And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Vol 13, Num 38, 10/24/2010

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

Freeing the Chilean Miners: One of the Most
 Spectacular Rescue Missions Ever Undertaken
Steve Wallace

     Many in our nation and the world were recently riveted to their television sets as the drama of the final days of entrapment and spectacular freeing of the Chilean miners played out before them. The reality of the life-threatening state of the miners along with the concern, effort and ingenuity on the part of the rescuers was impressive, but to witness the miners being freed one by one from their seemingly hopeless entombment was wonderful. Our attention turned gradually from one stage of relevant news to the next.

   1. The seemingly hopeless state of the miners. Before modern times anyone trapped 2,000 feet underground would be counting their days and preparing for the grim, inescapable reality of approaching death. Even with our advanced technology there was great concern regarding the possibility of the Chilean miners’ survival.

   2. The effort made to free them. People from different nations united. Language barriers were overcome. The minds, ideas, machinery and experience of seasoned men in related fields were pooled with one objective: rescue those miners.

   3. The joy on their part and that of all observers upon their being freed. The first man brought happiness but he also brought hope that all would follow him. The exuberance and appreciation of Mario Sepulveda, the second miner to emerge from the capsule, no doubt roused many drowsy EST zone watchers to an alert and even exuberant state. Men who had been facing almost certain death were alive and out of danger!

A Spiritual Application of this Series of Events

     We bemoan the lost and hopeless state of the masses of all nations in our day. Sin, false religion, agnosticism and so many other forces have people in a state similar to that of the entombed miners, except that the consequences are eternal in nature (Rom 3:23; Rom. 1:20-28; Matt. 25:46; 2 Thes. 1:7-9). The greatest rescue mission of all time has been mounted to save them. God sent His own Son into the world (Jno. 3:16). The accounts of His life of service, supernatural acts of compassion, mercy and grace, boundless love, and atoning death have drawn those of all nations, saved them from their sins and led them into lives of service to Him (Acts 1:8; 9:31; 10:1-48; 11:19-26; 14-28; Rom. 6:17-19). These disciples have pooled their ideas, abilities, energy, funds, time, etc., with one objective, free those lost in sin and help them to serve God (Mk. 16:15,16; Matt. 28:19,20). Countless scenes of joy have been witnessed both in the inspired historical accounts of the first century and since (Acts 8:39; 13:52; 15:3; 16:34). Heaven awaits the final scenes with joy beyond present comprehension (Rev. 7:9-17).

     The great effort to free the trapped miners is finished. The greatest rescue mission of all time is still going on. Are you a part of it?

-The Way of Truth and Life (III:33), church of Christ at St. Leon, IN


Spiritual Bankruptcy
Joe R. Price

The Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California has filed for bankruptcy after failing to emerge from its $43 million debt (“Crystal Cathedral megachurch files for bankruptcy”, Amy Taxin, AP, Yahoo!News). A megachurch of 10,000 members started in the 1950’s by Robert H. Schuller, Sr., the Crystal Cathedral (CC) produces the “Hour of Power” television show and operates many ministries. We would do well to learn wisdom’s lessons from the decline of the CC.

   Financial bankruptcy. The Bible teaches us to pay our debts (Rom 13:7-8). While the law of Moses commanded a release of debt every seven years among the Israelites, this release was a hedge against the oppressive treatment of the poor and not an excuse to evade paying one’s debts (Deut 15:1-6; Lev 25:17, 35-43). When one assumes debt he assumes the responsibility of repaying that debt in full. The CC took on debt far beyond its ability to repay (sounds like the U.S. government!). Going through U.S. Bankruptcy Court in order to “rehabilitate” the debt and continue to operate does not relieve the CC of its duty before God to pay its debtors. I recall a time when it was shameful to file for bankruptcy, especially if it was used to somehow get around repaying debt. New Testament Christians who see bankruptcy as a solution to choosing too much debt should accept their obligation before God to repay what they owe. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…for you serve the Lord Christ” includes the repayment of the debt we incur (Col 3:23-24). The fact that we serve Christ is not an excuse to ignore our financial obligations; it is our reason to repay what we owe others.

   Doctrinal bankruptcy. The teachings promoted at the CC by Robert Schuller and his daughter (who is the senior pastor at CC) are classic ecumenism: “I’m okay, you’re okay”. Sin is not addressed; relationships and feeling good about yourself is the goal of their “positive” gospel. Such a message is powerless to turn sinners to the Savior (Rom 1:16; 3:23; 6:23). It redefines the sin problem out of existence as it convinces unsuspecting souls to be comfortable in their sins. The gospel plan of salvation (hear the gospel, believe in Jesus as Christ, confess faith, repent of sins and be baptized for remission of sins) is rejected as “works salvation” (Jno 6:44-45; 8:24; Matt 10:32; Lk 17:5; Mk 16:15-16). Anyone who turns away from the apostolic doctrine is doctrinally bankrupt (Matt 10:40; Acts 2:41-42).

