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In 2007 I wrote a manuscript for the Bellview Lectures, Pensacola, Florida, titled, “Building up the Church Through Singing.” In it I briefly mentioned that some of the songs in the books we commonly use emphasize patriotism far more than praise to God and His Son. I cited the example of “America the Beautiful.” This song references God several times, but it praises our nation more than Him (if it does the latter at all)….
As Israel approached Sinai on the way to Canaan they murmured against Moses and Aaron because of hunger (Exo. 16:1–3). It is important for us to notice that Moses correctly perceived that this murmuring actually represented rebellion against God: “Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord”….
God has never forced anyone to obey Him. Similarly, Jesus Christ never coerced anyone to serve Him. Rather, He invitesmen to follow Him: “Come unto me…” (Mat. 11:28). Men may reject Him and His Word, but not without cost:…
It is a sad fact that the majority of humankind in every generation rejects God by rejecting His Word. Such was all but universal in the wicked age of Noah; all but eight persons of the ante-diluvian populace rejected God. Only two of those Hebrews who crossed the Red Sea later crossed Jordan into Canaan….
At only two moments of history has the majority of mankind revered the will of its Creator—in the Garden of Eden before Eve sinned (Gen. 3:6) and after the Flood cleansed the earth (7:17–23). Ever since, both sacred and profane history record the constant sad story of the rejection of God by most of mankind.
How do men reject Jesus? What attitudes or activities constitute such rejection? Jesus answers….
Some time ago a denomination in Dallas, Texas, advertised its aim as “relationship, not religion.” When I read it, I thought, “At last, Truth… in advertising!”…
A Pew Poll of 35,000 Americans, released in June 2008, revealed some interesting statistics about religious beliefs. More than half (57%) of “evangelicals” (strong in their belief in the Bible and in Jesus as God’s only begotten Son, right?), opined that Christianity is not the only way to Heaven…..
The challenges of recent years to authority in home, school, marketplace and military were bound to have their parallels in religion….
What about religious controversy? Is it proper to “argue” about religious questions? Some will always be around who thrive on argumentation and disputation,….
Acronyms have long been popular, especially in government and politics. Two of these in current use relate to the major political parties.… In religion, those who claim to be Jesus’ disciples, but who teach and act otherwise, may accurately be called religious “DINOS”—disciples in name only.…
The term “pluralism,” when applied to religion, lauds diversity. Wickipedia states: “Religious pluralism holds that no single religion can claim absolute authority to teach absolute truth”…
A great variety of titles and terms of address exist relative to those who occupy places of religious leadership, especially those who preach or hold ecclesiastical office…The origins of such titles would likely be interesting and perhaps entertaining. All that matters to devout Bible students, however, is what, if anything, the Bible says about them, which indeed it does, both explicitly and implicitly….
How can this be? Doesn’t religious equal saved? “It makes no difference what you believe as long as you’re sincere” is a very old slogan that implies as much….
In one of the many church bulletins received at the office every week, there appeared the following words in an article on the subject of becoming a Christian. “Repent of your faith in him, be buried with him in baptism unto the forgiveness of your sins.”
Jesus twice stated, “except ye repent, ye shall…perish” (Luke 13: 3–5). His statement signals the indispensable place of repentance in the scheme of redemption. We will thus do well to understand its meaning and its relationship to other elements of the Lord’s plan of salvation.…
Peter has a helpful statement on resisting the devil:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, . . . (1 Pet. 5:8-9)….
If the Lord’s displeasure was clearly upon those who would break even the least com- mand of the inferior covenant (which was soon to pass away), how much more shall His wrath be upon those who disrespect the superior covenant of Calvary?…
A great paradox of our times is that millions remain unemployed while the newspapers are full of job opportunities. Another problem of employers is to find someone who knows how to work or wants to learn how. The problem among many people is that they have seldom been around anybody who knows what work is or how to work….
In every system there is a basic, nucleus principle that determines the spirit and operation of the whole. In God’s plan for man, the basic principle is respect for and obedience to appropriate authority….
The New Testament not only frequently and plainly tells us that Jesus Christ will return, but it also tells us what things will occur when He comes….
Some people do not like the facts of history, so they ignore them and write their own version.
Our nation is in manifold difficulties that threaten to destroy the America the Founders envisioned and of which many of us have long been proud citizens. These troubles include dire economic woes at home and crisis conditions abroad. Even deeper problems relate to the loss of faith in God, in the Bible as the Word of God, and of a moral compass and core….
Jesus taught the disciples to pray for God’s forgiveness as they were forgiving toward one another Mat. 6:12). Then he added that God forgives us only if we forgive others (vv. 14–15)
Only two kinds of civil government exist: The rule of law or the rule of men. When law prevails (assuming its nobility), all are treated equally because law is objective, and plays no favorites.… When men rule, they use the law only when it favors their cause or when it rewards their friends and/or punishes their enemies…
In spite of the plainest teachings of the New Testament, men persist in teaching the doctrine of salvation by “faith only.” History reveals that the doctrine was first given great emphasis, (if not invented) by Martin Luther in the 16th century.
By salvation we refer to the forgiveness of sins whereby the sinner enjoys the grace of God and the hope of eternal life. Does God allow men their choice of saviors or other factors in their pursuit of salvation? The New Testament answers with a definitive “No.”….
Sanctify and Sanctification are New Testament words that are part of the same word family as holy, holiness, and saint. Saint is the common designation for Christians in the New Testament, appearing fifty-six times.
Just as God is depicted from the beginning of the Bible as the source of all that is good, pure, and true, Satan is identified as a spirit-being who is the source of every malevolent principle, act, and consequence. Thus, it was Satan in the form of a serpent who sought and secured man’s first evil act and consequence….
…God ordered man to subdue the earth and to have dominion over fish, fowl, and land animals (Gen. 1:28). God thus authorized the experimentation and observation necessary to scientific studies. Clearly, the Bible believer has no cause to oppose genuine science….
