Friday, January 29, 2010

We all seek approval

It is a rare person who does not seek approval and acceptance. As hard as it is for some people to admit it, they do like it when people think well of them. But the question arises, “Who do we want to approve us?”

As usual, the Bible gives us some good guidance. John 12:42-43 says that we should not seek the approval of men. Those men should have believed in Christ but they did not. Instead, we should see the approval of God, just like the apostles in Acts 5:40-41. As a matter a fact, in Acts 5:29, they were willing to say, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

How do we do please God? It is so simple! Hebrews 11:6 says that we need to have faith (Hebrews 11:6). We also need to repent of sins (Acts 17:30). We have to confess Jesus as the Son of God (Romans 10:10). Furthermore, we need to continue in righteous works (2 Timothy 2:15; Titus 1:16).

I know that we seek approval, but make sure that you look for the best approval: the approval of God. Turn from seeking man’s approval and look to the Lord in His Bible.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, January 25, 2010

The holiest place

In Leviticus 16, the most holy place was the area of the tabernacle that was the most sacred. It housed the ark of covenant where God dwelt above the cherubim of the mercy seat. In fact, it was so sacred that only one priest could enter (the high priest) and he could only do this once a year (the day of atonement). As you can see, if you wanted to be close to God, you couldn’t do it under the Old Law.

When Jesus came, He provided a way for all of us to have perfect access to the throne of God. Hebrews 10:19–20 says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; …” Now you and I can be as close to God as is possible because of the blood of Jesus.

Although the access is open to all, only the people who take hold of the blood of Jesus can enjoy this perfect access. Have you taken hold of His blood through submitting to Him in baptism (Romans 6:3-4)? If you haven’t, please contact us and we will be happy to show you what the scriptures say about your salvation.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can you be a Naaman?

You’re probably thinking that I’m going to talk about baptism, because that’s all “church of Christers” can talk about right? That’s actually not the point, but it’s close in an off-handed way.

When Naaman was told to go and dip in the Jordan River, he went away angry (2 Kings 5:10-11). A lot of people are angry when they first hear the truth. They hear that what they have believed all their life is wrong. They hear that their parents are not going to go to heaven because they believed something wrong. They hear that in order to be right their lives have to drastically change.

At this point, Naaman could have stayed mad and stayed leprous. However, his servants saved the day by convincing him to go ahead and dip himself in the Jordan River. Thankfully for him, he had second thoughts and did what he was told, and was cured of his leprosy.

The point is that he listened to reason, and was cured. People often immediately get angry at the truth, but with some time, they accept it. If people get mad at the need to be baptized (you didn’t think I drop it completely, did you?), sometimes a bit of contemplation is all that’s needed for someone to obey the truth. Can you be a Naaman?

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When was the Bible written?

By decoding the inscription on a 3,000-year-old piece of pottery, discovered at excavations about 18 miles west of Jerusalem, an Israeli professor has concluded that parts of the Bible were written hundreds of years earlier than suspected.

Carbon-dating places the piece in the 10th century B.C. The inscription is the earliest example of Hebrew writing found, which stands in opposition to the dating of the composition of the Bible in current research. Prior to this discovery, it was not believed that the Bible or parts of it could have been written this long ago.

Current theory holds that the Bible could not have been written before the 6th century B.C., because Hebrew writing did not exist until then. Of course, Bible believers ascertain that the earliest writing could have been the book of Job, which would be around the time of Abraham (2000 B.C.). In time, hopefully archaeological discoveries will find more examples of Hebrew writing closer to this earlier time.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, January 8, 2010

The commissions of Jesus

In Matthew 10 (parallel: Mark 6; Luke 9), Jesus gave His disciples a “limited” commission where they would go directly to the Jews and preach to them. They came back, reporting their great success.

These restrictions were lifted with the great commission. Every gospel records the “great commission,” which were given at different times. In Matthew’s account (28:19-20). In this account, there are four “alls” which are worthy of brief mention.

The first “all” is all authority. Jesus has this kind of authority (Psalm 110:4; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 3:17). The second “all” is all nations. Every person is to hear that Christ died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15). The third “all” is all things. We cannot be content with teaching part of the gospel, or even most of the gospel -- we have to teach it all (Acts 20:27). The fourth “all” is always. There is never a time that God is away from us (Psalm 23:4; Hebrews 13:5).

What fantastic thoughts! This “great” commission can fill our hearts with hope as we struggle through this life. We should be so grateful for the provision of God in this commission. But the best way to show our gratitude is to follow it! Will you do it?

Kyle Campbell

Friday, January 1, 2010

Archaeology: Caesarea Maritima

Since the 1950s, excavations have turned up most of Herod’s harbor, as well as city streets, a theater, marketplace, shops, aqueducts, temples, and private dwellings. The excavations of Caesarea illustrate how important this city was in Jesus’ and Paul’s day.

Caesarea is where Peter first won Gentile converts (Acts 10), and was the site of Paul’s imprisonment (Acts 23-26). It was also the home of the Roman governors, such as Pontius Pilate. The city began as Herod’s dream and grew into Roman Palestine’s major port and governmental center. It is thought that King Herod Agrippa I was smitten of God in the theater (Acts 12:23).

Kyle Campbell