Called of God–Questions to Consider

Walking in Truth: called of GodIn this radio program we consider the important question: “Have YOU been called of God?” This question pertains to a statement found in Acts 2.39. I sincerely believe that many people misunderstand and pervert this passage. I am using some material from the book: The Hub of the Bible, by J.D. Bales in this discussion.

There is a lot of confusion about being called of God which ought not to be so. The Bible is quite clear in its answers to all of the questions we could possibly come up with regarding God’s calling us. When we are content to allow the Bible to speak, our confusion over this matter quickly disappears. Let’s study this important topic by considering the pertinent Bible passages and let God’s Book guide us in answering the questions.

What Does it mean to be called of God?

Men must call upon God in order to attain salvation according to Acts 2.21. But men cannot call on God unless God first calls men. God calls all men, but only those who respond to His call and call on Him does He save. What does it mean for God to call men? How does God call us? Is the call irresistible? To what does God call us?

Questions answered in this Lesson on what it means to be called of God…

  1. What does CALL mean?
  2. Whom does the Lord call?
  3. How does the Lord call?
  4. Is the call of God irresistible?
  5. What happens to those who heed the call?
  6. From what and to what does God call us?From rebellion to obedience (Acts 2.23 + Acts 2.37-42).

1) From darkness to light (Col 1.13; 1 Peter 2.9).

2) From bondage to liberty (Gal 5.13).

3) From antagonism to fellowship (1 Cor 1.9).

4) To sanctification (1 Cor 1.2).

5) God called us by His own purpose and grace (2 Tim 1.9).

Here is the audio recording of our September 2, 2018 edition of Walking in Truth:

Tom House is Coming to Maple Hill

Tom House Gospel Meeting AnnouncementTom House is coming to Benton to preach a series of messages at Maple Hill. On Sunday, his plan is to preach a 3-part series entitled: “God is Our Refuge.” These messages he will preach on Sunday, September 23, at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 7:30 p.m. During the week, on Monday night, September 24, at 7:00 p.m., Tom will present: “Trusting in the Faithfulness of God.” Finally, on Tuesday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m., the meeting concludes with: “They Shall Never Perish,” a study of John 10.27-28.

Who is Tom House?

Tom House is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman, and has been preaching the gospel for 50 years. He is working with the Plainview congregation in Fulton, Mississippi.

In the past Tom has worked in public service, having served as a police officer for the city of Fulton. He also has served as a Deputy Sheriff for Itawamba County. Significantly, his work there involved lecturing for the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness program since 1982. He has presented that material to nearly 41,000 people. In 1993 citizens of the  town of Tremont, MS elected him as an alderman. He has served as president of the Tremont PTA and as president of Oakland Rural Community Development Council.

Finally, Tom House is also presently a full-time employee with the United States Postal service, with 31 years of service. If you want something good accomplished, call on a busy man. That is what we have done.

He is married to the former Nina Ruth James of Gadsden, TN. They have two children and four grandchildren.

We are quite confident that the messages Tom will preach will be biblical, edifying, and will produce great good. Our aim is to serve the church and our community with messages from the Bible that promote Christ-like living. Please come hear him preach and tell others about it as well. You can help us get the word out by sharing this post on social media, please. We plan to record the messages and make them available here.

 

Christian Living on Walking in Truth

Walking in Truth: Christian LivingIn this radio program we consider Christian living based upon the powerful question found in 2 Peter 3.11. How we ought to live is such a vital interest for anyone who is thinking clearly. The fact is that the Bible teaches us plainly that one day there is coming a judgment day, a last day (John 12.48). If I believe the Bible, I believe that Judgment Day is coming. When I read 2 Peter 3.11, I find Peter gives me an extremely important question to consider. According to the Bible (2 Peter 3.10), it is the case that on Judgment Day, God will bring to an end every single thing that has to do with physical life on this earth.

Why is Christian Living So Important?

In pondering Peter’s question, we are wise to adopt the idea of working for things that are eternal. Christian living and faithfulness to Christ, on that great Judgment Day, will rank highest on anyone’s list. Sadly, most will not begin seeing this until that day (Matthew 7.13-14)—which will be too late. Lots of things men now think are super important, on that day will be of zero importance. It will not just be Christians who acknowledge Jesus as Lord on that day.

One day the environmentalists will find that “mother earth,” he has so diligently sought to save will have been destroyed by the Lord. On that day all will recognize that God was in control of the earth and it could not be destroyed by man. Instead, God did it in a nanosecond.

Main Points of this Lesson on Christian living…

  1. I ought to live in the flesh, but NOT after the flesh (Rom 8.1-13; Gal 5.16-26).
  2. I ought to live in the world, but NOT of the world (Jn 15.18-19; 17.11-18; James 1.27; 4.4; 1 Jn 2.15-17).
  3. I ought to live as though the eyes of the world are ON ME, because THEY ARE (2 Cor 3.2).
  4. I ought to live as though God sees me BECAUSE HE DOES (Ps 139.1-12; Eccl 12.13-14; Heb 4.13; Lk 12.2; Num 32.23; 1 Timothy 5.24).
  5. I ought to live as though this were my last day on earth, because it may be (Job 14.1-2; 16.22; Eccl 12; James 4.13-15).

