BulletinGold #123
March 2011   Vol 11 #

BulletinGold #123
March 2011
Vol. 11 Num. 1
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
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In This Issue:
- A Barrier to Growth, David Bragg
- The False Doctrine Of The Rapture, Ron Boatwright
- In One Generation’s Time, Bill Jackson
- My Cheating Heart… By Barbie Law
- A Child's Prayer? By C.M.Callan
- Do Religious People Need Conversion? By James D. Burns
- Making Missionaries
- My Heroes, Charles R. Gamble
- Parable of the Pencil
- A Home Is More Than Bricks…
- Today's Hardship, J. Randal Matheny
- Kindness
- Seasons of Rapture, Arthur Farstad
- The Critic, Jean A. Thornton
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
A Barrier to Growth

    Peter wrote to Christians living in difficult times, when suffering was their routine lot.  They frequently found themselves at odds with government officials and mistreated in the marketplace.  The apostle’s first epistle outlines useful advice on how to handle the adverse situations.  At the heart of Peter’s counsel is the valid assumption that the process of living the Christian life will present opportunities for sharing one’s faith in Christ.  To take advantage of these openings Christians must possess the ability to clearly explain their belief.  He wrote:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” (1 Pet. 3:15-16).
    Convincing evidence must be offered to explain the lifestyle of a committed Christian.  The most powerful evidence to be proposed would be the Word of God.  It alone would carry the authority to convince and the ability to convert.  The greatest testimony against faith is for the world to ask and the Christian to be unable to explain the very Gospel they profess to believe.

David Bragg

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
The False Doctrine Of The Rapture
By Ron Boatwright

    We see statements on bumper stickers like, "In case of the rapture this car will have no driver."  The word "rapture" is not found in the Bible.  It is another false doctrine that man has created.  This false premillennial idea of "the rapture" states that there will be a secret catching away of the saved into the air where they will be with Christ for 7 years.  During these seven years there is to be a "great tribulation" period here on the earth.  Great suffering is to be inflicted on the people.  But after 7 years Jesus is to again appear to bring the tribulation period to a close.  Talk about a fairy tale!  This is some imagination!  This is all false.  Let’s see what the Bible says will happen when Christ comes back.
    We read in 1 Corinthians 15:52 when the Lord comes back it will be "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye….the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."  And in John 5:28-29 Jesus says, "For the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of damnation."  There is only going to be one resurrection not the three that the "rapture" requires.
    But when the Lord comes, what is going to happen to this earth?  2 Peter 3:10-12 says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up…the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat."  The people advocating a "rapture" are not going to be able to come back to the earth for their 1000 year reign, because the earth will be burned up at the Lord’s appearing.  There is not going to be a rapture.  The rapture is another false doctrine of man.

- Ron Boatwright, a long-time minister and elder in Arkansas, is the author of on-line Bible study series available at http://www.netbiblestudy.net/

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In One Generation’s Time
By Bill Jackson

     Some very wise men in the kingdom have been known to state that we are always just one generation from apostasy. In seeing the growth of harmful trends in these last several years, we are convinced that a full generation is not needed! But let us focus on what can occur in one generation’s time, and Judges 2:10 is so appropriate just here. Reference has been made to Joshua’s generation and then this:
"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel."
This, in one generation’s time!
     Our Lord had made it so plain, in John 6:45: "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."
     We see the emphasis we are making now in the wording of the Great Commission, recorded by Matthew: “Go ye therefore, and teach…Teaching them” (Mat. 28:19-20). A shift away from the study of, and teaching of, the Word of God is the opening of the door and a begging for apostasy. That lesson has been well demonstrated in Israel’s history, and it has been repeatedly shown in the history of the church.
     But, do we learn?
     We can see deviation at work in one generation’s time in what we read of the work in Ephesus. This was a noteworthy stop in the apostle Paul’s missionary endeavors (Acts 19), and we combine that fact with several others made plain in the New Testament. May we be reminded of blessings and benefits received by Ephesus:
    1. Paul had visited there, and caused some to take their place faithfully in Christ. Not every city or community in the New Testament era had an apostle to visit them early in their work, but Ephesus did!
    2. Late in his missionary work, Paul called the Ephesian elders to meet him at Miletus, and he reviewed his work before them, gave them special charges pertaining to their work, spoke of dangers before them as wolves would seek to harm their flock, and gave them specific warnings regarding some false men arising from their own ranks! (Acts 20:28-30). Not every church, and not every eldership, was blessed in having an apostle to meet with them and call special attention to dangerous times ahead, with warnings given to them to be faithful, but Ephesus had such warnings given!
    3. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesian congregation, with that special emphasis on Christ, Head of the church; the giving of God’s foreordained will for the saving of men; the Word of truth as the instrument of salvation, and the great unity the Spirit teaches, with the need to loyally maintain and keep it! Not every New Testament congregation had a letter sent to them from an inspired apostle, but Ephesus was so blessed!
     So, those benefits: Paul’s physically being with them, Paul’s meeting with the leadership for special teaching and warning, and Paul’s great lessons to them in his letter sent them. What benefits and blessings were given to Ephesus!
     In less than a generation’s time, we see Ephesus again, as the Lord, the Head of the church, writes to that congregation. The letter to Ephesus is one among seven, recorded in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The Lord, always faithful in noting loyalty and dedication, refers to some of that in Ephesus’ history, but then we have this: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Rev. 2:4). Against the blessings and benefits earlier received by Ephesus, now we have words from the Christ Himself: “Ephesus does not love me as she earlier did.” And not too many years later, in the apostasy of the late first century and beyond, Ephesus ceased to be the people of God!
     It thus has happened, and it is happening today, and it will happen to some in the future. Will we learn from Ephesus? Remember, in one generation’s time—or less!