The exhortation, Be not deceived, appears several times in the New Testament. Each occurrence prefaces some special danger and should serve as a “red flag” of warning. Accordingly, we will be wise to note some of these.…
When we read, Be not deceived, in Scripture, a special “red flag” of warning is being given. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul raised one of these “red flags”:
In 1 Corinthians 15:33 is another be not deceived passage, sending up a “red flag” of warning: “Be not deceived: evil companionships corrupt good morals” (ASV)….
In Galatians 6:7 we find another “red flag” of warning: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”…
James 1:16 contains another “red flag,” warning us against deception: “Be not deceived, my beloved brethren (ASV).” This warning looks backward to what James had just written about temptation, sin, and death….
Does Scriptural silence grant freedom to act in religious matters, as many allege? Does the silence of the Bible have a prohibitive force? How shall we deal with the silence of Scripture?
Those who divided the church over a century ago by forcing in the missionary society and the instrument had to deny the significance of Scriptural silence concerning both innovations.
Jesus forever settles where God’s church, the kingdom on earth, should come in one’s list of values: “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness”…
There are some perverted folk who enjoy strife and controversy. Some actually revel in a good fight or even in warfare. I am sure that most folk prefer peaceful relations with their family, neighbors, friends and brethren. This should surely be the aim of the Christian…
Postmodernism is the buzzword for today’s sophisticates who purport to have transcended the outmoded standards that have well served mankind from the beginning and Western Civilization for centuries….Postmodernism repudiates the concepts of objective standards and exclusive, propositional Truth claims….
In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul urged his spiritual protégé to meekly correct “them that oppose themselves” (2:25). This statement is a striking one, and provokes the question, “Why would one be so foolish as to oppose himself?”….
When Jesus reminded the apostles of His own service to others, He used it as an example of how they should serve (Mat. 20:27). He taught them that true greatness lay not in being served, but in serving….
Throughout the Bible the doctrine of “separation” is taught. God requires His people to recognize that they distinctly belong to Him and to behave accordingly. God gave Israel the law of Moses to keep them a separated people until the Christ should come….
For several years it has been the practice of some religious groups (including the Independent Christian Church) to appoint “deaconesses.” Predictably, some of the “faddists” among us are adopting the practice. Is there Scriptural warrant for it?
Our world thinks sin is hilarious. The formerly suggestive lines and scenes in movies and TV have given way to the explicit. The dirty joke and four-letter vocabulary are sources of great fun to most people….
The writer of Hebrews warned: “Take heed…lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (3:12–13). Deceit is the act of giving a false impression, by appearance, direct statement, or influence….
I borrowed the idea for the following article from one Steve Gibson authored several years ago. At the time he wrote it, Steve was sound in his teaching and behavior.
- Theistic evolution is wrong because evolution is wrong.
- Social drinking is wrong because drinking is wrong….
In connection with his instruction to mark and avoid those who divide the church, Paul warned that such employ “smooth and fair speech” to “beguile the hearts of the innocent”…
Occasionally I am asked questions about the Masonic Lodge and whether a man can be both a faithful Christian and a faithful Mason simultaneously. It is a question worth considering, for it touches quite a few people. I freely admit that there are some noble men in Masonry and that the Lodge does some noble things and stands for some noble principles. However,…
Fear is more often than not the cause of our failures. There is a wholesome side of fear. We must fear God and fear the evils of false doctrines and evil practices. Largely, however, it seems that we fear the wrong things.…
I have often said that we preach our own funerals by the way we live. If I have not lived in such a way as to please God, all of the remarks a preacher may make over me will not change that….
What is it?It is apparent that Liberalism cannot be defined in terms of a list of theological positions but is rather an attitude toward religion in general.…
What if the church where you worship met every day of the week instead of only two days a week? What if the sermon lasted four or five hours on Sunday instead of thirty or forty minutes? What if your food was taken away for an entire day the first time you forsook the assembly?…
The worship of Almighty God is both an exalted privilege and an awesome responsibility. Failure to grasp this truth plunged the likes of Cain (Gen. 4), Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10), and King Saul (1 Sam. 13) into terrible calamities….
The Biblical record of the birth of Jesus Christ notably omits the date of its occurrence and any record of a special observance of the occasion. Although twenty centuries distant, it is still a subject of great wonder for several reasons….
Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi, wrote a book titled, Who Needs God? According to reviewer, Don Feder, (a syndicated columnist) in Kushner’s view of deity and religion, “absolutely no one.” The book is typical liberal theology, which adapts god and religion to current behavior and thought patterns….
In the drama of living the Christian life, temptation is an ever-present factor. Jesus recognized the reality of it when he mentioned it in his teaching prayer…. Temptations are common to all and can be overcome if one seeks the way of escape….
A bountiful, but bitter harvest of dishonor, immorality, profanity, drug and drink addiction, and uncaring secularism have become commonplace in our beautiful America. They extend from the powerless and poor through all intermediate levels to the wealthy and most powerful in government and business.
Just when I think I have “heard it all,” something else comes along to prove that I had not. This is particularly true of the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage….
Surely, one of the most appealing themes of the New Testament is freedom or liberty in Christ. Sadly, many have mistaken liberty for license, freedom for lack of law or restraint whatsoever.
Remember those “good old days” when we played our childhood games? One of the games every child plays is “leapfrog.” I remember it well.…Some people never outgrow this game but carry it from childhood right up into adulthood….
Paul commanded, “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10). The fact that we are ordered to be spiritually strengthened necessarily implies that it is possible for us to attain such strength….
The last several years have seen our nation moving increasingly closer to becoming a welfare state. I know of no one who objects to helping those who truly need help and are not able to help themselves….
“Spirituality” is the state or condition of being spiritual, that is, of attending to and being influenced by the spirit world, rather than merely by the material world.…
The whole point of a soldier’s being well-armed is not for the parade ground, the reviewing stand, or mock maneuvers, but for the field of combat. The reason we are to “take up the whole armor of God” is that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand”
Some seem to think that those of us who continue to warn of the perils of militant atheism and humanism are merely alarmists. They reason, “Surely, it couldn’t be all that bad.”…
Once the Lord healed a man of palsy and the reaction of the bystanders was amazement as they said, “We have seen strange things today” (Luke 5:26). While the days of miracles are past, the days of “strange things” are still very much with us….
Satan will see that “. . . all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Peter wrote some words designed to produce courage in the face of persecution:
Just as God’s people in the Old Testament had their physical armies to wage war against the enemies of God, so His New Testament people are figuratively depicted as soldiers engaged in the never-ending battle against iniquity and error.
Paul commanded, “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10). The fact that we are ordered to spiritually strong necessarily implies that it is possible for us to attain such strength. The Lord does not press orders upon His people that are beyond our accomplishment….
The two elements involved in success in the Lord’s work are. 1) A singularity of purpose to grow, go forward, progress, and abound in spiritual activity; 2) The need to let our work be governed by the Lord….
Faithfulness to Christ cannot be measured apart from willingness to suffer for His sake. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said: “Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake…”.
It is universally accepted that in the practice of medicine it is both wiser and more effective to treat the cause of a disease rather than merely the symptoms. The best doctors are those who can diagnose the cause of an illness accurately and give proper medicine or treatment for it.
A preacher preached on profanity, knowing of at least one brother who would be there who was a notorious offender. After plainly denouncing the sin of an evil tongue, he hoped to see some sign of penitence in the offender.
The aim of our arch-Adversary from the beginning has been to persuade us to abandon God’s perfect standard of behavior to walk in his unprincipled paths. Temptation describes the tool by which Satan encourages our involvement in forbidden, albeit pleasurable fulfillments of fleshly desires.
Many of our words are related to the passage of time. We have the precise measurements of seconds, minutes, hours, etc. We also use many words to approximate time lapse (“whiles”, “moments”, “bits”, “later”, “soon”, “sometime”, “jiff”, etc.)
Do you ever look at your friends and neighbors and wonder how they have nicer clothes, a bigger car, a finer house, take an expensive vacation every year and eat better than you, and yet, they make about the same salary?…
We live in a cause-effect universe—every effect must have a cause, yea, an adequate or sufficient cause, to explain it. A wristwatch implies a watchmaker. A house implies a designer and builder. The computer on which these words are being written required great wisdom and skill to conceive, design, and build.
When Jesus cursed the fig tree on the way to Jerusalem from Bethany it appears that his principal intent was to demonstrate God’s judgment upon fruitlessness and hypocrisy, especially as they were exemplified by official Judaism….
It is interesting to observe differences between older and younger generations of people. One of the most striking differences has to do with moral values of the respective generations.
Faith and belief (in its various cognates) are among the most frequently found words and concepts in the Bible. They are also among the most misunderstood and abused Biblical words….
Faith and belief are so much the basic response God requires of men that one or the other is often used as a synecdoche (i.e., a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole) for all that one must do to be reconciled to God….
The Gospel is often called “the faith” in an objective sense. When so used, the faith refers to that whole body of doctrine in which men must invest their faith.
Our faith in God (and in all things Biblical) has to do with the elements of belief, trust, confidence, assurance, and conviction….
Sometimes it helps us to determine what a thing is by learning what it is not. This is so concerning the faith that each person must have in order to be saved (Mark 16:15–16). Like many other Biblical words, faith has been variously misdefined….
The Bible claims to be the exclusive revelation of the true and living God. The Old Testament prophets enjoin, “Hear the word of the Lord,” or like expressions, hundreds of times. Paul declared that God revealed the long-hidden “mysteries” relating to human redemption (i.e., the NewTestament) to the apostles by means of the Holy Spirit…
Is God a being of wrath to be feared or Is he a benevolent person to be loved? What is the proper response of man to Jehovah: fear or love? Or is it possible that both motives of response are appropriate?…
Baptism is a frequent subject of the New Testament. When its function and purpose are understood, it is not surprising that it receives so much emphasis.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psa. 133: 1). If God’s people in any community are to accomplish anything worthwhile, unity is not only good, it is absolutely necessary!…
The news media are constantly informing us of the terrible results of drunkenness. Over a recent holiday season several state officials issued frequent reminders that drunken drivers are the chief culprits in highway fatalities.…
Secularism, atheism, and humanism are arrayed against the Bible as never before in our nation. They seek to stamp all Biblical influences from public life. There could hardly be a greater irony, given the general faith of the Founding Fathers and the Biblical influence present in our founding documents….
“Career” connotes a type of work or a profession for which one prepares, and which one pursues. The term usually implies a job or profession outside of the home.
First Timothy 5:3–16 has long been problematical. Perhaps the biggest problem revolves around what seems to be an arbitrary age limit governing widows who can be “enrolled” (v. 9), and, as generally concluded, whom the church can therefore support.
As some have probably learned from visiting various church Websites, our brethren are responding in different ways to the current COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic. Some have canceled Wednesday night meetings while continuing all Sunday meetings….
If the church Jesus built (Mat. 16:18) is to exist in any age, there are certain principles to which men must be committed. As surely as men abandon any of these commitments, so surely will the New Testament church cease to exist.
Secularism is from a Latin term, meaning “relating to an age or period.” When used in a religious context, the secularist stands not only apart from, but also opposed to religion….
Jesus promised, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18). The “rock” to which He referred was the fact, just confessed by Peter, that He is the “Christ, the Son of the living God”….
Jesus promised to build His church (Mat. 16:18). He also promised it would be established in the lifetime of His apostles (16:28; Mark 9:1)….
The church/kingdom Jesus promised to build (Mat. 16:18–19) became a reality in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost day after His resurrection and ascension (Acts 2:22–47). Although we can pinpoint the time of its historical beginning, it was in the mind of the Godhead from eternity (Eph. 3: 10–11)….
The Bible clearly reveals both the nature and work of the church, implying the significance of both. Unarguably, as to its nature, the church/ kingdom of Christ is a spiritual entity, as Jesus stressed in His kingdom parables….
