Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Divorce and remarriage

It is truly sad how many people you come in contact with who are unscripturally divorced and remarried. With the divorce rate in Texas at about 45%, many opportunities exist for people to transgress the will of God. Matthew 19:9 says, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Jesus gave only one exception for divorce and remarriage. Anyone who has gotten divorced for “irreconcilable differences” and has married again is living in adultery and is therefore in sin.

Romans 7:2-3 says, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” As you can plainly see, while a woman is married to someone unscripturally, she is called an “adulteress.” This passage proves that the adultery remains as long as someone remains in the unscriptural relationship.

Someone living in an unscriptural marriage is a sad situation. But if you value your soul and your eternal destiny, you will repent of your sins and leave the relationship, thereby removing yourself from the sin of adultery. If you want to learn more about the New Testament scriptures, please be our guest at any of our assemblies.

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Defining the terms of God's people

It is easy to confuse the terms “Israelite,” “Hebrew,” and “Jew.” There is very little difference between them. Of the three words, “Hebrew” is actually the first to be mentioned in the scriptures. In Genesis 14:13, Abram is referred to as a “Hebrew.” The name is probably derived from Abram’s forefather, Eber (Genesis 11:14). It appeared to be a general designation for nomadic people like Abram, who would have been considered a foreigner by the Canaanites. Therefore, the term “Hebrew” was a more comprehensive one than “Israelite” or “Jew.” But the prominence of the Israelites may have become so great that its use was restricted to them (Genesis 40:15; 1 Samuel 4:6; 13:3; 2 Corinthians 11:22). In New Testament times it was applied especially to all Jews who spoke Hebrew or Aramaic, in distinction to the Grecian Jews, their fellow-countrymen who spoke Greek.

The term “Israel” was a designation for the entire people of Israel and its name was derived from the idea of Jacob as the ancestor of the nation. The first use of “Israel” as a nation occurs in Genesis 49:7. The Israelites were considered “Hebrews.”

“Jew” originally denoted one of the inhabitants of the southern kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 16:6; 25:25; Nehemiah 1:2; Jeremiah 32:12) or one of the postexilic Israelites in distinction from the Gentiles (Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Zechariah, Daniel, and the New Testament). It is somewhat anachronistic to use the term to refer to the Hebrews or Israelites of an earlier period. Even though it referred to one from the tribe of Judah, the term took on a very religious connotation, referring to adherents of the Hebrew religion.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, May 16, 2014

Beaches and bikinis

Memorial Day is only a few days away and it traditionally kicks off the summer season full of beaches and bikinis.

There’s little doubt that our level of acceptable clothing shrinks as time goes by. Some will tell us that modesty is relative. They say that the sight of a woman’s ankle 50 years ago would have been immodest, but today it is perfectly acceptable. This makes drawing a line impossible.

But the fact is we can draw a line between modesty and immodesty. Whenever a person dresses so as to excite sexual desire in others, that person’s clothing is immodest and sinful. This goes for women and men. This principle reflects what the Bible teaches about modesty and does not change with the culture or climate.

Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” Also, Peter said in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Men and women who wear immodest clothing are not ignorant of its effects on one another. Christians are commanded to be modest and sensible in their dress so as to have favor with God. Christians abstain from every form of evil in their attire, demeanor, and speech (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Finally, Christians know that their life’s work is to exalt Christ and make it possible for them to shine as a light in a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15). This Memorial Day, skip the bikini or the revealing swimming trunks, and adorn your true, inner, godly self. 

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Comforting our hearts

In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17, the apostle Paul wrote, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”

These verses are a contrast to the first 11 verses of the chapter which warn of an upcoming apostasy of Christians, headed by a “son of perdition.” People would listen to him and be condemned because they did not love and believe the truth. On the other hand, faithful brethren who have believed the truth are sanctified or set apart by the Holy Spirit’s revelation. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Paul felt “bound” or obligated to thank God for brethren whose hearts have been touched by the gospel.

This “touching of the heart” occurs through the calling of the gospel. Most are prone to believe that this is a miraculous operation of the Spirit; however, it is merely a serious, solemn response to “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). The response is not a one-time act, but a righteous life in which one stands fast in the “traditions” they have been taught. Through God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the revelation of the Spirit, we are assured of an “everlasting consolation” that begins when we obey and continues into eternity. In this, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). By this contemplation, our hearts are comforted and strengthened “in every good word and work.”

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


In ancient cultures, the ox was commonly used to plow fields and pull carts. These animals were hard to handle under the best of circumstances. When an angry ox stiffened the muscles of his powerful neck, it was difficult or impossible to guide him. Those ancient people began to use the term “stiffnecked” to refer to people who were stubborn and self-willed like the oxen.

Stephen, in Acts 7:51, said, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” “Stiffnecked” is a word that had been applied to the sins of Israel at an earlier time (Exodus 33:5; 34:9). In applying this expression to his hearers, Stephen was using the identical language as Moses when he conveyed God’s rebuke to Israel. “Uncircumcised in ears” means they were unwilling to hear what God says. The opposition was to the Holy Spirit. Their fathers had resisted the Holy Spirit and persecuted the divinely appointed messengers. And so now, these very people before whom this trial was being conducted had rejected the Savior, the Messiah, and were violently opposing the messengers who had come to share with them the good news.

Are you being “stiffnecked” about the fact that God has said that baptism is essential to salvation (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21)? Are you being “stiffnecked” about the fact that there is only one church and therefore different religious groups are condemned (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4)? Don’t be stubborn or self-willed, but humbly yield to the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The love of God

The love of God is always a worthy subject to examine. God shows His love in different ways, but two immediately come to mind. The first way God shows His love is through the physical blessings we receive. Matthew 5:45 says, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Everyone receives this type of blessing and we should express gratitude for them.

The second type of blessing is spiritual blessings. Ephesians 2:4-7 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Only God’s children who have been obedient to His gospel will receive these blessings.

Unfortunately, many are under the mistaken impression that God will bless them spiritually if they only manifest a love toward Him. This “love” goes no deeper than a warm, emotional attachment. But Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Our love for God must be demonstrated by the fact that we love Him enough to obey His gospel (Hebrews 5:9). When we do this, we will be following the example of Jesus (Hebrews 5:8). So if you really want to show your love toward the Lord, do so by repenting of your sins (Acts 17:30), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (1 Peter 3:21). Come join us to know more about God’s marvelous love and your obligation to it.

Kyle Campbell