The Bible relates
the epic story of the human race and
our relationship with the eternal
God. From the first light of
Genesis a Divine scheme of life
begins to unfold, culminating on the
sixth day with the crowning
achievement of creation ...
man. Perfection is soon
followed by disappointment as man
chooses self over God, and suddenly
paradise draws to a premature end.
Adam and Eve are forced from the
Garden of Eden and barred from the
eternal benefits of the Tree of Life
(Gen. 3:22, 24), even their selfish
choice of the serpent over God did not
cut off all hope. One is
promised to come, along with the
promise of victory over the Serpent,
and the apparent source from which
blessings were to be harvested, the
Tree of Life, will therefore emerge in
the book of Proverbs as a metaphor of
Bible concludes with echoes of a great
beginning. The dawn's first
light of a final, great eternal day
will reveal ... the eternal God,
paradise, the Tree of Life, and the
One who made the victory possible for
those blessed to inhabit the New
Jerusalem, Jesus Christ. The
Bible ends with those who choose God
over self, gaining the access so long
denied as the saints join God in
paradise to enjoy forever the Tree of
Life (Rev. 22:14).
This issue of BulletinGold revolves
around the grand theme of the Bible,
in the hope of honoring all those who
faithfully teach it to others.
No other endeavor could hope to reap
the possible rewards as sharing God's
Word with others. Whether by
print or word of mouth, what glorious
hope is shared with you share the
Bible's message with others.
The most compelling
need of our day is a love for the
truth. Unfortunately there is a
deficiency in this regard that is
woefully lacking. When I was a
boy my father, grandfather, brothers,
and I would go to Bentley’s Barber
Shop in Hartselle ,
Alabama to get a haircut. My
grandfather, J. F. Dean, was an elder
in the church and was recognized as a
walking Bible. Occasionally at the
barber shop a question would be raised
about some Bible related subject. My
grandfather would reply, “the Bible
says so and so,” and then he would
quote the pertinent scripture. As a
child my memory was clear regarding
how silent the place of business
became when he finished his answer.
The presentation of truth silenced the
questioner and convicted the hearts of
those present. Beloved, there was a
day when men and women would shudder
at the truth and/or tremble at the
spoken word (Heb, 4:12; Acts 24:25).
How do we show our love for the truth?
Initially, we should love hearing the
truth or gospel proclaimed (Eph.
4:15); Acts 2:41). This writer has
noticed over the last ten to fifteen
years a lack of appreciation for the
truth and the majesty of God’s written
word. One brother told a gospel
preacher that he should watch what he
said because there were sectarian
people in the audience. One even
remarked that he should not speak on
religious error due to certain people
being present. Wonder how Peter or
Paul would preach today? Would they
simply slap people on the back, shake
their hands, and then declare some
philosophical jargon? Most Bible
students know better. If we truly love
the truth then joy will soar in our
hearts as the spoken word is preached.
A love of the truth will cause us to
crave and hunger for it like a fine
meal (Matt. 5:6). Solomon said, “Buy
the truth and sell it not...” (Prov.
23:23). A love of the truth will cause
us to submit to it. (
4:7-8). Jesus said, “If ye love me, ye
will keep my commandments” (Jhn.
A love for the truth will also cause
one to live it to the uttermost. There
can be no greater challenge for our
love of the truth than living it
daily. Paul said, “For to me to live
is Christ, but to die is gain...”
(Phil. 1:21). Jesus was the
personification of truth and truly
exemplified how we should conduct our
lives. Luke wrote in his second
treatise to Theophilus and said,
“concerning all that Jesus began both
to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1). Paul
said, “only let your manner of life be
worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil.
1:27 ASV). Friend a love for the truth
is not only the purpose of our being,
but everlasting life will be the
result of a faithful life.
-- Bob Spurlin,
Hartselle , AL (via the
Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin
of the Belvedere church
of Christ , Belvedere, SC.
Ken Chumbley serves the congregation
as evangelist, and he may be contacted
visit brother Spurlin's website at http://www.bobspurlin.com.
