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Thoughts To Ponder

The fool has said
in his heart, "There
is no God."

(Psalm 14:1)

 


University church of Christ

 

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Hear David Maxson in a Series on the Book of Daniel Held at the University church of Christ
For Audio and PowerPoint click here!



A Study of the Holy Spirit
Adult Bible Class

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Hear Mark Broyles on "Marriage as God Designed It"

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A Study of Evangelism
(Studies in the Cross of Christ)
College Bible Class by Larry Rouse

 


Studies by David Tant at the University church of Christ

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Building a Biblical Home Bible Class Series

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The Place and Work of the Apostles

Wednesday Night College Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Learning How God Works
Lesson 2 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 1)
Lesson 3 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 2)

Lesson 4 - The Words Delivered to the Apostles
Lesson 5 - Local Churches and the Apostles
Lesson 6 - Defending the Place of the Apostles

Click For Audio

 

The War Against God

by J. R. Bronger

 

Have you ever wondered why there is such an effort to remove God from public consciousness? I see billboards along the interstate saying things like “God is an imaginary friend,” or “In the beginning man created God,” and “There is no God, don’t believe everything you hear.”

Those most militant in this often equate believing in God with believing in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. If this is the case, then why haven’t we seen billboards proclaiming “The tooth fairy is an imaginary friend”? There is no concerted effort to keep the Tooth Fairy out of schools? There is a reason you know!

Millions of people need money but there is no one who puts a tooth beneath his pillow expecting the Tooth Fairy to replace it with needed money. Yet, millions of people who believe in God pray diligently believing that God hears and answers prayers (1 John 3:22).

Hospitals are filled with the sick and dying but nobody asks Santa to heal their loved ones. However, countless sick petition God to intervene and providentially provide healing. But suppose people actually put a tooth under the pillow expecting an answer from the Tooth Fairy. Or suppose people really wrote Santa asking for healing—would any try to make such unconstitutional? It is doubtful anyone would respond with little more than a “ho hum—how silly can people be?”

(click here for the entire article...)


"If Wishes Were Horses ..."

by Fanning Yater Tant

 

Jerusalem lay in ruins and desolation; her walls were broken and fallen, her gates burned with fire. Rubble and rubbish made passage through her streets difficult and hazardous. In far away Shushan, capital city of the great Artaxerxes, Nehemiah received word from certain men out of Judah; "and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, 'The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.' And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept...." (Neh. 1:2-8)

But weeping solves few problems. And Nehemiah wasted little time in useless tears. He was grieved at the desolation of the great city — and he determined to do something about it. He recounts his action, "So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king...." (Neh. 2:4,5) Prayer alone was not enough; no matter how fervent his desire, how ardent his longings, how intense and earnest his petition to God, prayer had to be combined with action. So Nehemiah prayed, and immediately then set about to work toward an answer for his prayer. There is an old proverb to the effect that, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." Wishing is not enough; prayer is not enough. It takes thought, and planning, and WORK.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Cost of Influence and Reputation

by Bill Hall

 

There are people in this world who are possessed with natural ability to lead and command respect of others. Call it charm, charisma, magnetism, or whatever; such people wield a powerful influence on those who look up to them as the embodiment of all they would like to become themselves. Peter apparently possessed such qualities among the apostles. There were David, Deborah, Nehemiah, and others. We have known such people in our day and have been influenced by them. Each reader can probably think of some “hero” of faith that he or she has looked up to through the years.

The opportunities for good that such people possess are tremendous, but so are the responsibilities. It is true that sin is sin, whoever commits it - that sin will separate one person from God just as quickly as it will another. But the adverse consequences of one’s sins increase dramatically with the increase of the influence and reputation he enjoys among others. The confidence of others is a trust that must be carefully protected. Once that trust is in place, the person to whom it is committed has responsibilities that others of more normal influence and reputation do not have. And the more people involved in the trust, the greater the responsibility.

(click here for the entire article...)


Excuses Are not Reasons!

by Dee Bowman

 

The difference between a reason and an excuse should be obvious. If a person has a reason for his conduct or behavior, he will certainly use it, and legitimately. A person who gives a “reason” that is actually not a reason but an excuse, has a problem. I can find little difference–if any–between an excuse and a lie.

