Are You A Convert?

Most would probably agree that one must be converted before he can be saved. However, Let us consider – when is it that one actually converted or turned to Christ?

 One is not  converted at the point of belief, or at the point of repentance. Acts 11:21 reads “…a great number believed and turned to the Lord.”  Acts 3:19 reads ” Repent …and be converted that your sins may be blotted out.” Watch the fact that the word “turned”  or “converted” (same original term) occurs after both belief and repentance in these passages.

One is converted at baptism. Consider the similar instructions given in the first two recorded sermons in the book of Acts:

Acts 2:38      |   Repent  |  Be baptized                   |  Remission of sins                                        Acts  3:19      |  Repent   |  Be converted (turn)    |   Sins blotted out

James Coffman commented,  “As De Welt expressed it: The thought behind ‘turn again’ was nothing short of baptism.  The Jews no doubt had witnessed the baptism of persons everyday (Acts 2:47); and thus when Peter called upon them to ‘repent and turn again’ they  knew exactly what he inferred (implied, meant – B.H.) Boles also agreed, declaring  that ‘ the blotting out of sins is equivalent to remission of sins; and being baptized is tantamount to turning again.'” (comments on Acts 3:21).  Conversion does not occur before one is baptized into Christ.

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“Don’t Bother Me, I’m Retired!”

I once asked an older woman if she would teach a children’s Bible class.  She seemed to be the perfect candidate for the position; she was well-versed in the scriptures, and had an abundance of time on her hands.  But she responded with those all too familiar words – “Don’t bother me, I’m retired!”

Brethren, we may retire from secular work, but we mustn’t ever retire from the Lord’s work.  There is a rest to come (Hebrews 4:8-11) but we are not there yet.  1 Corinthians 15:58 says we are to, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  Paul considered himself, “A debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise” (Romans 1:14) and such also should be our disposition.  Titus 2:3-5 says, “The older women … that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderous, not given to much wine, teachers of good things- that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

Folks, let us not waste our talent (Matthew 25:14-30).  Jesus says of those who do so, that they  are “wicked and lazy servant(s)” (Matthew 25:26).  Let us wisely “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5).  Let us never retire from the Lord’s work, for as Paul once said, so should we, “Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8). May we sincerely sing “I want to be a worker for the Lord; I want to love and trust His holy word; I want to sing and pray and be busy every day in the vineyard of the Lord. I want to be a worker ev`ry day; I want to lead the erring in the way that leads to heav`n above, where all is peace and love , in the kingdom of the Lord…I will work, I will pray in the vineyard, in the vineyard of the Lord; I will work, I will pray, I will labor ev`ry day, in the vineyard of the Lord” ( I. Baltzell, I Want to Be a Worker). May we also sincerely sing “We`ll work till Jesus comes, we`ll work till Jesus comes, we`ll work till Jesus comes and we`ll be gathered home” (Elizabeth Mills, We`ll Work Till Jesus Comes).

We thank God for those who are exert themselves to “work the works of Him… while it is day” (John 9:4).  One day they will hear those precious words, “Well done good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:23).  “Come you blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

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Thoughts on Male-Female Interaction

 Charles  Hill  (now deceased) taught a class call “The preacher`s life and work,” at the school of preaching I attended.  He advised that  preachers should avoid being alone with a female in counseling, Bible study, or personal visits, or in any other situation when and where such can be avoided. While there may be some circumstances where alone situations are unavoidable, the general principle should be practiced.

His reasoning was quite simple.  First, it avoids the potential for jealousy and mistrust on the part of their spouse or your own.  Second, it prevents rumors and gossip from spreading.  Some people love to gossip. Third, it eliminates all opportunity for impropriety.  In counseling sessions – especially, if domestically things are not going well at home for the counselee – it is easy for the counselee, who is now receiving attention from the counselor, to develop an attraction for the counselor.  Fourth, it avoids the “Clarence Thomas Syndrome” as I would call it.  That is, it keeps you out of the situation where she is saying one thing; and you are saying another, and there are no witnesses to establish  the facts of what happened. Some will condemn even without adequate evidence. One`s reputation will be damaged, if not destroyed.

