Gods Sign To A Sinful Nation
The Bible has been banned from our
schools while Islam is received with
open arms. It has become politically
incorrect to question the doctrine of
Islam, but politically correct to bash
God, the Bible, and Christianity. As
in the days of old, the divine
instructions have not been heeded and
Gods people once again find
themselves in the throws of a major
Dont let the name scare you. Punctuation marks help us get
the right pronunciation: Ma-her-shal-al-hash-baz. But the
name meant something: Hastens to the prey. Here is the
When Tiglath-pileser III took control of Assyria, he
immediately made his bid for world domination. His westward
movement struck fear in Syria and Israel [keep in mind that this
was during the time of the divided kingdom, hence Israel, the
Northern Kingdom]. With a common enemy in mind, Israel and Syria
sought alliance, and then sought to bring Judah into that alliance.
Ahaz is on the throne in Judah and Pekah in Israel. Ahaz feigns
piety and loyalty to God, but despite the warning from the prophet
Isaiah, this weak and wavering king sets his sight, not on God, but
on worldly alliance with the apostate Israel and the heathen nation
of Syria. Apparently the people loved Ahazs intentions, and so
Isaiah gives the people a sign in two parts. Before his son is ever
born, the prophet posts the words in a public location, leaving the
people to read and study for themselves. When Isaiahs son is
born, he is instructed by God to give him this most significant
name: Mahershalalhashbaz (Isa. 8:3). Syria and Israel would be
destroyed, Assyria would turn toward Judah, and the people of God
would suffer utter defeat. Assyria was hastening to the
This brings us to Isaiah 8:11 where God speaks to the
prophet with a strong hand, and warns the prophet not to
walk in the way of the people. Dont make a confederacy (8:12),
dont be afraid of their fear, sanctify God, and let Him be
your fear and dread (8:13). Herein lay the fault of the people and
their king. They would not listen to the prophets. Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Elijah, faithful proclaimers of Gods word, were
treated as traitors and trouble makers. Some of these faithful
prophets of old paid dearly for their faithful proclamation of
Gods word. But alas, their message fell on deaf ears. Rather
than fear God, Judah feared the nation of Assyria. Rather than
trust God, they placed their trust in a heathen nation and followed
in the footsteps of their apostate brethren in the Northern
Kingdom. The result was defeat at the hands of the enemy and the
beginning of a journey into spiritual apostasy that would
eventually lead to their being carried away into Babylonian
There are two applications I want to make for your
First, this Old Testament example teaches a truth that is
clearly set forth in Gods word and is applicable to every
nation, in any generation: Righteousness exalteth a nation;
But sin is a reproach to any people (Prov. 14:34).
Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah (Psa.
33:12). The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol, Even
all the nations that forget God (Psa. 9:17). Solomons
admonition to trust in the Lord thy God (Prov.
3:5) is as applicable to nations as it is to individuals.
While Judah of old may have received a miraculous sign, it
does not take a miracle to awaken the discerning mind to the danger
that confronts our nation today. The simple fact is, America no
longer trusts in God. In God We Trust may still be
engraved on our coins, but it takes more than a stamp by the United
States Mint on our coinage to demonstrate a nations trust in
God. What this nation needs is another Mahershalalhashbaz; a clear
and concise warning that should America not repent, God will raise
up a nation that will hasten to the prey! America desperately needs
to recapture the culture of a bygone era; a culture where men and
women trusted in God and demanded that the leaders they sent to
Washington do the same. America needs to return to a time when
those who clung to their Bibles and their faith in God were a
majority, and not considered the radical right!
Unfortunately, like Israel of old, our electorate clamors for
smooth words from her so-called prophets, and a religion that is
non-judgmental and palatable to the moral whims of every new vice
that might come down the pike.
The speed with which America is casting off her trust in God
is dizzying. The present generation seems to be intent on
destroying themselves by placing their trust in government,
science, humanism, or any institution that can meet their physical
needs, lessen dependence on God, and provide for their self
indulgence with little or no restrictions when it comes to deviant
behavior. The problem is compounded by a lack of knowledge of
Gods word. The Bible has been banned from our schools while
Islam is received with open arms. It has become politically
incorrect to question the doctrine of Islam, but politically
correct to bash God, the Bible, and Christianity. Oh yes, beloved,
America needs to repent, remember, and return to her first love!
