February 2, 2003 Vol 2 #12
a previous BulletinGold article titled
"So, Is Church Attendance Necessary?" a
clarification needs to be made. Here
is a quote from the first part of the
1. It is because God commands us to not
forsake the assembly. Hebrews 10:24,25
says, "Let us consider how to stimulate
one another to love and good deeds, not
forsaking our own assembling together, as
is the habit of some, but encouraging one
another; and all the more, as you see the
day drawing near." Of course one does not
"forsake the assembly" by missing a
service. One forsakes the assembly when he
doesn't come to church anymore.
The last two sentences of the above
paragraph state, "Of course one does not
`forsake the assembly' by missing a
service. One forsakes the assembly
when he doesn't come to church
anymore." It has been correctly
pointed out to me that missing a service,
depending upon the circumstances, can be
forsaking the assembly. There is
indeed a difference in missing a service
if one cannot be there because of illness
or some unforeseen circumstance which
keeps him away and missing a service
because one has something "better" to
do. I believe that Hebrews 10:25
teaches that one is not to miss a service
of the church unless he is "providentially
Teaching God's Word, whether one does it
from the pulpit or via an ezine such as
BulletinGold, is a very serious
responsibility. I would never
include false doctrine in Bulletin Gold,
and I apologize to all my readers for
overlooking the two sentences in the
article I published.
Panning for more Gold
Church Attendance (Hebrews 10:25)
preacher's articles this issue
"Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together, as the manner of
some is; but exhorting one another: and
so much the more, as ye see the day
approaching." This verse is not
too complicated to understand. If
we can understand Genesis 2:17, we
should also be able to understand
Please consider: (Gen. 2:17) "But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day
that thou eatest thereof thou shalt
surely die." Note, "thou shalt not eat
of it." How many times could they eat of
that tree and still be pleasing to God
(Cp. Gen. 3:6ff)? One command for us is:
"Not forsaking the assembling of
ourselves together, as the manner of
some is; but exhorting one another: and
so much the more, as ye see the day
approaching" (Heb. 10:25). How many
times can we forsake "the assembling of
ourselves together" and still be
pleasing to God?
Let us consider some definitions: "not"
(web.) means "in no manner; to no
degree: ... affirmation of the
opposite." "Not" is word #3756 in
Strong's Complete Concordance, and means
"the absolute negative; (adv.) no or
not." "Forsaking the assembling" is
something that we are not to do (cp.
Exodus 20:4, 5, 7, 13-17; I Cor. 6:9,
10) . To do
that which we are not to do is sin (I
Jno. 3:4). The word "forsake" (#1459)
means to "desert, leave, abandon." We
are not to forsake any "assembling" of
the church. The same word is used in
Matthew 27:46, "... My God, my God, why
hast thou forsaken me?" It is important
to remember that the Father did not
forsake Jesus forever, but it is said of
this one occurrence. The Greek word for
"assembling" is episunagoge (#1997) and
means " a complete collection; specially
a church meeting (for
together." It is only used in one other
verse, II Thessalonians 2:1. There it is
used twice and is translated "gathering
together." In Hebrews 10:25 it is used
twice and is translated "assembling" and
"together." The "assembling" is the
gathering together of the church for a
religious service (ex. I Cor. 11:20,
etc.). This is what one is not to
forsake: "the assembling of ourselves
together." So if one willingly absence
himself from a church service, he has
forsaken "the assembling" and has broken
a commandment of God.
There is a difference between
"missing" and "forsaking." To "miss" is
to be absent unwillingly. To "forsake"
is to be absent willingly. The bottom
line is, we do what we want to do (that
is the key to it). It is a matter of
where our treasure is (Matt. 6:19-21).
If our heart's desire is to be with the
saints in the presence of God to worship
Him, we will be there if at all
possible. Where is our affection (cp.
Col. 3:1,2)? What is first in our lives
(Matt. 6:33)? Do we truly love God as we
should (John 14:15, 23)? Are we living
acceptable lives unto God (Rom. 12:1)?
Or are we numbered with the "lukewarm"
(Rev. 3:15, 16), and the "foolish"
virgins (Matt. 25:1ff)?
Hebrews 10:25 will meet us in the
judgment (Rev. 20:12). We must obey God
if we expect Heaven to be our eternal
home (Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21). It will
help us to remember all that Jesus has
done for us and suffered for us (II Cor.
Perry Sexton, 8125 US Hwy 340,
Shenandoah, Virginia 22849 email@example.com
|Are You Overdoing
Have you ever been accused of
"over doing it" or "going overboard"
when it comes to working for the Lord?
Most of us might reply, "Not often!"
Others of us might think we "overdo"
sometimes, but we probably don't. Still,
being an "over-achiever" and "go-getter"
when it comes to church work is
something that we as Christians should
be known for.
The apostle Paul reminded the church at
Corinth that they were to become
"over-doers" or "second milers" when it
came to working for the Lord. He wrote
it this way, "Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable,
always abounding in the work of the
Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord." (I
Did you notice the word "abounding" in
that passage? It means "overflowing in
abundance, exceeding expectations, doing
more than what is required." Did you
also notice what Paul specifically
exhorts brethren to "overflow in
abundance" doing? That's right.... "The
work of the Lord."