Many preachers who I have known could have saved themselves many problems by heeding brother Hill`s words. Someone has said that preachers need to be careful with “the money and the honey.”

 However, his advise is not just applicable to preachers. I believe this to be good healthy advice for all Christians. Let us try to avoid situations that give the appearance of impropriety (1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:16-21). Let us seek to avoid situations that provide opportunity for sin (Romans 13:14). Remember that it was when Joseph was alone that Potiphar`s wife tempted him (Genesis 39).  It was due to an alone situation that Joseph found himself falsely accused of wrong doing (Genesis 39). Yes, I do understand that his situation was unavoidable. I am not blaming him. Remember that it was when Tamar was alone with Amnon that he raped her (2 Samuel 13). No, I am not blaming her. I am simply saying that it is wise to avoid such situations when and where such is possible.

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The Written Word

Let me give you some advice concerning edification and evangelism: Don’t forget to write.  In fact, try to write something daily.

Now, why do I say this?  (1) The written word can speak long after you cease to be on this earth.  I’ll provide an example from American history.  In my library I have a book entitled, “Our Sacred Honor” by Bill Bennett  The book is a compilation of letters and documents and speeches from the founding fathers of this country.  Some of these letters are letters between family members: husband and wife, parent and child, and extended family. Others are between friends, and colleagues. In these writings is a wealth of good advice on a variety of subjects including: education, parenting, relationships, business, ethics, etc. Today, we would not have access to that advice if they had not written it down.

Next, Let us consider some Biblical examples. In Luke 16:29 a reference is made that the living of Jesus’ day ought to hear “Moses and the prophets.”  Yet, Moses had been dead, along with the prophets, for many centuries!  But they still had the inspired writings of Moses and the prophets, just as we, today,  still have the words of the apostles and New Testament prophets.  They, being dead, still speak.  Even so, when you write-up notes for your Bible class, or articles for bulletins or brotherhood papers, or newspaper editorials, etc., you may well be saying something that could influence future generations.  Another example, in 2 Corinthians 21:12-15 Elijah preaches to Jehoram the King of Judah by a letter.  The interesting thing here is that Elijah is, it seems, dead (or 2 Kings 2 is out of chronological order).  Adam Clark commented “It is evident that Elijah had been translated in the reign of Jehoshaphat, the father of Jehoram. How then could he send a letter to the son?…It is certainly a possible case that this writing might have been a prediction of Jehoram`s impiety and miserable death, delivered in the time of the prophet, and which was now laid before this wicked king for the first time: and by it the prophet, though not among mortals, still continued to speak” (commenting on 2 Chronicles 21:12).   Even so, your encouraging or rebuking private letters may well have influence even when you’re in the grave.  I have personally ran bulletin articles by men who died many years ago in bulletins.  They’re dead, yet speak.

(2) The written word can go places that perhaps you will never go.  When Paul wrote to those at Rome, he had never been there (Romans 1:11-13; 15:22-23; Acts 19:21).  When Paul wrote to those at Colossae, he was writing to those he had never personally seen (Colossians 2:1).  I have personally written things that have been passed on to people I’ve never met, and may never personally meet.  The written word is powerful.  You might write a letter answering a Bible question for someone you know, and that may well eventually get passed to another that you’ve never seen, or even heard their name.

(3) The written word can be pulled out at needed times by the reader.  I have in my personal files letters of encouragement from family members and friends.  When I need encouragement I can pull those out and they still speak.  Consider the Bible – when we need encouragement, we can turn to certain great chapters and receive that needed encouragement when ever we need it.

(4) Putting things into writing trains you to be precise in your language (because when it is written, it is written). Unlike dialogue: there is no opportunity for immediate clarification or explanation; it is much harder to bloviate and ramble on clouding the issue; it is not as easy to win one over by charming personality, or eloquent speech.  Therefore, one is prompted to think through his points, and spend much time in study.   Samuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over a half a library to make one book.”  Again he said, “I never desire to converse with a man who has written more books than he has read.”  When one puts into writing an answer to a Bible question he tend to study and become much more precise than when he is simply causally, orally conversing with another about the same subject.  Therefore, the writing process is good for the writer as well. It challenges him to be very precise about what he believes.