Second, there is a spiritual application as well. Lest we
think the lesson of Mahershalalhashbaz applies only to nations,
consider the following. The Lords kingdom (the church) is
splintered and divided. Rather than trust in God and His Word, some
have abandoned the old paths (Jer. 6:16) for an alliance
with the denominations. Hand in hand with spiritual heathens, they
march forward toward a presumed victory that shall only end in
utter defeat. Those who still preach the old Jerusalem Gospel are
pressured on every side to join them in their unholy alliance with
other religious groups to defeat the onslaught of Satan. Sadly
some, under the leadership of weak and wavering elders, capitulate
(surrender). Thanks be to our God, there are still faithful
preachers and proclaimers of Gods word. But as in the days of
old, the divine instructions have not been heeded and Gods
people once again find themselves in the throws of a major
apostasy. Rather than listen to the word, too many capitulate.
Those who call for the old paths are despised and labeled as
traitors and trouble makers. Edward Young has noted,
Throughout the history of the church, those who have sought to
call the church back to her God-given mission and away from her
man-made programs have been treated as trouble
makers. But the message is still,
Mahershalalhashbaz! There is a judgment coming, and
Gods wrath is hastening to the prey.
PO Box 8733
Ft. Worth, TX 76124
Table of Contents
DIVORCE, BAPTISM, EUNUCH
Garland M. Robinson
I recently heard it said that if a person wants to obey the
gospel, but has been married before and is now in another marriage,
that person has to divorce before he can be baptized. This was
new to me. Ive never heard that that someone in a second
or third, etc. marriage must automatically divorce in order to be
baptized. Lets see what the Lord has to say on this subject.
He has the authority, not man (Matt. 28:18). His words will be used
to judge us (John 12:48), not mans words.
In order to be baptized according to the Scriptures, one
must believe (John 8:24), repent (Acts 2:38) and
confess (Acts 8:37). The focus in this lesson is
repentance. One must repent of every sin, all sin (cf. Gal.
5:19-21). If a person has committed adultery or is living in
adultery, he must repent of it in order to be scripturally
baptized. This is true regardless of the sin. The Bible does not
say you must repent of all your sins except adultery before you can
Jesus is very clear on the subject of divorce and remarriage
in Luke 16:18 when he shows the principle (law) of divorce
and remarriage. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and
marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her
that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.
Mark 10:11-12 makes it applicable to both husband and wife. The
word committeth is present tense and shows
continuous action. In summary, when one puts away their
spouse and marries another, they are both living in a constant
state of sin/adultery. Just as same-sex partners live in a constant
state of sodomy (sin), heterosexual partners live in a constant
state of adultery (sin) when one or both have previously been
married and divorced. This is the principle or rule laid down by
heaven. If the Lords instruction concerning divorce and
remarriage stopped here, no one could ever divorce and marry
another with Gods approval, period. However, the Lord has more
to say in Matthew 19:9 where he gives an exception to
Gods law of divorce and remarriage. ...Whosoever shall
put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall
marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is
put away doth commit adultery.
Except means if not for. In summary, the force of
Matthew 19:9 says that when one puts away their spouse because of
their spouses fornication and marries another, they are not
living in adultery. So, the question is a rather simple one when
answering whether or not ones current marriage is approved of
God. The husband and/or wife must answer this question, Did
you put away (divorce) your spouse because of their
fornication? If you did, then you had the right to marry
another. If you did not, then you did not have the right to marry
another. Often the reply to this question is, well, I, uh, umm,
this happened, or that happened, and any number of scenarios and
circumstances are presented. But, the bottom line is, Did you
divorce your husband/wife because of their fornication? If you
did, then you were free to marry and if you did not, then you were
not free to marry. If this is not the case, then the Lords
words mean nothing in Matthew 19:9.
Regarding those who are free (eligible) to marry, it must be
remembered that one can only marry someone who also is free to
marry. If you marry someone who has been married before and did not
divorce their mate because of their mates fornication, then
you both will be living in adultery as long as you are together.
Paul reminded the brethren in the church at Colosse that before
they became Christians, some of them had lived in
fornication (Col. 3:5,7). One can commit fornication, adultery,
idolatry, evil desire, etc. in a one time action, OR in
a continual action, that is, an on-going process. Being
married to someone you had no right to marry involves you both in
an on-going state or process of adultery.
