The Islam Seminar
Have You Bought In?
Whenever a new coach takes over a team, he brings in his philosophy of how things are going to be done under his watch. The same holds true for business executives and managers who are placed over other people. In order for things to be successful under the new oversight, those under them must accept the principles of how things are to now be done and do them that way. We might say that this means you have to “buy into” what the coach or supervisor is telling you. I was talking with a high school baseball coach, who happens to be a New Testament Christian, who has just taken over a program in the area. He told me that he is constantly “selling,” his word and not mine, to his new players the program he is trying to install. Those young men have to “buy into” what he is “selling” if they want to be successful.
Words I’ve Heard In The Foyer
A lot of talk goes on in the foyer. We like to talk and that is a wonderful thing many times. Getting to stand in the foyer after each service allows a lot of talk to be heard and I have heard many words used. I hope and pray that we carefully consider the words we use in the foyer (and in all places) because we are going to be judged by our words one day (Mt. 12:36). Getting to stand in the foyer after every service has allowed me to hear a lot of words.
I have heard words of disillusionment. At times we can get so caught up in the problems and goings on of life that we get disillusioned with our brethren and sometimes even with God. Many times these words are said not thinking and not really being meant, but they are said nonetheless. At those times we need to remember that God is faithful to us (1 Co. 10:13). If our brethren are not living or doing right, we need to remember they are human and that there have been times we have lived like them so we need to show patience and not give up on them.
I have heard words of division. Sadly, the times I have heard such type words, they were not being said because of false doctrine being taught. There is to be no division among us (1 Co. 1:10). We must be very careful when making accusations against brethren. We should never air out our grievances with an eldership, preacher or fellow Christian in the foyer. If we have a problem with someone or some group, we need to go to them in love and deal with the problem (Matthew 18:15ff). We never want to be guilty of dividing the Lord’s church when it can be avoided.
I have heard words of direction. There have been times when a brother or sister has had an arm put around them and words spoken to direct them on the right path. I have had that arm put around me and those type words spoken. Solomon would call these words “fitly spoken” (Pr. 25:11). They truly are beautiful because they are spoken to help someone go to heaven.
I have heard words of determination. Numerous times I have heard words along the lines of “I am going to do better.” We need to be people who are determined to do right. We need to seek to grow in Christ (2 Pe. 3:18). Every child of God needs to be determined to go to heaven.
What type of words do you speak in the foyer?
To Whom Shall We Go?
Jesus was never one to pull punches. He laid His message out for everyone to hear and make the choice that they needed to make. There was no sugar coating with Jesus. In John 6 we have recorded a conversation that Jesus had with a group of Jews. What Jesus said in that conversation was considered by many of His disciples to be “a hard saying” (vs. 60). Because of His response to that many of the disciples stopped following Jesus.
Who Is My Neighbor?
Our Lord was the Master Teacher. One of the teaching tools He used was that of the parable. The parable has been defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus would use a parable when attempting to get some spiritual truth across to His audience or in answer to a question. Recorded for us in Luke chapter ten is the parable of the good Samaritan. Jesus was asked by a man who his neighbor was that he was to love as himself. The man did this in order to try and show that he was righteous, which is the idea of the word justify found in verse 29 (The Complete Word Study New Testament, pg. 905). Jesus, using this parable, laid out very plainly who was the neighbor of this man and all men, including us.
What Does It Take To Be A Good Father?
I am by no means an authority on parenting. I do not claim to have mastered the art of parenting. If anyone says they have I do not believe them. However, all this does not mean that we cannot be good parents. Good parents make mistakes and learn from them in order to help their children develop. There are certain characteristics that fathers need to be good ones for their children.
When Can One Be Saved?
In the January issue we noticed what can save mankind: only the blood of Jesus. In the last issue we noticed who can be saved: anyone that will come to Christ. What we want to notice in this issue is when can one be saved.
How Hear We?
The Jews present at the first gospel sermon being preached asked a question of great importance, “How hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:8). They wanted to know how the apostles could be speaking in their languages. That a notable miracle had occurred was evident to them.
Biblical Need For True Leaders
God’s people have always needed leaders. When Moses was drawing near to the time of his death, he asked God to provide a shepherd for the Israelites (Numbers 27:15-23). The reason for his asking for a leader was that he was afraid that the children of Israel would become as “sheep which have no shepherd” without one. Joshua proved to be a great leader of the people, except that it seems he lacked foresight. Joshua did not ask God to name his replacement and as a result, each Israelite “did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
Who Can Be Saved By The Blood Of Jesus
In our last issue, we discussed that only the blood of Jesus can save. We now move to the question of who can be saved. There are those that believe a person must be chosen by God for salvation. This is one of the core beliefs of a doctrine known as Calvinism. This doctrine teaches, among other things, that one is unconditionally elected. In other words, a person has no control over the choice of God, whether to be saved or to not be saved. Calvinism also teaches the idea that Jesus died for just a few people. This is their belief known as limited atonement. What does the Bible say about who can be saved by the blood of Jesus?
Jesus Christ Prince of Peace
The story is told of a man offering a prize to the artist who could best paint a scene that depicts peace. Almost all entries into the contest were of a peaceful water scene. Some were of a very peaceful lake or pond with no ripples, sun peaking over the surrounding hills, animals drinking at the bank. Others were of a peaceful stream with much of the same scenery as the others. None of these were selected as the winner of the contest.
Happiness Is A Result Of Faithfulness
The story is told that Andrew Jackson’s boyhood friends just couldn’t understand how he became a famous general and then the President of the United States. They knew of other men who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson’s friends said, “Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now.”
What Can Save Mankind?
In this time of political and economic upheaval, is there anything that can save us? With joblessness at a long time high, is there anything that can save us? I don’t believe there is any one thing that can save us from these things. However, mankind needs a savior. While we might like to be saved politically or economically, our greatest need is to be saved spiritually. Thanks be to God that He has provided a way for mankind to be saved: the blood of Jesus.
Guidance For Our Youth
The inspired writer of Proverbs can be viewed as a guidance counselor for life. Solomon wrote these proverbs to guide those that sought the wisdom of God. He tells us that wisdom comes from God (Proverbs 2:6). James, the wisdom writer of the New Testament, tells us the same thing (James 1:5). Solomon tells us that there is nothing on earth to be compared in value to wisdom (Proverbs 8:11). It is also interesting to note that he was writing these to guide his son as he matured into adulthood (Proverbs 3:1).
Looking Unto Jesus For Our Example
There is no doubt that we need examples in life. Many things are learned by watching the example of others. Along with that comes the responsibility of choosing the right example to follow and also know when an example is being set. We could end up like several dinner guests at the White House during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge. These particular guests were worried about proper table manners at the White House so they decided to follow the example of President Coolidge. Everything he did at the table they would do as well. Everything went fine through dinner. His example was followed to the hilt and there were no embarrassing episodes. However, when coffee was served things went bad. President Coolidge poured some of his coffee onto the saucer, so his guests did as well. He then mixed cream and sugar with the coffee on the saucer. His guests did as well. Then, President Coolidge put the saucer in the floor for his cat.