In fact, if a thing is presented as a “reason” when it’s not actually a reason, how else would you describe it? A reason is the ground, motive, or cause for which a thing is done. It gives an answer that actually justifies some action, belief, or event. On the other hand, an excuse, given ostensibly to explain the facts in a case, in reality hides the truth and so is merely a pretext or subterfuge.

If folks who are constantly giving excuses for their lack of participation knew how utterly foolish are some of their “reasons,” they would likely desist from their usage right away. Let me illustrate. These are a few of the more common excuses for people’s lack of involvement and particularly for their lack of attendance at the services of the church.

(click here for the entire article...)


Teaching Children About Fornication

by Mark Roberts

 

"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (1 Cor. 6:18).

Perhaps no precept of scripture is as widely ignored as this one. Our society is absolutely obsessed with sex. Advertising, movies and television, printed material, popular music -- it all is filled to the brim with sex, lust, fornication, and adultery. Unfortunately, our young people are deeply affected by their environment. A Center for Disease Control study found that among ninth graders 40% had committed fornication, with the numbers rising to 72% by the time children had reached the twelfth grade. The consequences of this behavior are staggering. Every year 3 million teens acquire a sexually transmitted disease. Every year more than one million teens become pregnant (that is 1 out of every 9 women aged 15-19).

If you are thinking "our" kids escape these statistics by virtue of their association with the Lord's church you can quit fooling yourself. Studies indicate that while "our" kids do not participate in sexual activity at quite the rate worldly children do, "our" children only lag about 20 points behind national averages. Satan is preaching a sermon about sex that kids want to hear, and they are willingly falling into his trap of lies and deception. What can be done?

(click here for the entire article...)


Good Relationships Among Brethren

by R. J. Evans

 

The Scripture provides much information concerning good relationships among those who are children of God.  There are many positive teachings concerning how to get along—especially all the commands to love one another.  There are a number of warnings against gossip, tale bearing, backbiting, slander, and sowing discord among brethren.  The book of Proverbs is filled with wise instruction concerning relationships with others.

In the church, many problems have occurred because someone failed to abide by the teachings of God’s Word.  Brethren are told to put “away lying, each speaking truth with  a neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25); we are warned against causing “dissensions, contentions and heresies” (Gal. 5:20); those who are factious, causing “divisions and offenses” are to be marked (Rom. 16:17); a divisive person is to be rejected “after the first and second admonition” (Titus 3:10); also, there are warnings against being “idle, wandering from house to house, not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not” (1 Tim. 5:13)

(click here for the entire article...)


The "Market Driven" Approach and Cultural Influence

by Gary Kerr

 

Many preachers are discouraged. We live in an age of thirty-second sound bites and thirty minute TV programs. Modern advertising techniques have glamorized everything from drinking beer to mopping floors to cleaning toilets.  How does this contribute to the discouragement of preachers? Simply stated, modern culture has put pressure on preachers to become super salesmen, and to market both themselves and the local church in a way that will appeal to the modern mind.

This cultural pressure is apparent in two ways. First, preachers receive criticism about preaching too long. The brethren say, "Make us feel good... and do it in thirty minutes!" Second, preachers are pressured to make the local church appealing to the masses. Thus, we cannot condemn sin because that might offend people and drive them away. We cannot practice New Testament discipline, because that would make us appear unkind and unloving in the eyes of the community. We cannot preach topical lessons on doctrinal subjects because we do not want to appear legalistic in our approach. Brethren in many places have fallen in with the times. They demand that we "market" the church so that we can appeal to today's mind and "win more souls to Christ." In dealing with these problems, I will refer to a book entitled Ashamed of the Gospel by John E. MacArthur, Jr. I recommend this book with some hesitation, because MacArthur is a Calvinist, and there is some Calvinism in the book. However, he is dealing with the same things that local churches of Christ are confronting. What is happening among our brethren is neither new nor unique with us.

(click here for the entire article...)


