A Challenge to Choose

Dan S. Shipley

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Armorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15).

Those who claim to be Christians need confronting with this choice encouraged by Joshua in the long ago. Not, of course, that allegiance to these same false gods is the problem, but there are other kinds of “masters” that are equally effective in stealing the affections of God’s people. In fact, these modern masters may be even more dangerous because men serve them while thinking themselves to be serving the true God. Does it seem strange that professed believers should be challenged to make a choice about serving God? It shouldn’t. When have the ranks of God’s followers NOT been infected with a Laodicean-like lethargy? (except, perhaps, in the earliest days of the church) — and, when more than NOW? Those who say and do not, the lukewarm, the vacillating, the unfaithful and undependable who call themselves Christians need to be challenged to MAKE UP THEIR MINDS ABOUT SERVING THE LORD!
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The Gospel Plan of Salvation

Steven J. Wallace

Have you obeyed the gospel? Is the gospel to be obeyed and if so, what is  required? We know the gospel is to be obeyed because Paul said of our Lord’s second coming,

“in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8).

Further, the apostle Peter asks,”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 Pet. 4:17).

With such doom facing those who do not obey the gospel, it must be clear what man must do to be saved. The New Testament teaches five things which must be done to be saved. Sometimes Christians are ridiculed as “five-steppers.” But which step shall we eliminate? Shall we delete the need to:
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Seeing Through the Fire (Cornerstone 10/02/2016)

Seeing Through the Fire

Thomas Keese

Although it was more than 30 years ago, I still remember distinctly our Driver’s Ed teacher’s instructions about how to conquer our fear (among inexperienced drivers) of a bridge near Comfort, TX. Although there are few of them around anymore, this bridge was half a mile long and had two very narrow lanes framed by steel girders. His advice to us was to focus on the caution light on the other side of the bridge. It made no sense to us at the time, but when I actually took his advice, it worked. The principle, looking past our current circumstances to what the future holds also works.

Now I want to deal with my present circumstances. I have been dealing with excruciating pain a result of having MS for the last 28 years and the resulting immobility. In the midst of that pain there have been very few things that will bring me comfort for my mind to dwell on. When you find yourself in the midst of this type of adversity, my advice to you is to focus on the other side of the bridge, look through the fire. One of the things I consider is to look forward to the period of time after the pain medication has taken effect. I will recite to myself Paul’s words from Romans 8:18, “the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
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When the Shut-in Gets Out

“let us consider one another 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.” – Hebrews 10:25

 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. -Psalm 122:1

 Such a simple concept, assembling together to worship. Yet, this simple concept is so integral to our success. Last Sunday was the first Sunday I was able to attend worship services in the past year.(7/5/15)  I will not even attempt to describe how much I am encouraged and my family is encouraged when I can attend. Being successful and remaining faithful to our Christian faith is so difficult to do alone. As individuals, we need support and encouragement that only comes from worshipping with others. Continue reading “When the Shut-in Gets Out”

Modest Apparel

 

Connie W. Adams

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Tim. 2:9 10).

I know of no more timely subject for an article or a sermon than this one. So many members of the church have imbibed the spirit of the world around them that very little difference is to be observed between those who profess to serve Christ and those who admittedly serve Satan. For that reason, the passage cited above needs periodic attention.

God’s Standard Not Provincial or Seasonal Add Media

While fashions may vary from country to country, God’s standard requiring decency, modesty and shamefastness is universal. Whatever is ostentatious or contributes to the lust of the eye is just as wrong in Florida or California as it is in Ohio. The fact that “Everyone is doing it” or “nobody thinks anything about it” does not change divine of law. Whatever is modest and demonstrates shamefastness is just as necessary in the summer as in winter.

 

The Context of Our Passage

In the context, what is said about modesty, shamefastness and sobriety is put in contrast to gaudy display which attracts undue attention to style or wealth. The particular demonstration of it was in the elaborate hairdos of some of the women then as they made a show of their expensive ornaments. There are yet sisters who are vain enough that they want to dress so as to be the envy of those who have less of this world’s goods. Such is immodest in the light of this passage.

Immodest apparel involves unseemliness of dress arising from a lack of self-respect and good judgment and betrays a weakness in the character. The same vanity that would prompt one woman to make a dazzling display of her wealth might also prompt another to attract attention to her body by publicly exposing it.

Three Words

  1. MODEST – (KOSMIOS) – “Orderly, well-arranged, decent, modest, is used in I Tim. 2:9 of the apparel with which Christian women are to adorn themselves; in I Tim. 3:2, of one of the qualifications essential for a bishop or overseer” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol. 3, p. 79). The term, then, concerns the inner orderliness and decency reflected in her dress and conduct.
  2. SHAMEFASTNESS (shamefacedness, KJV) – (AIDOS) – “A sense of shame, modesty, is used regarding the demeanor of women in the church, I Tim. 2:9” (Ibid, Vol. 4, p. 17). “Shamefastness is that modesty which is ‘fast’ or rooted in the character.” (Davies; Bible English, p. 12, Quoted in Vine’s.) This is the word rendered “reverence” in Heb. 12:28. There it refers to suitable awe and respect toward God. In our passage it refers to a woman’s own self-respect related to her reverence for God. Many of the fashions today tend to make people look grotesque and reflect a woeful want or self-respect. It seems that some vie to see who can look the most absurd, and the farthest from sanity or reason. Some are embarrassed over nothing. The ability to blush is a vanishing virtue with many.
  3. SOBRIETY – (SOPHROSUNE) “Soberness, sound judgment” (Vine, Vol. 4, p. 44-45) “That habitual inner self-government, with its constant reins on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to these from arising” (Trench). “Soundness of mind, self-control, sobriety” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 613). Berry’s Interlinear translates the word with “discreetness.”

