with him about how he might have an acceptable offering before
the Lord (Heb. 11:4). But some folks are simply unreasonable, when called upon
to discuss differences in religious practices, (2 Thes. 3:2). Today's
worshipers would do well to remember that fact, and get on with the business of
discussing Scriptural worship with anyone and everyone who is sincere about
pleasing God. For Christians, the power of salvation is the gospel of Christ
(Rom. 1:16,17), and the power of the sword belongs to Caesar (Rom.
For those who would rather talk
politics than religion, the particulars of worship have been an issue ever since
Abel offered his "firstlings of the flock, and of the fat thereof." The
death of Aaron's sons for their error at the initiation of Moses' law was a
lesson for all generations (Lev. 10:1-3). The reforms of Josiah were to turn the
hearts of the worshipers to God (2 Kgs. 23:25). Malachi warned the Jews
that God would not have their begrudging worship. (Mal. chapters 1
In the New Testament, misuse of the
Lord's Supper, confusion in the teaching exercises, sin in the congregation, and
lukewarmness were all condemned as that which makes worship a curse rather than
Jesus talked about those who had
beams in their own eyes while trying to remove the specks from the eyes of
others. We would not dream of Cain, Noah's contemporaries, the perverts of
Josiah's day, or the Jews who put Christ on the cross help us with our worship
problems. Neither would we invite atheists or our Muslem friends to help us to
grow closer to our God. But there are legitimate concerns for just how to become
a Christian, the kind of worship to be offered, and spiritual and moral
Attendance of worship services is
necessary (Heb. 10:25). Moral purity is required (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Misguided
worship can be, "not for the better, but for the worse" (1 Cor. 11:17).
Such discussions are not on the news every night, but they will determine the
destiny of souls.
The Apostle Peter put it this
way: "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God;
and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey
the gospel of God? Now, if the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will
the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Pet. 4:17,18).
Let us not be diverted from the
pertinent issues of Scriptural and moral service to our God.
an article by George Hutto
in Tidings, Vol. 24, No. 8, Aug.
U.S. Census Bureau data showed that traditional experiences of
marriage and family are changing to favor co-habitation and unwedded families.
More than half of single adult respondents reported that they lived with, and in
some cases are still living with, a partner. Among unmarried parents
cohabitating with their partners, 62 percent believed marriage was obsolete . .
. a study by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute reveals that 55
percent of America teenagers are living in non-traditional family structures
marred by divorce, separation or unmarried parents.
---via The Christian
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.
"THOUGHT FOR THE
WDXC 102.3 FM .....................
"WHAT THE BIBLE
Comcast Cable - Heritage TV -
Digital Channel 266 ............ 6:00 AM & 2:00
Comcast Cable - Heritage TV -
Digital Channel 266 ............ 2:00
INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THIS E-MAIL
and put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.
Reply to email@example.com
and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Place the list of names and e-mail
addresses to be subscribed in the body of the