Let us utilize every legitimate way to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ!

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What Do I Say?

You’re at home.  You hear a rap upon the door.  You look out and two young men in white shirts are standing there.  You open the door, and find that they are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  They are Mormons.  You do not feel prepared for this. You feel that you could competently hold your own with most denominational groups, groups that at least claim to follow the same book.  But, these people are different. They have other books , unfamiliar books.  What do you do?

This study is not intended to be a thorough examination of their doctrine.  But, I do want to give you a couple of pointers that’ll perhaps help.

First,  a curious statement is found in the introduction to the Book of Mormon that ought to be brought to their attention, and pressed in any study.  The introduction reads, in the opening paragraph – “It is a record of God’s dealing with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel” (emphasis mine).  Watch the fact, that it does not say that the Bible + the Book of Mormon = the fullness of the gospel.    Grammatically, this says that just as the Bible contains the term “fullness of the everlasting gospel,” so also, does the Book of Mormon.  Now, the term “fullness” means to be filled full.  If the Bible is filled full of God’s gospels, why do we need the Book of Mormon?

Do not misunderstand my point. The Book of Mormon and the Bible conflict with one another on numerous points.  I am not suggesting that they teach exactly the same message.  But, what I am saying is that by citing this introduction perhaps you should be able  persuade them to study with you out of the Bible, and avoid their “scriptures” altogether.

Second, there are failed prophesies made Joseph Smith Jr. that should be pointed out, and pressed very firmly.  For instance, consider Smith`s prophecy made on December 25, 1832. He believed that war would eventually come between the states.  Things were heating up.  Many foresaw this.  However, Smith carried it a bit farther.  He prophesied that not only would war come, but also this war would turn into a world war involving all nations (something which never happened), moreover, he prophesied that this war would cause the end of all nations (something which never happened).  These things are recorded in their scriptures Doctrine & Covenants 87:1-6.  Other examples such as this could be provided.  But, let us remember what Deuteronomy 18:22 says, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him,” and verse 20 reads of such a one: “… that prophet shall die.”  One of their own even said, “If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, then let him be exposed.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954, 1:188).  Well said!

Third, let’s consider how incredible some of their writings are.  Read the words of Ether 15:31 – “And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he struggled for breath, he died” (emphasis mine).   Please note, this not only mention that he raised up on his hands, but that after this he struggled for breath and then died. A body struggling for breath with no head!  Or, was it the head struggling for breath without a body?

Fourth, they placed a good deal of emphasis upon being baptized for those who are already dead.  Now, this is not taught in their scriptures.  They get this doctrine by misinterpreting 1 Corinthians 15:29.  The purpose of this article is not to deal with 1 Corinthians 15:29.  We’ll save that for another time.  But, the next time they want to discuss this with you, kindly point out that their understanding of this Bible passage contradicts their own “scripture.”  Alma 34:35 reads, “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and the devil hath power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”  (emphasis mine).  There is no second chance mentioned.

 When the appear at your door. Don’t be intimidated.  Don’t say, “I’m not interested.”  Invite them into your home. You just might be able to plant seeds of doubt, or maybe even convert them.  If nothing else, at least slowed their door to door campaign in your city.you keep them from going to many other people’s home.

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Three Dispensations

God has had three arrangements for governing man.  Every Bible student should know this.  Failure to understand this, and to be able to distinguish between the three arrangements leads to all sorts of confusion.  Let’s review the three dispensations.