Do All to The Glory of God

by Leslie Diestelkamp

All glory really belongs to God. It is his by right of his majesty, power and wisdom. He really needs nothing from us, for we are only the creatures of his design and of his determined will. Indeed, "Unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever" (I Tim. 1:17). The glory of God is manifested in two ways: (1) His very being portrays his glory. "The glory of the Lord shall endure forever" (Ps. 104:31). The very fact that there is an all-wise, all-powerful God, and that there is only one such God, is the greatest source of honor for him. "I am the first and the last; and beside me there is no God . . . . . . Is there a God beside me? yea there is no God; I know not any." (Isa. 44:6, 8). In Psalms 115 we have the contrast between the true God and the god of the heathen, and the psalmist says, "Not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and thy truth's sake. . . . Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased". (2) But God's work also portrays his glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork" (Ps. 19:1). This good earth, with all of its wonders, and the universe about us with its limitless design and the perfect precision of its operation, declare the glory of God even to those who cannot read. The work of God, in all of its perfection, is incontestable evidence of His majesty, undeniable proof of his power and unending demonstration of his wisdom. His greatest work was concluded in giving his Son to the purchase the church (Eph. 5:25) and because of the nature of that divine body, Paul exclaimed, "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end" (Eph. 3:21). God is glorified because of the very existence of the church. No physical, material thing portrays God's glory so well as the church, the spiritual body of Christ in which sinful souls find salvation (Eph. 5:23; 2:16).

(click here for the entire article...)


Overcoming Bitterness

by Lawrence Kelly

So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet (Ex 15:22-25).

God knows the hearts of His people better than they know their hearts themselves. Because our hearts are frequently not in the right place, He puts us in circumstances that reveal our shortcomings to us. When the new nation of Israel came out of Egypt their hearts were bitter and one of the first things God did for them was show them their fault. He did this by leading them for three days through a searing desert with no water only to bring them at last to an oasis with bitter water. God brought bitter people face to face with bitter water. This hard circumstance revealed the hearts of the people. After the people complained, God directed Moses to take a particular tree and cast it into the water which made the waters sweet.

(click here for the entire article...)


Is Knowing That Baptism is Essential to Salvation Essential to Salvation? 

by Gary Eubanks

This question may seem a bit obscure and require a moment’s reflection to digest, but it actually addresses a very common and familiar situation.  Anyone who knows much about Evangelicalism knows that at its heart lies the concept of salvation by faith alone.  For Evangelicals, salvation comes at the point of belief and before, and without, baptism.  Yet, Evangelicals also seek, and encourage, baptism.  Hence, the idea that people should be baptized but for some reason other than to be saved is by far the norm.

If anyone wants to be baptized at all, it is because the New Testament instructs people to be baptized.  It is inconceivable that anyone could come away from a reasonably careful reading of the New Testament without getting that impression from it.  This much is not even questioned, much less controversial.  The result, then, is a situation in which baptism is held to be essential to obedience but not essential to salvation.  In the abstract, the idea that something could be essential to obedience but not salvation is not at all strange, since almost all of a typical person’s obedience to God’s commands does follow salvation.

Yet, the fallacy of applying this thinking to the purpose of baptism begins to unravel simply by asking how anyone could manage to become convinced from reading the New Testament that he should be baptized without also noticing in the same texts the very reasons why he should be baptized.  Such a scenario is so improbable that the only reasonable conclusion one can draw is that such people have willfully chosen to ignore New Testament teaching about baptism.  A brief survey of some of the more outstanding texts relating to baptism renders this conclusion self-evident:

(click here for the entire article...)


Commitment and Joy 

by Gary Henry

One of the disadvantages of a complex, fast-paced society like ours is that we get entangled in so many different concerns that there's little time or inclination to be deeply involved in any of them. We don't delve deeply; we dabble. But dabblers accomplish very little. Dwight Moody said, "Give me a person who says This one thing I do, and not These fifty things I dabble in." Trying to do too much often keeps us from doing our best at anything. And to make matters worse, the very spirit of our age militates against the making of serious commitments. Modern people are wary of getting into anything they can't easily get out of. We like to keep our options open. So we have two distinct tendencies that, when coupled together, make for a dangerous situation: we are frantically "busy," but at the same time we don't want to get "involved." We suffer at once from a surplus of activity and a shortage of commitment. Our hectic fiddling with this, that, and the other puts us right there next to the fellow who described himself as being "deeply superficial."