Adultery, like any and all sins, can be forgiven. Such a
person must repent of their sins and be baptized in order to be
saved (Acts 2:38). If you are already a Christian and commit
adultery, then you must repent and pray (Acts 8:22). Repentance
means you change your mind (thinking). A changed mind leads to a
changed conduct (life). You vow to not continue the sin(s). For
example, the thief who repents vows to never steal again, but
cannot keep that which he has stolen. If I steal a car and repent
of it, can I keep the car? That would be nice wouldnt it? If
I steal your wife and repent of it, can I keep her? Many things we
cannot change from our past, but some things we can. If I am a drug
user, I can repent of it and vow to never do it again, but its
not likely that I can fix the things I did while taking drugs. I
would love to go back and fix things I did while living in that
culture, but so many of those things cannot be changed. I can tell
people Im sorry and ask their forgiveness, but cannot
undo what has been done. When those who are guilty of
sodomy (homosexuality, same-sex partners, so-called gay)
repents, can they continue with their partner after being
baptized? Can one who has been baptized continue their sodomy? Or,
must they separate from their homosexual partner? Obviously, such
a person must separate. You cant continue in sin after
repenting of it. The answer to this question is shown in Romans
6:1, Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God
forbid. Adultery is the same way. If I divorce my spouse
and its not because of their fornication and then marry
someone else, Im living in adultery. Im living in a
sinful relationship an adulterous marriage. Jesus is very
clear in saying that one can live in adultery (Matt.
19:9; Col. 3:5-7). To repent means I have to stop the sin and never
return to it. Does that mean I can keep my partner with whom
Im committing adultery? God forbid (Rom. 6:1). If Im
married to someone to whom I have no Bible right to be married to
(because either myself or the person to whom Im married did
not divorce because of their spouses fornication, Matt. 19:9),
then I cannot continue that sin (that partnership) with Gods
approval. This is exactly what Romans 6:1 is talking about. Can you
think of any sin we can repent of but continue in that sin after
repenting of it? Why would adultery be the exception? Of course,
Those living in adultery must get out of their adulterous
relationship their adulterous marriage. It is not sinful to
repent of sin. It is not sinful to get out of a sinful
relationship. If I have a partner in crime, to repent of my crimes
does not allow me to continue the partnership Ive formed. When
one has divorced (without the fornication of their partner) and
married another, they each have formed an adulterous partnership.
To repent of their sin, their partnership, means they must dissolve
their partnership. They never had a God-given right to form such a
partnership in the first place. Obviously, it is not sinful to get
out of it.
The only scripture that gives a divorced person the right to
enter another marriage is Matthew 19:9; and it says the innocent
mate can divorce the mate guilty of fornication, and then the
innocent mate is free to marry again. There are only three
categories of people who have a God-given right to marry: 1) Those
who have never been married (Heb. 13:4), 2) Those whose spouse has
died (Rom. 7:2-3), 3) Those who have put away their spouse because
of their fornication (Matt. 19:9). In each case, the one whom they
marry must also have a God-given right to marry. There are no other
categories. A fornicator who has been divorced because of their
fornication is not free to marry. No scripture authorizes it.
When Malachi 2:16 says God hates putting away, it is talking
about a God-sanctioned marriage a God-approved marriage. God
hates those who do not obey His word in putting away
their spouse for any and every cause. But, God does not hate the
innocent spouse who divorces their mate who is guilty of
fornication (Matt. 19:9). He gives the one not guilty of
fornication (the innocent one) the right to marry again with
his approval. These individuals can repent of all their past sins
(divorcing is not one of them) and be baptized and continue with
their new spouse because their marriage is approved of God
they are not living in adultery. On the other hand, those who
divorce and remarry, without the cause of fornication, makes their
new marriage an adulterous marriage. There are now four people
living in adultery. The individuals who have done this can repent
and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins, but cannot
continue in their adulterous marriage. Romans 6:1 says, God
Divorce for any cause can be forgiven when one repents of
it, but no passage of scripture allows that person to marry again.
Rest assured, such a person can be forgiven, live a faithful
Christian life and go to heaven, but they must live with the
consequences of their sin, they cant marry again. There is no
passage that says so. Remember, we must have authority for all we
say and do (Col. 3:17).
