Thursday, February 26, 2009


In Acts 24:25, Luke records that Paul preached to Felix, the governor of Judea. When he had the opportunity to preach before him and his wife, Druscilla, he decided to preach about three subjects.

The first was self-control. This is a "holding oneself in." Self-control is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:23), and every one of us should realize that this is what we should be in order to fight sin and the devil. The second was righteousness. This describes the mechanism by which we are acceptable to God. Everyone who is born of God is righteous, instead of wicked (1 John 3:10). The third was judgment. This is our final end (Revelation 20:11-15). Everyone will stand before God, just like Felix and Druscilla.

When Felix heard these words, he "trembled." He knew it was the truth, but he sent Paul away. What will you do? Will you be satisfied with a "more convenient season" or will you obey the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The hope within us

Paul wrote, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). This is a good admonition to remember today for the purpose of never giving up on the hope within us (1 Peter 1:3).

In order to hang on to this hope, we need to remain pure. In Matthew 13:18-23, there were three types of soil that gave the same result -- eternal damnation. We're thankful for everyone who taught us the truth, and we're thankful for the redemption we decided to act upon. Jesus said that if we do not abide in the truth, we need to be cast out (John 15:5-6). At that point, we have given up our hope. If you have not become a Christian, please contact us so we may show you what the Bible says about salvation. If you are a Christian and have not abided in the truth, repent of your sins, confess them to others, and live pure once more! Our hope is too valuable to lose (Romans 8:24-25)!

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Lord will provide

With the economic conditions as they are, a lot of us are worried about the future. We watch the stock market, 401k values, and to see if we are going to receive a pink slip this month. Lately, there's been a lot of frightening activity in the economy!  When Jesus sent forth His apostles, He told them not to worry about the source of their provisions (Luke 10:1-4).

The assurance was given in a broader fashion in Matthew 6:25-33. The Lord promised, "But seek ye first the kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." A rich young man once thought that he could continue indefinitely making plans for his economic security, but God called him a "fool" and said that his soul would be required of him (Luke 12:20).Jesus told us that we are not to worry about the future. We can't improve on the instructions of God, so let's keep faith in the promises of God no matter how bad our economy gets.

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The parable of the marriage feast

In the parable of the marriage feast (Matthew 22:1-8), Jesus described the responses people would give to the gospel. God graciously invited people, even describing how great the feast would be. Not all of the people who rejected Christ were hostile. They had what most people would have thought as a good "excuses."

A great gift was given to them, but they turned away from it, so God commanded His servants to go out and gather people who wanted to respond. People who really love the truth will respond, and whatever excuse was given (even the "good" ones), was punished. In vs. 14, the people who were "chosen" were the ones who obeyed the invitation. If you want to be a "chosen" one, you need to obey too. Remember, it's not the beginning that's crucial, it's the end!

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The tongue

Socrates once said, "Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and one tongue to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak." The inspired writer James wrote, "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19). Both of these statements are summed up simply in Proverbs 10:19: "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise." Why is that? Why are there so many warnings about the tongue? This too can be answered with a quote: "With great power, comes great responsibility."

James 3:1-12 is a discussion of the power inherent within the tongue. Admittedly, James says, "We all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2). Across the world, everyone agrees that there is power in the tongue. What is the tongue comparable to?

James gives us several examples to illustrate the power of the tongue. "Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" (James 3:3-5). Here in Ocala, we have the benefit of seeing the first example very easily. Here in the "horse capital of the world" the example of the bits in the horse's mouth makes a large impact on us. The horse is a great beast of great power! Just by watching a horse, you are struck by its muscles. Even when standing still, a horse's muscles will twitch and show their great power. A bit is such a small thing. This small object, when placed in a horse's mouth, controls it entirely. Even the greatest ships have small rudders to control their movement through the water. Every fire begins with a single, small spark.

What makes this power so great and so dangerous is that everyone wields it. The oldest and the youngest, the biggest and the smallest, the smart and the ignorant all have the same great responsibility to use their tongues wisely. The tongue can be used in a positive or a negative way.

The negative is obvious. The wisdom literature reiterates time and time again the negative power of the tongue: "May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things" and "the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness" (Psalm 12:3; Proverbs 15:2). These are but two examples. James describes the tongue as "a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:6-8).

The tongue is capable of good things. Paul writes in the book of Romans, "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:13-14). The only way that people can be saved is if they are told what to do. Talking or preaching is the most common way to tell someone the steps of salvation. The writer of Proverbs stated, "The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little … There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health" (10:20; 12:18).

Truly, "life and death are in the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). The choice comes down to us. Speech is nothing more than the expression of the heart. Christ stated, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34). We cannot say anything without thinking it first. When we use our words in an evil way, it reveals our hidden, evil thoughts. When we use our words in spreading the gospel or any other work of God, it exposes our hearts of gold.

Jeremy Ferguson

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Archaeology: The House of David inscription

In 1993-1994, an archaeologist working at the Old Testament site of the city of Dan found three pieces of an inscribed stone referring to David.

This stone, inscribed in Aramaic with the expression "the house of David," refers to King David's descendants. Originally part of a victory pillar of a neighboring king of Damascus (possibly Hazael), the stone has been dated to two or three centuries after David's time. It mentions a "king of Israel," possibly Joram son of Ahab, and a king of the "House of David," possibly Ahaziah of Judah.

This Tell Dan inscription is very important because it is the first reference to King David found outside of the Bible.

Kyle Campbell