From the minister's desk
Jesus came to rescue mankind from eternal damnation. He started the work, set the standard and guidelines and clearly said that “If any man come unto me and does not put me before his father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters and even his own self, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Lk.14:26-27 What does this mean to you? He came to rescue you also that you might serve Him in rescuing others!
Have you counted the cost of discipleship? Have you committed to His discipleship? Are you doing the work of discipleship? “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.” Gal.6:7 Don’t you know that “if you do not obey the Gospel, the words of Jesus you cannot and will not be saved.” 2Thess.1:7-10 Don’t let Satan trick you as he did Eve that God is not telling the truth. Believe God! “God cannot lie.” Tit.1:1 The Lord has told us what to do, how to do it, when to do it and even why it must be done, and we still seem to find excuses not to do! Imagine what it could be like if more of you had a hand in doing work for the Lord verses against him! The Lord has already said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.” Mt:12:30 You must believe that God has provided clear instructions and a guaranteed assurance that if you believe in His Son, believe what is written about Him and obey it you will have eternal life with Him. Jo.20:30-31…
To you who are doing things in and around the building, you are to be commended by us all. You are serving us in making it pleasing and comfortable to come and worship God our Father. Thank you so much and know that God is pleased with that for that. Satan tricks us into hiding behind sayings like “you are doing it for the Lord, he’ll reward you” while we enjoy the benefits of your work and do nothing ourselves – not even to say thank you! Yes, God will reward you, but he told us to consider one another too. The person who says I don’t need or want no praise from anybody is lying and shows it when he doesn’t get it from somewhere. Why be a hypocrite! They are those who complain “people don’t appreciate what you do and I’m not going to let them take advantage of me.” Man takes everything too far or not far enough and God’s work is affected. Prov.27:2, 21, 31:31… John 12:42-43… We must learn how to handle praise or a thank you but not discard it when it is due someone else!
Those who are teaching, giving OBS classes, going door knocking, bringing folks to Church, providing rides to people etc., please know that God has special blessings for you in that you are impacting souls which is God’s main priority.
So, we can’t allow pride to hinder us when we need help, nor can we let it hinder us from helping others. There is a cost. Please know, it’s never too high, for the price Christ paid is much higher. There must be a commitment. “If any man come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” Lk.9:23 There must be work. Jesus asked, “Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” Lk.6:46 Then this discipleship must be seen by the world through our lives and relationships, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another as I have loved you.” Jo.13:34-35
There will be no excuses for anyone to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and not have known what they must do to be saved, especially if they are disciples of Christ. Let’s work a bit harder at rescuing others, but let’s also count the cost, be committed and work for our Master “with all our heart, soul and might.” Let’s be true DISCIPLES of CHRIST and stop running from your commitment to God!
We need to stop and look at what’s going on and how people are trying to justify their actions and desires for a new church, new doctrine or a new way to worship God. Folk either forget or ignore that their Creator do not succumb to them but they to Him or they will be lost! There is only one Gospel that saves! If we lose people for staying with “the faith once delivered to the saints” the bible says they were not with us in the first place. 1Jn.2:19, Isa.55:11… They are those who could “not endure sound doctrine, but… and turned unto fables.”
A recent Google report shows ‘a generation is the length of time between a person’s birth and their child-bearing years; approximately 20 to 30 years.’ There are currently six identified generations living in America and go by different names and corresponding years. This is not necessarily factual, but a theoretical assessment based on a study, research and behavioral patterns and thinking of most of the population in America. Regardless of the behavioral patterns and thinking of each generation, the Bible still covers all with no changes! The doctrine of the Church of Christ must remain the same as it is ‘the Church for all generations’ who wants to be saved!
The Greatest Generation (1901-1924) is just one of many generations that scholars have studied and distinguished for their perseverance through difficult times as a testament to their extraordinary character. Their remarkable actions, during times of war and peace ultimately made the United States a better place in which to live. Born and raised in a tumultuous era marked by war and economic depression, these men and women developed values of "personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith." These characteristics helped them to defeat Hitler, build the American economy, make advances in science and implement visionary programs like Medicare. They are credited with much of the freedom and affluence that Americans enjoy today. Despite these credits they remained remarkably humble about what they've done. It is a generation that, by and large, made no demands of homage from those who followed and prospered economically, politically, and culturally because of its sacrifices.
