Peter Spoke To Us II

Just as you speak to me, Peter spoke to us. In 2 Peter the apostle compels us to be careful with the spiritual blessings God has provided for us (1:1-4, 10-11). He does so by presenting principles by which we should live, people of which to beware, and a promise in which we can have perfect confidence.

Gospel Meeting Begins Sunday

Our Spring Gospel Meeting begins this Sunday with brother Tom Larkin of the Union Church in Somerville, Alabama. Brother Larkin has been at Union for almost fifteen years. He is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University and Regions University (when Tom and I attended those schools they were Freed-Hardeman College and Alabama Christian School of Religion). Tom is a careful Bible student, a faithful Gospel preacher and a good man.

No Longer Be Children

The early church was equipped by God to do her work. In the initial stages that help came through the inspired apostles and various abilities provided by the Holy Spirit (John 14-16, Acts 2). Later, as the apostles and those upon whom they had laid their hands (Acts 8) died out, supernatural interaction by God in the world declined and ultimately ceased. As that was happening, the role of the written Word of God as the source of spiritual direction became primary. Not only is this the Biblical perspective, it is consistent with the available historical record.

Zeal With And Without

Paul loved his people, but he also knew them. He knew that they could be very enthusiastic about their religion. The sad truth is that their zeal was without knowledge (Romans 10:1-2).

To Be Held In Reverence

Psalm 89:7 is a beautiful statement of the proper attitude people are to have when assembled to worship God:
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.
We know that the Psalmist wrote to those under the Law of Moses, but in accord with the spirit of Romans 15:4, there are substantial things there for our learning today. God is to be "held in reverence."

Make Sure The Children Know

No one likes to be accused of being immoral. This is one reason people get all up in arms these days when anybody starts talking about sin. If you run into a man and a woman who are living together without being married and tell them that they are sinning, you had better be prepared for rough treatment. Folks today will not stand to be told that adultery is a sin. Fornication is now a recreational activity and is commonplace as approved behavior on television and in the movies. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 makes plain what it is. Sin is what it is.

"New" Discoveries: The Tomb

Folks who love the Lord and respect the Bible have to put up with a great deal of foolishness. I noticed this week that the Hollywood director James Cameron is involved with a project concerning the supposed discovery of a tomb that has in it the relics of Jesus and an earthly physical family He is said to have had. The implications of such a "discovery" for traditional Christianity are profound. According to what I read about it, this means that Jesus was married with a family, was not raised from the dead and that the New Testament story is just altogether wrong.

Long Life

There is an old Chinese religion, called Taoism, which places a great deal of emphasis on having as long a life as possible. Great lengths are gone to accomplish this goal, but Taoists, like all the rest of us, pass on. Life here is not designed to last forever. Christians know this. When Jesus said "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:1-6), it was because we would be coming along, sooner or later (Hebrews 9:27).

On Baptism

As far as I can tell, there is no rational explanation for the confusion and controversy over the role of baptism in the history of the Christian religion. The teaching about baptism is presented as a matter of fact in the New Testament. From Jesus to Paul and Peter the doctrine is put forth as settled and unquestionable. Yet today baptism continues to be misunderstood by many if not most people who consider themselves Christian in at least some sense.

Religious Violence

The news media today have a pattern they follow when commenting on the violence that is such a part of the conflict between the western world and radical Islam. It may be summarized: "Yes, some Muslims are very violent, but Christians have been violent, too. Indeed, violence in the world cease to be a problem if people were not so religious." People of this bent cite the crusades and the violence in Ireland as well as the continuing problems between Israel and her neighbors. Many in the media leave the impression that today's violence is actually the fault of the "Christianized west."