“Ten Things Bible Class
Teachers Love In Parents”
By Kyle Moses
This list (borrowed
from the New Braunfels bulletin, Truth) has a
very important message for us all to
This list is entitled “Some Things
Bible Class Teachers Love In Parents”:
Parents who attend Bible classes
2. Parents who encourage their
children to attend all Bible class
3. Parents who encourage their
children to be in Bible classes on
4. Parents who speak well of the
5. Parents who are fair minded,
agreeable, and unselfishly helpful
to the teacher with all classroom
6. Parents who appreciate, and
express their appreciation for their
efforts to help their children.
7. Parents who are real partners
with class teachers in the greatest
work of the world.
8. Parents who set a time to help
their children get their Bible
9. Parents who maintain discipline
at home so the teacher will have no
discipline problems in the
10. Parents who teach their children
proper attitudes of worship, in the
classroom and public worship
Bible classes are
very important. We must be sure that
we do all we can to be there.
Sometimes, we may not set our
alarm for the right time, we may be
ill, or something happens where we
just cannot be there. Otherwise, we
should make every effort to be at
Bible class. Attendance for Bible
class is just as important for being
at the worship services.
I do not know why, but every place I
have ever worshiped, every bulletin
I get that shows attendance records,
and every preacher or elder to whom
I have ever spoken about this topic
all affirm that there is a trend in
the Lord’s church. Have you ever
noticed how the Sunday morning and
the Sunday evening service totals
are always a
lot higher than those of Sunday
morning Bible class and Wednesday
evening Bible study? Why is that? Is
it because some do not see Bible
class as important? Maybe it is
because some don’t like the teacher.
I do not know. One thing I do know,
though, is that those who attend the
Bible classes without reserve always
say that they learn so much and look
forward to it. Some even say that
through Bible class, their faith is
very often stronger because they
Why is it important to come to Bible
class? I want to offer two lists.
The first list is the importance for
children to attend Bible class and
the other is to show the reasons for
1. It teaches them how to behave for
2. They get the basic Bible stories
taught to them using resources that
parents many times do not have at
3. The children have the opportunity
to make life-long Christian friends
with the Bible class mates, often
meeting future mates.
4. The children learn how to use
5. Children have the opportunity to
learn from knowledgeable teachers
that have taken a lot of time to
prepare a lesson especially for
1. Adults can learn lessons more in
depth than they can by just
listening to sermons alone.
2. Class participation helps to
offer different points of view and
spawn new thoughts than with sermons
3. It can prepare the student to
better combat against the false
doctrines present in our world.
4. The student is more prepared to
teach the lost and dying world the
gospel with a stronger knowledge.
5. The adult has a better
opportunity to learn from a wider
range of resources.
I hope that you will consider these
important thoughts as you consider
coming to Bible class each Sunday
Wednesday. With Vacation Bible School approaching, we can
apply these same principles.
Abraham is the
only person to have received this
title. “And the Scriptures was
fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham
believed God and it was accounted to
him for righteousness,’ and he was
called the friend of God.” (Jas.
2:23). Also 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa.
41:8). Let us note some of his
–He believed God. Jas. 2:23; Heb.
11:8, 9, 17. Faith is required for
salvation, but it is not the only
requirement. A person can believe,
and still be lost. “Nevertheless
even among the rulers many believed
in Him, but because of the Pharisees
they did not confess Him, lest they
should be put out of the synagogue;
for they loved the praise of men
more than the praise of God.” (John
12:42, 43); (Jas. 2:17-26).
–Obeyed God. –When told to go to
another country, he went (Heb.
11:8). When commanded to offer
Isaac, he did (Heb.
11:17). We must obey to
be saved. “Though He was a Son, yet
He learned obedience by the things
He suffered. And having been
perfected, He became the author of
eternal salvation to all who obey
Him.” (Heb. 5:8, 9).
–Feared God. “And He said, ‘Do not
lay your hand on the lad, or do
anything to him; for now I know that
you fear God, since you have not
withheld your son, your only son,
from Me.” (Gen. 22:12). Man’s whole
duty is to fear God and keep His
commandments. (Eccl. 12:13).