The Silent Generation (1925-1945) called ‘the Lucky Few’ refers to people who grew up during this time worked very hard and kept quiet. It was commonly understood that children should be seen and not heard. Around 50 million live births between 1925 and 1945 who were influenced by the Great Depression and World War II, and more. These are described as being highly ambitious and having a need for achievement, power, and status. It has been suggested that the economic suffering and loss of status during the Great Depression led to this attitude. During this era congress launched an assault on political freedom in America and Senator McCarthy’s overzealous attempts to feed anti-communist sentiment in America made it dangerous for people to speak freely about their opinions and beliefs. They became cautious about where they went and whom they were seen with. Therefore, the people were effectively 'silenced.' The children of this generation were described as withdrawn, unimaginative, unadventurous, and cautious. How could that affect their religious views?
Baby boomers, X, Y, & Z are mostly who makes up America today. In 1946, the first year of the 'boom,' there were 3.4 million babies born in the U.S. These numbers steadily increased to roughly 4 million babies born each year between 1953 and 1964. By the end of 1964, when the trend started to decline 76.4 million people were born during that 22-year period which comprised about one-quarter of the U.S. population. Generation X are people born 1961-1981. This era according to a U.S. census counted 82.1 million Gen Xers. These people are highly educated, active, balanced, family oriented and happy. They openly acknowledge and embrace social diversity in terms of such characteristics as race, class, religion, ethnicity, culture, language, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The word of God is “settled in heaven” and gave One Church for all generations including this one and any that follows! Generation Y or Millennials refers to the people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. Teenagers and twenty-somethings have been dubbed the Millennials and have been characterized in a number of different ways. On the negative way they've been described is lazy, narcissistic and prone to jump from job to job. In positive ways being more open-minded, and more supportive of gay rights and equal rights for minorities. Other positives describing them include confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living. Now think about the babies Gen. Z, the ones we are teaching and developing now. If we don’t do a better job of getting Christ in them now, it will be more difficult to get them in Christ later! What will they turn out to be like and how will they impact the future of the church? Still one church for all generations!
What will the life you have lived, the work you have done in and for the Lord amount to if you were called to the payment (judgment) office today? After spending a portion of your life learning and assessing your knowledge, understanding and doing the will of God would you be content with your wages? Based on the scriptures, what would your wages be?
As a Christian, you are not a hireling but a servant whose Master promised to pay you according to your works anyway. Mt.16:27… You heard the Masters’ offer, agreed to come into His Kingdom, work in His vineyard and be faithful until He retires you. Knowing that “He is faithful that promised” and have provided you with “all you need that pertains to life and godliness” to live in this world, work in and for the Lord with the promise of eternal life, have you been “holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering?” Heb.10:23, 2Pt.1:3
I beg you to consider seriously your efforts in the Lord and don’t be like the workers the Lord so vividly warned against in Mt.20:1-16… Remember who you belong to! Your actions do speak louder than words and the words usually come with actions or attitude. His question to those with bad attitudes is “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil because I am good?” 15 Don’t cause Him to ask you this question.
Our Master has not promised different things to his faithful workers at the end of the day (judgment). Whether you were baptized (agreed to serve) in 33A.D. or 2020 we will all get the same reward on payday (judgment). Non-believers and unfaithful servants have a different wage coming! “The wages of sin is death.” Hear, trust and obey the Master and ‘know what your wages will be.’ Rom.6:23…
Here is what not to do and why. Don’t be lazy or slothful in the Kingdom. Mt. 25:26-27, Heb.6:12. Don’t keep lying on and to one another. Eph.4:25, Rev.21:8. Quit trying to serve two masters, trying to serve God and self. You can’t be a servant of God and Satan. You can’t show up at worship trying to serve God and still attend denominations to satisfy your flesh. Either you believe the church is right or you don’t! Mt.6:24, Jas.3:8-10. Be aware of Satan’s devices and don’t let him get a foothold. 2Cor.2:11, Eph.4:27
So, if you understand the lessons in the scriptures and how they impact your life now and later, and you were to be paid today, what would your wages be? If you have any doubts, why not repent and come back to the Lord today while you live? If you are reading this and is not in the Lord’s church, His Kingdom then you can solve that problem today also. Jesus is always calling whoever will hear to come to Him. You come to Him by hearing, believing, repenting of your sins, confessing Jesus as the Son of God, be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, be taught the Lord’s truth and be faithful until He retires you. Your wages will be far beyond what any man can imagine, and you will be content!
