Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What do you meditate on?

Some men meditate hunting and the Military Channel. Some women meditate on online shopping and HGTV. None of these options are wrong of course, but they may prevent us from really mediating on what is really necessary.

A Christian’s first thought and choice should be to mediate on the Bible. When “meditate” is used in the Bible, it means “to keep on giving serious consideration to something — to ponder, to let one’s mind dwell on, to keep thinking about, to fix one’s attention on.” Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body.

To really grow in Christ, you need to seriously consider the Bible at some point everyday. Psalms opens with this statement: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (1:2). Furthermore, Psalm 119:97 says, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” You become what you mediate on.  While meditating on the aforementioned subjects aren’t sinful, they also aren’t spiritually edifying. No one could possibly meditate on a single object or idea all day long, but I fear that too many never fit the Bible into their thoughts during the day. One powerful weapon that keeps me from sinning is meditation. Again, the psalmist wrote, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalms 119:11). The word dispels the darkness and gives me strength. It will do the same for you — but only if you use it.

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The first century church

Is the church of Christ one among many denominations whose origin can be traced in an encyclopedia to its man-made founders?

The Bible furnishes the answer. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). When Jesus built His church, He only built one. Paul refers to the church as the “body” (Ephesians 1:22-23). Paul declared that there is only “one body” (Ephesians 4:4). Therefore, there is only one church.

Modern denominationalism claims that the different denominations are merely parts of the whole “Christian church.” The theory goes that when these parts are added together, then you have the “church” that Jesus built. But the Bible never allows for this interpretation.

There were men, who in the 1800s, left their denominations and imitated the Bible pattern for the Lord’s church (Hebrew 8:5). They rejected salvation by faith only, instrumental music in worship, unlawful organizations, man-made names such as “Baptist,” “Pentecostal,” “Methodist,” and more. If I have the same desire to follow book, chapter, and verse for everything I do (Colossians 3:17), I am still following the Bible, not men.

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What Shall I Do With Jesus? -- Conclusion

Over the last several discussions, we have examined seven different individuals or groups of people and what they did with Jesus. Now, Jesus stands before us and we must decide what to do with Him. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” One day, this situation will be reversed, for  there will come a day when we will stand before the Almighty God and Jesus Himself will decide what to do with us (2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 10:32-33). Of course, what He does with us depends upon what you do with Him.

So, what will YOU do with Jesus? Remember, we are not talking about trivial matters. We are talking about the decision between eternal life and eternal destruction in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. What will be your decision (Jeremiah 36:2-3)?

God declared through Ezekiel, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (33:11). As we have mentioned in a previous article, today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you try to seek the Lord tomorrow, it may be too late. No one is guaranteed of another day to decide what they would do with Jesus (James 4:14). Please contact us if you would like to study further.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, July 19, 2013

What shall I do with Jesus? -- The people on Pentecost

In our final example of what different people or groups did with Jesus in the first century, we will consider the Jews at Pentecost. They obeyed Him (Acts 2:37-41). The preaching they heard was not in vain. Hebrews 5:8-9 says, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Those who received Him were given the right to become children of God (John 1:12).

How did the people at Pentecost obey Jesus? They would have had to have faith in Jesus (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6). Furthermore, they would have had to repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30-31). They would have had to confess Jesus as God’s Son before men (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:10). Finally, they would have had to have been baptized to remit or wash away their sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). The act of baptism would have saved them, just like it will save us (1 Peter 3:21).

The one who does the will of Jesus and obeys His word will be saved (Matthew 7:21). Jesus said, “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” (John 12:48). But please take note that we will not be saved by following the words of a Baptist pastor or a Catholic priest. We are only saved by following the words of our Lord and His apostles. You have seen what it takes to obey the Lord. What will YOU do with Jesus?

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What shall I do with Jesus? -- Agrippa

Over the course of our study, the examples we consider are becoming more receptive to the gospel. In Acts 26, Paul stood before King Agrippa and preached the gospel to him. What makes his situation so noteworthy is that he was almost persuaded by Jesus. In Acts 26:28-29, the account says,“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”

Although a lot of people believe they will be saved by “getting close,” this will not save us. If good intentions were enough, a lot of people would be saved. Cornelius had a lot of good intentions, but he was not saved until he obeyed the gospel call. Acts 10:2 describes Cornelius as, “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” However, Acts 11:14 still described Cornelius as one who needed to hear “words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”

In Mark 1:15, John the Baptist said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Hebrews 11 shows that when the people of the Old Testament believed, they would then act upon that belief and follow God. Once we believe, we should obey the will of God, too. Will you obey the gospel call? Or will you be “almost persuaded”? What will YOU do with Jesus?

Kyle Campbell

Monday, July 1, 2013

What shall I do with Jesus? -- Felix

In Acts 24, Paul had the chance to preach to Felix. Felix was the governor of Judea and was noted for his great corruption. Paul not only preached to him, but his unlawful wife, Druscilla. Acts 24:24 says,“And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” So in response to our question we have asked over the last several weeks, Felix wanted to postpone Him.

Our greatest enemy is tomorrow. More things have gone undone because we wait until tomorrow. Satan does not have to destroy your faith in God, your belief in things necessary. All he has to do is get you to wait until tomorrow. In Acts 2:37, when Peter convicted those men of killing Jesus, Luke records, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” “Pricked” figuratively meant “to be violently agitated.” They felt the anguish of sin and acted upon it! But what about the next day? What if they had waited until the feeling diminished?

Now is the day to act on your salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” If you put it off, even with good intentions, you may never turn back to the Lord. What will YOU do with Jesus?

Kyle Campbell