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(#196) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:18-Be Happy

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”

“Revelation” (“vision” in the King James Version) refers to God’s inspired Word. As God miraculously led His people, he spoke to them through a “prophet:” “So the LORD said to Moses: ‘See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land’” (Exodus 7:1-2). Moses then became “the prophet” (Numbers 12:6-8) through whom God’s Law was given (Deuteronomy 34:9-12), and by following that written Law, the nation of Israel would remain separate from other peoples (Joshua 23:6-8). After Moses, unless God inspired a prophet to call the people back to that written Law, they forgot God: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). “Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation” (1 Samuel 3:1).

King Zedekiah is an example of what this proverb is saying: “He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 36:12). Even though Christ’s Law has been given, people sin when they made to think there is no Law of God that applies to them: “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).

The New Testament is the written Law of Christ and God has not had a prophet since it was written: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Whatever people say to demean, diminish, or destroy their confidence in God’s Word does not change God’s Word: “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit” (Jude 17-19). Christians are admonished: “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13-14), because God’s written Word is our Judge, for Jesus said: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Where sin abounds is a fertile field for preaching and teaching the Word of God, for Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17).

“The revelation” from God is in our Bible – Be “happy!”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible, #bible-study, #gods-word, #happy, #obedience, #preaching, #prophet, #proverbs, #revelation, #vision

Video Sermon: The Power of God’s Truth

Here’s the lesson by a brother named Eddie Sanders that I mentioned a few weeks back. (Err, scratch that. I’m going to leave the link but that lesson outline was from Monday night; the video is from Tuesday night) It was recorded by some brothers doing some local studio work for GBN.

I’ll let brother Sanders’ lesson speak for itself.

http://churchatcentral.org/video/Road/6-24.wmv

#denominational-errors, #gospel-meeting, #preaching, #truth, #video

The Reader’s Digest once ran this potent one…

The Reader’s Digest once ran this potent one-liner: “It is a fool who believes his light shines brighter by blowing out another’s candle.” Paul told Timothy that the work of a preacher is to “preach the word, reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering & doctrine”. The challenge of every preacher is to reprove and rebuke without blowing out somebody’s candle. How do you correct error and denounce false doctrine without appearing to be judgmental and harsh? Now do you rebuke sin & reprove non-Biblical views without appearing holier-than-thou? If I shut my mouth, woe unto me for I am called to speak. If I open my mouth, woe unto me for I am misunderstood. If I pick my words and choose my phrases so as to offend none and please everyone, woe unto me for I have sold out to Satan. I am no wiser or better than the next man but to close my eyes to sin and error is refusing to throw a lifeline to a drowning neighbor. This is Just-a-Minute

#just-a-minute, #preaching

A Nashville woman once told me Brother…

A Nashville woman once told me, “Brother So-and-so is my favorite preacher; he is such a good story teller.” It was Spurgeon who said illustrations in a sermon are like windows, but a sermon should not be all windows. A good story helps at times, but I’ve heard sermons that were built several stories too high. With Jesus, every parable had a point and the point was made to pierce complacent consciences and prick sin-hardened hearts. Today, every story has another. Preachers rise and stand before half-empty pews and parrot pious phrases and repeat revised refrains until the time is up, the money collected, and the sleepers awake. What is needed today is not another storyteller, but a man with a soul-piercing, Christ-centered, heaven-sent message from God. This is Just-a-Minute

#illustration, #just-a-minute, #preaching, #sermon

How Neil Diamond Motivated My Preaching

When I was a student majoring in Bible at Freed-Hardeman College (it now goes by University), occasionally I received invitations to preach at small churches. When I drove to those appointments, which often were as far as a hundred miles away, I would pop an eight-track tape cassette into my player to help me stay alert. I played a variety of songs, but I had one song that I played every time I drove to preach: Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.” Its description of people coming from throughout the countryside to hear the dynamic Brother Love preach invigorated me and help me focus on what I would say as well as the needs of the people to whom I would say it. It reminded me that a variety of people with all sorts of agendas would assemble for worship that day. The reference to crying babies reminded me that not all would be there because they chose to be. The song told me (and Neil Diamond may not have had this in mind at all) that all these people needed to hear God’s message of love through Jesus and that I might help them hear it or block their reception of it by what I said and how I said it. The lyrics challenged me to preach compassionately but fervently.

Among the biblical passages that shaped my approach to preaching was 2 Timothy 4:1-8. Those verses resonated with me early in life as I heard my mother and my great-grandmother Taylor discuss how my great-grandfather loved those verses. Joe A. Taylor came to be identified with the phrase “Preach the Word” in many of the congregations to which he preached in Arkansas, Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida. Verse 7 was engraved on my father’s tombstone: “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” These verses emphasize that preachers must proclaim the message of the Lord with faithfulness; they also warn that that the task demands spiritual stamina and love for God. When one considers their message in the greater context of 2 Timothy, he discerns the importance of the heritage of the faithful: Timothy learned the Scriptures from his mother and grandmother; he learned from the apostle Paul to teach faithful men who could teach others.

