BulletinGold #211
August
2019  
Vol 19 #8 

August 2019                         BG# 211                         Vol. 19 No. 08
Subscribe                         Website                         Submissions
bulletinGOLD
BulletinGold is published to help Church of Christ bulletin editors and writers share Bible-based, doctrinal material for church bulletins and Christian writing. You received BulletinGold because you subscribed. If you received this copy from a friend and would like to subscribe, please send a blank email to: BulletinGold-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Be sure and reply to the letter sent to your email by YahooGroups. If you need to unsubscribe, you may do so by sending an email to: BulletinGold-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
 
To submit items for future issues of BulletinGold email
bulletingold@gmail.com Your email address is never shared and will remain private.
 
The material in BulletinGold is to be used only in church bulletins and other non-profit publications except with the written consent of the contributing author. Please give due credit to our contributors.
 
As part of Yahoo! Groups at times advertisements are placed at the beginning or end of our mailings.  BulletinGold has no control over either the placement or content of these ads.
In this issue ...

 But It Sounds So Good!
By Joe Slater

 Disqualified
By Ron Bartanen

 Give Thanks for Your In-Laws
By Alan Smith

 Jesus Is Divine
By Adam Faughn

 God is Love
By Ron Thomas

 Ruined by a Lie
By David Bragg

 Pure Love
By Donna Wittlif

 Christ Coronated
By Ed Wittlif

 Faith in . . . Faith?
By Lance Cordle

 A Christian Is…
By R. W. McAlister

 The Unwritten Gospel
By Bill Brandstatter

 Can I Take His Place?
By Johnny Hester

But It Sounds So Good!
By Joe Slater

Now this I say, lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words (Colossians 2:4).
     John described Satan as the one who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). In the garden of Eden, the devil did this in person (Genesis 3:1-6). Most often, though, he uses people to spread his lies.
     The Christians in Colosse faced an onslaught of error which Paul urged them to reject. Consisting of a mixture of Greek philosophy, Jewish speculation, and just enough Bible to make it palatable, this novel system resulted in denying the gospel and forfeiting salvation!
     Why would anyone buy into it? Because it sounded good, especially when presented by a skillful speaker. For example, it taught the Colossians to worship angels (Colossians 2:18). Angels are great! What could be wrong with getting the angels on our side? Sounds good! But in fact such is idolatry which robs us of our reward! Today the same type of reasoning tells us to pray to “saints,” especially Mary. Who would have more influence with her Son than Mary? So get her on your side! Sounds good! But Biblical teaching says Jesus Himself is the one mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). We come to God through Him (John 14:6; 15:16).
     Paul warned against being deceived by “persuasive words” (Colossians 2:4). Persuasive means they sound reasonable, but are, in fact, false. Such was Satan’s tactic in Eden: “Eve, you won’t die! You’ll be like God, knowing good and evil!” How reasonable and good that must have sounded; but what a disaster resulted from believing it!
     Beware of those who “by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:28). Just because it sounds good doesn’t mean it is!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com
Return to TOP
Disqualified
By Ron Bartanen
 
    In recent years there has been a shocking number of sports-figures that have achieved great and enviable success in their field, but have unfortunately sought to enhance their performance through the use of steroids, thus violating the rules of the game. These have brought upon themselves disgrace and disqualification. An example would be a runner that would cross the finish line before his competitors, but, nevertheless, would not receive an award when the judges are informed that he did not abide by the rules.
    It is even more sad that many seek to run the Christian race while ignoring the rules. The apostle Paul illustrated this when he wrote, “If a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (2 Timothy 2:5). King Solomon warned, “There shall be no reward to the evil man: the candle of the wicked shall be put out.” Jesus warned those who paraded their religion to be seen by men, that they already had their reward—the praise of men—and needed to expect none from the Father (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18).
    One may even be ever so religious, moral and devoted to some church all his days, and yet miss the crown of glory awarded the faithful. To those who were straying from apostolic teachings and embracing a pseudo-spirituality, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let no man beguile you of your reward” (Colossians 2:18a). As Paul neared the end of his time of service in this world he wrote, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
    Have you begun the Christian race? The runners in this race must “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). We look to Jesus, for there is no other in whom there is eternal life. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). To begin this race, He is to be received in faith—a faith expressed in repentance and baptism (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-4).
    Having begun the race, run it in accord with His word, for He declared, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Are you running the race in accordance with His word? He is the one that will judge us at the end of the race, and, sadly, some will have been disqualified.

- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/
Return to TOP
Give Thanks for Your In-Laws
By Alan Smith

    A newlywed farmer and his wife were visited by her mother, who immediately demanded an inspection of the place. The farmer genuinely tried to be friendly to his new mother-in-law, hoping their relationship could be friendly and non-antagonistic. It was all to no avail, though, as she kept nagging them at every opportunity, demanding changes, offering unwanted advice, and generally making life unbearable to the farmer and his new bride.
    While they were walking through the barn during the forced inspection, the farmer's mule suddenly reared up and kicked the mother-in-law in the head, killing her instantly. It was a shock to all of them, no matter what their feelings were toward her demanding ways.
    At the funeral service a few days later, the farmer stood near the casket and greeted folks as they walked by. The preacher noticed that whenever a woman would whisper something to the farmer, he would nod his head yes and say something.
    But whenever a man walked by and whispered to the farmer, he would shake his head no, and mumble a reply. Very curious as to this bizarre behavior, the preacher later asked the farmer what that was all about.
    The farmer replied, "The women would say, 'What a terrible tragedy' and I would nod my head and say 'Yes, it was.' The men would then ask, 'Can I borrow that mule?' and I would shake my head and say, 'Can't, it's all booked up for a year.'"
    We often make jokes about in-laws (especially mothers-in-law), but the family of our spouse can be quite a blessing to us.
    When we read of in-laws in the Bible, we find some relationships that were good and some that were not so good. There was Jacob and the struggle he had with his father-in-law Laban (if you think your in-laws are bad, imagine one that would switch daughters at the wedding ceremony!). There was Moses and the good relationship he had with his father-in-law Jethro.
    But the most beautiful in-law relationship described in the Bible was between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi. Listen to these words spoken by Ruth to Naomi, words which have been repeated in countless wedding ceremonies:
"Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.  Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me." (Ruth 1:16-17)
    What a beautiful pledge of love and loyalty! If you are married, may I encourage you to do something today you may not have done in quite a while -- give thanks to God for your in-laws.

- Alan Smith, minister for the Cruciform Church of Christ in Spring Lake, North Carolina, may be contacted at alansmith.servant@gmail.com or through the congregation's website: http://www.cruciformcoc.com/
Return to TOP
Jesus Is Divine
By Adam Faughn

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John opens his account of the Gospel with that glorious description of the Word who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (verse 14). We know the one called “the Word” is Jesus, but to claim that He was God? That claim is too much for some.
    However, Jesus Himself made that claim on more than one occasion. For example, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, our Lord responded to one of those temptations by quoting Deuteronomy 6:13, which states, “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10).
    Just a few chapters later, a leper came up to Jesus, and we are told by Matthew that the leper “knelt before [Jesus], saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean’” (8:2). Kneeling was a sign of worship, but notice that this man also called Jesus, “Lord.” (For other examples, see Matthew 9:18; 14:33; John 20:28; et.al)
    If Jesus is not divine, then why would He allow such actions and words to be directed His way? If He is not divine, allowing these things would be nothing short of blasphemy and the very height of arrogance!
    The doctrine of the Trinity is one that we know intellectually, but that we simply cannot wrap our finite minds around. How the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be, as we often sing, the “blessed three in one” is impossible for us to fathom. However, we must always remember that each is worthy of worship because each is part of the divine Being, we simply call, “God.”
    So, we can rightfully sing, “Worthy of praise is Christ our Redeemer,” because Jesus is divine. He is God. May we kneel before Him, and call Him, “Lord.”
 
- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org
Return to TOP
God is Love
By Ron Thomas

    Not long ago I saw a post on Facebook giving an anecdotal remark on why the Lord’s church is not growing. It was related to the LGBTQ community. Evidently, if the Christians oppose that which this community stands for, the church won’t grow. I suppose, in some respects, this is so …. with that community!
    It was loudly asserted on Facebook that “God is love” and since God loves all, then surely God loves and accepts all as they are. This was the assertion and it was stated confidently. I asked the one who made the post that with such confidence in their assertions and accusations, do they have the same confidence in their knowledge. My remark and inquiry was glossed over/ignored. So I posted again; by this time Facebook took the post down.
    What about the idea that “God is love”? Is it true that God accepts all as they are without demanding change? He will accept this community without change as quickly as He will accept an adulterer without change, as quickly as He will accept a pedophile without change, as quickly as He will accept a liar without change, as quickly as He will accept one guilty of murder without change, and the list goes on. You get the point, I am sure.
    How should Christians respond to accusations, mischaracterizations, lies and things of this sort? Jesus said, “In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NET). One can’t improve on this approach. As a Christian, it’s incumbent upon God’s children to preach the message of Christ by the way one lives. If that passes the test with individuals looking on, the likelihood of someone hearing your message with the words you speak that comes from the Savior is much better than it would be otherwise.

- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website. http://sunrushchurchofchrist.com/
Return to TOP
Ruined by a Lie
By David Bragg

     An unidentified driver got a surprise the night they decided to destroy Cody Lutz's giant snowman. Lutz, along with his sister and his fiancée, spent considerable time constructing the nine-foot tall snowman. Then someone thought it would be fun to mow down the gigantic structure with their vehicle. The next morning the tire tracks leading up to the Petersburg, KY residence were clear. Also clear was what the driver realized all too late the previous night: the core support for the snowman was a large tree stump (WXIX Cincinnati, Jan. 15, 2019).
    There is little doubt that the vandal believed the snowperson was just snow. After all, it looked like snow. They must of thought that it would disintegrate like snow under the more substantial weight of a powerful vehicle. Surely, they believed it was, well, snow! They discovered the truth the hard way.
    Sadly, and at a far greater cost, many in the religious world have placed their trust in a grace wrapped in a false gospel. It may look to them like biblical grace. They may have been convinced it was true grace. But someday the truth will be revealed that what they believed to be grace was wrapped in partial truths and full-fledged lies. Pray that it won’t be too late!

- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/ or his blog: http://davidbragg.blogspot.com/
Return to TOP
Pure Love
By Donna Wittlif

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins"  (1 John 4:10, NIV).
     In 1974 Ronnie Milsap's song "Pure Love" became a hit. I liked it, and I laugh now as I listen to it and hear the things the song says make for pure love. As in many songs, the writer's viewpoint of what love is comes from his self-centered nature.
     Real love comes from the giving of self and what we hold dearest. In the words of the apostle Paul, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self - seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Lov e does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
     True pure love does not always make the giver feel wonderful and special. Job endured much suffering without cursing God because of his love for God. Abraham was ready to offer his son Isaac because of his love for God. Hannah promised her son Samuel to God because of her love. None of those things was fun.
     The greatest example of pure love is the love for mankind that Jesus showed as He hung on the cross and died for our sins. We can only imagine what leaving heaven and its glory to come here and seek and save the lost meant for Him. Christ left His godly form and became man. He suffered poverty, fatigue, loneliness, unwarranted rebukes, shame, mocking, beatings, betrayal, and death on a cruel cross for our sakes. That is pure love, a love that will never again be seen in this world.
     How can we demonstrate that kind of love for our fellow man and for God? All we can do is walk side by side with Christ as He guides us and holds our hand in pure love.

- Donna Wittlif, the founder and first editor of BulletinGold, lives in Denver, CO. Donna is also a writer of fiction. Her novels, World Eternal: Promises and World Eternal: Proselytes, and World Eternal: Perils, and her newest book, Finding Her Heart,  are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book outlets. For more information visit her website. http://www.donnarwittlif.com/
Return to TOP
Christ Coronated
By Ed Wittlif

"So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11 NASB).
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ ─
 this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts 2:36). Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings (Revelation 19:16).
     These days people prefer to think of Jesus as their older brother. While that is true according to Hebrews chapter two, He is more. Jesus declares in Matthew 28:18 that God has given to Him all authority in heaven and earth. Jesus has total authority in the spiritual realm and the physical realm.
     Our problem is that we may know that fact intellectually, but do we understand the ramifications it has in our lives? Paul clearly understood Jesus' authority. Because of Christ's sacrifice for him, Paul surrendered unconditionally to Christ Jesus. Paul's life now was Christ's life (Galatians 2:20 and Philippians 1:21).
     We must accept Christ Jesus' full authority over us. "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts" (I Peter 3:15a). Christ must be the directing and ruling authority over each one of us. We need to get up off the throne and let Jesus take His rightful place.
     Jesus will not force His way in. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock" (Revelation 3:20a). This was said to the church in Laodicea, not unbelievers. Jesus has a twofold right to set on the throne of our hearts. He is our Creator and He is our Redeemer.
     Have you crowned Jesus King?