1.  Patriarchal Dispensation (Star – light Age)

Bible: Genesis 1 – Exodus 20                          Time: Approximately 2500 years

A patriarch was a male leader of a family or tribe.  God communicated with such men as: Adam (Genesis 2:16-17), Noah (Genesis 6:13-16), and Abram (Genesis 12:1-3).  There was no written law from God for man to follow.  However, God did communicate to man in various ways (Genesis 15:1; 22:11, 15; 31:11; 31:24; 46:2; Exodus 3:1-10).  This dispensation was the only arrangement in place between Genesis 1 – Exodus 20, a period of approximately 2500 years.

While it is true that we do not know everything instructed by God during this dispensation – they had no written law from God which we can read – still we know somethings: (1) Murder was forbidden (Genesis 9:6) .  (2) Fornication and adultery were forbidden (Genesis 38:24; 39:7-9).  (3) Idolatry was forbidden (Genesis 35:2-3).  (4) They were not to consume blood (Genesis 9:4).  (5) They were to work (Genesis 2:15; 3:19).  (6) They were to clothe themselves (Genesis 3:21).  (7) They appear to have been taught to abstain from: (a) things offered to idols; (b) consuming blood; (c) consuming things strangled; and (d) fornication (Acts 15:19-20; 21:25).

This dispensation is sometimes called the Star – light age.  It is so-called because details about God’s redemptive plan through Christ seem only dimly revealed.

2.  Mosaic Dispensation  (Moon – light Age)

Bible: Exodus 20 – Acts 2                                   Time: Approximately 1500 years

Israel’s descendants received a new dispensation at Sinai (Exodus 20).  This was a written system of laws (Exodus 24:4-7; 31:18; 32:15-16; 34:1; Deuteronomy 9:10-11; 31:24-26; Joshua 8:34-35; 24:26-27; 1 Kings 2:1-3; Acts 15:21; etc.).  It contained a total of 613 commandments.  It also contained written prophesies concerning a coming Messiah (Luke 24:44; John 5:39; Acts 8:30, 35; 17:11; 18:28; 26:22, 27-28; 28:23).  This dispensation was given to Israel alone (Exodus 20:1-2; 31:16-17a; Deuteronomy 5:2-6 cf. 4:37; 5:15; Nehemiah 9:13-14).

The rest of humanity continued under the Patriarchal Dispensation {Romans 2:11-12 [Those without the law = Gentiles without the law of Moses.  Those in the law = Israelites with the law of Moses.  Clearly, the gentile world was not without any law, because without accountability to law they could not sin (Romans 4:15; 1 John 3:4)]; Acts 15:1-21; 21:18-25 [The distinction between gentile and Israelite is still evident in this transitional period of time ]}.

The Biblical record focuses in on Israel at this point.  However, we should not take this to mean that there were no God-fearing gentiles.  Prior to the giving of the Mosaic law, we read of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20), Job (The book of Job), and Jethro (Exodus 18:12, 17-24).  After the giving of the law, Jesus spoke of other sheep (John 10:16), and we read of Cornelius (Acts 10:16).

Why was the Mosaic Dispensation given?  (a)  It was given to provide civil laws for Israel to live by as a nation (Deuteronomy 22:8; Exodus 21:28-29).  (b) It was given to Israel as a tutor or a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24).  “Lit. ‘child-leader’ …a slave, to whom in wealthy families the general oversight of a boy was committed.  It was his duty to accompany the charge to and from school, and never to lose sight of him in public, to prevent association with objectionable companions, to inoculate moral lessons at every opportunity, etc” (I.S.B.E., Vol. 4, p. 2702).

The tutor separated and protected the child from bad influences.  Even so, the Mosaic law separated Israel and made her a distinct people with a recognizable distinct seed-line by which a Savior would appear.  This dispensation is sometimes called the Moon-light Age.  God’s redemptive plan through Christ begins to shine a bit brighter.

