LET’S GET RID OF THE DRAGONS
September 08, 2019
There is an old story told of an English “gentleman of the road” (we would call him a hobo), who stopped by a restaurant named the “Saint George and the Dragon.” Because he was hungry, he knocked at the back door and asked if he might have a bite of some leftovers to eat.
A very stern lady looked at him eye to eye and said, “I will not give you even a crumb—you look fit—get a job, you bum!” And to emphasize her disgust, she slammed the door in the hobo’s face.
The shabbily dressed Englishman stood looking at the establishment’s sign for a minute and then knocked again. The door opened and the same stern lady asked in a hateful voice, “Well, what is it you want now?”
“I was just wondering,” the hobo said, “could I please talk with Saint George this time?”
What makes the dragon appear in us? Is it petty problems, real or imagined slights, jealously, insults, someone cheating us—someone rubbing us the wrong way? Do we truly like ourselves when the dragon appears? More than likely, we do not.
There is an answer—for slaying our dragons in the Bible, found in Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”
Brethren, when this formula is used, our dragons will disappear every time! May God help each of to consider our neighbors in this life important enough to show them the example of Saints and not Dragons.
WAS THE DEVIL ONCE AN ANGEL?
September 01, 2019
Isaiah 14:12 reads in the King James Version, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”
Many have taken the word “Lucifer” to refer to Satan. In fact, our modern culture accepts this word as being synonymous with Satan. Modern culture, however, should not be our standard for applying definitions to the Bible. For example, if you were to look in the dictionary for the definition of the word “baptism” a number of things would show up. No doubt, among those things would be sprinkling and pouring of water onto someone’s head.
Should we accept this modern definition for baptism and insert it into the Biblical text? Absolutely not. We find by studying the Bible that baptism is a burial (Romans 6:4) and therefore we must be immersed in water to be properly baptized. The same is true here.
Just because modern society accepts the word Lucifer to refer to Satan does not necessarily mean that this passage is referring to Satan. In contrast to the KJV, the American Standard Version reads, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!”
You may have noticed that in the ASV the same word that is translated “Lucifer” in the KJV, is translated “day-star”. This is the better translation of the Hebrew word and you will find that most modern-day translations use this same phrase to translate the word.
The idea of Lucifer as Satan first got started.
Well, according to Smith’s Bible dictionary, Jerome first taught this. Jerome lived from 331 A.D. to about 420 A.D. He was best known for his work in translating the Old and New Testaments from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. This became known as the Latin Vulgate. It was completed in 405 A.D. The Latin Vulgate was the predominant translation used from this time well into the second century.
It was not until the reformation when the Bible was translated into other languages (English and German) that the Latin Vulgate lost its popularity. The KJV was influenced and its translators chose to use the Latin word here in their translation. That is how we got the word “Lucifer” in the KJV. But was Jerome’s understanding of this verse correct?
The word “Lucifer” merely means in this passage, “morning star” or “day-star”. This was a common name given to ancient kings to honor their position of power in the world. In fact, friends, there is no Bible passage that conclusively says that Satan was once an Angel.
Was Satan a created being? Yes, he was. Was he fallen from grace? Yes, but, the Bible does not specifically say whether he was an angel or not.
I will readily admit the possibility of that being true. But let us be careful not to be dogmatic in saying that is the case and go beyond the evidences found in God’s book.
HOW TO FORGIVE OTHERS
August 25, 2019
Recently, this question was found in our Question/Answer Box in the Foyer: How are we, as Christians, to forgive others when they have sinned against us?
Well, this is a very good question! The subject of forgiveness is a study most Christians have difficulty with. In fact, all mankind stands in need of God’s forgiveness and the only way we can have forgiveness at all, is through the blood of Christ (Matthew 26:28). We come into contact with that blood when we are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-11) and then we are continually cleansed by that blood as we walk in the light (I John 1:7).
Brethren, confession of sin, repentance, and asking for forgiveness has always been God’s condition for granting forgiveness (Leviticus 16:21; I Kings 8:33; II Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 32:5). It should always be our aim to ensure that those who have sinned repent toward God (Acts 20:21) and seek the forgiveness that only He can give. Just like that, we can forgive ourselves knowing God has forgiven us.
In addition, when it comes to our relationship with others, forgiveness should come when the other person genuinely requests, with repentance, forgiveness.
When Jesus spoke to Peter about forgiving, He did not place a limit on the number of times we are to forgive our fellow man (Matthew 18:21-22). Jesus did specify that this forgiveness was based upon the repentance and confession of the one asking forgiveness (Luke 17:3-4).
How about holding a grudge against another person? Brethren, we should stand ready to as Jesus was to forgive, Jesus on the cross said, “Father Forgive them” (Luke 23:34). It was the same forgiving attitude Stephen had when he uttered, “Lay not this sin to their charge” as he was stoned to death for preaching the gospel (Acts 7:60).
As Christians, we should follow Christ's example just as Stephen did (to the point of death) in forgiving---even those who continue to persecute or harm us. Let’s not let allow our eternal destination be hindered by our lack of forgiveness. We don’t want to stand on the day of judgement holding within our heart non-forgiveness for something that someone did to us in our lives, it just will not be worth it.
Jesus, in teaching His disciples about forgiveness summarized it this way, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” Matthew 6:14-15.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
75 YEARS/50 YEARS
August 18, 2019
On October 6, 2019, our congregation will remember two important dates in the life of the Lord’s Church in Marianna; the 75th Anniversary of the congregation and the 50th year in the buildings at Caverns Road. God is big on remembering. He told Joshua in Joshua 4:19-24 to take 12 stones and create a monument for God’s people to realize He is always with them, and in Genesis 35, He told Jacob to go back and make amends with his brother Esau and build a monument at Bethel as a memorial to Jacob’s return to doing thing God’s way.
The Elders at Caverns Road have set aside October 6th as a time for us to remember what the Lord has done for this congregation over these many years. Over the next few weeks, our bulletin will include excerpts and pictures from the early years of the Lord’s Church in Marianna.
Excerpt from 1969 Directory:
Paul Simon, supported by the West Hill and East Hill churches of Christ in Pensacola is believed to have preached the first sermon in Marianna in a Gospel meeting beginning June 12, 1944. The sermon was preached in a tent at 621 Liddon Street (site where they would later build the church’s first building). The entire congregations from Chipley and Altha came. The first regular service was conducted in the City Hall on October 22, 1944, at three o’clock in the afternoon. The sermon was entitled, “Christian Duties”.
Over the next several Sundays we will give more information concerning the plans for our Homecoming. Brother Jimmy Miller will be preaching that Sunday morning and Brother Philip Dampier will lead the morning Bible Class. Both of these men served as ministers during the years just before and immediately after the construction of the current building. Seven of our current members where a part of the 1969 congregation when they moved into the building at Caverns Road.
Please make plans to join us and invite any former members of the congregation to be a part of this commemoration of what the Lord has done here for His church. Please pray for this effort and make your plans to be a part of this celebration.
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September 8, 2019
September 1, 2019
August 25, 2019
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August 11, 2019
July 28, 2019
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July 14, 2019
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June 16, 2019
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June 2, 2019
May 26, 2019
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April 28, 2019
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April 14, 2019
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March 31, 2019
March 24, 2019
Marych 17, 2019
March 10, 2019
March 3, 2019
February 24, 2019
February 17, 2019
February 10, 2019
February 3, 2019