Here is our August 19, 2018 recording of Walking in Truth:

That Good Part–Priorities are Important

“That good part,” are words spoken by Jesus to Mary. Throughout the Bible we read about the choices that men and women, boys and girls make. Sometimes these choices are clearly held up to us as examples to follow and at other times it is obvious that we ought not make that given choice in our own lives. Consider an incident recorded in Luke 10:38-42—please read these verses.

Jesus said that Mary had chosen that good part.  So then, Jesus is pointing out a choice that is worthy of our consideration to follow in our own lives.

Significance of Mary’s Choice—That Good Part

What joy must Mary have felt! Her action brought about the words of her Lord that indicated His approval of a choice she had made!  For a faithful follower of Jesus could there be any greater delight than to know I have made a choice which is well pleasing to my Lord?  Can we not see that here is a very significant incident that Luke has recorded for our instruction?

The choice that Mary had made was to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word.  Now we would think that such a choice would be reckoned by all of Jesus’ disciples as a wise and good choice.  However, Mary’s sister, Martha had not so reckoned.  Martha, in fact, thought in her own mind that her sister had made a foolish choice.  Martha thought that Mary was being neglectful and was in need of rebuke from the Lord.

Instead, Jesus spoke a mild rebuke to Martha for her own misplaced priorities.  This brings to the mind of a careful Bible student that there could be many occasions on which Jesus might either question or commend choices we have made with regard to how we use our time.  I wonder how often we even consider this matter in our daily lives.

It is not as if Martha had chosen some ungodly pursuit with which to occupy her time.  Rather that which she was doing in showing hospitality is a good thing and quite often commended in Scripture (Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9).  No, Martha had made a GOOD choice, what is troubling about her choice is that she might have made an even wiser choice–the choice made by her sister, Mary.  Mary had made a choice which recognized that the mundane things of this life become utterly insignificant when placed beside an opportunity for spiritual growth and understanding.  The Messiah was present!  Jesus, the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8), was in the building!  Is there not time to sit and listen to His teaching.

Application of Choosing That Good Part

What is the solution for the problems we face in our world today?  How do we cope with all of the unsettling and even upsetting news of the day?  Is there a lesson to learn from the visit Jesus made to that Bethany home?

Surely we need to examine our own priorities of life.  Surely we need to appreciate that we may be dwelling entirely too much upon those “Martha-things.” These things are good, in and of themselves. However, they may be hampering, even preventing,  our spiritual maturity and development into powerful servants of the Lord. After all, we surely want the Lord to use us in a mighty way.

How much time do I spend examining my priorities?  Do I ever even consider that there just might be a better use of my time?  Have I ever even considered that my Lord might have a commendation for me on Judgment day similar to the one He gave to Mary?

What about the Bible classes?  Is there a more direct comparison we could make than to consider this choice we make weekly?  What activity could my feeble mind conceive of that would take priority to listening to Jesus at Bible Class time?  If I want to choose THAT GOOD PART, where will I find myself at 10:00 on Sunday morning and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night? What about the worship assemblies?  Gospel meetings?  Vacation Bible School? It is shameful that we have differing numbers from the Sunday morning worship assembly count on these other occasions of study.  To those of you who do not come but are truly able to be here–are you being like Martha or are you being like Mary?  Think ahead for just a moment.  On that Judgment day of John 12:48, which person would you have to be your model?

The One Thing Needful: That Good Part

Jesus said to Martha, concerning her sister, Luke 10:42  “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  We do not appreciate the one thing that is needful to the degree that it ought to be in our day.  That one thing that is needful seems to be “pushed off to the back burner” of our lives.  That one thing that is needful will make us a great church when we go and do likewise! Mary guides us in the right and good direction as she made the selection of THAT GOOD PART.

Elders’ Work is VITAL Work!

Elders’ work is vital work, vital to the local congregation. There is no question that this is true. I just viewed an OUTSTANDING video on that particular subject. The speaker was my friend, Victor Eskew. He used a PowerPoint to aid in the delivery of that powerful presentation. I think it is the most helpful sermon on the topic I have ever seen or heard.

elders' work

I would encourage everyone, not just elders, to view this important video. All Christians need to know what the Bible teaches regarding the organization of the church. Why? Well, it was in the area of organization that the first apostasy from the true pattern for the church took place. Christians must study what the Bible reveals regarding the elders’ work! If we do not study this important matter, we will be unable to conform to the New Testament pattern.

If it is our desire to fit the pattern for the New Testament church, we must search for and pay attention to the various distinctive identity marks. Leadership in the church is one of those marks. How did God intend for the local church to be governed?

You should be convinced that elders’ work is VITAL to the well being of the local church. If you are not, you surely need to view this video.

In the video Victor makes several references to 1 Peter 5. We have a study guide for 1 Peter 5 on this site.