When it comes to the Lord's work, do
others find us being timid or even
reluctant to be more involved? Shouldn't
each of us be known as "over achievers,"
with a volunteer spirit and willingness
to do far more than what is expected or
what might be considered our "duty?"
Of course Paul was writing to twenty
year old Christians who have endless
amounts of energy to "abound" with.
Right? Wrong! Did you also notice the
word "always?" It means "consistently
throughout our lives." There is no age
specification in this passage. Each of
us should do more than our share of the
work. We are taught and expected by God
to "abound in the work of the Lord over
our entire lifetimes."
How about you? Is your schedule full and
overflowing when it comes to the Lord's
Ed Thomason preaches for the New Madrid,
Missouri, Church of Christ and is
webmaster for preachtoday.com. He can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Dead or Alive
As for you, you
were dead in your transgressions and sins,
in which you used to live when you
followed the ways of this world and of the
ruler of the kingdom of the air, the
spirit who is now at work in those who are
disobedient. Ephesians 2:1
Paul's letter to the Ephesians reveals the
place of the church in the economy of God
as having existed in the Eternal Mind long
before what finite man calls the
beginning. We need not let all that
talk about predestination in chapter one
frighten us. God did not create anyone for
the specific purpose of destruction, but
destruction is what those who do not
follow Christ will receive, according to
our memory text.
We were dead in our transgressions and
sins. At one time, before the blood of
Christ cleansed them, each and every
Christian was dead because they were
sinners. Each and every one of us would be
dead right now if it were not for the
blood of Christ and if we lose that, we
will be dead once again.
In verse five and again in verse eight of
this chapter, Paul reminds us that our
salvation came by the grace of God. There
can be no argument with that great
statement, for it is grace that
overshadows the entire salvation
process. Indeed, without grace there
would be no Holy Scriptures to which we
may turn and find out what we must do to
Paul reminds us of that very well.
Christianity did not come from man and
neither did the church. The sacrificial
death of Christ and the resulting
salvation were formed in the mind of God
before creation ever began.
Kind of gives
you a chill, doesn't it?
A. Jay Kelley is the evangelist for the
church of Christ in Colby, Kansas. His
e-mail is email@example.com
It is not often that we think
of evangelism in the context of Roman
governor Felix. Felix was the Roman
governor that Paul stood before in
judgment (Acts 24). History does not
speak too well of Felix; neither do the
Scriptures attest to him any moral
virtue. So, how does evangelism fit in
the context of Felix? Let us understand
the context in which we find Felix. As
we said, Felix was the governor
(procurator) over Judea. He was
appointed to that position by Rome. It
was in Caesarea that Felix's judgment
seat was to be found. Paul was standing
before Felix because he was falsely
accused of profaning the Temple of the
Jews. While Paul defended himself ably,
Rome found the surest way to peace was
appeasement of the Jews. If they let
Paul go, knowing he was guilty of no
capital crime, the Jews were sure to
react and react violently.
Nevertheless, the Roman tribune (the
army commander who arrested Paul before
he went to Felix) sent Paul to a higher
court than his and asked for Felix to
render a verdict. Felix never rendered
an official verdict. He kept Paul in
prison for two years to keep the Jews
quiet. During this period of time, Felix
asked for Paul and spoke with him about
that which "bound" him. The Scriptures
says that Felix was troubled by that
which Paul said (preached). However,
there was enough interest that Felix
called him back occasionally (Acts
24:26). Paul was evangelizing.
First, this episode gives us ideas about
what we should be doing. Sometimes we
wonder the best way to handle
opportunities presented to us. If we
look at what Paul said to the governor,
I think we'll have some guidance. Note
what we should preach to the lost--
Jesus and him crucified. Paul said in
Acts 24:21 that he stood before Rome
because of the resurrection of Jesus. To
speak of the resurrection of our Lord is
to speak of "Jesus and Him crucified."
This means that we state the facts of
His life and how those of His day felt
threatened and killed Him. But it is
more than just this; Jesus had a message
of hope and that message was a pointed
one. In their threatened status they
determined the only way to effectively
handle Him was to destroy Him. This they
did, or so they thought.
Second, we learn from the account of
Felix what to expect in response. One of
the great frustrations of preaching the
Gospel is the response people give to
the message. All children of God are to
preach the Gospel. Many become
"shell-shocked" because they are refused
by those they speak to. This refusal
comes in varying degrees. For some it is
an intense refusal, and for others, less
so. Felix told Paul to "go away." That
is rather short and to the point. Paul
had no choice but to obey the
order/command. But it was not left at
just that. It was not, "Go away and come
back no more." But it was "Go away for
now and when I have a convenient time,
I'll call for you then."
This is how most people respond to the
message of God. They can see the value
of it, and they would like to embrace
it, but there is something that stops
them. What is it? There is a simpler
answer than that which I am about to
offer, but what I want to consider is
directly connected to the simple answer.
First, people think they have more time.