The true adornment of a woman professing godliness is her good works. The adornment of her body will be a reflection of the qualities of shamefastness and sobriety. The key word in this whole study is shamefastness. A woman who has this quality should have no difficulty determining what to wear to conform to decency. When once the sense of shame or modesty is gone, then one’s dress will not be that which “becometh women professing godliness.”

Problems and Prevalence of Immodesty

Jesus taught that a man can lust just by looking on a woman. (Mt. 5:28). Any man who does so will have to answer to God for his thoughts and deeds. But a woman who is dressed so as to naturally attract the lustful gaze must bear responsibility for her action as well. If a woman does not dress like a lady, she should not act surprised when someone treats her as something other than one. The brief attire worn by some women in public places, whether working in the yard, going to the shopping center, to a picnic, or to the beach attracts the notice of the male of the species. I believe that women know this. When a woman knows this, and yet parades her body before the gazing eyes of the public, then she has lost that inner feeling of modesty, decorum, and self-respect. When she becomes daring in her apparel, she violates this passage. She thus betrays a weakness in her character. If this is not true, then what do these words mean in I Tim. 2:9-10?

There are women who attend worship periods immodestly dressed. We have all seen the “clothes horse” who obviously delights in an extravagant display of finery. Such a one is immodest and needs to regain a sense of propriety. Then, there are those who attend with dresses too short on both ends. It is not my purpose to try and establish exactly what length a dress must be. But there are members who are all ‘too willing to be dominated by the latest fashion regardless of the question of modesty. The mini-skirt has made it so that a woman with any sense of shamefastness finds it difficult to sit as a lady should. In fact, I have seen women and girls attend services with dresses so short that it was difficult for them to stand modestly to say nothing of sitting with decency. It is true that the fashion people have made it difficult to find dresses that are not too short, but whatever happened to those old fashioned women who knew how to buy some material and operate a sewing machine?

Then we have members of the church who take off to the beaches in the summer to mix and mingle among the bikinis and other brief attire. If this is the place for godly people who have a sense of modesty and inner respect, then I have not comprehended much that I have read in the Bible. There is nothing wrong with sunshine, sand or water, but there is something wrong with those who will not seek to enjoy them away from the public gaze. “Oh, but nobody notices you.” Really? Then why do you want to be sure you have the latest attire? Is it really true that nobody at the beach ogles the girls and women? Stop kidding yourselves and others. You know better! My brethren (and sisters), when these conditions prevail, then something more than bare flesh is revealed – there is a loss of spirituality demonstrated which is crippling the progress of truth and right in our time. Truly modest women are precious items in a world gone mad with lust. Immodest women neither respect themselves nor are they truly respected by others.

TRUTH MAGAZINE XIII: 11, pp. 2-3
August 1969

 

Tolerance

Irven Lee

A word may have different meanings to different people. Some arguments over words grow out of the fact that the disputants do not mean the same thing when they use these words. For example, is tolerance a good word in religious matters? Many people think of intolerance as a most despicable trait, and they think of tolerance as a most wonderful trait.

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How the Holy Spirit Works Through the Word

By Lynn D. Headrick

I hope that the reader will derive as much joy and profit from the reading of this article as I have received from the preparation of it. I have been preaching the gospel for forty years and must confess that I have preached much more on God and Christ than I have preached concerning the Holy Spirit. The more I study the godhead, the deeper becomes my appreciation for “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor. 13:14).

This article will identify and enumerate various aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit and provide evidence to show that each facet of the Spirit’s work is accomplished by means of his words. One may know that there is a Supreme Intelligence – God – by observing the universe (cf. Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1). However, all that we know about the work of the Holy Spirit is learned from the Bible by direct statements made by and about the Spirit, by examples of what the Spirit did and by necessarily inferring some things from the facts stated.

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The Problem of Suffering

by Mike Willis

In the past few months, I have been faced with meeting and knowing more people than normal who have had more than their share of suffering. I know of at least two women much like Dorcas of Acts 9 who have met an untimely and premature death. One child in the congregation with which I am working is suffering with cystic fibrosis (an incurable lung disease) and my sister recently adopted an infant who later was found to be hopelessly blind. Another faithful member of the congregation here is presently going through a siege of heart trouble. The list could be lengthened by preachers with more experience than myself, but this is sufficient to pose the problem of why must the righteous suffer so much on this earth? This is the same question as found in

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Modern Day Miracles

Edgar J. Dye

My purpose herein is three-fold. First, to define “miracle” as used in the New Testament. Second, to demonstrate my faith in and acceptance of the miraculous as found in the New Testament. And third, to refute the modern-day miracle-worker’s claims that miracles such as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, tongue-speaking, physical healing of the body, etc., do not occur today.

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The Blessedness Of Mourning

Johnie Edwards

Many blessings are found in things which we do not enjoy. There is a passage in the Old Testament which declares a principle that men need to remember. “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning: but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth” (ECCI. 7: 2-3). Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4). The word “blessed” means “happy.” Therefore Jesus said, “Happy are they that mourn . . . ” Of course not every sort of mourning can claim this blessing, for “the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Cor. 7:10). Solomon said that there is a time for mourning. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Eccl. 3:1-4).

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