Jesus disciples understood the seriousness of the
Lords words in Matthew 19:9 and exclaimed, If the case
of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry
(v.10). The Lord then explained that some, if they want to go to
heaven, must live their life as a eunuch, that is, a life of not
being married. Verse 12, For there are some eunuchs, which
were so born from [their] mothers womb: and there are
some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be
eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom
of heavens sake. He that is able to receive [it], let him
receive [it]. Jesus says there are three categories of
individuals who cannot marry and function as married couples do. As
a result, they live as eunuchs: 1) Those who are born a eunuch (a
birth defect) without the ability of being able to function
in the marriage relationship, 2) Those who have been physically
(surgically) made a eunuch and therefore cannot function in a
marriage relationship, and 3) Those who make themselves a eunuch,
that is, they live single the rest of their lives for the
kingdom of heavens sake. Jesus is not talking about
mutilating your physical body, but living as a eunuch.
This third category refers to those he speaks of in verse nine who
are divorced for any cause other than fornication. They have
forfeited the privilege to be married. If they desire to go to
heaven, they certainly can, but they cannot ever be married again.
Heaven is more important than marriage. Do these words of Jesus
mean nothing? Do we just dismiss them, ignore them, and do what we
want to do? Not without eternal consequences!
Let it be clear that someone who divorces their spouse
because of their spouses fornication and marries another is
acceptable with God (Matt. 19:9), as long as they marry someone who
is also eligible to marry. Such a person is now in a second
marriage. They can become a Christian and live a faithful Christian
life in their new marriage with the Lords blessing. They do
not have to separate from their spouse because their marriage is
sanctioned by God. BUT, those who have NOT divorced their spouse
because of their spouses fornication and married another are
living in adultery and must get out of that sinful relationship
(marriage) in order to receive forgiveness and eternal life in
Consider this, what sin (which sin) can one commit, repent
of it and be baptized according to Acts 2:38, but continue in that
sin and expect God to accept it? Romans 6:1-2 says, Shall
we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall
we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Some of
the church members at Corinth had been involved in very sinful
actions and relationships before becoming Christians, but not any
more. Paul reminded them of it but told them they had been
forgiven. 9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not
inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are
sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and
by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Shall one continue in adultery that grace may abound? God
forbid. One who obeys the Gospel has died to adultery. He cannot
live any longer therein. John told Herod, it is not lawful
for thee to have thy brothers wife (Mark 6:18). Verse
17 says Herod had married Herodias. They were living in adultery.
John told him their adulterous/sinful marriage was not right and he
was beheaded because of it.
No one can live in adultery and expect to go to heaven. Such
a person must repent of it and get out of it. Those who repent and
live faithful will one day hear the Lord say, well done thou good
and faithful servant.
Table of Contents
THEY LET THE PREACHER GO
Victor M. Eskew
The words they let the preacher go have been spoken
in almost every congregation at some point in time. As the
overseers of the flock, the elders made the decision to dismiss the
preacher. When the news gets out, all begin to whisper, saying:
They let the preacher go.
Letting the preacher go is not an easy decision in most
instances. There are numerous reasons why the decision is
First, the decision is going to put the preacher and his
family in a state of confusion. Preachers try to settle into their
works. They make their present place of abode their home.
When the decision is made to let him go, he and his family panic
because they must move from their home. The next several months are
going to be spent searching out a new work. The process of settling
in, making friends, and establishing a home is extremely stressful.
Second, the decision to let the preacher go is difficult
because it will have an impact on all the members of the
congregation. In general, churches do not like change. They enjoy
that which is regular and dependable. In addition, some have grown
very close to the preacher. He has been in their lives during
marriage, pregnancy, sickness, family turmoil, and in death. They
have sought his counsel. They have developed a deep bond and
friendship. Letting the preacher go means the church is going to be
in upheaval for a period of time. Friends are going to have to
separate from one another.
Third, the decision to let the preacher go is hard because
it causes talk in the community. One of the questions constantly
asked is: Why did they let him go? The community has also
established ties with the preacher. He may have been involved in
many good works. He may have established friendships with some in
the area. Both the rumor mill and the severed friendships
within the community put stress upon the local congregation.
Yes, letting the preacher go is a very difficult decision.
