Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
(Psalm 119:105)

Mount
Baker
Beacon

Volume 02, Number 34
08/20/2023

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

Location:
  
1860 Mt. Baker HWY

Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Sunday:
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Wednesday:
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM

Web site: Mt. Baker church
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Editor......John Bass


 

In this issue:


SHOULD WE IRRITATE SINFUL BRETHREN?
Dennis Reed

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” (Jude 23)?

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 (Galatians 6:1-2).

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LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
Dennis Abernathy

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 happiness.
   
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.

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PSALM 120
A song of ascents

I call on the Lord in my distress,
    and he answers me.

Save me, Lord,
    from lying lips
    and from deceitful tongues.

What will he do to you,
    and what more besides,
    you deceitful tongue?

He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
    with burning coals of the broom bush.

Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
    that I live among the tents of Kedar!

Too long have I lived
    among those who hate peace.

I am for peace;
    but when I speak, they are for war.

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Created by John Bass, last updated.  08/20/2023

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 or johnbass2468@gmail.com