It is little wonder that we "get" so little "out of" what we do. We have forgotten the wise advice of our grandparents who told us, "You get out of things what you put into them." They were telling us some-thing that holds true for all of life’s endeavors: commitment and joy are partners. When we stand at a distance from the work and the relationships that ought to be dear to us, we forfeit the fulfillment that is available to us. But when we dig in, get truly involved, and risk the vulnerability of being genuinely committed, we find that life is a storehouse of satisfaction.

(click here for the entire article...)


Is It Growth or Apostasy? 

by Cled E. Wallace

This is the story as it was told to me. A successful businessman and his wife were driving through the state. She observed and made some remarks about some nice meetinghouses under construction. Some of them were for the use of churches of Christ. She asked her husband why these people appeared to be enjoying a steady growth. His answer was that they are still exercising some evangelistic fervor but indicated that he thought they would get over it in time.

Religious movements display a large amount of zeal in their youth, press their claims with fervor and fight hard for recognition. They grow up, ardor cools and the original convictions that started them rolling are diluted. They become institutionalized and depend more on that than they do individual zeal and personal consecration. Popularity and respectability bring in large numbers of adherents who know little and care less about original principles and aims.

What individuals and congregations formerly took care of is now routine work for institutions who look after it for everybody. Individuals and congregations toss in a little money, and it requires little sacrifice if the field has been thoroughly propagandized by a trained headquarters, boast about their institutions, relax and go to sleep with a good conscience. The emphasis is more and more on money and less and less on the strict standards of doctrinal conviction and personal devotion. People being what they are it is a comfortable feeling to make a comfortable contribution and let the institution do it. What is the result? The movement acquires definite denominational characteristics. The bigger and older it gets, the weaker it becomes in the things that really count. Doctrinal convictions and standards of conduct are diluted to meet the minimum requirements of the prevailing sentiment of an institutionalized constituency. Settling down to lower and lower levels is the inevitable tendency in this process of degeneration sometimes boasted of as growth.

(click here for the entire article...)


Have You Ever Been Mad at God? 

by J. R. Bronger

“I have been mad at God many times. I would go outside and shake my fist at God and let him know how angry I was. It just isn’t fair.” These words were blasted out like the heat from a furnace from one whose life is hard and growing harder. All one has to do is sit through the funeral of a child; look into the dying eyes of a loved one, or try to comfort a woman whose husband of 30 years leaves her for a younger and prettier woman and you will often see those who are “mad at God.”

I must acknowledge that life is unfair. This unfairness is seen on nearly every page of the Book of Job. It was hard for Job to swallow and it is as hard for us today as it was for him. Job and his friends try to understand Job’s tragedies but they can’t. They all agree that God should reward those who do good and punish the evil doers. Based on this premise, the friends conclude Job must be an evil doer—but Job is confident that he has not committed some secret sin. This is so unfair. “Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, so that I am a burden to myself?” (Job 7:20). It almost appears that Job feels that God is not doing so well at running the world, and I think this is why the Book of Job seems so modern and relevant, because we too often struggle to understand life’s unfairness.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Will to be Wise 

by Dee Bowman

In the introduction to the Proverbs, Solomon uses several words that have a similar connotation, each having to do with wisdom. Listen to them: "To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity. To give to the young man knowledge and discretion." (Prov 1:2-4; KJV).

Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge or experience to a given set of circumstances in order to bring about the best end for everyone concerned. It is the general theme of the Book of Proverbs, the underlying principle in all that is suggested in it.

"Perceive" is from a Latin word which originally meant "to seize." It is kin to wisdom in that one who has it is usually a wise person, either from education or experience.

"Understanding" is kin to both wisdom and perception in concept. It literally means to have insight into a matter. Perspicuity, formerly an optical term, is its equivalent, meaning to look into something and see.

(click here for the entire article...)


