Apr 18

EXTENDING KINDNESS

Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life. God would have us to be kind toward others. He commands us, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God…kindness” (Col. . 3:12). We are to be kind to our brethren in Christ (Rom. 12:10) as well as total strangers. (See example in Acts 28:2).
Kindness is not kindness until it is shown. The Kenites showed kindness to the Hebrews (1 Sam. 15:6) as well as the men of Jabesh-gilead toward Saul (2 Sam. 2:5).
Kindness also begets kindness. In both examples above in which kindness was extended, they received kindness in return. The person who is kind, is a person who lives in a kind world.
Gary Henson

GREAT RESULTS
The account of the centurion in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 teaches that in order to have great results (Mt. 8:13), one must have great faith (Mt. 8:10), which is developed by great desire (Lk. 7:2), great humility (Lk. 7:6-7), great hearing (Lk. 7:3), great action (Lk. 7:13) and great trust in God’s power (Lk. 7:7-8).
Gary Henson

What Do You Do For Fun?
Several years ago a very sweet Christian girl told me about an incident with a young man who had been asking to date her. He was not a member of the church, and they just didn’t have anything in common. She had turned him down twice, and now she said “no” to attending a rock concert with him.
In mock exasperation the young man asked, “What do you do for fun? You don’t dance. You don’t drink. You don’t go to rock concerts. What do you do for fun?”
Her response was a classic message for all Christians with conviction. She told him, “For fun I get up in the morning without feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty about what I did the night before.” The young man had nothing more to say.
It’s true. That is fun! Come to think of it, there are many things in her life that are fun. She is married now to a fine Christian man. They have a little girl and are building an outstanding Christian home together.
She is having fun every day not having to live with the affliction of deep scars and regrets from her past. It is fun getting ready each afternoon to welcome her husband home from work, knowing that he won’t be stopping off for a few drinks with the guys on his way. It is fun knowing that while he is away from her, his Christian conduct won’t allow infidelity, or even flirting.
It is fun watching him hold their little girl on his lap with loving, protecting arms. It is fun knowing that their little girl will never see her father in a drunken stupor or experimenting with drugs. It is fun living with the assurance that the home will be led by a spiritual leader who will guide the family members toward heaven.
The list of fun things for Christian is endless. What do you do for fun?
Jack W. Carter

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Apr 11

THE LORD’S CHURCH

It is the heart’s desire1 of the members of the Lord’s church2 to glorify God3 by living obediently4 to His5 every Word6, and strive7 to save the lost8 by teaching the soul-saving Gospel9 and living the light-shining example.10

1Matt 22:37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Acts 11:23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

21 Cor 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

3Rom 15:6 That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 3:21 To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

4Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Heb 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him

John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

5John 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

6Matt 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

2 Cor 2:9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

7Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.

8Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

9Eph 3:10 To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

10Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

1 Peter 3:15 Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-lords-church-3/

Apr 04

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPEDIENCY

In the Bible, there are commands which are specific and there are commands which are generic. That is, sometimes God not only tells us WHAT to do, He also tells us HOW to do it. Such is a specific command. An example of this is the command to baptize. We are told what to do (to immerse) and we are told how to do it (in water). If God had simply told us to baptize and had made no reference to the element of which we were to use, then this would have been a generic command and it would have been left up to our discretion as to what element would be best to use (such as: sand, leaves, milk, water, etc.).
On the other hand God sometimes tells us WHAT to do but does not tell us specifically HOW to do it. This is a generic command. An example of this is the command, “Go ye into all the world” (Mark 16:15). The apostles were told what to do (go), but how to go was left up to human judgment. Thus, they could obey this command by using a boat, car, train, jet, etc. However, if God would have said, “Go by walking,” then this would have been a specific command and the only way to obey God and be pleasing to Him would be to walk to take the Gospel.
In the above example of Mark 16:15, the means of carrying out the HOW to go falls in the realm of expediency. However, it is crucial to understand that an expedient is that which expedites (aids) the carrying out of some obligation which has already been scripturally authorized by (1) explicit statements, (2) implicit statements or (3) approved accounts of action. [Note: Obviously, an expedient must not be prohibited by other Scriptures.]
Unfortunately, expediency has been used as a “catch all” department in which to list anything that is not authorized by any of the other three means of authorization. Some seem to reason, “Well, I realize that we can’t find any verses which teach that we can do this, but it seems to help the cause of Christ so much that it must be expedient.” To reason in this manner is to display a complete and a critical misunderstanding of expediency. If such contention were true, then there would be absolutely no limits to what could be done. By this line of thinking, a congregation could open a bar in a classroom claiming it to be an expedient because it would bring in people whom we could later teach. Someone might say, “We wouldn’t let it get that far. The line has to be drawn somewhere.” But, if the contention is true (that if it helps the cause, then it is expedient) then no line can be drawn! Certainly we can see the error in the attempt to define expediency as anything that seems to help the cause of Christ.
To understand what an expedient is, is to realize that a line has been drawn and that the one who drew it was God. As previously stated: an expedient is that which aids the carrying out of that which has already been scripturally authorized. For example: (1) We have the obligation to baptize. An expedient to this is the construction of a baptistery in the building. First we have the obligation then we determine the expedient. We have the obligation to assemble ourselves together. An expedient is a building in which to meet. (3) Obligation: sing. Expedient: song books, song leader, tuning fork. (4) Obligation: teach the lost. Expedient: film strips; various other methods. Again, first there is the obligation, then there is the expedient. Where there is no obligation, there is no expedient.
Let us be careful that in our zeal we do not become mesmerized and careless so as to go beyond what and how God has authorized (2 John. 9-11). Eternity is worth the effort.
Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-importance-of-expediency/