- Ed Wittlif is from Denver, CO; via the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. Joe Slater serves as minister and he may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com
Return to TOP
Faith in . . . Faith?
By Lance Cordle

     Recently I reached into a closet to get some trash bags. I was in sort of a hurry, so I did not bother to turn on enough light to see the bags. I remembered that I had previously placed them on the top shelf of the closet, so I reached upward for them. To my surprise, they were not there. I knew that I had put them there, so I began to feel about for them, and finally felt them down at the bottom of the shelf, where they had fallen. Confident that I had placed them on the top shelf, I logically believed that they had fallen. Instead of turning on the light, in faith I reached down and picked them up.
     My actions in regard to the closet demonstrate trust in myself and past actions. We use trust (faith) daily, by believing in people and things. But, somehow, people want to make faith itself divine when they speak of believing in God. Sometimes people speak of “leaning on” their faith to get them through a crisis. At other times, someone may speak of their “brand” of faith—In an obituary, the deceased may be described as being “of the __________ faith.” (Insert denomination or religion).
     It seems to me that the act of believing is made to be the powerful force rather than the object of the faith. In all my life, I should lean on God, through faith..
     Let me see if I can explain myself a little more clearly. Take Abraham, for example. In Hebrews 11:8, it is said, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.” But on what basis did Abraham go out? Was it an illogical trust? Was it blind faith in a being he had no dealings with previously? I submit to you that it was neither. In fact, though all of Hebrews 11 deals with deeds done through faith, the object of, and the facilitator of the mighty deeds was God himself. Faith was the avenue by which God was allowed to work in the lives of those listed in that great chapter. Without God, they were nothing. They could have trusted in someone else—and failed.
     When I choose to trust, my trust (faith) is only as good as the object of that trust. My actions are based upon my understanding and interaction with the object before I place my trust in it. Some like to describe faith as being illogical or as a better “felt-than-told” experience. However, just as we allow ourselves to test things on earth, God has sent forth revelation in written form that can be documented (Matthew 4:4, 7, 11). He also sent his son at a particular time in history (Galatians 4:4), the act itself, which can be verified by history.
     Though faith is a beautiful word and provokes powerful images, we must understand that our faith is only as good as the object of it (Proverbs 3:5, 6). It is not an end in itself. Faith in faith is empty.

- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com
Return to TOP
A Christian Is…
By R. W. McAlister

     In writing to the saints at Corinth, the apostle Paul said, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:19-20). Paul reminds the Corinthian saints of something we need to be aware of as well: that theirs was and ours is a holy and dignified calling. Our bodies and spirits belong to God – we’re not our own. It’s not for us to take our bodies and use them only in the way we desire. In the final analysis, they don’t belong to us; they belong to God and we ought to use them for His glory!
     In John 15, verses 5&6, Jesus says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Jesus has already declared in verse 1 that He is the True Vine, but He hadn’t before declared that every disciple is a branch of the Vine. We need to understand that this message is addressed to members of His one body, not to denominations, as some would pervert the text.
     A branch’s main purpose is bearing fruit. It may be weak in itself, but it has a living relationship with the vine and can be productive. To abide in Christ means to be in communion with Him so that our lives please Him. The disciple, without Christ, can do nothing. Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). Christ is our strength.
     A Christian is a branch in Christ and I has the responsibility to bear fruit. He or she can’t get by on the fact that other branches are fruitful, each Christian must be bearing fruit in whatever way they’re capable. In addition to being a branch, a Christian is also:
     A stone in the building. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (I Peter 2, verses 5 & 6). Brethren, are we telling others about that “chief corner stone?” Are we doing what we must in order to spread the message of Christ? I can’t get by on the fact that the other stones fit into their places and do their work well in supporting the building. I have to do my part as well.
     A Christian is a candle on the candlestick and must personally shine. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5, verses 14-16). This is perhaps one of the more powerful Bible passages about our responsibility to teach and evangelize others. We must let our light shine, that doesn’t mean we shine it in the face of others to blind them or force our beliefs on them. We let it shine so that it can be seen by others and be used to lead them to Christ. That’s the purpose of letting our lights shine. We’re to do it before men. Not in a way that will draw attention to ourselves just for the sake of having others see us (Matthew 6:1), but so that those who need to be led to Christ can see our light and find Him. Christ is the light, you see, and we’ll reflect His light if we walk in it.
      According to Matthew 25, each of us has at least one talent, and we have a personal responsibility and an obligation to use what we have for the glory of God. 

- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/
Return to TOP
The Unwritten Gospel
By Bill Brandstatter

