Teaching the Lost
The Christian is given the command to “go into all the world.” We must realize the lost in our community is as important as the lost in any other community. In Acts chapter 8 we learn the persecuted Christians went everywhere preaching the word. Any one knows there must be a teacher and a student in any study. Finding a person or family to study with may be a problem. This process must begin with prayer. Pray for yourself and to be able to find a person who is willing to study. If you have a person in mind to ask to study with you, then pray for yourself and that person. To set up the study, you must ask the person. You should have ready the reason you wish to study with them.
A door-to-door salesman never knows when he knocks on a door if he will make a sale. There is one thing for sure, if he doesn't knock on the door, he will not make a sale. We must let each person decide to become a Christian or not. God has sent us to teach.
We know we must teach the truth. People must know the truth to be able to obey the truth and be set free from sin. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32. The hearer must develop a faith in God. In order to do that, they must hear God's word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.
We must teach the truth in love. Rude people are not successful teachers. “...but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ--” Ephesians 4:15. There are many ideas about how to teach the truth to the lost. None of these include being rude or hateful toward the lost. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8.
We must have an idea of what subject we are going to teach before we begin teaching. Many times the people want to know the answer to questions they have about Bible subjects which do not concern their salvation. The people we are studying with will ask questions. The questions may be good interesting questions, but if the question is on a different subject, we should deal with it later. It may be that we plan to talk about it in a later lesson. I have been taught to tell the person that you will write that question down and talk about it later. Then write the question down right then. Let them read it and ask if you have it right. You may already know the answer, but if it is off the subject, it is best to deal with it later.
There must be an understanding by all concerned about what is going to be the final authority. Yes, the Bible is the only guide, but all need to understand and agree that we are to live by the New Testament. Until all agree to this idea, there will be confusion. “...having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14. One phrase to avoid is, “I think.” The Bible is the authority, and “I think” carries no more weight than another person's “I think”.
In any study, a foundation must be laid. In math we must learn the basic principles before we learn the advanced math courses. There is groundwork which must be laid before we teach them how to become a Christian. We must avoid the danger of laying the groundwork to the exclusion of obedience to the gospel.
When the subject has been set, we must stay on the subject. This takes discipline. We tend to wander onto another subject if we aren't careful.
When you are ready, then you must go.
Please continue to remember the following in your prayers:
Don Magill, Bill Fry (Mary Jo Fry's son), Bob and Betty Spiker, Judy Curry, Mark Allen, Tammy Summers (Geneva Magill's neice), Louise Medler (mother-in-law of Jean Butler's daughter), Robert McKee (Patsy Myers' nephew), Melinda Taylor (Bob and Kathy Taylor's daughter), Marie Gilpin (Vernon's sister), Dillin Nelson (4th Grader who recently had severe burns), Steve Sanders (minister at Doniphan), Jennifer Webber, and Mickey Allen
Judy Curry has been experiencing stomach problems recently, along with all the other health problems she deals with. Please keep Judy in your prayers.
David Magill is having some health problems. He was scheduled to see a doctor in St. Louis on Friday and undergo some diagnostic testing. Please keep David in your prayers.
Joann Godwin recently had colon surgery. She is home now from the hospital, but it is taking a while for her to recover from the surgery.
Loretta Sullivan, at the time of this writing, was still in the hospital with an undiagnosed health problem. Please keep Loretta in your prayers.
Tommy Tompkins has been having problems with high blood pressure and dizziness. He had some tests run but the problem has not been diagnosed. He was scheduled to see another doctor on Friday to have additional tests run.
Clella Whiteside's daughter, Robin, is still experiencing health problems. Please remember Robin in your prayers.
Lonnie Goings, Kathy Harty's brother, had heart surgery recently and is not doing well. The family would appreciate your prayers.