Mar 28

Acts 22:16 and Baptism

Saul, whose name was later changed to Paul, was a persecutor of the church. Upon one such crusade, as he was on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him in a great light. The confrontation convinced Saul that Jesus was indeed the Christ. In deep remorse, Saul neither ate nor drank for three days. Jesus then told a disciple named Ananias to go to Saul. It was during that meeting Saul was told, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
This is what the Scriptures say, but what does it mean? It means: (1) Saul had believed on Jesus; (2) but he still had sin; (3) and it took his obedience in baptism to cleanse him from his sins. So, it means what it says, and it says what it means.
However, many today have been told that Saul’s sins were washed away at faith and before baptism. But, if Saul was already saved and his sins were already forgiven before and without baptism, then: (1) Saul did not know it, because he did that which Ananias told him to do (Acts 9:18); (2) Ananias did not know it, because he told Saul to be baptized for the very purpose of having his sins removed (Acts 22:16); (3) Jesus did not know it, because He told Ananias what to say; (4) the Holy Spirit did not know it, because He inspired the writing of Acts 22:16. If Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the two people who were the very ones involved in this incident knew that one’s sins are not removed until one is baptized, then why would we possibly want to believe what some man today says to the contrary?! Since we are going to be judged by the words of Jesus (John 12:48), we must believe and follow what He says.
Saul was baptized for the purpose of having his sins removed. It is crucial for people today to realize that one must be baptized for that purpose! If a person was told to believe to be saved from sin and be baptized later for some other reason (such as: to join the church), then one was not baptized for the purpose of having his sins washed away. Thus, his sins were not washed away, nor are they yet.
While one is still living, it is not too late to heed the words of Jesus. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins.”

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/1768-2/

Mar 22

THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE

When pollsters survey a population with the question, “Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God?” the majority (in this country) answer “Yes.” However, when asked of their idea regarding its inspiration, the replies are quite diverse: “In thought, but not in word;” “Some of it is, but some of it isn’t;” “It is a moment of human genius, but nothing supernatural.” In spite of the confusion of human opinion, the Bible is quite clear concerning its inspiration.
The Bible clearly reveals the definition of inspiration. In Matthew 10:18-20, as Jesus sent out the twelve men to preach, He warned them that they would be unkindly examined by evil men in high places, and then He consoled them with these words: “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Although the men’s tongues and larynxes would be that which physically produced the words, the mind that was selecting the words was that of the Holy Spirit. Inspiration was not a mere moment of human genius, it was the speaking of God.
The Bible clearly reveals that the words as well as the thoughts are inspired. In First Corinthians 2:9-13, Paul states that God revealed the things (thoughts) unto the Apostles, “which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” Thus, when God revealed thoughts to the Apostles, they spoke those thoughts, not in their own words, but in the words which the Holy Spirit gave them. No, God did not merely inspire the Apostles with only the thought and left the wording up to them. Rather, both the thoughts and the words are God’s.
The Bible clearly reveals that all of the Bible is inspired. Second Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God….” “All” not “some.” When Jesus mentioned “the law of Moses, …the prophets, and in the psalms” He was referring to the entire Old Testament [as this was the Jewish reference to its three-fold division] (Luke 24:44). The next verse then describes it as “the Scriptures” –writings of God. If only parts of the Bible were inspired, how would we know which parts were which? Such reduces the Bible to guess work and confusion–something of which a perfect, flawless God would not do (John 8:31-32; 1 Cor. 14:33). Thus, if any part of the Bible is inspired, then by necessity, all of it is inspired.