#arkansas-angels, #brother-loves-traveling-salvation-show, #heritage, #mentoring, #music, #preaching

The, tongue in cheek, woe of a 2014 preacher

I woke up this morning ready to go but my notes already beat me to it.

I could find them if it wasn’t for space, the vast black hole that’s the center of my desk.

Computers abound, PC and apple, with a tablet and smart phone in the mix.

But the computing power all starts to drown when my paper notes are amiss.

I would pay my kid to find where they’re at, but they would get distracted as well.

For scattered abroad in this organized mess are kid’s pictures and their drawing papers too.

What will I preach if I can’t find my notes, what will become of my woe?

Wait a second, right there, right there, it’s the place I knew I wouldn’t forget.

What a relief, oh what a relief, now time can go back to pulling out my hair!

 

P.S. – I know every line doesn’t rhyme – that’s why I’m a preacher and not a poet. And it’s hard to think straight when you’re looking for your notes 🙂

#poetry, #preaching

Time Sheet

Every now and again I will be asked what it is that I do during the course of the day. It was but a month ago that I decided to prepare my own “time sheet.” This was the result of one who asked me when I thought he should have known. Thus, this past Thursday (5/22) this is what I did. Perhaps this will be of interest for some, perhaps not for most. Every preacher is different and so would be their schedule of activities throughout the course of the day. There is some consistency to my days, but enough variety that flexibility is the norm.

THURSDAY: Arrived at 3:30am. Bible reading: 2 Kings 17-19, with textual study of 8:25-29 (4:41am). Bible reading: Isaiah 52-53, with textual study of 53:12, and working on article for Gospel Gleaner (6:04am). Nap (6:10-20am). Bible reading: Luke 11-12 (6:45am). Civic Center, return, shower (8:00am). Bible reading: Luke 13-14 (8:35am). Bible reading: Ephesians 1-4 (9:00am), 5-6 (9:38am). Read Gospel Advocate article on Mark 16:9-20 (9:10am). Nap (9:30am). Read a portion of the book “Like a Thief in the Night” (9:48am). Read research material on “616” of Revelation 13:18 for BVBID (10:03am). Bible reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-2, with textual study of 2:1-8 (11:06am). Bulletin for Sunday (12:15pm). Took church lawnmower to Lambdin, did some errands (1:15pm). Heading toward Bible Study in Hammond (1:30), Chuck Norris met me in Hammond to attend; we finished at 2:50pm.

#preacher, #preaching, #trustworthy, #work-hours

April 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

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

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • What Church Membership Means (Don Prather)
  • Why I’m Rearing My children WITH Religion (Sam Willcut)
  • Some Do’s and Don’ts for Preachers (Carl B. Garner)
  • Young People and the Guarding of Their Influence (Roger Jackson)
  • Raising the Banner of Error (Kevin Cauley)
  • “What is RIGHT with It?” (Pat McIntosh)
  • “I Do Not Preach on That” (Rob L. Whitacre)
  • An Unnecessary Exercise (Dan Winkler)
  • All of Our Divisions (Don Prather)
  • The Parable of the Hammer

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 © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#children, #christian-worker, #church-membership, #division-within-the-body-of-christ, #doctrine, #error, #good-influence, #judging-others, #parenting, #pdf, #preaching

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Calendar Apostasy (finis)

Joseph, let me finish this conversation on “fellowshiproom.org” with some comments, and if you have further questions, we can privately discuss them.

Original article:

If they did so [continued celebrating Passover], it was without any authority from God. From Colossians 2:13-17 we learn that the cross of Christ: (1) “wiped out” Moses’ Law with none remaining (just like a sinner’s sins, Acts 3:19); (2) took Moses’ Law “out of the way” (removed it from further use, like sins, John 1:29); (3) “nailed” Moses’ Law at the same time (if there is no “judgment,” there is no law to enforce, Romans 4:15)

 You said: I think that’s a pretty radical reading of Colossians 2:13–17. [Joseph, it’s not “radical reading” to stress the exact words of the text, and then accept it’s teaching. You seem to resort to “radical reading” by looking into the words “bond,” “curse,” “elemental spirits” in passages you use. It is hardly objective to call my procedure “radical reading” and resort to the same thing yourself!] Let’s look at what the Scripture actually says (I’ll even be nice and use a good Protestant translation, the ESV):[What you term “a good Protestant translation” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely accurate. I find the NKJV a more consistently accurate translation.]