- Bill Jackson, Deceased; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org

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My Cheating Heart…
By Barbie Law

     I just heard that a childhood friend had caught his wife cheating on him. When confronted and told that she would have to choose between her husband or the other man, her answer was, “I can’t because he’s my best friend.” Unbelievable! How could she? How dare she? I hope he kicked her to the curb! These are all thoughts that were running through my mind as I was being told this news. I kept thinking of him and his children and how hurt they must be by her choice. How selfish to not be willing to give up one thing, especially when that one thing is so detrimental to the well-being of your family. How could adultery become so common in our society that even “Christians” are shrugging it off? Just a multitude of self-righteous thoughts going over and over in my mind.
     Then it hit me!!!
     I’m unfaithful! I cheat! I want to have my cake and
eat it too!
     No, I am not having an affair with another man. My problems lay elsewhere.
     I like to watch T.V.
    There have been days my television has been turned on before I’ve opened my
Bible to have a Bible study.
    I like to play on my computer.
    I can lose track of time and before I know it, I need to get to bed, and then I rush through my prayer so I can get to sleep. This is where I am like the unfaithful wife.
    We have so many distractions in our society today and we allow these to dominate our time. I say allow because it is a choice. We choose to spend the extra time doing the busy work, which keeps us from having time to devote to Gods’ work.
     It sounds like we‘re doing this wrong doesn’t it?
     I think of the warning that Paul wrote to Timothy,
2Ti 3:1  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2Ti 3:2  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
2Ti 3:4  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Ti 3:5  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
     I know many good people that have allowed the world to interfere with their relationship with God, and let’s face it, being a good person is not synonymous with being a good Christian.  Our God is a jealous God, as we are told quite clearly multiple times.
Exo 20:5  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God
Exo 34:14  (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)
Deu 4:24  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God
     Just as my friend does not intend to share the affections of his wife with another man, neither does God intend for us, the very people He created, to share our affections, our attention, or our time with worldly desires that distract us from our relationship with Him.
    If my friends’ marriage is going to survive and thrive, then a choice is going to have to be made. Priorities are going to have to be adjusted. Commitments will have to be reset. None of this will be easy. It won’t happen overnight, but it will start the same way the affair did, with one decision. Hopefully, it will be the one that leads to healing a broken relationship.
    Where are you unfaithful? What is your affair with? Are you ready to make a choice that can change your life? Will you decide to spend one hour less on an intruding hobby and fill that time with something that can move your relationship with God forward? Fill that time with Bible study, Bible reading, and prayer. It will do your heart good.
     After all, when it comes to matters of the heart we have the One who knows ours best cheering us on.

- Barbie Law is currently a member of Cedar Springs church of Christ in Louisville, KY. Matthew Ashby serves that congregation as minister. The church's website is http://www.hecares.us/blog/

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A Child's Prayer?
By C.M.Callan
     Most are familiar with the simple prayer that so many children learned at an early age.
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
 If I should die before I awake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
It seems to me that this prayer has a lot to say even in its simplicity.
     Without hesitation or modification the words speak to trust in God for His ability to comfort and protect.  It also speaks to God’s power and majesty as it asks God for protection by saying He not only can but, will “keep my soul” while I rest.  It is an admittance of our dependency and faith.
    The prayer also speaks to the fragility of life and the ever-present reality of death, but not in a fearful way but as something that is inevitable.  It is not fearful because God is waiting for us on the other side.  The one praying also can see that God has prepared a place for those who are faithful, a place where we should want to be.
    One who prays this prayer from the heart is demonstrating a definite mind-set.  It depicts a person that has a fixed goal in life, a goal of being in heaven with our Lord when this life is over.  The desire to go to heaven has to be the driving force we all need.  When we set this as our goal and become determined to stay with it, then our actions on a daily basis will reflect our goal and show our trust in and love for God.
    Could it be that part of our problem today is the fact that we have not taught our children this prayer, or any prayer?  Would we “adults” do well to incorporate this prayer in our prayer life and mean it?

