6-12-2015 The Time Is Now

When their government oppressed God’s people, the Prophet Elijah asked the timid Israelites, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21 NKJV). Good people cannot survive in a society (or world!) by shrinking away from the inevitable choice: good or evil. Joshua challenged his people: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV). Paul wrote there will be “the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16 NKJV). There will be “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!” (Joel 3:14 NKJV). The “cowardly” will burn in Hell with “all liars” and sinners (Revelation 21:8).

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

#challenge, #choice, #cowardly, #decision, #government-oppressed, #opinions

Up to the Challenge?

A number of times I have referenced my discussion with a brother who left the Lord in a complete way; he did not just move into the progressive camp of ideology, he moved through the progressive camp and out of any semblance of relationship with the Lord. I thought it would be a good idea to include a few thoughts that belong to our discussion. Here is a small portion of his first email to me:

“Ron, I am an Agnostic/Atheist. I sincerely find no evidence for a deity, and in that regard I am equally sincere in believing that I was mistaken for so many years in regarding the Bible as being the Word of God. I believe that that the Bible is the writings of the early history of the Judean/Christian background, but I sincerely, SINCERELY believe that the book that I once so revered is merely the writings of men. In that regard, I believe that the Bible teaches some good; some truth; some bad; and some error.”

My reply to him was in the broader context of his email to me; in other words, I did not directly address these words as much as I set out to address two (three) underlying points that, since that time, I have continued to pursue.

“Dave, I understand the moral quandary that people have with regard to the nature of a loving God and the concept of hell. You know this type of discussion has [been] going on for more than three millennia (Genesis 18), and my answers may be inadequate to you. Nevertheless, I will try [to persuade him]. It is also likely that you know the tactics I will employ, but as it is in all good athletic endeavors, it is not so much the tactics (important as they are), as the execution. I will begin by asking you to explain man’s existence; from where did he come and how did he come into existence with an intellect that is not the same as that we call “lower” animal? In addressing your concern, let me ask: is there such a thing as morality? If so, what is the basis of it?”

This discussion (through this point of July) has focused its attention on morality, the explanation of how the material realm came into existence, and whether the Bible is a credible historical document. He maintains that morality is the product of man, there is no need to explain the material realm’s existence (it is possible for it to have always been), and with regard to the Bible as credible history, he says it is undetermined.

I replied to him that for morality to have its origin in man brings chaos, the material realm’s existence has a beginning (both science and philosophy recognize as much), and that the Bible is a credible document of history that can be tested and verified.

As I mentioned before (in class), discussions of this type are of interest to me, but they can be intense and challenging. Truth, however, has nothing to fear with regard to such discussions. It may be that he will pose a question or comment to me that will cause me difficulty; if such happens, then I will be better for it as I seek an answer to such difficulties.

Such discussions may not be your “cup of tea,” but there are other types of discussions in which you can engage; don’t let a challenge fall to the way-side when there is an opportunity for you to glorify the Lord’s name and will. We are all called upon to defend the Lord’s honor, name, and His expressed will. RT

#agnosticism, #atheism, #challenge, #discussion

What’s The Missing Word?

Though we help to convert 1,000 souls but fail to convert our own heart it profits us….

Though we preach the gospel day in and day out but fail to believe with our own heart it profits us….

Though we cause smiles to appear on many faces but fail to cause the face of the Lord to smile it profits us….

Though we proudly wear the belt of truth around our waist but fail to humbly submit to the truth our self it profits us….

Though we say we love others with every word of the tongue but fail to display that love with the actions of our hands it profits us….

Though we may pray a hundred hours but fail to ever say thy will be done it profits us….

Though we have buried the old man with Jesus in the watery grave of baptism but fail to walk in the newness of the new man it profits us….

Though we have been saved by the grace of God but fail to show grace toward our fellow-man and woman it profits us….

Though we have a precious and valuable talent given by God but fail to use that talent it profits us….

Though our words may sound like we are close to God but we have a heart that is far from Him it profits us….

What word is missing at the end? Is it by any chance:

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3)

P.S. – There’s a scripture for every sentence, because if there wasn’t the point would profit us….

#challenge, #christianity, #religion, #spiritual-fruit, #spritual-growth

Favorite Fable

The Hare and the Tortoise is one of my favorite fables:

The hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge anyone here to race with me.”

The tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”

“That is a good joke,” said the hare. “I could dance around you all the way.”

“Keep your boasting until you’ve beaten,” answered the tortoise. “Shall we race?”

So a course was fixed and a start was made. The hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the hare awoke from his nap, he saw the tortoise nearing the finish line, and he could not catch up in time to save the race.

The moral of the story: Victory does not always belong to the swiftest runner, but to the runner with the most stamina and self-control:

#accept, #animal, #beat, #boast, #challenge, #contempt, #dance, #hare, #joke, #nap, #race, #speed, #swift

What a man accomplishes in a day depends…

What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge…and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit, we get things done.

Arland Gilbert

#accomplish, #challenge, #dynamic, #enthusiasm, #job, #joy, #task