Friday, August 28, 2015

Worshiping with the Saints

In Hebrews 10:24-27 we read, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 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. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries."

The Christian's duty is to attend the assembly of the saints and partake of the Lord's Supper. It is an essential part of holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering. To willfully forsake the assembling of the saints is clearly a very serious sin. The Hebrew writer went on to say, "For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. And again, 'The LORD will judge His people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:30-31).

God knows when we are providentially hindered from attending a worship service, and He knows when we're just neglecting and forsaking. He is a righteous judge, and He will repay. The willful sin of neglecting the assembly and meeting around the Lord's table can be forgiven if we repent; however, it cannot be forgiven as long as one willfully persists in forsaking. When we willfully neglect the assembly and do not meet around the Lord's table, there remains no way for Christ's sacrifice on the cross to cover our sins. If we continue to willfully stay away, there remains only a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation.

Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Do you love Him? Do your plans include worshiping God in the assemblies of the saints?

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Gospel of Christ

The gospel of Christ is the message of the ages to all the souls for all ills. It reaches down from heaven to lift men from low depths to new heights. It comes from the light to banish the darkness of the world. It's a heavenly lifeline reaching down, inviting perishing humanity to reach up. It's a straight gospel for a crooked world, a righteous gospel for a wicked world, and a saving gospel for a lost world.

The gospel applies to broken hearts the healing balm from the cleansing fountain. It applies to hard hearts the hammer that breaks the rock to pieces. It comes as a messenger of companionship to the lonely, and fills the soul's living room with friendly fellowship.

The gospel is God's power to save believers. It's the testimony of the Spirit to convince skeptics. It's the heavenly instrument to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.

The gospel will not save us in our sins, but from our sins. It will make us members of the church of our dear Lord. It doesn't save us out of the church, but in the church. It doesn't save us unconditionally, but according to the terms of pardon found in it.

The conditions of the gospel must be met in this world, in this life. It's rewards flow through the world to come, the eternity to be. Woe to the unfortunate people who neglect, fail, or refuse to believe, receive, obey, and live this living word from our living God.

Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..." (Romans 1:16). Peter said, "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4:17).

Friday, August 14, 2015

Treasures in Heaven

In general, people have become very materialistic. Their trust is being place in things that exist now, things which are visible and can be touched. Little or no thought is given to the importance of seeking and finding spiritual values. The worldly-minded person is more interested in his assets, his financial affairs, the making of money, and the having of a "good time" than he is in God.

When a person realizes that the pursuit of worldly riches and fame is useless, what will he use to replace the material treasures he's always sought after? Jesus gave the answer in Matthew 6:19-21 when he said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Peter said in 1 Peter 1:13, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..." John said in 1 John 3:2-3, "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

Life can be a beautiful and rewarding experience if one will put spiritual service to God first, and allow the remainder of his existence to revolve around Jesus Christ. There is a life to be lived, deeds to be done, a goal to be reached, commands to be obeyed, and a home in heaven to look forward to. Anything so temporary as the material possessions of this life must not be allowed to take away the marvelous blessings of an eternity with God, our Father.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Loving God and Our Fellow Man

If we are to successfully follow Jesus, we must have a proper priority system in our lives. Jesus has given His disciples the true priorities of life, which must be the guiding forces of one's life. After being asked by a lawyer, which is the great commandment in the law, Jesus responded in Matthew 22:37-39, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

These two commandments, when carried out, form the true priorities in life. They clear the heart of lesser, contradictory priorities which leave one fragmented and uncertain. When love for God and man fills the heart with clear, definite, and steadfast objectives, they remove uncertainty and hesitation.

Remember, love for God and our fellow man are the true priorities of life. If this love is not working in our lives, it's because it is not the center of our lives. When these two priorities are the center, we will be delivered from selfishness, worldliness, and slothfulness. They lead us to faithful service to God and man.

Are these two principles the guiding forces of your life? We learn how to serve both God and man by daily reading and studying God's word. We have opportunity to show our love, not only for our savior Jesus Christ, but for our brothers and sisters by meeting together with them on the first day of the week to worship God in spirit and in truth.