Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Into our hands

Peter wrote, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:22–25). The gospel is given into our hands, and the words that are contained in this marvelous book will never pass away (cf. Matthew 24:35).

The Bible never needs amending but men’s works do need to be fixed. When you contemplate the astounding nature of the Bible, you realize that man could have never written a document like this. We are commanded to “contend earnestly” for this faith that has been revealed to us (Jude 3), and it has been mercilessly persecuted ever since it was revealed. A brief survey of history reveals that Antiochus Epiphanes tried to kill Judaism and the Jews, Diocletian outlawed the Bible, and the Catholic church wanted to burn English Bibles. Despite all of the trying to destroy it, it still stands! One day, when this world is gone, the scriptures will be the standard by which I will be judged, and this makes me want to be more sober-minded (2 Peter 3:10-14). What about you?

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


With Christmas now over, I thought it would be good to reflect on a few thoughts. Lin Yutang wrote, “The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.” While we were probably preoccupied with getting a lot of “stuff,” we need to remember to be content. Paul said, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

In a bad economy, it is hard to be content and feel satisfaction. Solomon gave us insight into the endless quest for satisfaction. In Ecclesiastes 1:12-15, he investigated riches, pleasure, and possessions. In Ecclesiastes 2:13-16, he proclaimed that wisdom would not bring contentment. In Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 11, he found that there was no contentment in knowledge.

We buy all kinds of possessions and then lose interest in them quickly. Even all the presents we received will probably not last long. The better contentment will be found in God and in everything He can give. Psalm 107:9 says, “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” True contentment will be found in the word of God. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). We can be strengthened in the fact of the knowledge of God. Enjoy the season, but remember that all of the material aspects of the season will not make you happy. Plautus said, “If you are content, you have enough to live comfortably.” Find your true strength and satisfaction in the right place, not the empty frivolities of life.

Kyle Campbell

Tennessee boy found drinking beer

Several days ago, Tennessee investigators say a 4-year-old boy was found roaming his neighborhood in the night, drinking beer and wearing a little girl’s dress taken from under a neighbor’s Christmas tree. The child’s mother, 21-year-old April Wright, tells WTVC-TV the boy “wants to go to jail because that’s where his daddy is.” Wright says she and the boy’s father are going though a divorce.

Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” It should break the heart to hear of young children who are doing actions like these. Parents are given strict instructions to “train up” their children (Proverbs 22:6), and there are a number of areas of concern with this young boy, but none more so than the fact that he had access to alcohol.

Furthermore, the young boy’s father obviously is not setting a good example for his son by being in jail. The boy wants to be with his father, but he is prevented because of his father’s wicked deeds. How will the little boy turn out? Who knows? He needs parents who will teach him the word of God and live it before him. That’s no guarantee of success, but he deserves the best that he can get!

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The influence of Eastern and "New Age" beliefs

According to Pew’s 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 70% said “many religions can lead to eternal life,” and 68% said “there’s more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.” In short, we believe our own experiences are authentic, and no “authority” can say otherwise.

Jim Todhunter, a retired leader of United Church of Christ congregations, said, “That’s a very ‘Eastern’ notion.” He has studied in a Hindu ashram in India and practices Zen meditation and Christian contemplative prayer. “In the Western religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam -- the focus is: ‘What do you believe?’ There is always a tremendous focus on doctrine and teachings,” he says. “In the East, Buddhism and Hinduism in particular, the leading question is, ‘Do you know God?’ It’s much more experience-based.” Either way, he adds, “however you meet God is wonderful.”

The Bible plainly says that man does not get to decide what he believes is true. Psalm 119:160 says, “The entirety of Your word is truth …” God wants us to follow all of the scriptures, not just what part we want or just what we want to do. No matter how our society changes and how people alter their beliefs toward Eastern and “New Age” philosophies, the Bible is true and it is never going to change. John 12:48 says, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Do you believe it?

Kyle Campbell

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wishing to be healed

Jesus came upon a man in John 5:6 who had been lame for 38 years and who was sitting beside a pool of healing. Jesus asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Why would Jesus ask such an obvious question? Perhaps the answer was not so clear. Bartimaeus was blind, yet when he cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him, Jesus asked what he wanted Him to do (Mark 10:51). It would have seemed apparent that the biggest concern of a blind person would be to receive sight. There were times, however, when Jesus considered it important for people to verbalize their need and specifically ask Him to heal them.

Just because we are spiritually sick does not necessarily mean we want to be made well. We may attend church services regularly, but choose to remain sinful. Our generation has taken many of the activities that the Bible identifies as sin and has labeled them as addictions or character flaws or the result of an abusive upbringing. We act as if having an addiction is a good excuse for disobeying God’s commands.

Have you gone year after year without receiving spiritual healing? God is capable of freeing you, but you may have become comfortable in your sin. You may not want to be healed. If you really want to receive spiritual health, God can give it today if you will be obedient to His Son Jesus Christ through your repentance (Acts 17:30), confession (Matthew 10:32), and baptism (1 Peter 3:21).

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Archaeology: The black obelisk of Shalmaneser

This 6 1/2 foot tall black basalt obelisk (four-sided pillar) reports in pictures and words the conquests of Assyrian King Shalmaneser III, enemy of the Israelites.

The Black Obelisk was discovered in the palace at Nimrud in 1846 and shows the biblical Jehu, king of Israel, kneeling down and bringing tribute to the Assyrian king, Shalmaneser.

Dating from 841 B.C., this important find is the only picture we have so far of an Israelite king. This is the first mention of tribute paid to Assyria by Israel. King Jehu’s reign is mentioned in 2 Kings 9-10, even though the tribute is not.

Kyle Campbell