If the pollsters would survey the Bible and those who know the above truths, their report would yield: 100% believe that the Bible is inspired of God; God is the author in its entirety in both thoughts and words.

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-inspiration-of-the-bible/

Mar 15

“PRE-PICKED”

A certain college had two geography teachers.  As each received a list of their students before the new classes met, the first teacher went through the list assigning each student a final grade of either passing or failing.  However, the second teacher made a list of class requirements (weekly tests, a grading scale, mid-term and final exams) to which all the students would be equally subjected.  It was then up to each student to meet the requirements which would determine whether they passed or failed.  Thus, the first teacher pre-picked the students, while the second teacher pre-picked classification of students who, on their  own, fulfill the requirements which are to be met.

While it is easy to see the gross injustice of the method of the first teacher, there are many in religion who assign such a method to God.  The doctrine is called predestination.  Its advocates claim that God, before the creation of the world and the existence of man, pre-picked the eternal and unchangeable destiny of each and every soul.  That is, before you came into being, and before you had the opportunity to prove what kind of person you would be, your eternal destiny had already been decided—and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it.

However, such makes God out to be like that first teacher—an unjust judge.  But we know that God is a just judge.1 Predestination also implies that God is imperfect in that He does that which is meaningless.  That is, if each person’s eternal destiny had already been pre-picked, then why did God go to such great extent for 1500 years to produce the Bible, …send people to preach to the lost, …actually, why did God even make the earth in the first place!—just send the elected to heaven and the rest to hell! But we know that God is not an imperfect God who does that which is meaningless.2

Predestination teaches that it is God’s will (choosing) that some be saved and some be lost; but the Bible teaches that it is God’s will that all be saved.3  Predestination teaches that God is a respecter of persons; but the Bible teaches that He is not a respecter of persons.4  Predestination teaches that man does not have a choice; but the Bible teaches that man does have a free-will to choose his eternal destiny (by complying with the conditions of God).5

It is claimed that Ephesians 1:4-11 teaches predestination.  But notice, verse four (as well as eleven) makes clear that this predestining is done “according to the good pleasure of his will.”  So the question is, what is God’s will in the matter of eternal destiny?  Is His will like that of the first teacher—to pre-pick souls?  Or is it like the second—to pre-pick the classification of students who, on their  own, fulfill the requirements which are to be met?  Our answer is not left up to guesswork – – we are clearly told, God “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).  Thus, it is not God’s will, not His choosing, not His pre-picking that any should be eternally lost.  Rather, it is His will that all repent – – which is a requirement that God has given to be met by man in order to obtain eternal heaven.6

Of a truth, our God is a perfect and just God who has predetermined the requirements to be met by the free-willed man in order to obtain eternity in heaven.  May you, out of a love for God and your soul, choose to follow those requirements.7

Gary Henson

Endnotes for the article

1Zephaniah 3:5;

Isaiah 45:21;

Psalm 96:13;

Revelation 19:11.

2Deuteronomy 32:4;

2 Samuel 22:31;

Psalm 18:30.

31 Timothy 2:3-4;

2 Peter 3:9.

4Romans 2:11;

Acts 10:34-35.

5Joshua 24:15;

Matthew 23:37;

Revelation 22:17.

62 Corinthians 7:10;

Luke 13:3,5.

71) Hear the Gospel [Rom. 10:14];

2) Believe that Jesus is the Son of God [John 8:24];

3) Repent of your sins [2 Cor. 7:10];

4) Confess faith in Jesus [Rom. 10:9-10];

5) Be baptized for the forgiveness of sins [Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21].  One then must remain faithful to God’s teachings in the Bible [Rev. 2:10].

