Know Your Bible

VOL. 9                           October 24, 2010                           NO. 43

 Ingredients Of A Good Gospel Meeting
       Like a good casserole or dessert, there are some ingredients that make for a good gospel meeting.
Good Preparation: -- Anything worth doing or having is worth preparing for.  Good preparation begins well in advance of the meeting with deciding the purpose of the meeting, selecting the speaker or speakers, setting a date, preparing the meeting house, and advertising the meeting.
Good Atmosphere: -- Like restaurants, every church has an atmosphere -- good or bad.  A good atmosphere in the local church is one where: people have a genuine love for the Lord and one another (Matt. 22:37-39), folks are greeted warmly (2 Cor. 13:12), a deep respect for God and His Word are shown (Mal. 1:11), folks are enthused about hearing and knowing the Will of God (Acts 10:24,33; 17:11), members arrive early and stay late, there are no complaints and criticisms -- just compliments and contentment (Rom. 16; Eph. 4:29), and where folks are given to  hospitality (Rom. 12:13).
Good Attendance: -- Good attendance begins with every member being at every service (Matt. 6:33; Heb. 10:25).  Inviting and bringing others to the meeting contributes to a good meeting (Jn. 4:29,30; 1:42).
Good Singing: -- Where brethren "sing aloud unto God" (Psa. 81:1), "with  all their might" (1 Chron. 13:8), there is good singing.
Good Preaching: -- Just being a good speaker doesn't make one a good preacher (Rom. 16:18; 1 Cor. 2:1-5).  Good preaching is Christ-centered, Scripture filled, nothing-kept-back, reproving-rebuking-exhorting, gospel preaching (Acts 8:5,35;20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Rom. 1:16).
Good Follow-Up: -- A subsequent letter, phone call, or visit increases the effectiveness of a meeting. 
---John Isaac Edwards 
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FOUL LANGUAGE: A Sign Of The Times
       I was ten years old in 1982 when I went and saw Steven Spielberg's science fiction blockbuster, E.T. It was the first time I remember hearing foul language. To make matters worse, it was a teenager in the movie that said it. While I was shocked, my parents were horrified. Over the past 25 years, however, its use has become commonplace.
       Every language -- ancient or modern -- has a list of "bad" words.  Typically, these are slang terms or racial slurs that are intended to offend and malign. An arsenal of physical gestures is also available to the would-be hurler of insults.
       As American culture grows increasingly godless and decadent, public standards have been lowered consistently. It's almost laughable to hear about the firestorm created over Clark Gable's use of a curse word in the final scene of the 1939 movie, Gone With The Wind.
       Television today regularly uses foul language during prime time.  Last generation's programs have been replaced by sitcomes that push the envelope. Today's plots are packed with promiscuity and perversion.
       The hip-hop movement is perhaps the greatest media influence on America's demoralization. Rappers such as Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, and Akon are young men who, while in their 20's made millions of dollars by spewing filth-ridden lyrics. They have influenced an entire generation of young people. Their variety of hip-hop-Gangsta rap-glorifies profanity, violence, promiscuity and drug use.
Know That It's Wrong: -- The Christian is not to use foul language.  Because "Your life is hidden with Christ, in God." Paul says, you must "put off filthy language out of your mouth" (Col. 3:18). He also says we should -- "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" (Eph. 4:29).
       Words that are putrid (Col. 3:8) and rotten (Eph. 4:29; 5:4) are unfit for the mouth of a Christian. Even euphemistic alternatives are unacceptable for those who profess godliness.
       Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:34). Even an occasional curse word is a peek at a soul that is grappling with serious moral issues. When we consume verbal and visual garbage, it corrupts our hearts and finds expression in our actions.
Be An Example: -- The first curse word or obscenity is hard to utter -- but then it gets easier. Eventually, like the Israelites of old, we will forget how to blush (Jer. 6:15).
       Children first learn from their parents what is right and wrong. It  is not enough for us to tell them: "adults can talk like this, but kids can't." It is not enough to ask them to "do as I say, not as I do." It is not enough to say, "You know, I only use that word when I get really angry." Your example is too powerful. From you they learn what is acceptable behavior -- including hypocrisy.
Check Up On Your Kids: -- My wife, Melanie, is a school teacher. Recently, at a school function, an edited version of a popular song blared through the loud speakers. But the kids knew the words, and so they sang them anyway. Children as young as 11 and 12 years of age sang their hearts out each time the profane-laden chorus was repeated.
       Check your child's i-pod. Do you know what songs they are downloading and listening to through their earphones? Check the ring tones on their cell phones, too. If they are keeping company with the likes of Eminem, Homer Simpson and Paris Hilton, then they will be corrupted by them (1 Cor. 15:33). And while you're at it, remember to monitor the movies they go see, too.
       Spend time with your children. The breakdown in the family is the number one reason for the corruption of American culture and morals. You can't be responsible for everyone else's moral education, but you are responsible for your children's Bible based upbringing.
Since I Was Ten Years Old: -- I have, unfortunately, heard more foul language. As our society has become increasingly desensitized by popular music, movies and most TV programs, including news and sports, I hear people using foul language in public places like Wal-Mart.
       My daughter is now ten yours old. But while I can't change the world for her, I can teach her that we are living in a world that is not our home. Ultimately, we don't belong here because "our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior" (Phil. 3:20).
---Marc Hinds
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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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