–Had a deep concern for the lost.
(Gen. 18:16-33). Every Christian
should feel a responsibility to the
lost. “For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God to salvation for
everyone who believes, for the Jew
first and also for the Greek.” (
We also can be friends of God. “You
are My friends if you do whatever I
command you.” (John 15:14).
You are either for God, or against
Him. “No man can serve two masters .
. . You cannot serve God and
mammon.” (Matt. 6:24).
- Jimmy Cox lives in Sandy Hook, MS
and attends the
Columbia church of
Christ in Columbia ,
MS . He may be contacted
For a Bowl of Soup
By Lance Cordle
You remember the story—Esau, the
outdoorsman, came in from the field
and was very hungry (“famished”
Genesis 26:29, NASB). His brother,
Jacob, had cooked a container of
lentil stew (NASB) and had it there
as Esau came in from his outdoor
activity. He reacted in a way that
is familiar to most people—he
claimed he was starving and about to
die (both not literally true).
Jacob, being a shrewd individual,
saw his brother for what he was, a
profane, worldly man (See Hebrews
12:16,17). Jacob demanded the
birthright (the right to a double
share of their father’s possessions
at his death). This was indeed a
ludicrous trade—a tremendous
inheritance in exchange for a bowl
of soup—but Esau took it.
This transaction took place a long
time ago, but it is not so far
removed from our time. Virtually
every day, people make trades
similar to that of Esau—exchanging
the important things in life for
things that are far less valuable.
Consider the following
high school student trades his
integrity and good reputation for
“honor” by cheating on a test that
is just a matter of academic record.
¨ A young lady trades her good
name and purity for the opportunity
to belong to the “popular crowd” in
¨ A woman trades her family and
future for a temporary affair with a
man who wanted her merely for
¨ A man trades his health for a
job that will keep him occupied for
thousands of hours and leaves him
with no time for his family.
¨ A church trades the stability
of God’s word for the great number
of people attracted by loose
doctrine and entertainment.
¨ A society trades solid moral
principles that insure the stability
of governments for ever-changing,
ever-descending values that have
been proven to destroy
regretted his decision. Years of
frustration, anger, and bitterness
could have been prevented if he had
not been so foolish in his decision
about the soup.
May we take the lesson of Esau and
be careful in all our decisions to
choose wisely. Because,
ultimately, we stand to lose our
eternal inheritance if we
trade for a “bowl of soup”
(Matthew 16:26; 1 Peter
This past week, on June 16th, a major
religious body in the
, at their national convention, voted
against two proposals that expressed
opposition to all same-sex
unions. My response to such an
action is twofold:
·First, how much
presumption does it take to
vote against a biblical
truth? Who does man think he
is, voting against
the edicts and pronouncements
of God? Do people think
majority rules when it comes to
God's revelation? Do
people really think they can "vote
God out of office" by reaching a
majority decision against God and
his platform as set forth in
Scripture? Apparently so.
·And second, how
much presumption does it take to
vote, for or against, any biblical
matter? Why would anyone be
"voting" on any biblical or moral
issue? Has not God already
spoken? Does not Scripture
already "thoroughly furnish us with
answers to doctrinal and moral
matters? (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Is truth determined by a vote?
Let God be true and every man a
liar. Friends, no vote needs
to be taken, rather people need to
open their Bibles!
need to be reminded that truth is
not what we make it, but what God
stated. Morality is not
determined by a vote, but by the
revelation of God. Rather than
"voting," wouldn't people be better
off just obeying the word of
God. After all, there is the
reminder of Moses echoing through
the ages that states, "Do not follow
a multitude to do evil." (Exodus
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one
of the most widely known of Jesus'
parables. Additionally, it is also
Jesus' longest parable, comprising 22
verses (Luke 15:11-32). In The Parable
of the Prodigal Son, Jesus reaches the
apex in His response to the charge
against Him, leveled by the scribes
and Pharisees who asserted, "This man
receives sinners and eats with them."