Take Heed to Yourself 

by Al Diestelkamp

If you’ve ever flown on a commercial airline has witnessed a flight attendant giving safety instructions “in case of an emergency.” First-time flyers may give undivided attention to the routine while experienced flyers busy themselves with their electronic devices or other distractions. The memorized instructions have become so ignored that some flight attendants have turned the memorized instructions into a comedy routine which delights even the most frequent flyers and distracts the nervous ones from the seriousness of the information.

I recently attended a half-day seminar designed for caregivers of loved ones who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Before discussing how to deal with the common physical and cognitive issues of the patients, the doctor projected onto a screen a picture of a flight attendant going through the safety routine. He specifically drew our attention to the instructions given in the event of the loss of cabin pressure which causes oxygen masks to drop from above. If traveling with a small child or other person unable to administer the oxygen without help, one is instructed to put on his own mask before aiding a dependent one. This instruction goes against what one would do by instinct but is necessary because one must be able to breathe in order to help the helpless. The doctor’s point to the caregivers was to take care of yourself (physically and emotionally) so that you can provide the care needed for the loved one.

(click here for the entire article...)


To Be Like Thee 

by Dee Bowman

“O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer; this is my constant longing and prayer.”  It should be the prayer of every disciple of Christ.

It takes only a casual reading of Scripture to realize the genuineness, the greatness of our Blessed Redeemer.  He was so good!  Oh, to be like Him.

Jesus Christ was a man with no prejudice.   He was certainly tempted toward such inclinations, I know, for the divine directive says, “He was tempted in all points like as are we, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). He never treated one person in some special way, while neglecting another.  No matter his station in life, every acquaintance of Jesus was accorded the same respect as any other. The Lord praised Peter when he made the confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” saying,  "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” But when Peter was rebuking Him for His statement about His mission to die for the sins of mankind, He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men”
(Mt. 16:18-23). There was no prejudice in Jesus.  What a joy it would be if we could rid ourselves of our pre-conceived notions, our biases, and our party partialities.  Prejudice is the springboard to sin; and open mind is a fit dwelling place for truth.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Christian and His Responsibility to Government 

by Les Maydell

Man has always had a problem in fulfilling his responsibilities to the government, especially when he disagrees with its policies. Many Christians in South Africa were upset with the last government because they were treated unfairly. Lately I have noticed that many Christians are upset with our present government because of its corruption, failure to keep promises, and inability to reduce crime. The government has also passed many ungodly laws such as the removing of the death penalty, the legalizing of gambling, and abortion on demand. I believe that South Africa was also the first country in the world to legalize homosexual marriages. Just about every Christian I know has been affected by crime in some way. This has led to feelings of anger and bitterness towards our government and towards our fellow men. What must we Christians do in this situation?

First of all I think we should not expect our government to be a good government. Our government was elected by majority rule. Are the majority of people in this country true Christians? Matthew 7:13-14 says that few go down the narrow way that leads to life.

(click here for the entire article...)


I Know My Redeemer Lives 

by Wayne Jackson

 

Centuries before the birth of Christ, Job, the suffering patriarch of Uz, exclaimed, “I know that my redeemer lives…” (19:25).

Job could not possibly have appreciated the magnitude of his statement, nor how his confident hope would be fulfilled. He was suffering terribly — both physically and emotionally. But he sincerely believed that his pain and anguish were out of proportion to any evil he unintentionally might have done. Though he spoke of God irreverently at times (like a pet that bites when its master is attempting to treat a wound), underneath it all he maintained a confidence that eventually “justice” would issue from his righteous Maker (cf. Job 13:15 KJV; ESV).

There is a wonderful song with the lyrics, “I know that my Redeemer lives….” We should sing it with zest. Another song, however, asks this question, with answer supplied: “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.”

I am not so sure this phraseology, as commonly interpreted, is prudent. If a person has these thoughts in his mind, “He lives in my heart [mind] because of the credible, historical facts I have learned,” that is one thing. But to use the term “heart,” as such frequently is employed by the religious community at large, is quite another thing.

(click here for the entire article...)


Good Relationships Among Brethren 

by R. J. Evans

 

The Scripture provides much information concerning good relationships among those who are children of God.  There are many positive teachings concerning how to get along—especially all the commands to love one another.  There are a number of warnings against gossip, tale bearing, backbiting, slander, and sowing discord among brethren.  The book of Proverbs is filled with wise instruction concerning relationships with others. 

