Ron Adans Via Bulletin Gold

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do,
and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
James 4:17

Those who say:
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” “I never hurt anyone,” or
“I never even bothered anyone,”
fall short of “doing right” and “helping.”

Righteousness is not just the absence of sin–
it’s the presence of right-doing.
The absence of wrong-doing leaves a void that
is to be filled with righteous deeds.
Faith without works is dead!

Jesus said to those on His left:
“Depart from Me …
for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in;
naked, and you did not clothe Me;
sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. ..
to the extent that you did not do it to one of
the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”
Matthew 25:43-45


By Joe Slater Via Bulletin Gold


“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high
time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is
nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).
Saturdays and Sundays used to be my opportunities to “sleep
in.” School was out, and church wasn’t a priority. On school
days, however, my parents would say, “It’s time to get up! You
don’t want to be late for school.”

Some of the Christians to whom Paul wrote in Romans needed
to wake up! Physical sleep wasn’t the problem; Paul used sleep
as a metaphor for their spiritual lethargy.

Who knows why they had become sluggish? Being the capital
of the empire, the city of Rome contained every vice, every
philosophy, and every strange religion you can imagine.
Christians might well struggle to stay true to the gospel. How
should they interact with different religious groups? What should
their relationship to the government be? How should they treat
fellow Christians and people in general? Wrestling with such
issues can make you tired and sleepy!

Paul exhorts: “Wake up!” Why? Because “now our salvation
is nearer than when we first believed.” This salvation refers not
to our initial cleansing at baptism, but our ultimate salvation
when the Lord takes us to Heaven. Paul wasn’t saying that Jesus’
return was imminent, but our departure to be with Christ
(Philippians 1:23) draws nearer every day.

Our challenges aren’t identical to those of the Romans, but
vice and false religions confront us too. And the same lethargy
infects us, especially after we’ve been in Christ several years.
Time draws shorter for each of us every day. That being so, may
God help us to wake up!


By Joe Slater Via Bulletin Gold


How can God’s word “grow”? We think of a tree growing, or
a child growing, but God’s word?

Three times the book of Acts speaks of God’s word growing.
First, after resolving the complaint about some widows in the
Jerusalem church being neglected, “Then the word of God grew,
and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem”
(Acts 6:7). Obviously, the body of truth (i.c. the gospel) didn’t
become any larger. But unrest within the church discourages the
spread of the gospel; once that issue was settled God’s word was
proclaimed enthusiastically, resulting in numerous conversions.

Second, after the death of Herod Agrippa I (the one who killed
James and wanted to kill Peter), Acts 12:24 says, “But the word
of God grew and multiplied.” God dealt with the murderous
monarch in due time. Meanwhile, Herod’s brutal behavior
couldn’t stop the spread of the gospel.

Finally, the inspired record states, “So the word of the Lord
grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:20). The first word, “So,”
points to the reason the Lord’s word grew, as shown in the two
previous verses. Some believers evidently hadn’t made a clean
break with pagan occultism (“magic”). When they confessed
their deeds and demonstrated the fruit of repentance by burning
their expensive books, the gospel made tremendous advances.

God’s word spreads (grows) when Christians are united, when
Christians evangelize despite persecution, and when Christians
show genuine conversion by turning away from their previous
ungodly practices. God’s word will grow today when we pay
heed to these very things.


Al Behel Via Bulletin Gold


“We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29)
When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 its
founders were declaring independence from an earthly power
while making a clear declaration of dependence upon Almighty
God. The closing words of this historic document declares

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we
mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our
sacred honor.”

The founding fathers of this nation recognized the need for
guidance. Relying on the providence of God they pledged
their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the mutual
good of the citizens of this new nation. Their declaration was one
of dependence on God while exercising freedom from foreign

Pledging allegiance to our national flag represents our mutual
commitment to preserve our sacred honor under divine leadership
and guidance. We recognize the position God holds far above
governmental leaders and that all nations stand or fall as He wills.

