"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
We are a busy people. We have many appointments that we keep each day of the week. Work, school, athletic events, social events, doctors, meetings, etc., they all demand our time. Many of us work a 40 hour week, sometimes more, in addition to the time we have with our families and other activities. All of these occurrences take up our time. We have to schedule our daily lives so we are on time for all these events. Take our jobs for example, it is important that we are prompt in reporting for work, or we can expect a meeting with our supervisor, or are looked down on by fellow workers. Being late for work is never a good thing---it suggests lack of commitment, indifference, laziness, etc. So we make special efforts to make sure we are not late for our jobs, be it going to bed a little earlier in the evening and waking up a few minutes earlier each morning, or setting more than one alarm; we surely don’t want to be late…or we will get in trouble.
Let’s not forget other important appointments that we keep. We made a commitment as a congregation to meet together on Sunday at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM; and Wednesday at 7:00 PM for the purpose of worshiping God as the body of Christ. This means we are expected to be here at those times ready to engage in worship and fellowship with each other and the Lord. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” There was a problem the Hebrew writer was addressing, the failure of some to attend the “assembling” of the saints.
Not the “assembly,” which indicates one meeting; but the assembling, which covers a plurality of meetings of the saints. Some had made a habit, (i.e. custom, manner, routine, practice, tendency) of forsaking (i.e. abandoning, deserting, leaving behind) the assembling together of the saints. We all know what a habit is…and how hard it is to break. Forsaking the assembling of the saints is a perilous habit. Do we put the same effort into being on time for our assembling together as we do into getting to work? If not, why not?
Brethren, listen to the scriptures, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2:5). “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Does our promptness in being present for our assembling together reflect the facts presented in these verses? When one is habitually late arriving to services, it causes wonder and concern among the brethren. When one misses the gathering together of us all, you are missed. The opportunity to have fellowship with the saints and the Lord, to sing, to pray, to give, to partake of the Lord’s Supper, and to hear the gospel message has been lost. The opportunity has been lost whether it is a Sunday, Wednesday, or a gospel meeting. What can we do for those who are weak in this area? “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24). Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed” (Heb 12: 12-13). Let each one of us make every effort to be present at every assembly of the saints, so, together, we can be built up in the most holy faith. And encourage and strengthen those who are weak.
Brethren, there is another appointment we all will keep, regardless! “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). How will we answer for the times that there was something else more important to us than to take the time to gather with the saints as commanded? What will your answer be, brother or sister? “I stayed up too late last night?” “I just did not feel like coming?” “I had company, and did not want to leave them at home alone?” Brethren, listen to the scriptures, "He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48). Brother or sister, will your answer stand in the Day of Judgment?
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-17
Jesus taught that our forgiveness of those who sin against us directly affects the forgiveness we receive from God – Matt. 18:21-35.
Question: Can you please clarify this for me?
4:32 is used to say we are to forgive as Christ forgives – meaning we
forgive when asked.
Answer: Have a heart ready to forgive all sin, never failing to forgive whom God forgives (Mk. 11:25-26).
I. WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
Send Away, Matt. 18:27; Rom. 4:7.
II. WE ARE TO FORGIVE OTHERS AS GOD FORGIVES US, Eph. 4:32.
(without limit), Matt. 18:21-22.
III. WHAT ABOUT WHEN SINNER DOES NOT SEEK OUR FORGIVENESS? (Mk. 11:25-26)
A. Keep a
Heart that is Always Ready to Practice Forgiveness, Matt. 18:35 (Lk. 23:34),
Eph. 4:31; Rom. 12:17-21; Acts 7:60.
For more on The Seventh-day Adventist Church, please go to http://www.bibleanswer.com/adventist7.htm
The Seventh-day Adventist Church
Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:11-17
SDA Church is among the fastest growing Protestant denominations in the world (13.6 million members).
I. ORIGIN OF THE SDA CHURCH.
from Prophetic Failures of William Miller (Great Disappointment, Oct. 22,
II. SOURCES OF AUTHORITY.
III. SIN AND SALVATION.
Men are Born Sinners (Original Sin). [Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 5:12-13]
IV. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS & SABBATH.
Ten Commandments are God’s Unchangeable Law & Binding on All.
-Bible: Neh. 9:13-14; Deut. 5:1-3, 12-15; Exo. 31:13-17; Ezek. 20:12, 20; Col. 2:14-17.
V. OTHER SDA PRACTICES & DOCTRINES.
Tithing. [1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7]
Die...Waiting to Live
This week has been a death watch in America and around the world. Terri Shiavo passed from this life on Thursday, but the family feuding continues. Her decline to death is a moral outrage; the Lord will judge. Jerry Falwell was put on a ventilator due to a recurring bout with pneumonia, but is off it and improved. And now, the world watches as Pope John Paul II weakens and the Roman Catholic Church makes preparations for his death and the selection of his successor. But, it is not just famous people who approach death. The advent of death happens every day in hospitals around the world. At other times, misfortunes happen and death comes suddenly (Eccl. 9:11). It wouldn’t hurt us to read the obituaries from time to time and be reminded of death’s nearness.
In one sense, we are all waiting to die. Slowly but surely, the body declines until the silver cord is broken (Eccl. 12:2-7). The certain approach of death gives all the more urgency to “remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Eccl. 12:1). The Christian heeds this call and puts the Lord’s will before his own, knowing the brevity and uncertainty of life (Jas. 4:13-17).
So, in a real sense, although Christians are waiting to die, we are also waiting to live. Yes, Christians presently live with Christ (in spiritual life, Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13). But when death comes, mortality will be “swallowed up by life” for those who presently walk by faith; in death they will be “with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:1-8). This is our living hope in Christ (1 Pet. 1:3-5).
Yes, we all have an appointment with death (Heb. 9:27). But, as Christians “wait to die” we should also remember we are waiting to live – forevermore.
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA