Thursday, October 29, 2009

A difficult commandment

The recent actions of a friend got me to thinking about a difficult commandment. This person is divorced and has started dating someone. The circumstances of the divorce, to my knowledge, do not follow the instructions of Matthew 19:9 (“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”). If this person remarries (and about 75% of people do), the Bible says they would be condemned unless they repent.

This breaks my heart, for my love for them is as strong as any of my friends. The disciples remarked that this commandment was difficult in vs. 10: “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.” Jesus went on to say that some will have to make themselves “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” They will have to live a celibate life or be reconciled to their mate (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). If they do not, they would be in adultery (Romans 7:2-3). With these admittedly difficult commandments, the Lord reinforced the sanctity and importance of the marriage vows. Choose your mate carefully, and work tirelessly to make your marriage strong and permanent!

Kyle Campbell

Friday, October 23, 2009

Too little love, too little fear

There is no doubt that loving God is important. Jesus said, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37; cf. Deuteronomy 6:5). Lots of people think they love God and think He is going to save them (John 3:16).

The relationship between love and God’s commandments is made very clear in John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandment.” The Lord furthermore said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), but one cannot fail to consider the need for fearing God. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” We had better fear God because it will not be good for us to enter into God’s judgment unprepared (Hebrews 10:31; 12:29). People want to talk about God’s love, but not His wrath. In Malachi 1:8, the people offered sick animals to be sacrificed to the Lord. They did not fear Him enough to follow His commandments. God does love you, but make sure you are not presumptuous with that love and neglect the appropriate fear which will compel you to follow Him.

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Are you wearing out?

As I grow older, I realize that as I get out of bed in the morning, I have more aches and pains. I realize that my body is wearing out -- getting worse -- as time goes on. Knowing that God has the ability to do anything He wishes, I have wondered why He creates our bodies to decay.

I think a reason might be in 2 Corinthians 4:16: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Our decaying bodies teach a lesson -- we are not going to be here forever! Furthermore, when we think of heaven, we think of a place with no sorrow, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4).

If we never felt those emotions, if life just constantly got better and better, it would not produce a desire in us to leave this world. We would never look for a “better country” (Hebrews 11:16). The next time you have an ache or pain, look at it as a means to an end, the road which you will follow until the end of your journey. Hang in there and be faithful, and you will enjoy blessedness which cannot be compared to the suffering we endure now (Romans 8:18).

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, October 17, 2009

One million dollars

Hebrews 6:18-19 says, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.”

How does hope serve as an anchor? If you were promised a million dollars to be given one week later, how would you feel? Excited? Joyful? But what if the promise was based on certain conditions? You must walk everywhere you go for a week! Would you be willing to do so? Could you resist the temptation to ride a bus, taxi, etc.? Even though you became weary and tired, wouldn’t you be willing to continue walking, knowing that at the end you would inherit a million dollars? If it rained, or was unbearably cold or hot, wouldn't you persevere? All through the week, would you complain about the reward or the difficulty in obtaining it? Or, would you find yourself buoyed in spirit by the anticipation of the money? Would you not talk about it, plan for it, and with joy labor for it?

John wrote, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Will you work to get yourself right with God? This is what we want and pray for!

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One thing

Pretend you are shopping for a house. Do you ever see a house you like but there is something you would change? Maybe something is missing or something doesn’t fit. You would buy it in a heartbeat if it weren’t for one thing.

In Mark 10:17-25, Jesus taught the rich young ruler. He seemed to be a good person, but he lacked one thing, which would show his complete devotion to Christ. In Luke 10:38-42, Mary and Martha invited the Lord as a guest in their home. However, Mary was too involved with physical matters and was not thinking of the one thing that was the most important. Sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees and forget what is important.

What is your one thing? Maybe you have initially obeyed and now lack one thing or many things. If that’s the case this is an excellent time to repent and return to the Lord. Maybe you have never been baptized and you lack this one thing. Today is the time to commit yourself to God. Judgment is certain, and we want you to obey Christ and do His will. Please contact us if you would like to study further.

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Archaeology: The Moabite stone

In 1968, a stone slab over three feet tall was found near Dibon, east of the Dead Sea. Inscribed on the stone were the accomplishments of Mesha, king of Moab around 850 B.C. This stone is sometimes called the Mesha Stele.

The ancient Moabites were relatives of the Israelites according to Genesis 19:37. On this stone King Mesha brags of having driven the Israelites out of his land. The king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel after the death of King Ahab of Israel (2 Kings 3).

The Moabite stone is one of the earliest finds that mention biblical people. The stone says that King Omri and his son Ahab “humbled” Moab for many years. After Ahab’s death, King Mesha said he had “triumphed” over Ahab’s family and that Israel had “perished forever.” Some scholars say that the stone also contains a reference to the “house of David.”

Kyle Campbell