The church of the Bible was/is not just whatever men want it to be. Jesus did not build His church on the basis of a community survey of what His contemporaries desired. He built it as it pleased Him….
The church of the Bible is not time-or earth-bound. Its destiny reaches beyond both. The church/kingdom of Jesus Christ has an eternal destiny….
By all human standards the church Jesus established through His apostles should never have “gotten off the ground.” Everything seemed to be against its success and survival.
Many anti-Scriptural concepts of the church exist (e.g., denominationalism, that one can serve Jesus apart from His church [Jesus, yes—the church, no], that the church’s principal work is to supply the physical and/or social needs of mankind, etc.). Another egregious misconception depicts.…
Many go through life not realizing that a conflict between good and evil, Truth and error, is raging about them. Some do not perceive the conflict, having become convinced that evil is not so bad, good is not all that good, and error is about as good as Truth.
Saul of Tarsus is a fierce persecutor of Christians when he first appears in the New Testament record (Acts 7:58–8:3). His change from cruel crusader against the church to Jesus’ ardent advocate as the apostle Paul is one of the remarkable narratives of history, with significant implications….
By far, the most enduring symbol of the religion of Jesus Christ is the cross. It so represented Jesus’ life, work, and death that the apostle Paul said it was the only thing of which he would ever boast….The cross marks several matters of great significance:…
Given the wickedness of the world and the mounting attempts to drive underground those who dare publicly profess faith in the Bible, it is difficult to avoid becoming discouraged. Further, when we observe the chaotic state of the church of the Lord we could easily become depressed. Of all of Satan’s weapons, his favorite may be discouragement.
Carl Rowan, syndicated newspaper columnist, wrote an article appearing in the SanAngelo [TX] Standard-Timesedition of February 18, 1970, titled, “Divorce Increase Cause of Troubles.” In his article Rowan discussed the trend toward liberalization of divorce laws and correctly, I believe, connects the disintegration of morality and general disrespect for authority with the instability of modern family and home life.
The “Easter” season, involves much more than “Easter Sunday.” It begins with…
1. “Mardi Gras” (French for “Fat Tuesday,” also called “Shrove Tuesday”), referring to the day before the beginning of the traditional season of “Lent,” which is called…
The Mayan calendar says it will end in 2012. Mr. Harold Camping boldly predicts it will end May 21, 2011. Every few years some seem compelled to predict the time of the return of Jesus Christ, the end of the world, and the Judgment Day….
If this system of theology is true, Jesus failed at His first coming. If He did not fail, this system is false. To even imply that Almighty God was “surprised” by the rejection of His Son is to blasphemously deny His omniscience.…
One of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10, 30; 19:6; 14:2; et al.). What were these tongues in which some of the early saints were empowered to speak?….
Even a simpleton could hardly fail to under-stand that God’s way is one that seeks peace among all men and between mankind and Himself. One of the most compelling attractions of Heaven is the promise of its atmosphere of perfect, everlasting peace….
Religious convictions based solely upon feelings and experiences characterize our times. These traits have always been trademarks of Pentecostalism and Holiness groups, but they now affect all of the sects—and not a few brethren. Most religionists trust their eternal destiny to a mere hunch or feeling….
In the 1980s, “Magic” Johnson obtained great fame and wealth by his basketball exploits with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been named one of the fifty greatest basketball players of all time. In 1991, he contracted the HIV virus, which forced his immediate and premature retirement when he was at the top of his game….
Gracemay be the most beautiful and significant word in the Bible, for none will be saved except by the grace of God (Eph. 2:8). This word refers to God’s bestowal of undeserved favor upon men. While the concept of God’s grace is so very important, it is also one of the most misunderstood and perverted Bible doctrines….
Among the many attractive and ennobling traits of character urged upon servants of God and followers of Christ are the twin virtues of compassion and kindness. These sweet attributes are appreciated and admired even by the uncompassionate and unkind.
Just as our individual struggles and triumphs over evil will not be accomplished by carnal forces or conflicts, neither will the overwhelming victory of Christ. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…”
God has given some great charges to various men through the ages. He commissioned Noah to build the ark and Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage….
Few verses in the Bible are as well-known as John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life” (ASV). This statement so fully embodies the theme of the Bible that some have called it “the Bible in miniature.”
In our affluent economy of the past two generations many luxuries have become common place. With the steadily increasing power of television and its commercial pitch, our children have come to desire, yea demand, more and more things…
Heartin our title refers to feelings, (e.g., joy, sorrow, fear, anger, hate, love, et al.). Head refers to reasoned conclusions based on evidence..Only when the head triumphs over the heart will one seek, find, and obey the Gospel….
And he answered and said, have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?…
Seven centuries before the Christ came, God had a job that needed to be done. He asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah replied, “Here am I; send me”
Soul-winning is the most important work in the world. It alone was the sufficient cause for the Word to become flesh and dwell among men
Bible preaching. “Preach the word” is Paul’s command (2 Tim. 4:2). The Bible must be the content and focus of our preaching, for such alone can be called “sound [healthy, health-giving] doctrine” ….
One of the pillars on which every variety of premillennialism rests involves the “land promise.” God first promised the land of Canaan to Abram and his descendants and then repeated it to Isaac and Jacob….
In speaking of “mission” we refer to more than activities in which we might legitimately engage. We refer to the purpose and aim of one’s activities. Upon what principal point is all of our work to be focused? What is the main function of God’s people?…
If you were asked to name the most dangerous sin, would it be murder, lying, adultery, slander, or perhaps some other? All of these are dangerous, both to the victim and the perpetrator. However….
Is 7 the sum of 2+2? Is “up” above us or below us? Does the law of gravity operate only in certain cultures? Is the rape of a seven-year-old child good, neither good nor evil, or evil? Can black be both black and white simultaneously? Is truth, like beauty, only in the eye of the beholder….
A multitude of brethren (and most all of the world) would almost rather be shot than be called “narrow-minded.” However….