However, an eldership has the right to ask the preacher to step
down from his position. As the bishops over the local congregation,
they are the churchs overseers. To the elders of Ephesus, Paul
spoke these words: Take heed unto yourselves, and to all
the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own
blood (Acts 20:28). These men have the responsibility of
taking care of the church of God (1 Tim. 3:5). They are the ones
who rule the local congregation (1 Tim. 5:18). There are
times when these men see the need for a change of preachers. The
reasons for this change could be many. Note this point: they do not
need what some call a scriptural reason to let the
preacher go. In other words, they do not have to prove that the
preacher has engaged in sin or has proclaimed false doctrine in
order to let him go.
What should the churchs reaction be when the preacher
is let go?
First and foremost, they should submit to the decision of
the eldership. This includes the minister who is being let go. He
is under the oversight of the presbytery just like all other
members. Hebrews 13:17 is clear on this matter. Obey them
that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch
for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it
with joy, and not with grief for that is unprofitable for
Second, they should properly grieve the loss they feel.
Tears and depression are common when loss is experienced. Anger is
also a common emotion experienced in the grieving process. One
needs to remember that anger can be a devastating emotion.
Thus, all must watch it closely so sin is not committed (Eph.
4:26-27). Last, they should make the transition period as smooth as
possible for the sake of the body of Christ.
Letting the preacher go is a difficult thing to do.
Elderships have been criticized and ridiculed severely when
its been done. Churches have been split when it is done. This
is sad, shameful, and sinful. It has always been interesting to
this writer that preachers are free to leave a congregation
whenever they desire. They can also leave for any numbers of
reasons. So why dont elderships have the same right? Most
preachers know they do. It is one of the hazards of the
ministry. Most ministers take it in stride. They calmly and
pleasantly leave the congregation when asked. They leave with
dignity, respect, and honor. This is how it should be. If any
wrongs are done against them, they accept them (1 Cor. 6:7).
How the minister departs shows whether he operates out of
earthly, sensual, and devilish wisdom (James 4:14-16); or, with the
wisdom that is from above (James 4:17-18). The same can be said
with regard to the actions of the members.
800 E Wood St.
Paris, TN 38242
Table of Contents
WE ALL HAVE A PART IN...
Teaching. They that were scattered abroad went
every where preaching the word (Acts 8:4).
Giving. Then the disciples, every man
according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the
brethren which dwelt in Judaea (Acts 11:29).
Working. ...Walk worthy of the Lord unto all
pleasing, being fruitful in every good work... (Col.
Influence. Let your light so shine before
men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
Helping. Pure religion and undefiled before
God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in
their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the
world (James 1:27).
Editor, Garland M. Robinson
Table of Contents
SALVATION BY GRACE
It is Gods desire, according to the apostle Paul, that all
men everywhere be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). God, as it is stated in 2
Peter 3:9, ...is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
It is evident therefore that God does not want anyone to be lost.
God, by His grace, has provided the way by which we can be
saved, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath
appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). Paul declared,
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24). In Ephesians 1:7 we
have these words, In whom we have redemption through his
blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his
grace. In Ephesians 2:8, these words, For by grace
are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God. It is impossible for anyone to be saved apart
from the grace of God.
Because the Bible declares that we are saved by the grace of
God, does that mean our salvation is wholly by Gods grace
apart from any acts of obedience on mans part? NO! NO! Nowhere
within the Word of God is it taught that salvation is by grace
alone. The idea that we are saved wholly by grace is
the Calvinistic idea of Gods grace and stands in conflict with
what the Bible teaches concerning the grace of God.
If salvation is by grace alone, then that rules
out the necessity of man obeying any commands in order to be saved
(bring about salvation). Salvation by grace does not exclude man
having a part in his salvation. Peter exhorts the people to
save yourselves (Acts 2:40). Man does have his part in
his own salvation.
Salvation by grace does not exclude the necessity of
obedience upon mans part. When we obey the commands of God in
becoming a Christian, that does not nullify Gods grace.
Jesus emphasized the necessity of obedience in Matthew 7:21
when He said, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven. The New Testament teaches
that we cannot be saved without obedience to Gods Word.