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/pre-picked/

Mar 08

THE BIBLE and THE CHURCH

TERMS.
The church (which means: “called out”) is called out of darkness into light (1 Peter 2:9- 10). The church is also called: Kingdom (Colossians 1:13); body (1 Corinthians 12:27); household (1Timothy 3:15); bride of Christ (Romans 7:21); and more.

THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH.
In Ephesians 3:10-11, it is clear that the church was in God’s eternal purpose. The scriptures teach that the church would begin during the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:37-44); at Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-3); with the Apostles (Acts 1:8); and with power (Mark 9:1). All this occurred as revealed in Acts 2.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH.
The scriptures teach that our worship is to consist of: singing (Ephesians 5:19); prayer (Acts 12:5); preaching (Acts 20:7); Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7); and contribution (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). The organization is that with Christ as the head (Ephesians 1:22-23), elders and deacons (Philippians 1:1). Her purpose is to make known “the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:9-10).

SUMMARY.
This one church (Ephesians 4:4) is that which Christ will save (Ephesians 5:23). All imposters shall be rooted up (Matthew 15:13). Let us remain faithful in all aspects (Colossians 3:17).

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-bible-and-the-church/

Mar 01

DESCRIPTION OF THE JUDGEMENT

The sobering words of a song which is often sung are these: “There’s a Great Day coming, a Great Day coming, There’s a Great Day coming by and by.” The renown statesman Daniel Webster, upon being asked for the most sobering thought he ever had, replied: “To stand before God at judgment.” Indeed, this ought to be the most sobering thought of any human. Consider some of the verses which describes that coming Great Day:
All will be brought before Christ. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
It will be a “day of wrath.” “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom. 2:5).
Nothing will be hid. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Eccl. 12:14).
Every knee shall bow. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom. 14:11).
There will be no favors granted. “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear (1 Pet. 1:17).
Each shall answer to God. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Rom. 14:12).
The books will be opened. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works ( Rev. 20:12).
Each one’s works shall be manifested. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is (1 Cor. 3:13).
Eternal destinies will be meted out. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Mat. 25:46).
Truly, with such a description of Judgment, it is indeed a sobering thought. May each take heed to his life–for there is a Great Day Coming!

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/description-of-the-judgement/

Feb 23

Your Soul

Your Soul
Your soul is created by God,1 and cannot be destroyed by man.2 It is of far greater value than all the world.3 Your soul is to love God,4 find joy in the Lord,5 thirst for God,6 trust in God,7 and follow hard for God.8 Your soul is to bless9 and praise God.10
God is to be your soul’s shepherd11 and anchor.12 However, there is that which wars against your soul.13 Thus, your soul can be beguiled,14 subverted,15 and vexed.16 Yet, your soul can be restored,17 purified,18 saved,19 and thus, find rest20 because God strives to preserve souls.21
May your soul prosper spiritually while on earth22 because your soul will be required of God23 Who will destroy the soul which is not saved.24

1 Genesis 2:7.
2 Matthew 10:28.
3 Matthew 16:26.
4 Matthew 22:37.
5 Psalm 35:9.
6 Psalm 63:1.
8 Psalm 63:8.
9 Psalm 103:1.
10 Psalm 146:1.
11 1 Peter 2:25.
12 Hebrews 6:19.
13 1 Peter 2:11.
14 2 Peter 2:14.
15 Acts 15:24.
16 2 Peter 2:8.
17 Psalm 23:3.
18 1 Peter 1:22.
19 James 1:21.
20 Matthew 11:29.
21 Psalm 97:10.
22 3 John 2.
23 Luke 12:20.
24 Matthew 10:29.

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/your-soul/

Feb 23

The Lord’s Church

The Lord’s church is the greatest institution on earth. It was planned before the beginning of the world (Eph. 3:9), prophesied throughout the Old Testament (Isa. 2:2-4; Dan. 2:44; etc.), and was built by Christ (Matt. 16:18). There was, and always will be only one (Eph. 4:4) that is acceptable to the Lord (Matt. 15:13).
Its creed book is the New Testament and the New Testament only (2 Cor. 3:6-18) which is a pattern (Heb. 8:5) for its members to explicitly follow (Rev. 22:18-19).
The terms of entrance is baptism (1 Cor. 12:13) following faith, repentance and confession. It is composed of the saved (Acts 2:41, 47), and will never be destroyed (Matt. 16:18).
Truly, the Lord’s church is the greatest institution on earth.

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-lords-church-2/

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