   Moral bankruptcy. Extravagance and opulence aptly describes the CC. Just a glance at the glass edifice supports that conclusion. As an example, consider the recently cancelled Easter and Christmas pageants that featured live animals. I understand extravagance can be a relative term and is often in the eye of the beholder. Being wealthy is not immoral; what one does with his wealth may or may not be immoral. But, when the choice of extravagance infringes on one’s ability to be generous and giving does it not violate the Lord’s commandment to “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Tim 6:17-18)? There is something dreadfully wrong and sinful if we “lie on beds of ivory…but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph” (Amos 6:3-7). We should examine our view of material goods and never put our trust in riches, but in the living God (Lk 12:15-21). Then we will make moral use of material possessions and be a blessing (Lk 10:28-37).


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

The Nature Sin

Scripture Reading:  Luke 12:15-21

1. Sin never delivers what it offers, Heb 11:25; 2 Pet 2:17-19.
2. Judges 16: Samson’s life illustrates this fact.


  A. Samson’s Will was Finally Broken by the Constant Pleadings/Enticements of Delilah, 16:15-17; Prov 1:10-16; 1 Cor 15:33; Exo 32:1-6; 32:21-24.
  B. When Given Occasion, Sin Progresses into Further Evil, Rom 7:8; Psa 1:1; 2 Tim 2:16-18; 3:13; Heb 6:4-6.


  A.  Samson Had No Intention of Remaining Bound, 16: 20 (Prov. 23:29-35); 2 Cor 4:4; 2 Pet 2:19; Lk 15:11-17.
  B.  Beware the Controlling Power of Sin, Jno 8:34 (Rom 7:22-23; 6:11-14); Rom 6:16-18 (1 Pet 4:1-4; Eph 4:22-24); Jno 8:31-32.


  A. Samson’s Recklessness with God’s Blessing Cost Him His Sight, His Dignity, His Strength, His Freedom and Final­ly His Life, 16:21, 25, 30.
  B. Choosing Sin Will Cost You:
    1. Your soul, Rom 6:23; Matt 16:26.
    2. God’s fellowship, 2 Jno 9.
    3. Peace of mind, peace with man and God, Phil 4:6-7 (alienation, Col 1:21).
    4. Your dignity and honor, Eph 5:12
    5. Heaven and get you hell, Rev 21:7-8, 27.
  C. Count the Cost and Pay the Price, Lk 14:26-33.


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Unity: Follow Christ, Not Men

Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:10-16

1. Unity is a defining trait of God’s people.
2. Yet, the body of Christ ravaged by division:
  a. False teaching, Acts 15:1-2; 1 Jno 2:18-19.
  b. Carnality, 1 Cor 3:1-3; 4:6.
  c. Selfish ambition, Phil 2:3.
3. Unity requires devoted and humble hearts, hard work and endurance, Eph 4:3.

I. A PLEA FOR UNITY, 1 Cor 1:10.

  A. Speak the Same Thing: Gospel of Christ, 2 Tim 4:2-4; Eph 4:4-6.
  B. Be Mended Together in the Same Mind and Same Judgment, Phil 2:2, 5-8; Col 3:16.


  A. Following Men Divides the Body of Christ, 1:12-13 (Eph 4:4; 2:14-18).
  B. Following Men Produces the Sins of Envy, Strife and Divisions, 1 Cor 3:3; Gal 5:20-21, 13-15.


  A. Liberalism in Churches of Christ, Gal 1:6ff.
  B. Following Preachers, 1 Cor 1:12-13; 4:6; 3:3; Jas 2:1-4; 1 Tim 6:4; Matt 22:39; 1 Cor 13:4-7; Jno 13:34-35.
    1. Not competitors, Mk 10:37, 40-45; Phil 2:19-24, 25-30.
    2.  Fellow workers, 1 Cor 3:5-9.
  C. Preachers are not to be Exalted over Others, 3:5-7; 1 Pet 4:10-11; Col 3:23-24.


1. Unity among God’s people is good and pleasant in His sight, Psa 133:1
2. God hates one who causes discord among brethren, Prov 6:19.
3. Which person will you and I be: One who promotes unity or who causes strife, factions and division? Rom 16:17-18; Titus 3:10-11


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

The Oldest Thing Ever Seen?
Joe R. Price

Astronomers say they have discovered the oldest thing ever seen – a galaxy over 13 billion light years from the earth. Since they believe all things have continued without interruption for 20 billion years (give or take a billion or two), they conclude this galaxy probably doesn’t even exist any longer. (“Astronomers say they’ve found oldest galaxy so far”, Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Yahoo!News).

     Looking at a galaxy 13.1 billion light years away does not constitute looking at the oldest thing ever seen. Among other things, their conclusion rejects creation with the appearance of age. God created man and woman as adults, possessing the appearance of age from the moment they came into existence (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7, 22). Similarly, God could (and did) create the stars with an appearance of maturity (Gen 1:16). This shows the power and glory of God (Psa 19:1).

     Matter is not eternal; everything comes from something (nothing comes from nothing). The Bible answers the question of a First Cause: God is the Creator of all things (Gen 1:1). Unbelieving astronomers and other scientists are left with the dilemma of explaining the origin of matter and the power it unleashed in their theoretical “big bang”. They have not yet succeeded in doing so.

     Furthermore, why should we believe the astronomers when they say it is “almost to the edge” of the universe as did Richard Ellis, astronomy professor at the California Institute of Technology (Ibid.)? They have said such things before (remember when the universe was only 6-10 billion years old?). Their predictions are consistently revised, ever changing and always contradicting earlier claims. We will continue trusting in the God who does not change.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  10/25/2010

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