    We know that the word “gospel” comes from a Greek word meaning, “good news. The word “gospel” can apply to any and all messages from the Bible. The gospel is a report or something stated. (Isa. 53:1; Rom. 10:12) In the New Testament the emphasis is on the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). Some in those days were following a “different“ gospel. (Gal. 1:6-9) Throughout the history of God’s people and even today some people may be following an unwritten gospel. In other words, they are receiving a message from some source that they consider to be good news. They are listening to the message and following it. Let us look at some unwritten gospels that many are following:
    THE GOSPEL OF TRADITION: Jesus said they had taken the commandments of men and taught or proclaimed them as “doctrine.” (Mt. 15:9) Some today will say something and then state, “That’s the gospel truth.” Most, if not all of us, are raised under this unwritten gospel. Tradition merely means something handed down. This can be good if it is apostolic or New Testament tradition; but if it is something non-Biblical, great caution must be taken.  In our text they were taking men’s commandments and teaching them as fact. This can apply today. This may even be in the churches of Christ if caution and discretion are not used. The number of songs we sing or how many prayers we say during our worship usually go according to the tradition of each congregation. There is a caution here. Just because we feel uncomfortable about something doesn’t mean it is unscriptural; however, if it is unscriptural, we should feel uncomfortable.
    THE GOSPEL OF HUMAN OPINION: Statements that indicate this view are: “One church is just as good as another “and “I don’t believe in any organized religion.”  This view may also be the area of majority rule. Human opinion and majority rule crucified Christ. Jesus asked a question about human opinion and got a variety of answers. (Mt. 16:13-18) Human opinion is subject to each individual. The standard is self-judgement. (Matt. 21:25)
    GOSPEL OF PREACHER-FOLLOWERS:  Some may follow a certain preacher because he is a big name, written a lot of books, is on television, or preaches for a big church. In Acts 5:36-37, we read of two men, Theudas and Judas who had followers. Theudas claimed to be somebody. (Acts 5:36) Four hundred followed him.  Judas “drew away many people after him.” (Acts 5:37) The church at Corinth also had this problem. (1 Cor. 1:12-14) At one time a statistic indicated that 80% of people who believed something did so because the preacher said it was so. We are to believe something because the Bible says it is so. If the preacher says the same thing, that is great.
    THE GOSPEL OF NEWNESS: People in Athens spent their time in hearing or seeing some new thing. (Acts 17:20) This may be a reference to religion since the city was overtaken in idols. A new church building is built somewhere and people flock to it. We live in an age where newness is in. The old is discarded or counted as obsolete. Many churches now, even denominational churches have “traditional” and “contemporary” services. Entertainment plays a big part in the gospel of newness.
    THE GOSPEL OF FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: We are all part of some group of people. We sometimes spend more time away from home than we do at home. 1 Cor. 15:33 says evil companionships corrupt good morals. Ex. 23:2 cautions us not to follow the crowd to do evil. John warns, “Love not the world or the things of this world.” in 1 Jn. 2:15.
    THE GOSPEL OF FAMILY: All of us were here at one point in time. The Samaritan woman was there. Saul of Tarsus was there. The Jews in Matthew 3 were there. This gospel is one that is very important to us. “If it was good enough for Dad and Mom, it is good enough for me.” All of these gospels have an impact on the life of the believer. The one gospel that will affect us eternally is the gospel of Christ. Christ wants His gospel to be preached (Mark 16:16); obeyed (Rom. 6:17); and followed (Matt. 28:19).  Will you do that today?

- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/
Return to TOP
Can I Take His Place?
By Johnny Hester

    An anecdotal account relates how Joe, the governor’s most trusted assistant, died in his sleep one night. The governor had for many years depended on Joe for advice on every subject, from pending legislation to wardrobe decisions. Joe had been his closest friend. It was understandable that the governor didn’t take kindly to the droves of ambitious office seekers who wanted Joe’s job. “They don’t even have the decency to wait until the man is buried,” he muttered. At the funeral, one eager beaver made his way to the governor’s side: “Governor,” he whispered, “is there a chance that I could take Joe’s place?” “Certainly,” the governor replied. “But you’d better hurry. The undertaker is almost ready to close the coffin lid.”
    Most of us can look around and find a person of whom we might say, “I would like to take his place.” But have you ever made that statement regarding someone who had died, or was about to die. Would anyone want to trade places with someone like that? Yet that is precisely what Jesus Christ did for us. God’s love is difficult to comprehend, for Jesus changed places with us. He died an agonizing death, that we might escape spiritual death and receive eternal life! The prophet Isaiah foretold this amazing exchange:
    He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5–6).
    O what matchless love the Lord has lavished upon us! May our lives reflect gratitude for the One who “took our place.”

- Johnny Hester preaches for the Matthews Church of Christ in Matthews, MO. He may be contacted at johnnyhester@yahoo.com
Return to TOP
Your input regarding BulletinGold is always welcome.  Please let us know how we can better meet your needs through this valuable resource.  We also encourage you to support us by contributing your brief bulletin articles, poems, etc. to share with others.
 
If you received this issue of BulletinGold as a forward from a friend and wish to be added to our group membership, simply send a blank email to: BulletinGold-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Be sure and reply to the letter sent to your email by YahooGroups. If you need to unsubscribe, you may do so by sending an email to: BulletinGold-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Editor: David Bragg