I am excited about our theme of study as well as our monthly topics of study. I truly believe that nothing is or should be more important than for Christians to be aware and concerned about being a castaway. There will those who have spent most of their lives in the Church, in the Lord, as Christians and will not be saved. This is clearly taught in scriptures and by Jesus himself. Here is the seed; “Not everyone that says unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Mt.7:21 Don’t be a castaway!
Our topic for the month is “Good Seed or Tare?” It is asking a question which I’m asking you to answer of yourself. Use the word of God to get your answer. God’s word is the ‘good seed’ and it will produce good fruit when planted in good soil, receptive hearts and minds of men.
As we teach and preach, our goal is to ‘save souls and keep souls saved.’ To do that we must ‘continue in the words of Jesus’ being mindful to ‘avoid the fate of a castaway.’ Castaway is a word for worthless, reject, disqualified, etc. Paul speaks of his concern of being a castaway. 1Cor.9:27 Tare is a weed known as the darnel plant which resembles wheat.’ Jesus speaks of tares in Mt.13:25-40…
Seeing that it is possible that once saved people can be lost if they do not continue in Christ, sowing the seeds of His word into one’s heart and bringing forth the fruit of its kind, what is more important to be reminded of and taught than this? Jesus taught that “If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Jo.15:6 Abiding in Him also means abiding in His word, the doctrine. His words are the seeds for producing in us the fruits of God.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ don’t allow yourselves to be a castaway because you did not obey the Lord, because you did not allow the seeds of His word to penetrate your heart and grow you into the product His seed is given to produce. Learn what the “works ordained by God” are and do them. Learn what the “treasures” accepted in heaven are and lay up some. Learn what the “fruit of the Spirit” is and allow the Spirit to cultivate the seeds in you. This takes effort on your part and trusting God that “your labors are not in vain in the Lord.” Don’t be a Castaway!
Our studies on “Being a Motivated Servant, Honoring God Without Compromising,
Invested In The Lord, Recognizing The Voice of God, Conquering the Challenge to Trust God, Missed Opportunities, Abomination Called Pride, The Father of Lies, Receiving Good and Evil from God’ and ending the year with ‘Continuing in the Words of Jesus’ were all meant to prepare us for God’s use that we may ‘Avoid Being a Castaway.
We ended the year seeing that though we are God’s people, God’s vineyard, if we are not producing the fruit that God expects and the works God has ordained, laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven and laboring for and in the Lord, we stand in danger of being ‘castaway.’ As we do our best to teach, preach and help you understand this, our first lesson for the new year is “Good Seed or Tare?” This is a question title that everyone should ask themselves of themselves. But to answer properly, one must understand the subject matter. So, please give yourself fully to getting the knowledge, the wisdom but more importantly the understanding of these that you may avoid being a castaway!
Jesus said, “a tree is known by its fruit.” A bad tree brings forth bad fruit and a good tree brings forth good fruit. “By their fruits you shall know them.” Mt.7:17-20 As you study the lesson, be sure to focus on you first. Examine your own self to see what kind of tree you are according to the words of Jesus. If you are a fig tree, you should be producing figs. Please read the parable of the fig tree and judge for yourself whether you are in favor with the Lord. Lk.6-9…
Then read Mk.11:12-14…, 20-26… Do you know what the Lord expects of you?
Are you producing what the seed of His word, planted in you should bring forth?
What more are you expecting the Lord to do to or for you to get you to produce fruit for Him? ____________________________________________________________
Come to bible classes. Let’s study and reason together, in the word of God that we might be found worthy of our calling and ‘avoid being castaway.’ LGG