You said: The “bond” is the record of those trespasses, which under the Law, we were legally bound to expiate. What Jesus canceled was not the Law, but this bond, and the legal requirements of the Law upon a Christian. [If what Christ “wiped out” was a written record of our personal sins, how would this prevent being judged “in food or in drink,” “a festival or a new moon or sabbaths?” And if that was the “shadow of things to come,” what was to come? Your interpretation is not consistent with this context. But if what Christ “wiped out” was Moses’ Law, then Christ’s death frees from personal sin and  the food and drink, festival, new moon, and sabbaths requirements of Moses’ Law. AND Christians should no longer follow the “shadow,” but the “substance” of Christ’s Law!] As he says in Galatians, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law” (Galatians 3:13) — He did not “wipe away” the Law itself. [Moses’ Law contained “the curse,”(Deuteronomy 21:23). Jesus became “the curse of the law” when He was crucified (Galatians 3:13-14). If the “curse” is removed, then the law with that “curse” is removed. If not, why not?] If that were the case, why would the Law itself (the Torah) still be an essential part of Christian Bibles? [“to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:19-29)]

 What is called a “Christian calendar” is the Catholic calendar of their designated times for spiritual emphasis. However, the New Testament church of Christ never re-enacted events in Jesus’ life, but preached His life, death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven,  that people could believe in Him (Luke 1:1-4; John 20:30-31; 21:25; Mark 16:15-16). Jesus was born, lived, and died under Moses’ Law (Galatians 4:4-5), but in His death, He removed that Law (Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 10:9-10). According to Hebrews 10:9, what “first” did Jesus “take away” and what did Jesus “establish” as the “second” which saves us today?

 It is easy to slip into unscriptural practices by imitating those who practice false religious ways, as Paul warned (2 Timothy 4:1-5), instead of imitating those who are pleasing to God (1 Corinthians 4:15-16; 2 Corinthians 10:18).

—–John T. Polk II

#bible-study, #christianity, #church-of-christ, #obedience, #preaching, #religion

Hugh’s News & Views (Proof-Texting)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

PROOF-TEXTING

When it is insisted that what both the world and the church need today is plain, simple Bible preaching”book, chapter, and verse” preaching, it is not infrequent that the charge of proof-texting is made. Understandably, when one holds to a religious doctrine or practice that is shown by any number of biblical texts to be false, it is to be expected that the person will cry “proof-texting.” What else would one expect when a Bible verse is cited that knocks in the head a cherished yet palpably false doctrine or practice?

It is true that a biblical text can be misused and abused. There is an old hermeneutical adage that says, “A text taken out of context is a pretext.” By this it is meant that if a person has a theory, hobby, doctrine, or axe to grind (an agenda that he wants to promote) and lines up texts that he thinks support his view, but the texts when examined in their context lend no support to what the person is teaching, then he has no proof-text at all. He has a mere pretext!

On the other hand, for a preacher who has been diligent in his study of the text in its context to cite a single verse (or even part of a verse) in proof of what the Bible teaches on a particular subject is not to be guilty of proof-texting. Jesus frequently used a single verse of Old Testament scripture to drive home a point. (See Matthew 4:4, 7, 10; 11:10; Mark 7:6-7; Luke 13:35; John 10:34; etc.) May a faithful preacher of the gospel today use the New Testament the way Jesus used the Old Testament? May a preacher today cite a single verse of scripture to drive home a point of biblical teaching? Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preaching, #proof-texting

Hugh’s News & Views (This And That)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

THIS AND THAT FROM HERE AND THERE

From time to time, I have a potpourri of things about which to write. I save them for a “catch up” column of loosely collected items, as is the case today.

Three weeks ago I wrote a column on “Preaching” about which I received a ton of positive responses, along with a couple of negative ones. I am happy to say that we have a whole host of able, committed, faithful, “book, chapter, and verse” preachers, both old and young. But sometimes in moments of reflection on the future of the church, I think about such notable preachers/evangelists as V. P. Black, W. A. Bradfield, George Bailey, Charles Coil, Willard Collins, C. E. McGaughey, Tom Holland, Alan Highers (the latter two are still on the firing line), as well as a host of others. In the words of the late George Jones’ country classic, I sometimes ask, “Who’s gonna fill their shoes?” Continue reading

#global-warming, #hughfulford, #preaching, #sectarian-language, #sectarianism

Hugh’s News & Views (Preaching)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

PREACHING

Do our young preachers ever preach on such themes as the authority in religion, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the two covenants, the establishment of the church, the identity of the church, the scheme of redemption, repentance, baptism, worship, prayer, the Lord’s Supper, why we do not use instrumental music in worship, God’s standard of morality, or other fundamental themes? Do they ever simply take a biblical text and explicate it and make application of it? (Please see note at the end.)