- Chester M. Callan serves as an elder of the church of Christ in Rotan Texas. He may be contacted at drcall@sbcglobal.net

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Do Religious People Need Conversion?
By James D. Burns

     Should we attempt to convert religious people, or should the Gospel be presented only to those who have no religion? Some contend that we should “leave religious people alone” when it comes to attempts at conversion. Let us examine the cases of conversion in the book of Acts as they relate to this question. Were any measures taken to convert the already religious?
     Those in Acts 2 were “devout men” (v.5) who had come to Jerusalem, a religious center, for the day of Pentecost, a religious observance. Truly, they were religious. Yet, the apostles successfully attempted to convert them to Jesus Christ - about 3,000 were converted (v.41).
     The Ethiopian nobleman is mentioned in Acts 8. He was a religious man who had traveled all the way to Jerusalem to worship (v.27). Returning home, he was reading from the book of Isaiah (v.28). Yet, Philip “preached unto him Jesus,” which resulted in his conversion.
     Lydia was a woman “who worshiped God.” She found a place of prayer and engaged in religious activity on the Sabbath, a religious day (Acts 26:13-14). Yet, she was converted to Christ by the word presented by Paul. Saul of Tarsus was zealously religious, circumcised the eighth day...a Hebrew of Hebrews...as touching the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless (Phil. 3:5-6), yet he was converted to Christ (Acts 9).
      Centurion Cornelius, although not of Jewish lineage, was a deeply religious man (Acts 10:11). Yet, Peter made a special trip to his home to convert him (Acts 10:19-48).
     The masses of Ephesus were devotees of the goddess Diana. Yet, this did not deter Paul from preaching Christ to them (Acts 19).
     From these examples we can see that most, if not all, of those in the first century who were converted were religious in some way. Yet, inspired teachers did not hesitate to convert them. Any whose religion does not conform to that presented by Jesus Christ are proper subjects of conversion to His way.

- James D. Burns; via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  You may visit their website at http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Making Missionaries

    Otis Keener observed, “Missionaries are not made by crossing the sea, but by seeing the cross.”  If we truly see the cross as we should, then we will want to reach out to the lost everywhere.  The love of Christ constrains or compels us to do so (2 Corinthians 5:14).

- Glad Tidings of Good Things, Jacksonville , AL; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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My Heroes
By Charles R. Gamble

     Early Tuesday morning (while it was still dark) Lois, Malyssa and I happened upon a bad traffic accident. I was able to help out at the scene then continued on our way to the hospital. Lois and Malyssa went to the lab while I reported to the ER, since I was the chaplain for the week.
     Soon the injured began to arrive. I stayed out of the way and watched the teams as they received each patient. It was a very impressive display of professionalism. All the resources of the hospital were brought to bear on the situation. Staff was running but not panicked. Soon the Life Flight staff from another hospital arrived to transport one patient to another facility. Again, everything moved quickly and efficiently.
     I am reminded that this scene repeats itself more often than I like to consider. I will pray for the ones who were injured but I will, also, give God thanks for those who are ready to serve us in many ways that we may not consider until it’s needed.

- Charles R. Gamble preaches for the Fort Recovery church of Christ in Fort Recovery, Ohio He may be contacted at cgamble64@gmail.com

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Parable of the Pencil
    The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.
    "There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."
    "One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand."
    "Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil."
    "Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make."
    "Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside."
    "And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write."
    The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.
- Author Unknown; submitted by Kevin Rayner, who preaches for the Highland church of Christ, Tecumseh, OK.  He may be contacted through the congregation’s website: http://hcoct.org/

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A Home Is More Than Bricks…
• It’s a place where your child gains his concept of God.
• It’s a place where your daughter learns how to be a wife and mother.
• It’s a place where your son learns how to be a husband and father.
• It’s a place where going the second mile can pay big dividends.
• It’s a place where the Christian graces can be added by practice.
• It’s a place where the reality of your Christianity is tested.
• It’s a place where happiness can exist if every family member is a committed Christian.      