As Christians our allegiance extends beyond flags and
declarations of independence. Our God is supreme over all
nations, all peoples, and all cultures. He stands untouched by the
corruption and greed of rulers gone bad, or governments whose
leaders refuse to bow before Him. Arsenals of mass destruction
pale under His power. Our allegiance is to the King of Kings and
the Lord of Lords.


Alan Smith

“My husband andI were cleaning the church building
one evening and our three-year-old son was ‘helping’ us.
We walked up to the baptistry to make sure nothing was
in the water that shouldn’t be and our son said, ‘You
can’t drink that water.’ I asked him, ‘Why can’t we drink
the water? and he replied, ‘Because it has sins in it.””
(taken from “A Sunday Afternoon With the Preachers’

It does seem to make sense, doesn’t it? If all our sins
washed away at the point of baptism (Acts 22:16),
it’s easy to see how a child could mistakenly think they
just collect there in the water. If that were really true, it
would be important to drain the baptistry frequently!
I’m thankful, though, that those sins don’t collect in
the bottom of a pool of water. They don’t get piled up in
a closet somewhere ready to be pulled out at a later time
like a load of dirty laundry. They don’t get stored on a
hard drive in case a “‘search” needs to be made to find
them. No! Thank God, they are removed, blotted out,
wiped clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we are
able to rise from the water a new creature!

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he
removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

Via Bulletin Gold


By David Bragg

On the evening of September 13, 1814 an American diplomat
found himself stuck on a British vessel watching a fierce
bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry. The state of affairs
looked grim. As he spent the night detained by the enemy,
Francis Scott Key looked out across the waters towards the
American fort. But with the dawn of a new day the American
cause found strength. The flag still waved above the fort. That
morning, on the back of a letter he happened to find in his pocket,
Key began to compose a poem that would be finalized within a
week. He called it The Defense of Fort McHenry.”

Over the space of many years the beloved song would grow in
popularity as it was sung in patriotic settings and, in 1862, at a
major sporting event. The patriotic tune would also be sung to
inaugurate the first World Series game in 1903 (www.pbs.org).
Many attempts were made to have it adopted as America’ s
official national anthem, but that would not happen until March
3, 1931 when President Herbert Hoover made “The Star-
Spangled Banner America’s song.

For Christians of every generation the familiar words penned
by Key have special meaning: “the land of the free and the home
of the brave.” We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom/nation
(Phil. 3:20). As such, our freedom is purchased with the precious
blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28). Our spiritual liberty demands
courage, the willingness to stand up for, and suffer if necessary
for, the cause of Christ. It requires courage to live faithfully in
the kingdom of the saved.

Via Bulletin Gold


By Joe Slater


God has never required trusting obedience without evidence. Biblical
faith is not blind faith. Throughout the ages He has shown Himself to
be infinitely worthy of our confidence.

In ancient times He used signs (miracles) to confirm His word. Jesus
utilized abundant signs during His ministry. Despite such clear proof,
His enemies taunted, “We want to see a sign from You” (Matthew
12:38). But Jesus, knowing their corrupt hearts, rejected their ploy. He
would give them no sign except His resurrection!

God has blessed us today with His completely revealed, confirmed,
and recorded word. His inspired apostles worked innumerable signs to
verify it. That task being complete, no further proof is needed.
Supernatural gifts, therefore, have ceased (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).

Nevertheless, many even today clamor for a sign! A difficult
decision confronts us “Give me a sign, Lord!” We want to know what
the future holds – “Lord, send me a sign!”

More often than not, modern sign-seekers assume their subjective
feelings are signs from God. “This decision gives me peace, so it must
be God’s will.” Such reasoning is backward! We ought to be at peace
because we know our decision is according to God’s written will, not
just assume it is God’s will because we feel at peace.

It all goes back to “facts, faith, and feelings.” God’s word establishes
the facts. Upon God’s word we base our faith. Knowing that we have
rusted and obeyed God’s word should make us feel good. Many,
however, have reversed this order: “I feel like this is right; therefore,
that’s what I believe; therefore, it must be God’s will.”

