Does God Change His Rules?
There are rules for just about everything in our lives. If a college wants to recruit ball players, there are rules they must follow. These rules have been changed through the years. These rules are made by people. When people make rules, they have the right to change those rules if they desire. We are accustomed to the rules being changed by our government.
The question then arises: Does God change His rules? Maybe I should have started with the question: Does God have rules? Some in recent years have believed and taught that God does not have rules. They say, "He has given us the Bible to show his love for mankind." Jesus who lived under the Law given by God through Moses realized that God did indeed have rules, and He wanted people to live by them. He said to Satan, "...It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " Matthew 4:4. Satan placed a temptation before Jesus, and each time Jesus answered him with a scripture. Jesus taught us, “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. Jesus, by example, as well as by command, teaches us that God does have rules and that we are to live by those rules.
So let us return to the question: Does God change His rules? There is a verse in Jude that says that God has once for all delivered His will to us. “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 1:3. Now, some will still think that God's rules can be changed. Another scripture says, “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.” John 12:48.
Yes, God does have rules for living a Christian life. Yes, we are to obey those rules. We will be judged by Him by His rules!
It is true that God has a great love for mankind. He has shown us His love in many ways. Jesus says God shows us His love by sending the rain and sunshine upon the good and the evil the same. (Matthew 5:43-48). This a blessing which many do not realize is from God. There are many who do not even believe there is a God, but they still receive these blessings. God created man and placed him above all the rest of creation (Genesis 1:28). This was God's design for His creation. When people do not believe in God or His commandments, they will want to vary from that design of God. When people do not know that God has given us the Bible for our salvation, they may change those commandments for the commandments of men. When they do that, their worship becomes vain. (Matthew 15:9).
God instructed inspired men to write the Bible. It is not the thoughts or commands of men, but of God. “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21. I have heard people say that men wrote the Bible. If that is true, then men can change it. According to the above passage, they spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This same principle is said in a different way in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” “By inspiration” means breathed out by God. God does not change. His commands do not change. He has spoken the Bible. Read it and obey it. God will save you by His grace!
Leoma Owens, Don Magill, Bill Fry (Mary Jo Fry's son), Bob and Betty Spiker, Judy Curry, Mark Allen, David Barton, Loyd and Loretta Sullivan, LouEllen Goin, Marilyn Dodge, James Carr (Debbie Ward's father), Flo Lombardo, Mary Ault, Edna Kenser, Richard (Cleo Crofford's son), James and Joann Godwin, Liam Gregory (Anna Gregory's great grandson), Ruby Goodrum, Kassidi Lands (Kathy Harty's great niece), and Claude Lowe, Ronnie Mitchell (uncle of Dennis Harty)
Cindy Mathis is doing well following recent surgery and has been able to be back with us at worship. Thank you for your prayers on her behalf.
Joe Hayes, grandson of Hazel Weathers, is experiencing health problems and the family would appreciate your prayers.
Mairead Ryan-Anderson is a long-time instructor at TRCC. She had eye cancer about ten years ago, and the cancer has returned. She will have to undergo surgery and receive a prosthetic eye. Please keep Mairead in your prayers.
Rose Johnson has been released from the hospital following a bout with pneumonia.
Elsie Caldwell is now in rehab at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, on Westwood.
Clella Whiteside is still trying to gain strength following a recent heart procedure. Please keep Clella in your prayers.
DEALING WITH CANCER: Gary Kenser (son of Bill Kenser), Tom Huff, Harold Shaw, Renee Henfling (Mary Spradling's sister), Helena Gardner, Sharon Davis (friend of Joane Kelly), Debbie King (Jamie Harty's niece's mother-in-law), Scott King (Joyce Schunk's son), Tiffany Ledbetter (friend of Belinda Pullum, Tammy Howell, (Nellie Wagner's daughter).
CONFINED TO HOME: Pat Ivy, Dathel Webber, and Harold Culp.
NURSING HOMES: Wanda Ashby in Rivermist; Alvoy Richardson, Terry Butler, Ruby Dunn, and Edna Kenser in Westwood; and Bill Thornberry in General Baptist Nursing Home in Campbell.
Lads2Leaders - the group will meet this evening after services. Everyone is welcome to come.
India Missions -- There were 141 baptisms while the group was in India. They were scheduled to return on Thursday. Thank you for all the prayers for them.
If you would like to send a card to Lavena Hillis' daughter, her address is: Rhonda Leon, 3004 Scott Avenue, McHenry, IL 60050. (Note: we currently have no address for her son, Ronnie Hillis.)
The Highland Drive congregation sent a memorial gift to the Paragould Children's Home in behalf of our brother, Ralph Holland. Our prayers are with Ralph's daughter and her family.
The next Children's Home food/supply pick-up will be February 22. Items needed this quarter are: Cold Cereal, Bottled Apple Juice, Non-Aerosol Bathroom Cleaner, Aluminum Foil, All-Fabric Bleach, and Rubber Gloves.
Please check the bulletin board for further information about the following upcoming area events:
Annual Youth Rally - Inspiration 2016
March 4 & 5, at Dexter
w/speaker, Joe Wells of Brentwood, TN
"Digging the Bible" with Dr. Dale Manor
at Arnold Church of Christ, March 18-20
Annual Ladies Day at Doniphan
Saturday, April 2
Are You Growing?
Are we growing toward maturity or are we like the Hebrews Christians who had stopped growing:
Hebrews 5:11-14: “There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Hebrews 6:1-2: “So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”
These Christians failed to grow because of starvation. They deprived themselves of food, the doctrinal truths in God’s Word. They could only drink the most basic concepts – the milk. They could not chew any of the hard doctrine. These adults were still on the bottle, still being rocked in the nursery, still sucking their thumbs. They were like baby Christians and were in danger of losing their souls because they were neglecting their salvation.
The Word of God is clear – people are to grow into maturity, to fail to grow is a sin – it is considered backsliding, neglecting your salvation. The Bible teaches us that the reason God gave evangelists and elders to the church is to develop or help the people mature in the Lord. God did not give spiritual infants to the church to mature the church. He started with apostles and prophets, and evangelists and elders. After a period of time, a church leadership should have mature members who all participate in the ministry. God expects each and every member to participate in the church, using their talents and abilities. He does not expect them to sit around like a turtle on a log for 10, 20, 30 years.
2 Peter 3:17-18 – “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
(taken from the Hickory Ridge church website, 10-29-13)
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Read also Matthew 7:24-27
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Read also Mark 16:15-16, James 2:24, John 12:42
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Read also Acts 17:30, Luke 13:3
Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If you believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Read also Matthew 10:32-33
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Read also Acts 2:38 and Romans 6:3-4
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Read also Revelation 2:10
Bible Study ….……..... 9:00 a.m.
Morning Worship...….10:00 a.m.
Evening Worship ......... 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday Bible Study...7:00 p.m.
Tuesday Bible Study ......10:00 a.m.
Westwood Hills Nursing Home Service
Wednesday .............. 10:00 a.m.
Tom Carter ………....…........……. 785-7455
Charles Lancaster …....…….......... 785-8748
Mark North .................................. 686-2230
Ralph Nelson ....................... cell # 776-4655
home # 785-7773
Lorenzo Sandlin ….....….........…. 785-4118
Stacey Ward ………...….........……718-8198
Vernon Curry ......................cell# 714-8240
Highland Drive Church of Christ
1601 Highland Drive
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901