Have You Ever Been Lonely?

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An old song asked the question, “Have you ever been lonely? Have you ever been blue?” Surely every thinking, feeling person has felt lonely and blue. Three thousand years ago the Psalmist appealed to God, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.” (Ps 25:16-17 NIV) Truly, loneliness and depression are appropriately described as anguish and affliction, inflicting deep suffering on those who experience them. It is natural to crave deliverance from loneliness and a troubled heart, and going to one who is greater and who understands and has answers is the way to find relief. Continue reading

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Little Changes and New Beginnings

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2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)

Eph 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (NIV)

A new calendar is on the wall and we’re all learning to write “2002” on our letters, checks, reports, and so forth. For a year we practiced writing “2001” and now we have to change. Continue reading

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The Myth of The Thief

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Matt 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

A prominent and widely published contemporary Church of Christ “preacher” has recently said, “With the exception of the thief on the cross, Scripture provides us no example of an unbaptized heaven-bound soul. The thief, however, is a wonderful exception. His conversion forces us to trust the work of Christ and not the work of baptism. Remarkable, isn’t it, that the first one to accept the invitation of the crucified Christ has no creed, confirmation, christening or catechism? He never went to church, gave an offering, was never baptized. He said only one prayer.”

Of course, Scripture actually provides multitudes of examples of “unbaptized heaven-bound” souls. Continue reading

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Judas Iscariot

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Heb 10:26-29
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? NIV

Jesus chose twelve men, designated apostles, to learn from him in a special way. Among these twelve was his betrayer, Judas Iscariot. Continue reading

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Generations: Genealogies In The Bible – (part 2)

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In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, the distinctive features are meant to emphasize certain ideas that Matthew wanted us to understand (a few of which were previously discussed). Likewise there are pointers included in the Chronicles genealogies, emphasizing those who can be included in the families of Israel Continue reading

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Generations: Genealogies In The Bible – (part 1)

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Several sections of our Bible contain lists of successive names, known as genealogies. We find genealogies in such diverse places as Genesis 5, Exodus 6, 1 Chronicles 1-9, Matthew 1 and Luke 3. These passages (and a few other genealogical sections) tend not to be popular reading, and are generally not much appreciated or well understood. However, there are several important Biblical truths that only come to us properly through an awareness of these genealogies. Continue reading

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To Know Only Christ

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For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Cor 2:2 NIV

There is a song, “None of Self and All of Thee,” which begins with the idea that a person without Christ has “all of self, and none of Thee” and that there is then a gradual progression of growth and experience in knowing Christ to “some of self, and some of Thee” and then “less of self, and more of Thee” until finally, triumphantly, there is “none of self, and all of Thee.” Is the intended message, and the goal of Christian faith, simply to be more like Jesus, to put Jesus first, or… the annihilation of self? Continue reading

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Death, Hades, and Christians part 3, The Reward for The Righteous

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“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” Revelation 22:12 NIV

Some will be concerned that freedom from death and Hades for Christians will undermine the Biblical doctrine of final judgment. In the Bible there is clearly a distinction at death between the righteous and the unrighteous. Continue reading

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Death, Hades, and Christians part 2

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And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Heb 11:39-40, 12:22-24 NASU
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Death, Hades, and Christians part 1

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There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death
Prov 14:12 NIV

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Heb 2:14-15 NASU


In the beginning, there was no death. God, the creator of all things, is not the author of death, but of life. The testimony of scripture is that “He gives to all life, breath, and all things. Continue reading

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