The Bible speaks of the hand, the arm, the finger, the eye, the ear, the face, and even the “hinder parts” of God. Are we to take these literally or are these figures of speech the inspired writers employed to help us relate to the Infinite?
While guarding against over-suspicion, we must also guard against its opposite extreme. Many problems that beset the church may be traced to this root. If some brethren are hyper-suspicious, perhaps more are hyper-naive about everybody and everything. Some have chosen the course of a carefully premeditated ignorance….
If the church as God planned it and Christ built it is to exist in any age, there are certain principles to which men must be committed. As surely as any of these principles are abandoned, so surely will the New Testament church cease to exist….
The past few years have seen the burgeoning of a philosophy that threatens to utterly demote mankind to the level of brute beasts. For lack of a better term, I refer to it as the “no-fault” mentality. Simply put, it seeks to absolve everyone of any personal blame or guilt for anything….
There has always been a strong tendency in men to base their religious convictions upon feelings and experiences. Perhaps this trend has never been stronger than at present.
We human beings are cruel at our worst and faulty even at our best. Since this is true,we sometimes offend our fellow man. Even two people who love each other deeply will sometimes offend each other….
Growing older has its disadvantages. Someone has quipped that it’s better than the alternative, even so…Now, I don’t consider myself to be elderly yet, by a long shot. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who did.…
We live in a cause-effect universe: Every effect must have a cause—yea, an adequate or sufficient cause—to explain it. A wristwatch implies a watchmaker. A house implies a designer and builder. The computer on which I am composing these words required great intelligence, skill, and power to conceive, design, and build….
It has become popular to take an “open-ended” approach to the Truth and the church. This has been the denominational approach to Scripture increasingly in direct proportion to the influence of theological liberalism in recent years. “Open-ended” means…
The “heart” of man in the Bible is often used interchangeably with the “mind” of man. The beauty and virtue of the open heart/mind are often extolled in Scripture….
Luke tells us more about the first 30 years of Jesus’ earthly life than the other three who wrote about His life. Even with what Luke tells us we still know very little, however.
Either consciously or unconsciously, everyone has one or more role models whom he seeks to imitate. Jesus Christ alone has the right to be such because He lived a flawless life….
It is possible for one to be too hard on oneself, unnecessarily reproaching and condemning oneself. However, it is also possible to be too easy on oneself. This often takes the form of self-pity….
Christopher Hitchens, renowned British atheist, titled his 2007 book, God Is Not Great (subtitled, How Religion Poisons Everything). Both are solid thwacks at the mazards of believers. He knows how to get our attention.
In 1927, blood was drawn from the veins of Asibi, a 28-year-old African. From subsequent cultures of that blood, scientists developed yellow fever vaccine. The blood of that man provided power and hope, likely preventing millions of deaths. The blood of Another—Jesus Christ—is far more powerful and hope-filled….
Among the “new wave” of stellar militant, belligerent infidels is the British Oxford scholar, Richard Dawkins. His 2006 book, The God Delusion, boldly aims at converting every believer to his atheism. Obviously, either too few have read it, or he didn’t do a very effective job. Many millions (whether odd or not-odd) still believe in God.…
“The church is not spiritual.” “That man (perhaps an elder is named) is not spiritual.” “Our worship is not spiritual.” Such statements may be true, but they may also be no more than reckless opinions….
The very appearance of Christ on earth was predicated on the reality of sin in all men, its destructive consequences and man’s helplessness to overcome it without a Savior.
Seven centuries before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that He would be “despised and rejected of men” (Isa. 53: 3). The Gospel accounts undeniably record the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Most Americans do not even know what “Secular Humanism” is, yet, ironically, most Americans living today (especially those under 40) have been greatly influenced by it. What is it?
For baptism to be what the Lord authorized and what the Scriptures teach, four requirements must be met….
When God specifies that which man is to do, he must do it or incur Divine displeasure. Man may not add to, omit, or substitute anything in the place of that which God specifies.
The goodness of God refers to His favors and expressions of love. Such goodness does not overpower or miraculously “lead,” but when duly considered, will influence us to repent.
In 1 Corinthians 1:22 Paul describes the prevailing characteristics of the Jews and Greeks of his day: “Seeing that Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek after wisdom.”
The song I was taught as a youngster said, concerning “Santa Claus,” “He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, gonna’ find out who’s naughty or nice.” Somehow, that view of the old fellow has almost disappeared completely….
In worship, organization, work, and other features, the faithful churches of Christ in the first century and in the twenty-first century are identical….
I once read a paragraph in a bulletin exchange describing some of the wonderful blessings of God, to which the writer concluded, “Ain’t God good?” By using such a silly and disgusting expression the writer almost ruined the good things he/she had written about God’s blessings.
I preached in a Gospel meeting a few years ago where I had not been before. I was told in advance by the preacher that the brethren were “laid back” in the way they dressed for worship.
Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States, names the Supreme Court as the ultimate judicial power of the United States of America. Some of its rulings have crucially affected the moral foundation and direction of our nation.
Six days before the last Passover our Lord would keep, he was anointed with costly ointment by Mary in Bethany (John 12:1–8). The context gives the record of how Judas began a murmuring campaign against her for such a waste,…
The vast majority of Protestants believe the “thousand years” of Revelation 20:1–7 refers to the tenure of Christ’s reign in an earthly kingdom upon His return. Since He will come before His alleged millennial reign, this theological system is called “premillennialism.”…
One of the striking things about Jesus’ teachings is the way He gets to the heart of every issue in a few simple words. There is no better illustration than the one covered in this article…
A new movie will be thrown on the theater screens September 23  from Universal Studios in Hollywood. Unscrupulous, money-hungry, amoral movie producers have produced some awful things in the past, but this one will outdo them all.
Unique means one of a kind, having no like or equal, incomparable. These terms accurately describe the Bible. Consider some of the characteristics that make it unique:….