DEALING WITH CANCER: Tom Huff, Edna Kenser, Harold Shaw, Renee Henfling (Mary Spradling's sister), Helena Gardner, Sharon Davis (friend of Joane Kelly), Bobby Miller, Debbie King (Jamie Harty's neice's mother-in-law)
CONFINED TO HOME: Leonard Bates, Pat Ivy, Dathel Webber, Marvella Howe, and Harold Culp.
NURSING HOMES: Wanda Ashby in River Mist; U. L. Smith, Alvoy Richardson, Terry Butler, Ruby Dunn, and Lavena Hillis in Westwood; Leoma Owens and Bill Thornberry in Oakdale.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes and cards. I also appreciate so much all the phone calls, cards and prayers during the time I have been experiencing heart problems. (I am still experiencing heart rhythm problems, but the doctor increased my medication, which slowed my heart rate down, so I am doing some better).
In Christian love, Loretta Tompkins
Daylight Savings Time begins March 8. Please remember to set your clocks forward one hour.
The next Children's Home food/supply pick-up will be May 11, 2015. Items needed this quarter are: Laundry Detergent, Paper Plates and Cups, Tea Bags (Decaffeinated), Potato Chips or Cheetos, Trash Bags, Liquid Cleaning Supplies (such as Lysol, Mr. Clean, Pine Sol).
Please check the bulletin board for further information about the following upcoming area events:
Annual Youth Rally at Dexter, March 6-7
w/speaker Jeff Miller, Apologetics Press
Ladies Day at Flat River in Park Hills
Don’t Be Surprised!
“Don’t be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.” It’s the opening line to a paragraph John the Evangelist wrote, and it still applies today. Two thousand years later we are still stunned when the world hates us, when lost people act like lost people. Why is that? Why is it that we expect people who don’t know God to act like godly people? John, just before he makes this statement, tells us why Cain killed Able: “who was of the evil one.” People of the world, unfortunately, have aligned themselves with Satan. These people are much like us, but they lack one huge life changing person in their existence; they lack Jesus. Their DNA is much like ours; their basic needs and desires are much like ours, but they don’t know God. So they reach out for understanding, wisdom, value, hope and the very meaning to life, all in vain if they don’t find Jesus. How miserable one is without God, and the hope, and peace, He brings. All around us we have people making ungodly choices; they make them in our city government, in business practices, and in personal relationships. Don’t despair! Look at them as God looks at them, simply as lost sheep, sheep that need a shepherd. Don’t become confused here, we’re not the Shepherd, we’re a lamb, and the difference is we have already found Christ.
When we look at people with contempt in our hearts we fuel two things, arrogance in us and hatred in them. To change the world, to bring it to Christ, we must see the world as did Jesus, as lost sheep. We must engage them with love. We find Jesus right in the middle of them, eating and socializing, sharing the good news of the kingdom, befriending the outcasts and the lonely with compassion and understanding.
Two of Jesus’ close friends were a lady who had had seven demons in her and the other a traitor to his nation. By befriending them he changed their lives forever. Had He stood off at a distance and judged them, condemned them, there is a good likelihood that Mary Magdalene and Matthew/Levi would never have known God and His kingdom. Just think, what a loss if Jesus had not reached out; we would not have Matthew’s account of the gospel of Jesus the Christ. How many lost sheep out there are Matthew's and Mary's living in the bondage and slavery of sin? It’s a cruel captivity!
We must open our eyes with His sight, see them, understand them, engage them. Can’t we be the Salt and Light that He calls us to be, so we can lead them to a life free of guilt, worry and strife? We must see them as He saw them, with compassion, not arrogance or a judging attitude, but with love in our hearts looking to their best interest at our expense. John continues his thoughts in this paragraph, “Little children, let us not love with words or with tongue, but in deed and truth (sincerity).” It’s plain to see, we are going to have to do more than talk about it, we must engage in their lives with deeds and with sincere love.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t be surprised when the world hates you, and acts like lost people act; but instead love others, bring them to a free life under the staff of a watchful shepherd who is on constant watch, and who has our best interest at heart. Amen?
—Keith Caselman, Bella Vista Church of Christ, Fayetteville Arkansas
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.
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