What does the Bible say about hope

By Douglas M. Williams Sr.

“For we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25). Colossians 1:27 “…Christ is in you, the hope of glory.”

The Bible speaks of the “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2; 3:7). We can look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Our hope is “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). And 2 Peter 1:3-4 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

“And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Hope is the moving force behind our activities. Sophocles stated, “It is hope which maintains most of mankind.” Our world is one of hope! Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” The Bible says, “he that ploweth should plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10).

Hope of a crop encourages the farmer to drive the plow; hope of victory urgest the soldier to fight; hope of winning makes the athlete run; and hope of the incorruptible crown inspires the child of God to run in the race of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Our hope is in God, and it is powerful! Our hope is obtained from the scriptures (Romans 15:4), and as long as there is life, there is hope. Our greatest hope is for eternal life in heaven. No matter how many times we lose in this life, we can look forward to eternal life where we win and never lose.

#bible-study

Who saw the handwriting on the wall?

Our adult Bible-study class has been studying Daniel 5 (Belshazzar and the handwriting on the wall incident) the last couple of weeks. It’s a good study that leads to several topics: the authority of God, the relationship between religion and politics, holiness, pride, humility, and judgment to name several.

While studying the first half of the chapter a new thought occurred to me. Perhaps you have had the same thought…perhaps not. The thought concerned the actual handwriting incident.

Through the years I have seen several illustrations… Continue reading

#art, #bible-study, #book-of-daniel, #influence

Ask the right question

Over on QBT, surfaces a criticism of the question about what we will do in heaven:

What we will do in…

The post, even in its pithy format, points up the need to ask the right question. One gets the impression that the celestial activity concern comes from American practicality where a body has to be up and doing something useful. People have written that, if harp-playing is all that will be going on there, then they don’t want to go. Continue reading

#bible-study, #heaven, #questions

March 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Why Should We Study the Old Testament?)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Does the Old Testament Still Have Value (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • The Old Testament & Inspiration (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Purpose of the Old Testament (Tom Wacaster)
  • Kingdom Prophecy in the Old Testament (Andy Baker)
  • Messianic Prophecy in the Old Testament (Kris Grodaurk)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bible-study, #jesus-relationship-with-the-old-testament, #messianic-prophecy, #old-testament, #the-church-in-the-old-testament

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3-15-2017 A Guided Conscience

Why study the Bible? It should be to correctly educate our “conscience.” Paul wrote: “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)” (Romans 2:14-15 NKJV). “Conscience” is our awareness of right and wrong, but it is our guide only when we learn from God’s Word what is right or wrong! People who are not a Christian may do many things right because they have their consciences educated by God’s Word. It would be good if their consciences guided them to what Jesus said must be done to be saved: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#bible-study, #conscience, #right-and-wrong

What does the Bible say about rightly dividing the Bible

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
There are two main divisions of the Bible: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Even though all of these 66 divisions are God’s inspired word, we must understand that the Old Testament is not a law binding on us today. Jesus came and fulfilled the old law and gave us the new law of the New Testament (Matthew 5:17; Colossians 2:14).
The unity of the Bible shows that one mind guided the writing of the Bible and that was God as He directed men to write the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). These 66 books were written by about 40 different authors. They wrote over a period of about 1500 years; living in widely separated parts of the world; speaking different languages; having various backgrounds; obviously many of them not knowing each other. Yet, when all of their writings are brought together they are in harmony, showing their message comes from God. That message may be summed up in the purpose of the Bible as the salvation of man through Jesus Christ that brings glory to God.
Rightly dividing God’s word describes an important principle involved in properly understanding the Bible as we obey and apply its teachings to our lives. We must properly divide or distinguish between the commands God gave to people in the Old Testament, and the commands He expects us to keep in our Christian Age.
To be saved from sin and prepare for heaven we must believe in Jesus, repent of sins, confess our faith, be baptized, and live for Jesus.

  • Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

 

#bible-study

Good tip for studying prophetic language and imagery

Several years ago, while watching a tv show based on “real life” emergency room experiences, I heard a phrase used by a doctor that’s worth remembering and applying to the study of the Bible’s prophetic language and imagery: Continue reading

#bible-study, #biblical-interpretation, #book-of-revelation, #old-testament-prophets

Lying

Lying is a sin. Little lies, little white lies, stretching the truth, all fit in the same category. There are no big lies and little lies. A lie is a lie is a lie. It’s plain and simple. Continue reading

#bible-study, #sin

Hugh’s News & Views (Context)

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT IN STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES

The sixty-six divinely inspired documents that constitute our Bible are the totality of God’s revelation to mankind. Every specific text must be studied in the light of its context, and no immediate text is to be understood in such a way as to conflict with the total text of divine scripture. Continue reading

#bible-study, #context, #hughfulford

What does the Bible say about sin

“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions and my
sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:2-3).

In referring to Jesus the Bible says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)!

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

Sin is that which is contrary to the law of God. Sin is doing wrong, and violating the requirement of what is right.

The Bible defines sin as “transgression of the law,” that “all unrighteousness is sin,” and “whatever is not from faith is sin” (1 John 3:4; 5:17; Romans 14:23).

There are two forms of sin:
1. The sin of commission, which is, doing anything forbidden by the law of God.
2. The sin of omission, which is, not doing what is required by the law of God.

The Bible has much to say about sin. Jeremiah 51:5 states, “their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel,” and 1 John 5:19 says, “The whole world lies in wickedness.” From the time that Adam and Eve first sinned, people have always been guilty of sin. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because of sin God destroyed everyone by a flood, except Noah and his family. In view of the above thought, we can understand and know that, sadly, sin is rampart in our world today. Young’s concordance lists about 700 references to sin. We can see that the Bible has much to say about sin.