And how did Jesus respond to this
murmuring? He responded by delivering
three parables in which He illustrated
quite emphatically His Father’s great
and undying love for those who are
lost: The Parable of the Lost Sheep,
The Parable of the Lost Coin, and The
Parable of the Prodigal Son.
There is much that could be said about
this parable, but I will keep my
comments brief. The Parable of the
Prodigal Son continues the theme of
rejoicing, and even adds to it. The
first half of the parable illustrates
rejoicing over a sinner who returned,
while the second half more directly
counters the situation Jesus faced:
the criticism of the religious
establishment about His willingness to
be with sinners. Jesus, by telling the
parable in the manner in which He did,
admonishes those who do not rejoice in
the message of repentance and
salvation extended to sinners, the
very sinners the scribes and Pharisees
detested. The message is made
abundantly clear: if even God and
heaven rejoice over the repentance of
one lost sinner, should we on earth do
In the first two parables the lost
were found by searching. But in The
Parable of the Prodigal Son the
younger son was found by waiting.
During this time of Jesus’ earthly
ministry, the spiritually lost were
already coming to Jesus. There was no
need for Him to seek them out. They
had been spiritually dead and were now
showing interest. They desired to be
taught by Jesus, because as Matthew
recorded, "…the multitudes were
astonished at His teaching: for He
taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes." (Matthew
7:28b-29) Yes, Jesus received them and
yes, He did eat with them. His
willingness to reach out to those
despised individuals would have
encouraged them to keep the laws they
already knew and to continue to listen
to Him for more instruction in God's
way of righteousness.
But the parable is not pertinent
simply to those first century Jews
Jesus was teaching. The lessons to be
gleaned are timeless messages for all
as they depict so vividly the great
love our Father has for His lost
children. He rejoices over and honors
every sinner who comes to repentance
through obedience in baptism. He comes
toward us. This theme of joyful
acceptance, as similarly illustrated
in the first two parables of this
chapter, dominates the beginning of
this parable. This is the lesson
illustrated by the Father: He is
always ready to welcome a returning
-- David Ferguson preaches for the
Lake Land church of Christ in
Mattoon , IL
. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
- misc. goodies this
A $2,800 Bible!?!
The shaky conditions of his economy
led the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, to
declare an all-out price-fixing in
history’s first attempt to curtail
inflation. The edict, proclaimed
in A.D. 300, set the price of beer,
soap, food and even the Bible!
To afford a complete Bible at the
emperor’s price, the average American
would probably have to mortgage his
house. Under the edict you were
charged for a Bible on this basis: A
scribe’s work was price-fixed at $2.80
per 100 stychoi (one stychos equals
one line of Homeric 16 syllable
verse). For carefully copying
18,302 stychoi - the complete New
Testament - he would receive the fixed
figure of $512.45 (in today’s
currency) and not a drachma more or
less. For copying the complete
Bible he would receive $2,800.
You paid, in addition, the cost of the
papyri (a type of paper), which was in
short production and price-fixed under
the luxuries category.
Just think, for $3.00 you can now buy
a Bible with full color maps - at a
savings of $2,797.00! How many
Bibles would you have at $2,800.00
each? How much would you read
the Bible if you paid $2,800.00 for
it? It’s the same Book either way.
- Selected; via the weekly bulletin of
church of Christ,
Harrisburg , IL
. Edd Sterchi serves as their
minister, and he may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
from a Lady
By Boynton Merrill
years ago a college girl, greatly
troubled, turned to me in her anxiety.
For some months we talked and wrote,
and then one day I knew that she had
come onto solid ground. For this is
what she said in a letter to me: ‘I
see now that God does not save me on
the outside. It is this way: when you
are safe on the inside, you are safe
on every side.’ She has found the only
security that really counts.”
Boynton Merrill; via the Lantern, the
weekly bulletin of the Highway church
of Christ in Sullivan, IL. Ron
Thomas serves the congregation as
preacher. He may be contacted at
He may be contacted at email@example.com
I've learned that you cannot make
someone love you. All you can do is
to be someone who can be loved. The
rest is up to them.