According to Acts 10:35, only those who ...feareth him, and
worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. In Hebrews
5:9 we learn that Jesus is ...the author of eternal
salvation unto all them that obey him. To obtain salvation
offered by Gods grace means that we must believe in
Christ (John 8:24), repent of our sins (Luke 13:3),
confess Christ (Matt. 10:32-33) and be baptized (Mark
Yes, salvation is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9). But, just
because salvation is a gift does not mean there are no conditions
that must be met by man. Neither does it mean that it ceases to be
a gift when we obey the conditions stated. We must accept Gods
grace and not reject it (Acts 13:43-46).
PO Box 1385
St. Peters, MO 63376
Table of Contents
There are a great number of problems and troubles in this world.
Psychologists have their hands full with various types of mental
illnesses. Many people are the victims of some kind of abuse. Other
people have chemical imbalances and need medication. Yet
others have suffered mental and nervous breakdowns for
one reason or another. There is no way of tabulating what portions
of these problems are: 1) physical (chemical imbalances), 2) mental
(from the aspect of not having a good mind) or 3) self-imposed
illnesses because of doing the wrong things or neglecting to do the
right things. Sometimes sin makes a person appear mentally
off. Ones crazed behavior (temper tantrums, anger, or
silence) results from allowing sin to take control of your life.
But regardless of the problem and the need for seeing a
psychologist or counselor, oftentimes loneliness is a
contributing factor. Very few people can go through this life
playing the part of a loner and not have some kind of difficulty.
The Lord stated, It is not good that the man should be
alone (Gen. 2:18).
WRONG KIND OF FRIENDS
FRIENDSHIP is a very valuable asset to any person. But who
is a friend? The dictionary defines friend as: a
person whom one knows, likes and trusts; any associate or
acquaintance; a favored companion; one with whom one is allied in
a struggle or cause; a comrade; one who supports, sympathizes with
or patronizes a group, cause or movement. A friend is someone
with whom we associate. These friends may be neighbors, co-workers
or classmates. They may be friends from high school or college
days. They may be other Christians.
Even though Jesus did not have much in this world (Matt.
8:20), He did have friends. He chose twelve men to be His
apostles. They would be near Him at all times. They walked and
talked with Him. They listened to His preaching. They observed His
miracles. Among those twelve men, there were three who were very
close to the Lord. Peter, James and John made up the inner
circle. They did not have more authority than the other
apostles, but they were close friends for whatever reasons.
Most people have friends. But what kind of friends are they?
Does it matter? What is the value or worth of friends? How does one
A friend may be described as: someone who possesses certain
qualities that one accepts. Notice the use of the phrase:
that one accepts. Friends may not necessarily have good
qualities. They should have good qualities, but often people adopt
low standards concerning their friends. It is interesting that
parents want their children to have the right kind of friends. Yet
as adults, these same parents may not require the same from their
RIGHT KIND OF FRIENDS
The Bible lists many examples of people who chose the wrong
kind of friends. Israel was often guilty of associating with the
heathen nations around them. God warned them concerning their evil
influence (Num. 33:55). These enemy nations were dangerous because
of their practice of idolatry. Hebrew history is filled with
occasions of Gods people turning to idols as a direct
influence of their heathen neighbors (1 Sam. 8:5; 1 Kings 11:1-2;
15:30; Exod. 32:3-4). The Bible warns about the dangers of being in
the wrong crowd (Exod. 23:2; 1 Cor. 15:33).
There are certain qualities that good friends will have.
They will be: 1) kind (Col. 3:12; 2 Peter 1:7), 2)
honest (Rom. 12:17; 2 Cor. 8:21; 3:7; Phil. 4:8; 1 Peter
2:12), and 3) cheerful (Matt. 1:27; Acts 23:11; Acts 27:22,
25). Surely one does not like to be around people who are
pessimistic and negative in their attitudes. People like to be with
those who can put a smile on their faces. Perhaps the best example
of friendship in the Bible is that of Jonathan and David. Jonathan
had little to gain and much to lose in being Davids friend.
His father, king Saul, was jealous of David and tried to kill him.
Yet, Jonathan befriended David whom his father counted as an enemy.
Even in the darkest hour, Jonathan was there for David. Real
friends are friends in bad times as well as in good times. It is a
great blessing to have friends who support, comfort and help in
times of tragedy. David also reciprocated this friendship toward
Jonathan. After Jonathans death, David showed kindness to
Jonathans son Mephibosheth for Jonathans sake (2 Sam.