The Bible is the only source of information on the birth of Jesus, and it has two notable omissions:
1) When it occurred—it could have easily been specified, but it was not
2) Any religious observance of the occasion in all the first century
In his brief New Testament letter, Jude wrote of “the way of Cain” (v. 11). Genesis 4 tells us that Cain was the first human being to be born, the eldest son of Adam and Eve. He was a farmer by occupation, and he was religious….
In the contest with evil we must remember that, while we oppose men who serve Satan, our real foe is Satan: “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, …but against the spiritual hosts of wickedness …”
The enjoyment of peace of mind or good mental health is one of the most desirable blessings for any human being. The Christian ought to have more of this enviable element than any other person,…
“The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride and arrogancy…do I hate” (Pro. 8:13). The Bible deals with few sins more explicitly than with pride. Scripture is piled upon Scripture to show God’s abhorrence of it.
We know not on what day it was,
The Savior-babe was born;
We only know that this event
With wonder is adorned….
Love, faith, grace, pastor, and baptism are Biblical words that are habitually (and grossly) abused and misused. Another such word is Christian….
Jesus Christ was remarkable for His “mighty works and wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22). Those who heard Him were also “astonished at his teaching” (Mat. 7:28b). He was fully conscious of the significance of His words, as indicated by His repeated reference to “the words I have spoken.” Consider now His words….
The Lord’s church is the spiritual body of Christ (Eph. 1:22–23). It cannot be seriously argued that the work of the spiritual body of Christ should or can be different from the work Jesus came to do (and did) in His physical body. Most would not argue such verbally, but many strongly argue it practically.
In a parable, Jesus depicted a king who made a feast for his son. When the servants went out with the invitation, the ones invited “made light of it” (Mat. 22:1–5). The point of the parable is to predict the way most men will respond to God’s invitation to honor His Son and to reveal the dire outcome of their rejection….
For generations, millions of otherwise rational beings, claiming to be disciples of Jesus, have mouthed the slogan: “It makes no difference what you believe, as long as you are sincere in following that belief.”…
No person ever lived that never became discouraged, including such spiritual giants as our Lord and the apostle Paul (Mat. 23:37; Acts 28:15; 1 Cor. 2:3; et al.). When perverse men and women hate you and try to destroy you and the good work you are doing, what keeps you from just giving up? When trials are many and sore, how do the faithful keep on being faithful in spite of them?
In Romans 14:19, Paul exhorts: “So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.” Every local church needs these words today, as the church at Rome needed them originally….
Pro-life, anti-abortion members of Congress have proposed the “Protect Life Act” in an effort to preserve the choice of taxpayers and medical practitioners to refuse any promotion of abortion. House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, described such choices as “savage” (an amazing irony!)…
To the Corinthians Paul wrote: “If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord”….
There is more to being faithful to God than “church attendance.” However, does faithfulness require it (to please God, to grow spiritually, to be saved)? I am not asking if merely the preacher and/or elders and other members care, but does God care?….
Gospel occurs 97 times in the New Testament. The Gospel (and the salvation it provides, Rom. 1:16) is the New Testament’s theme. What does it tell us about the Gospel?
To those enthralled by dispensational premillennialism (perhaps 98% of Protestantism), the Rapture is the next pivotal event on God’s prophetic calendar. Is the Rapture Biblical fact or theological fiction?
Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth” (John 18:38)? Many today echo his question. Many have been persuaded to believe there are no absolutes, but that all principles and values are on a sliding scale.
Often a matter that seems overwhelmingly complex can be seen in a truer perspective when its basic elements are revealed. I believe this is true of bearing fruit in the Lord’s vineyard.
The passing of time has a great way of putting things in true perspective. A president may be hated and cursed by his contemporaries, but his administration may be given a saner and truer evaluation in time.
The billboard beside the church building contained six words, setting forth the congregation’s basic creed….Apparently, these words were also intended to convey the means by which men might come to God for salvation through His Son….
In a recent Ann Landers column, she printed a letter in which someone complained about how “social” and “frivolous” worship meetings had become in the Protestant church of which he is a member….
We may generally characterize the tumultuous, topsy-turvy times of the present as the elevation of fiction over facts, the abnormal over the normal, willful amnesia over history, fantasy over reality, subjectivity over objectivity, romanticism over reason—and man over God..
Hebrews 11 is a record of triumph over trials through ages past in the lives of men and women who lived by their faith.…
Thoughtful Bible students realize that denominational “churchianity” bears no resemblance to New Testament Christianity. It is not only fundamentally undenominational; it is anti denominational.…
Nothing is more obvious than that men who profess belief in the Bible do not understand it alike. Some believe this is inevitable or even good. If so, why does the Bible command that we “all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you”
People often make the sad old error of failing to distinguish between optional and obligatory matters, between aids in carrying out Scriptural commands and additions to Scriptural commands..
Our world is one of perpetual flux and uncertainty. Nations rise and fall. Our nation is under siege by hedonistic, God-hating Humanism, disguised as “secularism”—causing cataclysmic cultural and moral rot….We live in an unstable world where change is the great constant….
God has so structured our existence in this life that honest work is fulfilling, beneficial, honorable, and required of all mature, able-bodied people..Though an Infinite Being is obviously not subject to fatigue, still God set a pattern of rest at the end of the creation week and in the Mosaic laws concerning Sabbath Day observance….
Vain is capable of two distinct meanings, depending upon context.… Vain action, however, is futile, ineffective, worthless, or unavailing effort. The New Testament describes various behaviors that are vain—they are a waste of both time and effort. A review of some of these is instructive….
To deny that the kingdom came in the first century is to affirm that Jesus was mistaken when he declared and commissioned others to declare that it was near them and that it would come in their lifetimes. Jesus could not be the Savior of mankind if He made a mistake.
While speaking of the local church, the preacher said, “We are commanded to grow.” He immediately quoted Mark 16:15 as his proof text: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”…
It is lamentable, but true, that some members never think of the church in any terms except “they.” These brethren seem to view the church as sort of a corporation that operates from the church building. They thus think in terms of how “they” are going to spend the money, what “they” should be doing or what size crowd “they” had Sunday.