I've learned that no matter how much
I care, some people just don't care
I've learned that it's not what you
have in your life but who you have
in your life that counts.
I've learned that you can get by on
charm for about fifteen
minutes. After that, you'd
better know something.
I've learned that you can do
something in an instant that will
give you heartache for life.
I've learned that it's taking me a
long time to become the person
I want to be.
I've learned you should always leave
loved ones with loving words. It may
be the last time you see them.
I've learned that you can keep going
long after you think you can't.
I've learned that either you control
your attitude or it controls you.
I've learned that heroes are the
people who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done, regardless
of the consequences.
I've learned that sometimes the
people you expect to kick you when
you're down will be the ones to help
you get back up.
I've learned that sometimes when I'm
angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me the right
to be cruel.
I've learned that just because
someone doesn't love you the way you
want them to doesn't mean they don't
love you with all they have.
I've learned that you shouldn't be
so eager to find out a secret. It
could change your life.
I've learned that your life can be
changed in a matter of hours by
people who don't even know you.
Mattoon , IL (via The
Sower, the weekly bulletin of the
church of Christ
, Arthur , IL
. Ron Bartanen is their
preacher. He may be contacted
or through the congregation's
of Gold- poetry this issue
It is one thing to read the Bible
And another to read to learn and do.
Some read it as their "duty" once a
But no instruction from the Bible
One reads to "bring himself into
By showing others how he can
Some read because their neighbors do;
Others to boast their reading it
Some read it for the wonders there,
Like how David killed the lion and the
While others read it with uncommon
Hoping to find a contradiction there.
One reads with father's specs in hand,
And finds the things as father said.
Some read to prove a pre-adopted
Hence understand little of what they
For every passage in the book they
To make it suit their all-important
So many in these latter days,
Have read His Word in different ways.
And few can tell which way is best,
For every party contradicts the rest.
But read it prayerfully and you will
Although men dispute, God's Word
For what the early prophets wrote,
Christ and His church must quote.
So trust no creed that trembles to
What was penned by God must be
verified by all.
thank Thee, Lord, for waiting years
Though every hope be touched with
Though in the past lie broken dreams,
Yet in the future, now, it seems
As if a Hand will point the way
Our feet should travel day by day --
We thank Thee, Lord, for love today,
For willing hands, for hearts that
And though it be a thorny road
O'er which we trudge with heavy load,
Yet by the roadside we may find
The handshake of a comrade kind --
We thank Thee, Lord, for beating rain
Through which the sun shines clear
We thank Thee for the blinding heat
Of desert over which our feet
Must go, and though our eyes be wet,
And though our hearts be burdened, yet
We thank Thee, Lord, for Jesus Christ
Who, through Thy love, was sacrificed;
Help us to know that He will share
The heavy burdens we may bear;
And as we labor here, to pray
Our lips may swiftly learn to say --
"We thank Thee, Lord."
Holy Hunger for You
create in me...a holy hunger for
You and fan it each day like a fire,
I'm totally dissatisfied with the
of this earth and Your glory is my
Let me seek Your face, Your honor and
wisdom till my soul is consumed by
your flame. Let me inhale your
wanting more every breath so I'll
of the truth of your name.
May I wake every day with a renewing
of passion and not be content with
You did in the past. For Your glory is
more than a trophy to hold in the
hope that its memory will last.
Lord, fill me with joy...inexpressible
joy from the depths of Your heart's
flowing treasures. For I've found true
happiness isn't held in my hands
but in the spiritual I cannot measure.
Pour yourself out to me...like only
can and I will grow wanting more of
Your glory, manifested to me through
the Word in my life and written into
Let me die to myself and my selfish
desires so that righteousness
from within. Till You're the last
I have at the close of each day and
first thought as each new day begins.
-- Sheila Gosney,
Copyright 2004; via Thought for the
Day, an e-mail devotional presented by
Alan Smith, who preaches for the Helen
Street church of Christ in
Fayetteville, NC. To subscribe
to "Thought For the Day," send a blank
email to firstname.lastname@example.org