In the church, many problems have occurred because someone failed to abide by the teachings of God’s Word.  Brethren are told to put “away lying, each speaking truth with  a neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25); we are warned against causing “dissensions, contentions and heresies” (Gal. 5:20); those who are factious, causing “divisions and offenses” are to be marked (Rom. 16:17); a divisive person is to be rejected “after the first and second admonition” (Titus 3:10); also, there are warnings against being “idle, wandering from house to house, not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not” (1 Tim. 5:13)

But what about those occasions when we believe someone has sinned against us?  Are we told what to do? Are we supposed to go around telling everyone, except the person himself, that he has sinned against us?  Indeed, the Bible does give clear instructions on what to do in this situation—see Matthew 18:15-17.  Notice the very first step: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.  If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (V. 15).  How many do this?  It seems to be so much easier to go to someone else first, and gain a sympathetic ear, rather than following what the Bible teaches.  Quite often, those who operate like this, have not even been sinned against.  It’s often pettiness, hurt feelings, jealousy, an “ax to grind”, etc., and not actually a sin, to begin with.  Also, the other person may be totally unaware of any wrong they  might have done.  The passage goes on and gives further instructions: "But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.  But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" (Vv. 16-17)

(click here for the entire article...)


Praying Like David 

by Al Diestelkamp

 

If like me you sometimes find yourself becoming dissatisfied with your personal prayers to God and want to do something about it, it would be good to go to some of the psalms of David. Many of the psalms are actually prayers that can be adapted to fit our own life situations. Such is the case with Psalm 143.

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.

There are at least twelve New Testament passages which assure us that God hears and answers prayer (i.e., 1 Jn. 5:14-15). Why then do we ask God for what He has already promised? It’s not because we don’t believe God will keep His promise. It’s like a child asking his parents to protect him even though they have assured him time and again that they are there for him. Or it’s like a wife asking her husband if he still loves her even though he vowed to do so  “till death do they part.”

2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant. For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

This is a confession of fault from “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). Like David, we must acknowledge that none of us is able to prevail in front of a just judge. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). It is true that one day we will all have to stand before God in judgment (Heb. 9:27); but like David, I don’t seek justice; I seek mercy.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Problem of Moral Insensitivity 

by Dee Bowman

 

Even as small children we are taught to respond to what has been determined to be right.  As a result, we develop a certain sensitivity concerning whatever has been determined to be wrong.  This discipline in regard to what is right and what is wrong trains us and gives us our moral inclination and our mental sensitivity or conscience.  As we learn and develop toward maturity we formulate our own route of moral pursuit and begin to mold our own moral character.  The ideal character is one which has been trained to be affected–pained, actually, even annoyed–by sin.  The Christian is taught to “avoid all forms of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22), and the person who has developed the moral sensitivity he ought to have will not only respond to that enjoinder, but will actually come to “abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9).

I greatly fear that far too many Christians are becoming desensitized to sin.  The devil, realizing that when the Christian has his sensitiveness to sin lessened he is more apt to ignore it, has used several very effective methods to do away with the sentient conscience so needful for a strong  moral character.  I cite three for your consideration.  Take careful note, if you please.

Pornography.  By a process of slowly exposing us to more and more lascivious and lewd scenes in pictures, movies, writing, and the social media outlets, the devil has taken away what ought to be a sensitized repugnancy to such things.  Even the billboards today are covered with what would have been considered base and vulgar even in the generation just past. There was a story on the news just this week about a group of well-knows female stars who where lamenting the fact that their computers had been hacked so that scenes of their nude bodies were being ferried around the various social media. (Did anyone dare to wonder why they were taking nude pictures in the first place?)  Reading materials, the contents of which have degenerated to the lowest possible depth of late, and which could only be seen in the most horrible places, is now not only available, but to some minds, routine.  Where is our moral acuteness, our sense of moral acuity?  Pornography comes gradually, but ends up clogging our minds and even making us think that sexual fantasies–with us as the star of the show–is nobody’s business.  Sin is sin, folks, no matter if we choose to excuse it! (Read Matthew 5:28; I Corinthians 6:18; James 1:13-16)

(click here for the entire article...)