We have God’s confirmed will. We need no signs!

Via Bulletin Gold


By Mac Deaver

In Phil. 4:4 Paul wrote, «Rejoice in the Lord always: again I
will say, Rejoice.” –But what are some circumstances that call
forth the joy of which Paul speaks?

We ought to rejoice in our salvation. After the Ethiopian
officers conversion, he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
After the seventy returned from their mission, Jesus told them to
rejoice that their names were written in heaven (Lk. 10:20). If
one’s sins are forgiven and his name is written in the Lamb’s
book of life, he certainly ought to rejoice.

We ought to rejoice as we realize that God is in control of
world affairs. Sometimes the catastrophic events throughout the
world cause us all great concern. But we must not despair,
realizing that God is aware of all, and is in control of all. (Rom.
13:1-4; Isaiah 6:l). And even if we must suffer for right-doing,
there is occasion for rejoicing (Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 2:20).

We ought to rejoice in the knowledge that all will work out to
the ultimate good of the faithful. “And we know that to them
that love God all things work together for good, even to them
that are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). All
things revolve around the good of the church. Paul also said,
“The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save
unto his heavenly kingdom….” (2 Tim. 4:18).

Indeed, the Christian has every reason to rejoice in the Lord.

Via Bulletin Gold


By Al Behel

“Every athlete exercises self-control…They do it to
receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable
one…” (I Cor. 9:25)

John “Pepper” Martin played for the St. Louis Cardinals and
was the star of the 1931 World Series. Following one of those
games Pepper was interviewed by a newsman. The first question
he was asked was, “Pepper, what’s your chief ambition?”
Without hesitating Pepper responded, “My chief ambition is to
go to heaven.”

The newsman who interviewed Pepper Martin laughed at his
response and said rather sarcastically, “Oh, you want to play a
harp, eh?” Martin shot back at him, “My friend, I don’t think that
is funny. I know you don’t mean to be a smart aleck, but there’s
something wrong with a person’s attitude when he’s flippant
about serious things. If there’s anything foolish about reading
the Bible every day and believing what it says, and if there’s
anything funny about wanting to go to heaven when you leave
this world, then I’m afraid life here isn’t worth living.”

What a goal! To go to heaven. I’ve often asked people, “If you
could go anywhere and do anything, what would you choose?
The responses have been interesting. A common response is, “Td
like to go to Europe, Paris, Or to Greece, etc.”I don’t remember
anyone saying, “Id like to go to heaven.”

The Christian life is like running a race. In the ancient Olympic
games the winner received a perishable wreath ofivy or pine. We
are in a race for an imperishable wreath that will never decay.
We want to go to heaven. Nothing we gain in life in our careers
r accumulate through wealth will be taken into our caskets. Our
friends will not go with us. We will go alone. All earthly treasures
will be left behind. But, we look beyond these temporary trinkets
to an eternal home where we will live for all eternity. In the
words of our hymn, “Heaven will surely be worth it all.”

Via Bulletin Gold


By Rob Albright


When the women came to the tomb of Jesus, an
angel met them and said “He is not here” (Mt.
28:6). Jesus was not in the tomb. It was empty.
Even though a large stone was blocking the
entrance and even though the tomb was guarded,
the fact is, the tomb was empty.

So, what happened? Luke states the truth in
Acts 2:24 when he said, God raised Him. That
message of Jesus’ resurrection must be preached.
The resurrection verifies Jesus claim to be the
Son of God. This truth was confirmed when
Jesus appeared to His disciples (John 20). Paul
said that Jesus even appeared to over 500 people
and most were alive in 56 AD (1 Cor. 15:6)

The resurrection benefits us. It gives us a
living hope (1 Peter 1:3) and if we have been
united together in the likeness of His death,
burial, and resurrections, we shall be in the
likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:1-5).

Via Bulletin Gold