Friday, April 30, 2010

Life is sometimes measured in inches

A man at our congregation had an accident a few days ago and nearly died. In the circumstances of the accident, his life was spared because of just a few inches. It makes me reflect on the fragility of life. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), but we are also exceedingly fragile.

A little bit here or a little bit there, and we would be dead. Thinking about it in one way is remarkable, but in another way is very sobering. Peter said, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7). You never know when life will present you with circumstances where death could come immediately. Are you ready?

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No greater joy

I saw a sign the other day which proclaimed that there was no greater joy than knowing that God loves you. Although it is a wonderful thought that God loves us, the truth is God loves everybody (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10-11). What is a greater truth in which to rejoice is the fact that we are doing what God wants.

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” I love the fact that I can read in the Bible what to do to please God and then do it. This makes me happy, and we want you to have that happiness too. Please contact us if you like to study further.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pulling the plug

In Revelation 2-3, Jesus, through the apostle John, addressed seven churches. Five of them, including Ephesus, needed to repent of various problems. Jesus told the Ephesians, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:5-6).

The “candlestick,” in this highly figurative language, represents the identifying mark of a church of Christ. Revelation 1:20 says, “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Therefore, having the candlestick removed would mean that the Lord no longer recognized the church as one adhering to Christ.

How about your congregation? Can it give a “thus saith the Lord” for everything it does? If not, why not? Is it because the members have not studied closely enough (2 Timothy 2:15)? Is it because of open rebellion to the truth (2 Timothy 3:8; 4:4)? On the day of judgment, God will require of people a reckoning as to how well they followed the pattern of the Bible (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). If you can look around and see that the church where you attend does not follow the New Testament, contact us for further study. We would love the opportunity to discuss the Bible with you.

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spiritually blind

I’m really blind. Seriously. Without my glasses or contacts, I can barely see. Everyone has something that they have to contend with, and this is mine to bear. But one type of blindness that I’m thankful to have left behind is spiritual blindness.

The Bible addresses spiritual blindness as the great human problem. Israel was supposed to be God’s servant (Isaiah 42:19) but was blind to the role God wanted them to fill. Called to be watchmen protecting the nation, they instead blindly preyed on the people (Isaiah 56:10). As the Pharisees gained leadership, they became blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14; 23:16-26). Jesus came to reverse the situation, making clear who had spiritual sight and who was spiritually blind (John 9:39-41).

In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, Paul wrote, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Spiritual blindness is caused by one reason: ignorance. Ephesians 4:18 says, “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” The problem is that the spiritually blind do not know they are blind (Revelation 3:17).

People need to realize their condition, and do what is necessary to learn spiritual truth. It is only the truth that can unshackle the bonds and darkness and allow the “glorious gospel of Christ” to shine in the heart. If you would like to study, please contact us. We would love the opportunity!

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The worthy woman

Proverbs 31:10-31 has long been a favorite passage for women to study and emulate. The virtuous characteristics make the heart swell as God describes the “perfect” woman. Hopefully, all men seek a woman like this to be their wife, and women make themselves into this image to the perfect “helpmeet.”

But there are a few parts of this description of a worthy woman that apply to all of us, and it will be good to concentrate on them.

First, she helps the poor. Proverbs 31:20 says, “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” For us, Galatians 6:9-10 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Benevolence is a wonderful fruit of the gospel.

Second, she is industrious. Proverbs 31:27 says, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” In the New Testament, Paul wrote, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God created us to work, not to lie around. The worthy woman showed her worth by activity.

Third, she is justified. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:30-31). In James 2:24, 26, James wrote, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only … For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” If anyone will work righteous works like the worthy woman, they can be justified.

As you can see, she is a wonderful example, showing several great attributes that are found in the New Testament. She is not only good for women to think about, but for men too!

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Archaeology: The Sennacherib prism

A 15-inch tall, six-sided baked clay prism from ancient Assyria contains the story of the invasion of the kingdom of Judah by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. The prism was found at Nineveh and contains six paragraphs, written in Akkadian cuneiform.

King Sennacherib of Assyria is mentioned in 2 Kings 18-19. Isaiah prophesied that God would protect Jerusalem against attack by Sennacherib (Isaiah 36-37; 2 Chronicles 32). While the prism does say that the Assyrian trapped Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a bird in a cage,” like the biblical record, it says nothing of them conquering the city.

The Bible says that God spared Jerusalem. The prism, together with the Lachish reliefs and excavations, adds detail to the biblical account. King Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. Isaiah brought him God’s message. That night the Lord smote 185,000 Assyrians, and Sennacherib went back to Nineveh and later was killed by his sons (Isaiah 37:35-38).

Kyle Campbell