For many years, every time an international political crisis has arisen (especially if it involves the modern nation of Israel), the cry has gone up, “Armageddon is imminent! The end of the world is near! Christ is about to come”!…
According to Webster, astrology is “The divination of the supposed influences of the stars upon human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects.” Simply put, astrology (not to be confused with astronomy, the scientific study of space) holds that the stars influence and control human thoughts and acts….
A concerted effort has been made in recent years to cloak the practice of homosexuality with respectability. One means of doing so has been the adoption of the term “gay” to cover the practice….
Premillennialism may be loosely defined as the doctrine that when Christ returns, He will actually come to earth and establish a literal kingdom in Jerusalem, reigning there 1,000 years.…Within the Premillennial cult … there are almost as many points of difference as there are adherents.
Poets and orators are sometimes said to be “inspired” when they produce a masterpiece. A sermon may have been “inspiring” to those who heard. But the inspiration claimed for the Bible is of a different character.
Christian worship involves reverent acts of homage paid to God and/ or Jesus Christ. While the Old Testament is the inspired revelation of God, its authority perished with the death of Christ (Col. 2:14). The only source of information for worship that pleases God and His Son is the New Testament….
Someone has remarked that parents are not for raising children, but children are for raising parents…this is obviously not the whole truth in the parent-child relationship. Just what are parents for, anyhow?…
We may have sung a particular hymn for so many years that we can sing both words and music without thinking about them. The same is true concerning prayer. Sometimes one who leads prayers in the assembly will fall into a habit of using terminology that he has not really thought through (perhaps borrowed from a prayer he has heard someone else pray)….
Hell is not a popular or pleasant subject. The “don’t-offend-anyone” crowd doesn’t want to hear about it. Few preachers consider preaching on it, and more and more of them deny its existence. Some just don’t believe anyone’s going there….
We seldom read the word sin in the newspaper or hear it on TV, in the movies, or even in conversation. It has almost become a sin to mention sin….
It should be a sobering and solemn thought to all that the physical life of everyone ends in an open grave. While physical life will cease for all, each person has an immortal spirit that will never die. What if I have failed to obey Jesus, the Savior, when I die and find myself lost at the Judgment?
There is no “if” about the Bible to committed Christians, but rabid anti-Christians (and even “benign” secularists) would do well to ponder soberly and occasionally (as some likely do), “What if the Bible is true?”…
A “saint” to most people implies someone who has attained moral excellence, if not perfection.
Many professed believers chafe at the restraints of Divine Law, as set forth in the New Testament. Those who thus pride themselves on being “broadminded” (i.e., “liberal”) often hurl legalist at those who emphasize the necessity of obedience to God’s Word….
The Bible records numerous miracles in both the Old and the New Testaments. God caused some of these directly (e.g., the astounding miracle of creation with which the Bible begins)….
Few religious subjects have been more thoroughly discussed, debated, and preached and written about over the past 17 or so centuries than baptism. While it is interesting (and sometimes profitable) to read or hear what uninspired men say on this and other subjects, all that really matters to those serious about their souls is what the Bible says about it.
Is obedience to Christ optional or unnecessary? Are belief in and “love” of Christ the only things required of sinners to be saved? Many would have it so and thus teach….
The title above is one of several questions a visitor to my Website, TheScripturecache.com, submitted on December 28, 2017. His reading my MS, “The Church of Christ Is Not a Denomination,” provoked the questions (obviously disagreeing with my MS).…
To speak of true Christian unity implies that a unity may exist that is less than truly Christian. There may indeed be a true unity in religious matters without its being Christian….
Pontius Pilate asked our Lord the question of our title (John 18:38). Perhaps we will never know whether Pilate was sincere or sarcastic. However, there is no excuse for anyone who has read the New Testament to have any doubt whatsoever that Jesus recognized the existence of absolute, objective, immutable spiritual Truth…
When you hear the word church what picture do you form in your mind?…Who needs to change his or her idea of it?
Paul described the Philippians as “lights in the world” in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phi. 2:15). In Paul’s time I suppose there was only one kind of light, the light that provided useful and necessary illumination. However, there are many kinds of lights in the world today….
Numerous Biblical words have been wordnapped, hijacked, redefined, and misused (e.g. grace, faith, miracle, elect, foreordained). Love is another of these much-abused words….
There are many books on the subject of leadership. Several companies offer special seminars on the subject. Countless words have been spoken and millions of dollars spent to discover the secrets of leadership.…
In His immortal Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven….”
In the context of convincing the Galatian Christians that the Law of Moses was inferior to the Law/Gospel of Christ, Paul anticipated the foregoing question of our title (Gal. 3:19)….
We seldom read the word sin in the newspaper or hear it on TV, in the movies, or even in conversation. It has almost become a sin to mention sin.
A bountiful, but bitter harvest of dishonor, immorality, profanity, drug/drink addiction, and cold secularism have become commonplace in our beautiful America. These behaviors extend from the powerless and poor through all intermediate levels to the wealthy and most powerful in business and government (especially among those in government, it seems)….
The New Testament plainly teaches that we sometimes sin as Christians. To children of God, John wrote: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us”
In the 1980s a brokerage firm aired a series of TV commercials, using the theme, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” These ads effectively implied the authority of its sponsor and its trustworthiness concerning investments. How much more should human beings understand that when God and His Son, who created all things, speak or act, people should listen.
There is no more important question for anyone to ponder because it involves one’s eternal destiny. One may be mistaken about his house, his job, his car, his health, mathematics, history, or any number of things, but one dare not be mistaken about this subject….