 

Faithfulness versus “Ashamed of My Words”

faithfulnessFaithfulness to abide in the doctrine of Christ will be rewarded by fellowship with God and Christ (2 John 1.9). Not to be faithful to the doctrine of Christ will cause us to be lost. In Luke 9.26 our Lord presents a strong warning which ought to be powerful enough to unsettle or humble even the most strident and pride-filled sinner! Christians likely need to consider the warning as well, because it is possible for you and me, in one way or another, to exhibit the shame our Lord condemns. The very idea of doing that for which Jesus gives this warning is entirely repulsive to any lover of truth, yet Satan presses us continually to do it. Listen to Jesus’ words—For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

DO NOT Be the Person Who Does not Value Faithfulness…

Who is the person Jesus will reject when He comes again? The person who is ashamed of Jesus and His words is that person. When Jesus comes in His glory is the time that He will be ashamed of such a person. This is a clear reference to His second coming. Elsewhere we are told that there is coming a future day in the which ALL men will be humbled to acknowledge that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords—1 Timothy 6.15… Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

That day is coming, but, sadly, it will be too late for the vast majority of those who have lived their lives on earth. All men do not make that acknowledgment at the present time. The fact of the matter is that MOST do not and will not make that acknowledgment. Jesus lets us know that such will always be the case—Matthew 7.13… Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

If someone rejects the words of Jesus now, and continues to do so unrepentantly, this same one faces JUDGMENT by those very words (John 12.48).

We think about the many examples the Old Testament provides of those who were not ashamed to be identified with God and His Word (cf., Romans 15.4). Those great examples–many of them mentioned in Hebrews 11–encourage us to “Stand Up for Jesus.” To learn from them and increase our courage is a great blessing.

David Serves Well as an Example of the Courage and Faithfulness WE Need…

Consider the incident in 1 Samuel 17 with young David [Dr. Floyd Jones in Chronology of the Old Testament, p. 94 suggests David’s age was 18-20]. Evidently he was the only Israelite sufficiently proud of God’s name and His people to risk battling Goliath. Goliath presented his challenge morning and evening for 40 days. (v. 16). The Bible tells us that The Philistine said… I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together (v. 10). David recognized that the unanswered challenge of this uncircumcised Philistine was a reproach to Israel and was an act of defiance against the armies of the living God (v. 26). David told King Saul—let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine (v. 32). David was not ashamed of his God and was confident that God would bless him with a great victory (v. 37), which He did (vv., 46-51). What a mighty victory David’s great courage produced!

Can we determine to allow David’s complete lack of shame for His God to be our stance? This will keep us away from following the example of his brethren who cowered in shame before Goliath. In our time, people disrespect the words of our Lord and castigate them to an alarming degree. It will likely be increasingly difficult to stand strong in the words of Christ without ridicule and opposition. Let us distinguish ourselves with the courage of David in giving our defense (1 Peter 3.15). Let us find ourselves NOT fitting the description Jesus warns about in Luke 9.30.

Faithfulness Will be Rewarded on Judgment Day!

We should consider Paul’s exhortation to Timothy—2 Timothy 2.10-12… Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. There is coming a day when the most important matter our hearts will consider is our own faithfulness to our Lord.

The reward for faithfulness will be GREAT. But, Satan would have you and me to be ashamed of Jesus. He smiles when we refuse to take a stand for truth. Satan wants us lost with him in hell forever and ever. That is our end if we are ashamed of the words of Jesus. Never should Jesus say of us:  that we have been ashamed of my words.

Consider studying also: Cain’s Complaint.

Eskew Meeting–2017

Eskew Meeting speakerThe Victor Eskew meeting of 2017 was an excellent one. We enjoyed the messages from the Bible. Victor did an outstanding job with relevant topics. The audio files from that Eskew meeting are on this website. Certainly, we hope you enjoy them and learn from them, and please tell others they can listen to them here, also.

For more audio sermons, please visit our sermons preached page.

Sunday, AM Bible Class: The Inward Man…

Sunday, AM Worship: 6 Keys to Victorious Church Growth…

Sunday, PM Worship: Resolved: to Evangelize…

Monday PM: Christ Crucified…

Tuesday PM: Resolved: To Be a Great Example…

IS THIS YOU?

is this youWould you look into the mirror for a moment? May I please ask you a simple question? IS THIS YOU?

EARS are open to the cries for help from a lost and dying world.

EYES are ever searching for a receptive heart in which to plant the Word.

LIPS are always ready to proclaim the glory of God.

HANDS are turning the pages of God’s Word, seeking to learn His will.

FEET are on the move to carry the gospel to every creature.

HEART is breaking because some will never hear the gospel.

HEAD bows in prayer for wisdom and for workers in the harvest.

FACE glows with the hope that is within.

LIFE is like a light set upon a hill that cannot be hid.

THIS IS A SOULWINNER… but more importantly, IS THIS YOU?

MY SOURCE: Bulletin of the Stuttgart (AR) Church of Christ, Joe Spangler, Editor.

Check this article regarding “Adversity Evangelism.” For a poetic look at Scripture see: Self-Condemned.