Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                             July 8, 2012                                                                                                                                                                NO. 24


   They Need To Repent Also 

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT'' (Acts 17:30).


This statement by the apostle Paul is as wide in scope as the whole world. Included in it is every accountable person that has set foot upon earth since that time. There is no way that we can escape it.


Some people do not think they need to repent. They are religious people who are in error, but the very people to whom the apostle addressed these words were religious people. In fact, they were more religious than the average person today; but it was in ignorance, and as a result, they needed to learn the truth and repent of their idolatry and serve the one true God.


“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men'' (Matt. 15:9). The words of Jesus describe the condition of many today. Their desire to satisfy “self'' rather than God has placed them in rebellion against Him, as they make their own religious laws. Of this THEY need to repent.


    ---Arthur M. Ogden

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"If a man stand with one foot on a hot stove and one foot in a freezer, some statisticians would assert that, on the average, he's comfortable.'' Which reminds me of some who seem to feel that they can come to church on Sunday and yet live like the devil during the week. They say that they are, on the average, pretty good people. Yet he cannot be ``comfortable'' any more than the man with his foot on the stove and the other in a freezer. He is the double-minded man who is unstable in all his ways. He has only enough religion to be miserable, but not enough to go to heaven.

Our Lord does not prefer an ``average.'' He wants His people to be either ``cold or hot.'' The ``average'' (in this case, lukewarmness) nauseates Him, and He will spew out of His mouth those who are lukewarm (Rev. 3:15,16). Brother, you had better get all the way on the Lord's side now lest you spend eternity with the Devil.

---Forrest Moyer

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Once there was a congregation in which every member was just like you. Each one cooperated and supported the church just the way you have been doing. Everyone worked as hard and attended the same services and Gospel Meetings just as you do. The elders, deacons and preaches were all interested in the church to the same degree that you are.  They put the same emphasis on their recreation, business and other material affairs that you do. Each member contributed financially to the church as you do.

If everyone were like you, how many would there be at Bible Study this Sunday morning? Would there be a Sunday evening or Wednesday evening service? Would the contribution go up or down? Remember, each member of the body of Christ has work to do, a place to fill and a responsibility to God. (Hebrews 10:24-25) “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.''

---Steve Hardin

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It is certainly true that we are converted to Christ, not to the church.  However, it is also true that the church is a vital part of God’s plan for His people (Ephesians 3:9,10), and we know that membership in a local congregation is crucial for every disciple (Acts 9:26). Therefore, all Christians should be committed to the local congregation where they are members.

With these facts in mind, what are our duties to the local church?  Consider these:

1. The congregation’s reputation in the local community is very important. We cannot expect people to visit, investigate, study, and ultimately be converted if they know that individual members of the church are not living up to the standard they proclaim. If others see hypocrisy among the members of the local church, it will not prosper.  Each and every individual Christian must be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ among the lost (Matthew 5:13-16).

2. No organized group can progress without good leadership.  This is definitely true of a local church. But, good leaders need supportive and cooperative followers. Thus, as the elders lead and guide according the God’s truth, each member has a duty to submit and obey (Hebrews 13:17).

3. There are certain financial obligations that must be met with regularity. Consequently, the members need to sense their obligation to give generously, regularly, and consistently (1 Cor. 16:1,2).  Though circumstances may force one’s absence occasionally, extra effort should be made to make sure one’s financial support to the congregation is always honored.

4. Ultimately, the very existence of any congregation depends upon the attendance of its members. The very life of the church is dictated by attendance. For this reason, every saint should feel a duty to be present at every possible service, Bible study, special meeting, etc. (Hebrews 10:25). Each one should realize that an unexplained, unjustifiable absence strikes a blow to the energy, enthusiasm, and efficiency of the congregation.

5. Growth of the congregation depends upon new people being converted. If this is to happen, the members must grasp the importance of sharing their faith with others who are in their sphere of influence. Neighbors, co-workers, family members – to name a few – should be among those that we seek to win for Christ (Matthew 28:19,20).

6. It is critically important that the members feel a sense of love and loyalty to every other member and to the group as a whole. Just as one would not ‘turn their back’ on their physical family, neither should they callously turn away from their spiritual family. This means that there will be a concerted effort to maintain peace with others(Ephesians 4:1-3). Genuine concern should be shown for those with special needs, both physical and spiritual. The brotherly love between individual saints should be open and obvious – it is, after all, a sign of our discipleship (John 13:35). When a Christian leaves a local church without good reason, it is an indication that he did not have a sense of loyalty that is so necessary if the church is to succeed.

---Greg Gwin

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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.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.





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