The tutor helped the child learn lessons.  Even so, the Mosaic law provided continuous lessons on man’s sin problem (Romans 7:7; Galatians 3:21b-22; Hebrews 10:1-4).  It also taught by written prophecy of a coming Savior (Romans 3:1-2; Luke 24:44; John 5:39; Acts 8:30, 35; 17:11; 18:28; 26:22, 27-28; 28:23).  The Mosaic system, itself, foretold of a coming new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; cf. Hebrews 8:7-13; 10:15-18).  There would be differences.  (1) The Israelites of old became Israelites (God’s chosen people) by physical birth.  They had to later be taught of God.  However, under the New Covenant one must first be taught (John 6:45 cf. Isaiah 54:13; Acts 18:8 cf. Galatians 3:26-28).  (2) Sin under the Mosaic system was remembered every year on the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 10:1-4 cf. Leviticus 16:11-15).  The New Covenant makes it possible for sin to be remembered no more (Hebrews 10:17-18).

3.  Christian Dispensation (Sun-light or Son-light Age)

Bible: Acts 2 – Revelation 22                            Time: Approximately 2000 years and counting

This dispensation is for all humanity (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47).  Christ reconciled them both (Jew and Gentile, B.H.) to God in one body (church of Ephesians 1:22-23) through the cross” (Ephesians 2:16).  The gospel is God’s power to save both Jew and Greek (Romans 1:16).  “There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord overall is rich to all who call upon Him” (Romans 10:12).  “There is neither Jew nor Greek… all are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The foundation of this dispensation is the teaching of Jesus and His apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).  (1) Just as Moses first declared the law and then ratified it with blood (Exodus 24), Even so, Jesus did (Hebrews 9:16-19).  Jesus taught new covenant legislation (Luke 16:16; Matthew 18:15-17).  His blood ratified the covenant (Matthew 26:28).  (2) The Holy Spirit provided the apostles with perfect remembrance of what Christ taught, and guided them into revealing all truth God wanted us to have (John 14:25-26; 15:26-27; 16:12-14).  We will be judged by these words (John 12:48; Romans 2:16).

This dispensation is sometimes called the Sun-light Age.  It is so-called because it is during this dispensation that God’s redemptive man through Christ is finally brightly seen.  It is sometimes called the Son-light Age because this brightness shines through the Son.

Our relationship to the Old Testament: (1) We are not under the specifics of the old law [Romans 7:4 cf. 7:7 (Exodus 20:17)].  (2) Yet, there are great principles that we should learn from the Old Testament record (Romans 15:4a; 1 Corinthians 10:11).  It teaches us of: (a) man’s origin; (b) the origin of the home; (c) how man is tempted; (d) how God views sin; (e) the behavior of Biblical faith (Hebrews 11); (f) the patience of Job (James 5:11); (g) don’t fall short of the promised land (1 Corinthians 10; Hebrews; Jude 5).  (h) Type-antetype pictures may help us to understand the New Testament principles better (Hebrews 10:1; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Peter 2:5, 9, etc.).  (i) Old Testament prophesies help build faith and identify the Christ; (j) There are 373 direct quotations from the Old Testament contained in the pages of the New Testament.  Plus, there are many, many more indirect quotations and allusions.  It would be very difficult (if not impossible) to understand some New Testament passages without a working knowledge of the Old Testament.

Proofs that we are not under the Mosaic Dispensation: (1) Most of humanity never was under the Mosaic Dispensation (Exodus 20:1-2; 31:16-17a; Deuteronomy 5:2-6 cf. 4:37; 5:15; Nehemiah 9:13-14).  (2) If  Jesus is our High Priest, then we must be under a different dispensation (Hebrews 7:12-14).

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Observations Aloft Mt. Carmel

As we consider Elijah and his courageous stand atop Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18), I believe there to be several observations which needs to be made by modern man.  After all, these things of old were recorded for our learning (Romans 15:4) and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11).

First Observation – Ahab, and not Elijah, was the troublemaker.  The wicked King Ahab tried to implicate Elijah as the cause of Israel’s plight when he said unto Elijah, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17).  However, this dearth had come not because of Elijah, but because of Ahab`s rebellion against God. Notice the response by Elijah – “I have not troubled Israel, but you, and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed the Baals.” (1 Kings 18:18).

