Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         June 26, 2016                                                                                                                            NO. 15



Let's answer this question by asking another question: Do you believe in death? I'm sure you do for it is all around us. Every day the newspapers give an obituary column. You don't drive many times past the funeral homes but what people are not gathered to show respect to someone who has died. The Bible teaches just as certain as there is death, there is the judgement. Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement." Yes, there will be a judgement day!

When will the judgement day occur? "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Matthew also describes the Lord's return as a time when "before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." (25:31-46).

The Scriptures have revealed to us some things about the judgement day. In Romans 2:2 we read, "But we are sure that the judgement of God is according to truth against them which commit such things." Thus we see the STANDARD or "measuring stick" by which we will be judged is not what I think or what you think but rather "truth". God determines truth for His Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, we will be judged by the Word. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48). The BASIS on what we will be judged are our "deeds". "Who will render every man according to his deeds:" (Romans 2:6) "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27).

Yes, there will be a judgement day. The question now becomes: Are you preparing for that day by getting better with your understanding of the standard and comparing your deeds with that standard? 

—E.R. Hall, Jr.

Page 1



“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?...Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead....But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?... Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?...You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only....For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:14-26 

We believe James 2:14-26, with its lengthy denunciation of a dead faith unaccompanied by works, shows the error of arguing that justification can be achieved without obedience (Heb. 5:8-9). While the principles found in this text demonstrate the error of seeking to ascribe one’s initial salvation to faith only (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; et al), we need to appreciate that James was writing to believers who had once exercised a working faith in their initial obedience to the gospel. His focus was not a rejection of the essentiality of baptism, though that certainly violates the teachings of James 2 and other New Testament passages, but he was concerned that disciples of our Lord were, to borrow a modern expression, simply talking the talk and not walking the walk. 

James tells us that an active faith will… 

Rejoice in trials (1:2-3, 12). True faith does not become angry, discouraged, embittered, etc. when various trials and temptations come our way. Instead, a working faith seeks from God the wisdom necessary to deal with whatever happens and will focus on the crown of life to be received at the end of life’s journey.


*  Listen without becoming angry (1:19-20). While these verses could easily apply to our dealings with others, the context points to our attitude toward God’s word. Far too often we approach the Bible with our minds already made up, but we need to be listeners who have enough faith to accept whatever God’s word demands of us.


*  Reject filthiness and wickedness (1:21). Do our words, actions, entertainment choices, etc. reflect this kind of faith that works?

*  Receive with meekness the word of God (1:21). While this article is intended to emphasis putting our faith into practice, there cannot be a genuine faith without a knowledge of the Word (Rom. 10:17). Saving faith must begin with listening to God’s directions—not simply doing the things we might think to be good works.

*  Bridle the tongue (1:26; 3:2-12). An obedient, working faith knows that one cannot use the same tongue to praise God and attack others without rendering his religion useless.

*  Learn to treat everyone equally (2:1-10). If we are truly trusting in the Lord of glory, we will learn not to treat others differently because of economics, social status, race, ethnicity, education, or any of the other things that so often create divisions. Instead of partiality, those whose faith in the Lord is a working one will practice the royal law and love their neighbor as themselves.


*  Not be focused on selfish pleasures (4:1-4). A strong trust in God will know that some pleasures are sinful in and of themselves (e.g. Galatians 5:19-21) and will abstain from them. But it also learns that those who walk in the footsteps of the One who prayed “Not My will, but Yours” do not always insist upon things being done their way. An active faith is not constantly focused inward and controlled by self, but looks outward and upward in order to serve both God and others.

*  Live every day to glory of God (4:13-17). While faith does not require morbidity, it does live each day with the realization life is short and the good we are to do must be done now.


*  Treat employees fairly (5:1-6). A working faith will extend to every aspect of one’s life, including one’s line of work.

*  Persevere through times of suffering (5:7-11). True faith is able to see the merciful and compassionate ending intended by the Lord.

*  Look to God in good times and bad (5:13-15). The faith of Abraham will not forget God in times of prosperity or become angry with God in times of suffering.

*  Be honest about one’s sins (5:16). True faith knows that it is foolish to try to hide that which cannot be hidden.

*  Pray earnestly (5:16-18). While the child of God cannot always know what the outcome will be, his faith assures him God hears and is desirous of blessing His children.

*  Seek the restoration of the erring (5:19, 20). It is a real tragedy when a disciple’s faith weakens and he or she wanders from the truth, but those who truly believe the Lord’s word concerning both reward and punishment of sinners will do all they can to restore the erring one.

It really doesn’t matter if we are looking at coming to the Lord or continuing with the Lord, saving faith must be practical, not theoretical. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

—John R. Gibson

Page 2


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.





Bible Classes ……….....….…............ 10:00 AM

Morning Worship ……..…….….…...... 11:00 AM

Evening Worship …………...……........ 6:00 PM


Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM



Radio Program

Monday - Friday

WDXC 102.3 FM .....................…........ 10:20 AM



Television Program


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 6:00 AM & 2:00 PM


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 2:00 PM



World Wide Web:


UNSUBSCRIBE: Reply to and put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

SUBSCRIBE FRIENDS: Reply to and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.