Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 34
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
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In this issue:
SHOULD WE IRRITATE SINFUL BRETHREN?
Are we guilty of walking and talking very softly with brethren who have
sinful practices or who uphold and fellowship sinful doctrines or practices?
When we hear those overused threats that you’re going to “upset a whole
family”, you’re going to “cause church trouble”, you’re going to “drive
people away”, or even worse to some, that you’re going to “lose your
preaching job”, will we be guilty of “holding back” in boldly teaching and
preaching the truth regarding the sinful practices in which brethren are
engaged? Do we “hold back” when it comes to rebuke and admonitions to
individual brethren who are participants in worldly and sinful conduct? What
are we willing to say to brethren whom we know to tell lies, curse or use
corrupt speech, dance, drink alcohol, live in fornication, or who’re engaged
in lewd or sensual dress or life? What are we saying to those who allow the
fellowship of adulterous relationships, those who justify the fellowship of
those who teach or practice error, or those who willfully forsake their
assembling with the saints for worship? Are we of the same mind as the
apostle Paul when he expressed these words: “Therefore I testify to you this
day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to
declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27).
Have we digressed to a “live and let live”
attitude when it comes to brethren and sinful practices? No, we’re never
going to intentionally try to irritate our brethren, but neither are we
going to “shrink back” from openly pleading with them to bring their lives
in harmony with God’s commandments. Hebrews 10:35-39 says, “Therefore do not
cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of
endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the
promise: ‘For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will
not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My
soul has no pleasure in him.’
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe
to the saving of the soul.”
But there is still another very important
issue that enters into this picture. Do we “hold back” from helping brethren
who’re involved in sinful teaching or practices because of our own
hypocrisy? Do we recognize that our own life isn’t what God expects of a
Christian, and therefore we feel that we’re not in a position to tell others
that they need to correct their lives? Do you suppose that this factor could
be involved in soft preaching and nothing being said by so many believers
about so many sinful practices being overlooked among God’s saints? That’s
really a sad thought, isn’t it? This situation will always result in a “live
and let live” attitude, and ultimately in digression from the Truth and the
acceptance of every kind of unlawful practice. There’s absolutely no place
for hypocrisy in a Christian’s life. But we’re aware that when some are
reluctant to expose and correct sinful matters in brethren’s lives, it could
be that they know more about their own individual lives than we do. Matthew
23:28 says, “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside
you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”.
Yes, telling disciples the truth may
possibly irritate or anger them, but it may also make them recognize their
sinful and unrighteous condition. Is it better to let them remain in a lost
condition? Do we profess to love them and deeply care as to where they spend
eternity? Would we want someone to reach out for us if we were the one who
had lost our way? Fear of helping one another can result in a dangerous
decision on our part. Are you and I willing to risk an irritation of our
brethren’s feelings if it would result in “pulling them out of the fire”
Brethren, it’s indeed time for each one of
us to come face to face with these very serious matters. Paul admonished,
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of
sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The
night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works
of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as
in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in
strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for
the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:11-14). We first need to look
very closely at our own heart and life, and then we need to develop the
desire and courage to speak to others who’re in great need of our assistance
LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
For a moment, think about what's been called "Lifestyles of the Rich and
Famous." You have probably seen the TV program by that name which gives
viewers an inside look at the lavish lifestyles of high society. Well, we
may think such riches and fame automatically bring lasting happiness, but
that's not the full story. For example, Howard Hughes, one of the world's
wealthiest men, died a weird recluse. Marilyn Monroe, achieved great fame
and fortune, but was often miserable, and apparently died by her own hand.
But the list goes on and on, and on. Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Rock
Hudson, Liberace, professional sports stars, those who have reached
political greatness, wealthy and famous business men, religious leaders, and
yes, some well-known Bible characters, etc. The sad end of their lives is a
reminder that all that glitters is not gold, and being famous does not bring
Yes, it's true that material wealth and fame
can be a great advantage, but the truth is, there are some things money
cannot buy, and fame cannot accomplish. For example, it cannot buy and bring
about real contentment, love, true friends, a good marriage, peace, genuine
respect and a clear conscience. It cannot buy inner beauty, or character,
and most important of all, it cannot assure one a place in Heaven. Luke 12:
15 says: "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not
consist in the abundance of things he possesses." Jesus asked: "For what
profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"
(Matt. 16: 26).
It is so important to remember that
salvation you can have through Jesus Christ is worth more than all of the
wealth and fame one may possess. Salvation does not require material
possessions, education, and fame, but it does require the desire to please
God and to honestly admit one's own need, and the willingness to do what God
demands. So, my friend, you may not be rich and famous, possessing, all this
world has to offer, but you can, even though you are poor, be "rich toward
God" (Lk. 12: 21). You can be "rich in faith" and love God by obeying Him.
A song of ascents
call on the Lord in my distress,
he answers me.
2 Save me, Lord,
from deceitful tongues.
will he do to you,
what more besides,
4 He will punish you with a warrior’s
burning coals of the broom bush.
to me that I dwell in Meshek,
I live among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I lived
those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace;
when I speak, they are for war.
Created by John Bass, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149