It is hard to believe that some people have no friends. They go
through life without the friendship of others. They have no one to
talk to, associate with, share their sorrows or joys or to help
them in times of grief and tragedy. Why is it that some do not have
friends? Solomon wrote, A man that hath friends must shew
himself friendly (Prov. 18:24).
PEOPLE WHO ARE FRIENDS
Some people have the idea that friends just
happen. The Lord explains that there must be effort put forth.
It may be unconscious effort sometimes. But nevertheless, one
usually waits for others to give him some kind of indication that
he wants to be friends. Therefore, if a person wants friends, he
must be a friend.
Sometimes a persons manner and conduct drives a wedge
between him and possible friends (cf. Prov. 16:28). Sometimes
people may have certain good qualities, but a person cannot get
close to another because of: 1) pettiness (who likes to be
around others who are easily offended), 2) gossip (who wants
to be with someone who will mistreat him by his speech, and 3)
dishonesty (no one wants to be friends with someone who
cant be trusted).
If one practices the golden rule (Matt. 7:12)
toward all people and be honest with them, hell have friends.
There are some people who always seem to have friends.
Theyre never alone. They are always in the company of others.
Consider the reasons why: 1) They are friendly to others; 2)
They will help in times of need; 3) They bear the burdens
of others; 4) They are courteous; 5) They are
approachable. One does not feel like he is a bother to them;
they are always hospitable. In short, they put forth the effort to
be friends. They expect nothing in return. They simply want to do
good for others.
What kind of friends do you have? Are you in the right crowd
a crowd that influences for good? Do you have friends? If you
dont have friends, then why not? The first place to begin
looking for that answer is with SELF. Are you the kind of person
you should be? Have you put forth the effort to be a friend to
someone else? As a friend to others, does this describe you?
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for
adversity (Prov. 17:17).
1001 Albany St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Table of Contents
HOW SHALL THE YOUNG SECURE
The title of this article is the title to a song I remember
singing at youth rallies. It was one of those songs that was easy
for me to sing without really thinking about it. The answer to the
question raised in the title and the opening line is found in the
first verse Thy word. It is the word of God
that secures (protects) our hearts and guards
our lives from sin. The song was inspired by Psalm 119. The
question asked in verse 9, Wherewithal shall a young man
cleanse his way? is answered in the same verse, By
taking heed thereto according to thy word. There it is
again, Thy word. And, it goes on to say in verse 11,
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin
against thee. It keeps the conscience clean.
The song continues to draw from the 119th Psalm in the
second verse saying, Tis like the sun, a heavnly light,
that guides us all the way, and through the dangers of the night,
a lamp to lead our way. Echoing the thoughts of Psalm 119:105,
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my
Because the song begins with the young, I assumed it was a
song for young people. It is, but it does not stop there. That
holy book shall guide our youth, and well support our age, and well
support our age, and well support our age. Consider Psalm
119:152, Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old
that thou hast founded them forever.
The Bible is the best guidebook ever written for the young
and the older we grow the better it gets.
647 Finger Bluff Road
Morrison, TN 37357
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Whats The Hurry? Sometimes circumstances are such that it
may be necessary to leave the services early, but it seems that
some may be getting into the habit of leaving before the services
are over on Wednesday night. Is there a good show on television you
want to catch? Do you need to get to bed fifteen minutes earlier?
Those who leave early miss out on hearing the Lords
invitation, singing spiritual songs, and praying with the saints.
To leave early on Wednesday night without a justifiable reason is
in essence saying, I am not concerned if someone puts on the
Lord in baptism or is restored to the fellowship of the
saints. Someone might say: we need to get our children to
bed for school the next day. But are they getting to bed any
earlier on other nights of the week? Leaving early also may say
that one does not care about news regarding the sick, shut-ins, or
any deaths in a family. One also misses out on being able to greet
others after the services. Lets try to do better along this
line. Whats the hurry? Wait until the final Amen
before leaving ...Ben F. Vick, Jr., Indianapolis, IN.
[EDITORS NOTE: I too have seen members leave before
service is over. What precedent are we setting for our children and
everyone else who knows we always leave before the service is over?
Try telling the Lord we dont have time for judgment, for
heaven, to fellowship with the saints. We have more important
things to do. The Lord said seek him FIRST (Matt. 6:33). Put him
above all, even our family (Matt. 10:32-39). Name something that is
more important than being with those of like precious
faith as we serve God together. -gmr] We would like to
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