Modern Application – Like Elijah, many faithful brethren are being labeled “troublemakers.”  They are being blamed for causing unrest in the body of Christ.  However, brethren, the real troublemakers are not those who expose the error, but those who practice error, forsaking the commandments of the Lord (1 Kings 18:18).  I am reminded of the words of Marshall Keeble, who put it this way, “I’m serving a warrant on you, trying to get you to yield to the Great Judge before it’s too late.  Don’t get mad at the man who serves the warrant – he’s just trying to do his job.  He is simply telling you that you’re in trouble.”  The Apostle Paul once asked, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). May we recognize that the true troublemaker is the one that walks contrary to the doctrine of Christ, and the true friend is the one who attempts to turn such a one from his error, (Galatians 6:1; James 5:20).

Second Observation – While Elijah was in conflict with 450 false prophets of Baal, the people remained silent, not even being willing to state whose side they were on (1 Kings 18:20).  Many, no doubt, were silent and did not answer, because they had not yet decided the matter in their own minds.  But, I just wonder if there were not at least some who knew what was right and true, yet were too cowardly and spineless to speak. This has been the  situation on other occasions (John 12:42-43).

Modern Application – Today, as many preachers and elders are upon the proverbial Mount Carmel facing a salvo of false doctrine and opposition,  how many knowledgeable members of the Lord’s church sit in silence?  When their support is so needed, they will not take a stand.  Brethren, how things could be different, how much good could be done, if  all who believe the truth  would stand united for truth.

Third Observation – Debate is not contrary to the will of God.  This was a debate, a great debate.  The propositions become clear by reading verse 21.  Elijah was affirming Jehovah to be the one true God.  He was denying the deity of Baal.  He was confronting error and defending the truth.

Modern Application – Even today truth is to be defended and error exposed.  In Philippians 1:17, Paul said that he was “appointed for the defense of the gospel.”  Paul encouraged Timothy to “convince, rebuke, (and) exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2).  Ephesians 5:11 says, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose  them.”  We are instructed in Jude 3 to “contend earnestly for the faith.”  Brother Guy N. Woods says in regard to Jude 3, “To ‘contend earnestly’ (epagonizesthai) is literally ‘to wrestle,’ and as here figuratively used denotes the extreme efforts which are to characterize the faithful in their defense of the Truth, however, formidable and numerous its enemies may be” (Commentary on Jude).  In Acts 9:29, we are told that Saul (Paul) “spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Hellenists.”  The point is that it is not wrong to expose error for what it is – error; and, it is right to defend the Truth.  In fact, we are supposed to do so.

Fourth Observation – Evidence was provided to substantiate Truth.  In this case, “the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones, and the dust and it licked up the water that was in the trench” (1 Kings 18:38).  Notice, Elijah did not offer as evidence subjective feelings, or a testimonial saying, “I know that Jehovah is God for I just feel Him in my bones.”  No, he didn’t do such.  Instead, he offered evidence, true evidence, objective evidence to believe.

Modern Application – Though, we live outside the era of the miraculous, still we should provide in our preaching compelling objective evidence for belief. The people deserve such (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Fifth Observation – Elijah was right with God.  Really this is all that matters, isn’t it?  Even though multitudes refused to stand with Elijah (1 Kings 18:22). Elijah was ultimately received up  (2 Kings 2:1-12).  He was accepted by God. He appeared with Jesus during the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-3; Mark 9:2-4; Luke 9:29-31) John the baptizer was said to have come in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).  A huge, but wrongful, compliment is given him in Matthew 16:14, when we are told that some thought Jesus to be Elijah.  Who was Elijah?  It is easy to think of men like Elijah as Supermen, or some how different than we are. However, he was a man with a nature like ours (James 5:17). He was a righteous man (James 5:16-17). He chose to be such.

Modern Application – While today`s society exalts entertainers who can sing or act and ball players who can play ball, Elijah should stand out as a true hero.  Every parent should help their children recognize a true hero.  A true hero is a man, or woman, with the conviction and courage to stand up for what is right, and with the determination to be upon God’s side regardless of what the rest of society does.  Moreover, they should teach them that such a one will also be received up in eternal glory one day.

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