There is "time enough" to obey at a
later date. We get up each day, work,
turn in for the evening, and start the
cycle all over again. We have done this
so much that we think it will occur
again tomorrow. Second, people will
often say to themselves, "Look. I am not
that bad." This justifies the delay to
change. There is a part of them that
recognizes the need to change, but there
is another part of them that just does
not want to.
Both these reasons are built upon the
simple response of "I just do not want
to obey. God, I love you, but not that
much!" The Scriptures teach that there
is a way that seems right to man, but
ends up in death (Proverbs 14:12).
We can learn much from the interaction
between Felix and Paul. What Felix did
is what people do today.
Ron Thomas preaches for the Highway
Church of Christ in Sullivan, Illinois.
goodies this issue
David A Sargent
A man performing genealogical
studies had occasion to visit several
cemeteries and read the inscriptions
found on tombstones. He saw a
tombstone on which was engraved:
Pause now, stranger, as you pass by;
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so soon you'll be.
Prepare yourself to follow me!
Someone had placed a piece of wood next
to the tombstone. On it was
To follow you I'm not content,
Until I know which way you went!
There are many voices today - all
proclaiming, "THIS is the way" or "THAT
is the way" we should go. But the
"WAY" to life is NOT a DIRECTION. The
"WAY" to life is a PERSON! The
"WAY" to life is NOT a RELIGION but
rather a RELATIONSHIP.
Jesus said, "I AM the "WAY", the truth,
and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me" (John 14:6).
Jesus also said, "Enter by the narrow
gate; for wide is the gate and broad is
the way that leads to destruction, and
there are MANY who go in by it.
Because narrow is the gate and difficult
is the way which leads to life, and
there are FEW who find it" (Matthew
We "enter through the gate"- through our
obedience to the Gospel ("Good News")
believing in Jesus (Acts 16:31),
repenting of our sins (Acts 17:30-31),
confessing Him before men (Romans
10:9-10), AND being baptized (immersed)
in water for the forgiveness of our sins
(Acts 2:38). We "travel" the road
to life eternal - through our continued
trust in and obedience to the Lord (1
Two ways. Two destinies. ONE
Which "WAY" will YOU travel?
God bless you.
David A. Sargent, is the minister at the
Church of Christ at Creekwood, 1901
Schillinger Rd. S., Mobile,
Alabama. To subscribe to "Living
Water" and view archived issues, please
visit our website at: www.creekwoodcc.org
Please visit our Web site AND share a
drink of "Living Water" with a
the name of Jesus every knee should
bow..." (Philippians 2:10.)
Mike Benson, editor; Matt
Gehlhausen, managing editor
DIANA ROSS MCCAIN wrote an insightful
article entitled, "The Hardships of
In it she described what it was like to
worship in a Connecticut church
meetinghouse some two-hundred plus years
ago. She observed:
"There was no
fireplace, no stove, no significant heat
source of any kind. Half-frozen man,
women, and children, bundled up in their
heaviest garments, hunched into
themselves to conserve precious body
heat and peered through clouds of
condensation formed by their
breath. In the pulpit the minister
himself might be preaching clad in a
greatcoat and mittens. At times it
got so cold the Lord's Supper froze...
Comfort was not a
primary consideration of those who
constructed early Connecticut
meetinghouses. Here one comes
every Sunday to attend to the serious
business of hearing the word of God and
how it might be applied to daily
life. And that solemn duty was to
be carried out no matter what weather it
pleased the Almighty to provide."
THOUGHT: Wouldn't it be interesting to
some day note the following add in the
local newspaper..., "Come worship with
us. Our building is cold in the
winter; hot in the summer. We use
neither heat nor air conditioning.
Our pews are not padded. We meet
not for physical comfort, but spiritual
worship. You are cordially
KneEmail #345: "Not forsaking the
assembling of ourselves together, as is
the manner of some, but exhorting one
another, and so much the more as you see
the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:25.)
To Subscribe/Unsubscribe, visit us on
the web at http://www.oakhillcoc.org
Hearts of Gold
Defend the Truth
Rose Ann Noey
Defend the truth, you men of God,
The truth which God has given.
When others say,
Oh, it's ok
To choose your road to heaven.
What road you choose, you should not care
As long as we're all striving.
Play fast and loose
With Bible Truth -
Make Faith your own contriving.
As gently calm as water seems
Upon the beach a-splashing,
Satan's a fox
Hiding dangerous rocks -
On which Faith's boat comes crashing.
what the Bible says
In giving us a warning.
Our ignorant way
Makes easy prey
For those who're bent on harming.
But you, dear friends, build up your lives
Upon the Holy Faith.
And others snatch
From Satan's cache
Before the time's too late.
Defend the truth, you men of God.
Defend and take a stand!
There's just one road
To Heaven's abode -
And the Bible's that Heavenly Plan.
Based on Jude
Rose Ann Noey worships with the Church of
Christ at Lincolnway in Columbia City,
& sayings for bulletins and signs
When it seems
you can't forgive, remember how much you
have been forgiven.
Christ's death is the measure of your
worth to God.
God can mend your broken heart, but you
must give Him all the pieces.
Deposit God's word in your memory bank,
and you'll draw interest for life.
Good intentions, like good eggs, soon
spoil unless hatched.