Luke 2:41–47 provides a rare glance into the childhood of Jesus. At the age of twelve, his parents accidentally left Him in Jerusalem upon beginning their return to Nazareth. This incident yields several practical truths:
A “norm” is a standard, a rule, a pattern. That which is “normal” is that which conforms to the norm or recognized standard. Departure from the rule or standard is “abnormal.” When a nation becomes so corrupt that it elevates abnormal behavior to the level of “normalcy,” it is in serious trouble…
Are there “signs of the times” for “the day of the Lord”? Can men discern the time of His coming from the numerology of Daniel or The Revelation?…
Three times in Paul’s great passage on the Christian “soldier” (Eph. 6:10–17) he tells us the source of all spiritual strength….
I have observed that there are at least six spiritual levels to be found within any local church. Shall we engage in some self-examination?
I have observed that there are at least six levels of spiritual behavior to be found within any local church. Let us engage in some self-examination….
Modern folk—scholar, ruler, and commoner alike—who still profess to believe in God have nevertheless in many cases eschewed the fact that He created them. Contrariwise, denying God’s revelation of Himself, they have “made” Him in their image. As they have done with the Father, so they have done with His Son, Jesus, the Christ….
Atheism, Humanism, and Secularism now control many of the levers of power in our nation. Law-making judges are ever driving God and the Bible from our public institutions. Marxist-inspired “political correctness” has cast a pall of censorship over us, which has produced “hate speech” laws.
Jesus once asked the apostles the question of our title (Mat. 16:13). They replied with the opinions they had heard expressed among the people. Likewise, in our time, if Jesus is being discussed, one almost has to ask, “Which Jesus?”
It is not unusual to hear all sorts of dishonesty and everyday cheating justified by the lame excuse, “Nobody got hurt.”
Most people apply Christian indiscriminately to anyone who gives even the least lip service to Jesus and/or his doctrine. But by Bible definition, who, in fact, is a Christian? Determining who is not a Christian may help us answer this question.…
We must clearly decide whom we will serve. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Mat. 6:24). So many have just enough religion to make them miserable….
The very fact that God, the Almighty, the Supreme One, is the source of all good, necessarily implies the eventual triumph of good over evil. God’s promise of Christ’s victory over Satan (Gen. 3:15) is a promise of the eventual final triumph of Truth over error….
Is the spirit of innovation/”creativity” in religion that which heroically exemplifies “what faith can do”? Let us test this matter.
God pronounced judgment on the foolish farmer who had stockpiled his harvests with only one aim—selfish indulgence. In one breath God told him he would die that night and asked him, “The things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be?”…
The mail recently brought a small flyer with the question in the title above. The flip-side answers as follows: “You are here to have an eternal relationship with God!” To be Biblically accurate, we are here to serve and glorify God so that we can enjoy an eternal relationship with Him in Heaven….
In spite of the plainness of the singularity of Jesus’ purpose in coming among men, it is still misunderstood. Men have variously set forth such purposes as political revolution, social reform, and physical healing—all of which crucially miss the mark….
I suppose the most difficult task that each of us is called upon to perform is the examination of our motives. Jesus was talking about this when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: For they shall see God”….
Do male and female need to be married to please God or can they just decide to cohabit and begin sharing bed and board at their own whim?..
Are Gospel meeting series still worth the time, money, and effort they require? Many point to the decline in attendance, when compared with such efforts thirty or forty years ago, and some congregations have discontinued them in favor of bringing in some specialist on this or that social problem. It cannot be gainsaid that they do not attract the crowds they did in a previous, slower-paced, less entertainment-oriented world….
Among Jesus’ greatest causes of distress must have been those who failed Him. These included unbelievers as well as various disciples who abandoned, denied, or betrayed Him….
Some people are not Christians because they’re not willing to count the cost and pay the price. Some have too much pride to humbly obey the Word of Christ. Some are so steeped in prejudice that they will never give the Gospel a fair hearing.…
Every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening the congregation conducts Bible classes. Dedicated teachers prepare for their teaching duties each week. Lamentably, some do not take advantage of these learning opportunities.
When the walls of Jerusalem had tumbled in, and remained in that condition for a long time, Nehemiah was allowed to return to his native land for the purpose of rebuilding those walls. It was a great day in the life of the Jewish nation when these walls, which surrounded their holy city began to be raised again.
Ever since the church began, some who obeyed the Gospel, thus being added by the Lord to the church, have failed to remain faithful. I am sure that there are some reasons with which I am not familiar. However, I have heard several in the years I have been preaching the Gospel. In hopes that these might prevent someone from dropping out, I want to discuss a few of them….
The most powerful and interesting preacher in the world is insufficient to draw crowds to hear the Gospel by himself. There must be the added element of the personal invitation, the personal visit, if a great crowd is to be gathered.…
In God’s inspired Word, the Bible, He has revealed everything anyone can know about His mind and will. Either He means what He says in His Word, or He doesn’t. If He doesn’t, the Bible is merely advice that we may ignore with impunity.…
All of those who love and are influenced by the world stand opposed to and alienated from God. Consider some of the warnings the Lord gives us against worldliness and the world.
“But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13). Paul’s description of ungodly men fits just as well now as when he wrote it….
The worship of Almighty God is both an exalted privilege and an awesome duty. Failing this realization has cost many much (e.g., Cain, Nadab, Abihu, King Saul, et al.). Jesus rejected the worship of the religious leaders of His day: “But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men” (Mat. 15:9).…
Acts 12 gives us the record of Herod’s cruel murder of James and imprisonment of Peter because it pleased the Jews. But the Lord had other plans for Peter and sent an angel to release him…When Peter finally convinced himself that he was not seeing a vision, but that he was truly outside the prison, he “considered” what he should do…
In John 8:24 Jesus said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” These words, spoken primarily to the Pharisees among the Jews … in the Temple … are an excellent example of the direct, bold, and plain-spoken approach which characterized the preaching of the Son of God.
“A person who shoulders his responsibilities has little room left for chips.”
There is so much truth in the sentence that it might be termed a proverb. It surely points us to one of the forgotten virtues of our times.…
What a wonderful world this would be if this spirit “ran loose” each day of the year, and indeed, this is what the Lord wills. Along with all of the good things this season brings, I have observed some who have extreme positions toward “Xmas.”
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