Sin is a terrible thing to God, and separates people from Him. The Bible lists sins in Matthew 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8, and says sin cannot enter heaven. But God has made it possible for us to be forgiven of sin as we obey Jesus who died on the cross for us.

  • Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

#bible-study, #sin

What does the Bible say about tears

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; Do
not be silent at my tears” (Psalms 39:12).

“Put my tears into your bottle” (Psalms 56:8).

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 126:5).

“For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive” (Jeremiah 13:17; 9:1).

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35; Luke 19:41; Matthew 23:37).

“And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17; 21:4).

As shown above and in other verses, the Bible has much to say about tears. Jeremiah speaks of shedding tears in the books of Jeremiah and Lamentation, and is referred to as “the weeping prophet.” We are told of a woman who washed Jesus feet with tears (Luke 7:37-50).

Recently I read a very interesting article from Creation Moments entitled, “In the Blink of an Eye.” So many things in our world show the wonders of God’s creation. Even our bodies as stated in Psalm 139:14, “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Every time you blink, you bathe the surface of your eye with an amazing fluid called tears. Tears are made up of water, oils, electrolytes, and sticky carbohydrates. Tears also contain antibacterial and antiviral substances.

Tear fluid that has bacteria or virus in it has a 95 percent chance of being dead in 10 minutes. Blinking of the eye keeps the surface properly moisturized, as our vision remains clear. Without this, our eyes would become red and painful, and, if untreated, would probably cause blindness. Tear fluid also provides needed oxygen to the surface of the eye.

Perhaps the most amazing property of tears is that humans are the only creatures that cry emotional tears. Tears help us cope with emotional situations, but some people are unable to cry tears and they cannot deal well with stress.

Tears are a blessing in many ways, but we are thankful that God will wipe away all sorrowful tears in heaven.

-Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

#bible-study

Wake up, get up and show up at Bible-study tomorrow

When you hold a Bible in your hands, do you know how much it cost?

I’m not looking for a fiscal answer. The Bible cost more than any financial total that can be tallied.

Long before any red-letter edition was published, pages of the Bible were colored red . That’s because the book we can hold in our hands cost men and women their lives. Some died at the hands of false-Christians and others at the hands of violent unbelievers. Regardless of who took their life, men and women of the past gave their life because they had faith, a desire for the common man to read the word of God, and a love for God’s message.

Consider that, and then consider how the church has a hard time getting Christians to show up and study the Bible today. Some congregations don’t even have Bible-study classes. Brothers and sisters – that’s a problem!

The Bible is the best-seller that most Christians aren’t sold on studying. Do you see the irony?

Wake up, get up and show up at Bible-study tomorrow.

I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:15-18)

#attendance, #bible-class, #bible-study, #irony, #priorities, #the-bible

Why the Church of Christ

Years ago when we worked with the Cedar Grove church of Christ, Andalusia, AL, we were fortunate to secure brother James Benson to preach in a gospel meeting. One night he preached the chart lesson below. He had it drawn off on a chalkboard completely, and as he made each point he wrote CHRIST across it. My husband, Douglas, has preached it using an overhead projector with a clear transparency sheet on top to write CHRIST in red over each point. James Benson was both a fine man and a wonderful gospel preacher. Brother Benson would be happy for you to save this and use it any way possible.

Why the Church of Christ Final

#bible-study, #sermon-outline

May 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (How to Study the Bible – Part 2.)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • How to do a Topical Study (Dewayne Bryant)
  • Words of Wisdom for Better Bible Study (Cody Westbrook)
  • How to do a Word Study (Kevin Cauley)
  • How to Study a Book of the Bible (Richard Rutledle)
  • How to do a Character Study (Randy Robinson)
  • How to Study Apocalyptic Literature (Sam Dilbeck)
  • Terms and Tools (John Haffner)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bible-character, #bible-characters, #bible-difficulties, #bible-exposition, #bible-study, #bible-words, #book-of-revelation, #books-of-the-bible, #hermeneutics, #scripture-study, #topical-study, #word-studies, #word-study

A good example of the benefit of restudying familiar Bible stories

If you’ve studied the Bible very long with any kind of genuine interest (2 Timothy 2:15) then you’ve no doubt had those moments when something “new” stands out to you in the middle of a familiar section of scripture. Such was the case this past Sunday during our adult Bible study class…perhaps this post should be titled, “A good example of the benefit of restudying familiar Bible stories in a Bible class setting“.

The topic of the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations” study last week was about the ole’ chief tax collector named Zacchaeus. You know, that’s the story of the tree climbing short guy with a faith that stood head and shoulders above the crowd. I’ve read the account several times over. I’ve even wrote a few articles and preached a couple of sermons about Jesus and Zacchaeus. But I still hadn’t notice every out in the open lesson there was to notice about Luke 19:1-10. And no doubt I still haven’t.

You see, I can’t recall how many times I’ve read, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” But I can recall how many times I noticed that Jesus called to Zacchaeus by name – that would be a big fat zero! And it may have stayed that way until a brother with a perceptive mind noticed it.

The Bible story of Jesus and Zacchaeus isn’t the only time that Jesus interacts with someone by using their name, or their personal information, without any scriptural indication that Jesus and the particular person had any previous interactions (John’s gospel is replete with these instances). But for me it was another chance to see how easy it is to learn something new from a familiar section of God’s word. And I hope it’s a chance for you too.

But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.” (Matthew 221:31-33)

#bible-study, #bible-study-class, #zacchaeus