Saturday, February 26, 2011

Compasses and bearings

My son is really interested in his compass. We bought him the official Boy Scout model. I’ve tried to show him how it is used it for determining one’s bearing.

In a way, this is not unlike the Bible. Samuel, in his address to the nation, said, “If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God” (1 Samuel 12:14). Someone who is going to please God will do so by walking in a direction that agrees with God.

Proverbs 15:19 says, “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.” In short, you need to stay on the right path. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Satan will try to pull you away; will you give in? Use the scriptures daily to find your true bearings.

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paul before Felix

We don’t know much about Felix when he was mentioned in Acts 24:25, other than he was afraid. He wanted to wait until he had a convenient time. There are a lot of reasons why people wait to obey the gospel. They may, like Felix, want to wait. Others may think they are really good people, therefore they do not need God and the remission of their sins. Some may be nervous, thinking that they cannot handle the responsibility of living righteously. Finally, some may want to wait until they are an adult because they want to live immorally first before repenting.

But the apostle Peter warned that the end of the world was coming. Because of this, people needed to live righteously (2 Peter 3:10-14). People who want to go to heaven will take the charge to set their minds on what is above seriously (Colossians 3:1-2). It is glorious and encouraging to see the people on Pentecost happy to hear the word of God instead of being fearful (Acts 2:38, 41). Don't be a Felix! Obey the word of God from the heart, without fear, and be faithful in your allegiance to God (Romans 6:17-18).

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Called to repent

In Luke 13:1-5, the Jews had asked Jesus about a past event which involved Pontius Pilate. Jesus asked them, “Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-5). From the answer of Jesus, it appears that the Jews were negatively inferring about the character of those men, and that they supposed the Galileans deserved their bad treatment by Pilate. The answer of Jesus is a reproof of their habit of quickly judging the character of others.

Were the Galileans worse sinners? No. Time and chance happened to them and they met their Creator. Everyone has to be ready and watchful. In the previous chapter, Jesus said, “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:35-40). Everyone needs to examine and test themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Will Christ find faith on the earth when He returns (Luke 18:8)? We are called to endure. Paul lived his life, and at the end could write, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). If you cannot say this, then you are called to repent and obey.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Running the race

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Exertion. Stamina. Endurance. This is what running the race takes. Being a child of God is a long-term proposition. You can’t just be baptized and then quit.

In trying to bolster Christians, Jesus said, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). You’ve got to run! Can you? Will you endure until the end? If you can, you will enjoy a crown of life! That sure is worth running until the end.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Abraham was a remarkable man. In reality, when one reaches Genesis 12, the entire Bible changes with the story of Abraham. Abraham was the father of the faithful (Romans 4:16). Although God told Abraham to offer Isaac on an altar, in Hebrews 11:17-19 Abraham believed God could raise him from the dead.

The pattern of Isaac and Abraham is seen in us. We sin and God gives us the chance to be forgiven (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Jesus is the “Lamb of God” which is offered for all of us (John 1:29; 3:16; 15:13). Revelation 5:9 tells us that Christ has redeemed us from “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” He was raised from the dead (Acts 2:24, 32). It is our purpose to preach the “everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth” (Revelation 14:6). Just like Abraham did not withhold his son from God, God did not withhold His Son from us. He was willing to lift him up for our forgiveness (John 3:14).

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Archaeology: The Dead Sea scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls are actually hundreds of scrolls and scraps that date between 300 B.C. and A.D. 70. The first of them was found in 1947 in caves of the Qumran area near the Dead Sea about seven miles south of Jericho.

Some of the scrolls were found in jars. About one-third of the scrolls contain copies of portions of Old Testament books (every book but Esther). These copies are over 1,000 years older than most of the manuscripts scholars previously had available for study and translation.

This is one of the most important finds in history because it shows that the Old Testament was copied very accurately over the centuries. When the scrolls were compared with the oldest Masoretic text, on which most modern translations are based, only insignificant differences were found. Therefore we can be confident that our current translations are faithful to the original.

Kyle Campbell