From time to time, I hear able young preachers, as well as talented young men who are preparing themselves to become gospel preachers. They tell a lot of human interest stories and give an “inspiring” speech such as I might also hear at a Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, or Rotary luncheon meeting.

I do not mean to be critical of these dedicated young men, but it would do the heart of this old preacher good if at least every once in a while I would hear one of them preach on one of the fundamental themes mentioned above and include more than just one or two scriptures in their sermon. I know what the Bible teaches about every one of those subjects, but I sometimes wonder if the young preachers do! They seem to never preach on them. And I know for a fact that there are people in their audiences who do NOT know what the Bible teaches about those subjects. Continue reading

#gospel-preachers, #hughfulford, #preaching

Where would you go?

pacific-northwestby Bob and Jan Towell

The meaning of “disciple” is not just “follower” or “learner”; it also means someone who wants to be like the teacher.

Where would you go to call disciples? Would you go to the centers of learning and culture? Would you go to places with the largest population?

Five of the twelve Jesus chose were from Bethsaida, which means “fishing village.” It was not a city of arenas, theaters, and gymnasia, but Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Phillip grew up there and that is where they were when Jesus called them to “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Continue reading

#missions, #preaching

I THINK I WILL

When Phil Sanders was here in Sullivan IL there were many opportunities for us to have both small talk and discussions of substance. How valuable I thought those were! One of those points of discussion was on preaching; I can’t remember what prompted it, but what he said stayed with me, so now I am engaged in doing so.

As a preacher for a number of years I have grown in the “craft” of preaching. That does not, necessarily, translate into me being a good preacher, but there is education taking place in my mind with regard to preaching. I have always regarded myself as but an average preacher, and I have refused to think of myself as anything more.

To be an average preacher is not a commendable trait; with many years of experience one can (and should) learn to be better than merely average. How others see the preacher is another matter, but one should always look to improve from one level to another above. Moreover, no matter the years of experience, one can learn much from others (regardless of age) and from reading books on preaching. This was the “talking points” between Phil and me. I have been fortunate to attend CBI (a preacher’s retreat in Columbia TN) for the last number of years. Two men who were continually before us was Tom Holland and William Woodson (deceased); as I looked upon the accumulated years of experience of the two men, took knowledge of their different styles of teaching (preaching), I grew to really like brother Woodson’s approach.

Though I liked the style and substance of brother Woodson’s, it was brother Holland’s books I purchased. One such book is called “The Work of The Preacher Is Working.” I am currently reading this book, and I am better for it. Phil was sharing with me a challenge and exhortation he received a number of years ago from (I believe) Raymond Kelcy. Raymond told Phil to make it a habit to read a book on preaching continually. I have heard such advice before, but it was when Phil mentioned to me that it took hold. I think I should. RT

#preaching, #preaching-books

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(#89) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:34-God’s Burden Against America

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.”

“Righteousness” is the state or condition of being “right,” as defined by God: “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7); by His commandments: “My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172); by His example: “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

Governments exist to protect the “righteous” within their citizenry: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake” (Romans 13:3-5). Every law; court-ruling; verbally-abusive, bullying, headlined propaganda piece; Harlotwood perversely slanted movie or TV program will be considered in God’s Judgment of this, or any other, nation! Speaking to Christians about the Jewish persecution of them, Paul wrote: “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

God would not destroy the homosexually-corrupted cities of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20; 19:1-11) if there were as few as 10 righteous among them (Genesis 18:23-33), but there weren’t. God had a “burden” of judgment against nations, countries, and cities where sin had prevailed: Babylon (Isaiah 13:1) and Nineveh (Nahum 1:1); Moab (Isaiah 15:1); Damascus in Syria (Isaiah 17:1); Egypt (Isaiah 19:1); and Arabia (Isaiah 21:13). Assyria (not covenant-keepers of Moses’ Law!) was told by the prophet: “The LORD has given a command concerning you: ‘Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile’” (Nahum 1:14). Since then, none of these have ever arisen again to their former prominence and power! Since Jesus Christ, no country is God’s chosen People except the spiritual kingdom known as the churches of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 16:16).

All God requires of every nation is to uphold and encourage right-thinking and right-doing: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin’” (Ezekiel 18:29-30). God is “fair,” for He accepts anyone who obeys Him: “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him’” (Acts 10:34-35).

Jesus Christ pronounced the principle that saves: “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16). This Gospel obeyed, exalts any nation.

“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.’” — George Orwell

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #burden, #church-of-christ, #commandments, #evil, #fair, #god, #good-works, #government, #judgment, #leaders, #obedience, #preaching, #proverbs, #righteous, #righteousness, #terror, #truth, #wisdom