Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                                                         March 26, 2017                                                                                                                            NO. 2



Having local churches, having assemblies, and requiring specific things to be done in those assemblies was God's idea, not man's. And God warns us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). Christians who choose not to assemble with other Christians are lacking in spiritual appetite, defying God, sinning willfully, and depriving themselves of the benefits that God intended to be derived from those assemblies. They will not grow spiritually; they cannot grow spiritually; they will begin to starve their souls until they become spiritually dead. Some are slowly dying; others have long since died. Do not let this happen to you; do not choose a course of neglect that will ultimately lead to the starvation of your precious and immortal soul. Put Christ first. 

—Bill Crews

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A woman asked, "How can I win my husband to Christ?" "You can't," was the surprising answer from the preacher. “You never attend worship regularly.  If your husband wants to go for a drive on Sunday, you neglect the Lord and go with him. And if you don't have a way to come to church, you never call some other member to come get you. You will never win your husband unless you let him know, and all those

around you, that your religion means more to you than anything else under heaven. This alone is the kind of influence that wins souls."

- via “Great Plainness of Speech"

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Okay, let's try this one more time and see if we can get it straight. We continue to hear folks, even some Christians, who would like to use Jesus’ reference to David and the shewbread as a justification for a kind of ‘situation ethics’ reasoning.

Do you remember the incident (Matt. 12:1-8)? On a Sabbath day the disciples had passed through a field and gathered some grain to eat. The old law allowed such gathering (it was not stealing). But the Pharisees criticized them as doing that which was "unlawful".  Their complaint was about the ‘work’ involved in gathering the grain.  While not forbidden by the law of Moses, the Jews had invented certain traditions which prohibited this.

In response to this criticism by the Pharisees, Jesus said: "Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?" (vs. 3,4). He went on to rebuke the Pharisees for "condemning the guiltless" (vs. 7). 

The point here is clear. The Jews regarded David as their great national hero. In the matter of the shewbread, David sinned. (We must take Jesus at His word - David's deed was "not lawful”.) The Pharisees overlooked this clearly sinful act. But, in the case of Jesus' disciples, they criticized something that was not wrong (notice that Jesus said it left them "guiltless"). Jesus was simply pointing out the inconsistency of the Pharisees in this matter.

And so, we have here no justification for any ‘situation ethics’ type of reasoning. Jesus was not holding up David as a worthy example. He was not saying that the law can be broken under extreme circumstances. He was not justifying the disciples in a sinful deed.  He was pointing out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of His day.  Learn the lesson! 

—Greg Gwin

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Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months; teaching the word of God among them.” (Acts 18:9-11)

Listen! We can still hear Jesus saying, “Behold; I say to you; lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are white for harvest!  And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” (John 4:35-37)

We sing, “Arise! The Master calls for thee; the harvest days are here! No longer sit with folded hands; but gather far and near. The noble ranks of volunteers are daily growing every where; but still there’s work for millions more! So, for the field prepare.” (Hymns For Worship, P 404)

Speak up; do not keep silent. Like the watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem, we are to “never hold our peace day or night; we must not keep silent.” (Isa 62:6) We who names the name of the Lord must “preach the Word of God at all times; in season; and out; when it is convenient; and when it is not; encourage them to do right; and all the time be feeding them patiently with God’s Word.” (2 Tim 4:2)

Folks all around us are in need of the word of life. Throw out the life line! “Soon will the season of rescue be o’er; soon will they drift to eternity’s shore; hast then, my brother, no time for delay, but throw out the life line and save them today” (Sacred Selections, 498)

Hold forth the word of life. (Phil. 2:16) We must tell them the good news of salvation; the gospel of Christ. (1 Cor. 15: 1-4) “He from the grave on the third day arose, missions of man to disclose; go preach the gospel, all who will may hear, thru Him be free from all fear; bid them believe, to repent and obey, walk in the newness of life; keep the light glowing to show them the way, leading from sin and strife. Can he depend upon you His blessed will to do” (Hymns For Worship, 586)

We must remain loyal to Christ and sound out His teachings unto them. (Matt. 10:32-33) We dare not remain silent. (Titus 1:10-11) May God grant us the wisdom to discern those times; when we should say nothing; and those times when we must refuse to keep silent!

—Wendell Ward

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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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