Postfixed Divorces

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.

 

In grammar, a postfix (or suffix) is "a sound, syllable, or syllables added at the end of a word or word base to change its meaning, give it grammatical function, or form a new word" (Webster's New World Dictionary).

It occurs to me that postfixing (to fix after) is what some are do accounts of their divorces. Often there is the account given at the time of the divorce and then a postfixed one given at the time of remarriage. The story is now fixed, after the fact, to include scriptural grounds for divorce. Why? Because the scriptural reason is now far more important than it was at the time of the divorce.

A person is in a difficult marriage. Things have gotten so bad that divorce seems to be the only way out. The person is so disgusted and hurt by this marriage that he or she just wants out. To find another mate? Never! He has had it with this marriage. He has had it with marriage —period. The quicker he can end this misery the better. So, he gets the divorce, using the easiest provable grounds he can find that the state will accept (which is almost any reason or no reason) to get the divorce over with. He is fed up with this intolerable situation.

Had the person's spouse committed fornication? He says he (or she) really doesn't know and moreover it really doesn't matter —because he is going to get the divorce anyway. But, what if he should change his mind later and decide to remarry? He assures us that this is not going to happen. But it does!

(click here for the entire article...)


The Desecration of God's Marriage Law

by Dee Bowman

 

God’s marriage law, it seems to me, is based on three principles.  The three are: 1) the law of origins; 2) the law of harmony; and 3) the law of order. 

Disregard for these three basic marriage regulations has ramified in many different directions wreaking havoc on the home and family as God has defined it in His word.  Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, child abuse--all are related to a disrespect for these three basic principles. Many other deviations which are more subtle, but just as dangerous--things like feminism, the uni-sex movement, gang violence--may well be related to a disregard for these three basic parts of God’s marriage law.

The law of origins

“In the beginning” as Jesus used it in Matthew 19 is significant. It is at the heart of the law of origins.  “Have you not read,” he said, “that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh?”  This is further amplified in the ninth verse when he said, after having been questioned about Moses’ allowance of divorce, “Moses, because of the harness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”  I have denominated this as the law of origins.

(click here for the entire article...)


 

Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing

 

Our God He Is Alive! (Evidences From DNA by Buddy Payne)
PowerPoint
Audio of Lesson

 

Making God Real to Us by Joshua Carter - Nov. 27, 2011
Outline
Audio of Lesson
Audio of Singing

The College Christian by Harold Carswell - Nov. 6, 2011
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Audio of Lesson (Part 1)
Audio of Lesson (Part 2)
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My Struggle as a College Student by Kyle Gibson- Oct. 23, 2011
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Audio of Singing

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Does God Care What I Wear?
(Sermons and Articles on Modesty)

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How to Study the Bible
College Class

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The Place and Work of the Apostles

Wednesday Night Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Learning How God Works
Lesson 2 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 1)
Lesson 3 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 2)

Lesson 4 - The Words Delivered to the Apostles
Lesson 5 - Local Churches and the Apostles
Lesson 6 - Defending the Place of the Apostles

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Hear Bob Buchanon in a Series of Bible Lectures at
the University church of Christ
Jan 13-16, 2013

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Messianic Prophecies in the Book of Isaiah
Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Sunday Mornings at 9:30
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - The Time and Reign of the Messiah
Lesson 2 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 42)
Lesson 3 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 49)
Lesson 4 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 50)
Lesson 5 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 52-53)
Lesson 6 - The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7)

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Sermon Series on the Book of 1 John
by Robert Harkrider

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Themes From the Life of David
Wednesday Night Bible Class by Larry Rouse

 

A Study of Religious Beliefs

Wednesday Night College Bible Class

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Lesson 1 - Introduction and Approach
Lesson 2 - The Roman Catholic Church
Lesson 3 - An Overview of Islam
Lesson 4 - An Overview of Mormonism
Lesson 5 - An Overview of Pentecostalism
Lesson 6 - An Overview of Calvinism

 


Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing

 

 

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