- Siwell Rd. church of Christ; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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Hearts of Gold - poetry
                 Today's Hardship
              By J. Randal Matheny

Hardship forces choice between today's
  Convenience and the bliss of heavenly hope;
The tears and trials show two contrary ways:
  To seek to soften the blows, to level the slope,
To lessen the pain, to win man's puny praise;

The higher way bucks up beneath the weight,
  Considers earthly ills eternal gain,
Holds out for full reward — better late
  With peace and rest forever, than obtain
A respite from burdens only loosed at the gate.

But who will bear the noonday toil and heat,
  So that tomorrow he may find relief?
For one brave soul, a thousand cowards retreat,
  And in their flight, come to greater grief;
To shrink from pain is in the end defeat.

Lonely is the path, but not alone,
  For as the rocky turns grow ever steep,
The paling crowds faint at briar and stone;
  Instead of climbing they would rather sleep,
No future promise can, for them, atone.

Bear up, my sons and daughters, bear your load,
  The sun is high and hot, but not for long,
Resist the call to rest while on the road,
  Join hands to climb, throw out your throaty song,
For soon, yes, soon! you'll reap the crop you sowed.

- J. Randal Matheny edits and writes UPLift, an inspirational ezine. He
may be contacted here: <http://randalmathenycom/>. When reprinting this
material, please include the following:
Copyright (c) 2010 J. Randal Matheny
All rights reserved. You may forward the
email to friends as is. You may not alter
it in any way or remove any text or

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I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight
That to somebody's need made me blind.
But I never have yet
Felt a twinge of regret
For being a little too kind!

- Anonymous; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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         Seasons of Rapture
           By Arthur Farstad
If Christ comes back in winter
When earth lies cold and pale,
Will He find pilgrims watching,
Or will our hearts’ love fail?
O hail our King in white!
He comes from heaven to save us
From tribulation’s night.
If Christ comes back in springtime,
When burst the buds’ leaf green,
He will gather up His garlands,
God’s saints, from earth’s dark scene.
O hail our Bridegroom-King!
He comes His Bride to rapture:
How can we help but sing?
If Christ comes back in summer,
When shines the orange sun,
Will He find Christians toiling
In love, with hearts as one?
O hail our great Sun-King,
With healing splendor rising
To draw us to His wing!
If Christ comes back in autumn
When glow the fields with gold,
He will reap with joy His wheat sheaves
Which He did plant of old.
O hail! Our Lord shall come
To gather His loved ones
And shout His “Harvest Home!”

- Arthur Farstad (1935-19980, via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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               The Critic
       By Jean A. Thornton

A little see lay in the ground
And soon began to sprout.
"Now which, of all the flowers around,"
It mused, "Shall I come out?"
"Lily’s face is fair and proud,
But just a trifle cold.
The Rose, I think, is rather loud,
And then, it’s fashion’s old.
The Violet’s all very well,
But not a flower I’d choose.
Nor yet the Canterbury Bell –
I never cared for blues."
And so it criticized each flower,
This supercilious seed,
Until it woke one summer hour,
And found itself a weed.

– Jean A. Thornton; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
"Whatever it is that keeps people from getting rich, most of us have it."

"Nobody is rich enough to buy back his past."

"Learn to know and appreciate the importance of others who touch your life. It will help you touch other lives in meaningful ways."

"Tact is the ability to make a person see the lightning without hitting him with the bolt."

"This present world is the world of the dying. The next world is the home of the living."

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

"Hide not your talents, for use they were made; what's a sun dial in the shade?" (Ben Franklin)      

Living on earth is expensive, but it does include a trip around the sun every day.

"Speak well of your enemies….after all, you made them."

“Unless you can create the whole universe in 6 days, then perhaps giving advice to God isn’t such a good idea.”

"Happiness is a perfume you can't pour on others without getting some on yourself."

- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

Temper gets most of us in trouble, and pride keeps us there.

- Taken from Bulletin Digest; via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website at: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
- “Anchors,” Cecil May III
- Don’t Quit, Rick Woodall
- Archippus, Jimmie Z. Gribble
- She Invited A Friend! By David Shannon
- "An Inheritance In Heaven," Paul L. McElroy
- Ten Commandments of Friendship
- Deep Water, James C. Guy
- The Ultimate Goal, Joe Chesser
- Comfort One Another, Norman Gipson
- Do Yourself a Favor, Jeremiah Tatum
- A Family for the Lord, Benny Bristow
- Sunbeam Love 
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