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Accomplished artist, champion athlete, acclaimed tobacco auctioneer, interpreter and defender of the countryside — all describe Robert F. “Bob” Cage, who died Wednesday 19 in Raleigh, N.C. where he had…
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Larry Epperly took an unselfish Comet boys basketball team to the Region 5-A North semifinals last season, after a 20-win season. The Comets ran into a reality check, losing by…
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Bible Study by Dena Stevens for Oct. 17, 2013
SoVaNow.com / October 16, 2013Ezek. 33:9 “Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” If you warn them, and they do not listen, your hands are clean. We do not have to worry when we do our very best to sound the trumpet that Antichrist is on his way, because we have done what God requires of us. The Christian’s main responsibility is to witness to the lost. This is sometimes called “sowing seeds”, and it is an awesome responsibility—one that must be done with care and compassion. Much damage has been done by well-meaning Christians who try too hard. They overload the poor lost listener with talk, not knowing that when you are witnessing, you don’t throw the whole Book at the person at one time. We are instructed to be “fishers of men”. When you go fishing, you don’t throw the whole can of worms at the fish; you dangle a worm, one at a time on the end of a fishing pole. You are not likely to win anyone by shaking your finger in their face and telling them what a sinner they are, and that you know just what they need to be a better person. A witness should always be tactful and concerned for the individual. An effective witness will patiently lead them to the realization that they, like everyone else, stand in need of a savior, and that Savior is Jesus. If you are a witness, may God’s blessings go with you as you serve the Living God.
Ezek. 33:10 “Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them how should we then live?” How can we live if we have that kind of nonsense on our minds all the time? Of course, the answer to this is repentance. That brings total forgiveness from our Father. Although you might consider your life a failure, but you are really trying to live better, in God’s eyes, it’s perfect. The world expects a Christian to be perfect all the time, and they will throw it back at you if you don’t live up to their expectations. The truth is, Christians sin as do all other humans. We slip up and fall down many times when we try to do what’s right. Those old habits or those old sins pop right back to the surface, and there we go. With guilt, we say, “O Lord, I wish I could stop doing this. I wish I hadn’t done that.” Remember, salvation does not make you immune to sinning—it rescues you by giving you the way to overcome it. So, don’t get on those guilt trips after you have truly repented and asked for His forgiveness. God forgives a truly repentant sinner, and once a sin is forgiven, that sin disappears from the sinner’s record—it’s gone forever. Once God forgives a sin, He doesn’t want to hear about it again. Why? To keep asking God to forgive the same old sin that He has already forgiven, is to doubt His power to forgive. So, don’t do it. Of course, forgiveness of a sin doesn’t cover committing that same sin in the future. We must repent and ask forgiveness for each sin we commit. We may think that God becomes weary with all our prayers asking forgiveness for the many sins we commit, but God is a patient, loving Father, and He’s very understanding of our frailties. After all, He created these bodies and He certainly understands how they work.
Ezek. 33:11 “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God,” (do you understand the power of that statement? God’s message here is, ‘Everything I have created, everything that there is, documents that I live, and I’m using that as the strength for what I’m about to say.’ You just can’t make a stronger statement than that.) “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” God says “turn ye” twice and it is given for emphasis. This is speaking of spiritual death; death of the soul, which is the second death. God is pleading with His beloved people, including us: ‘Why do you choose to die? You don’t have to experience the second death. Your soul could live for the Eternity.’ God takes no pleasure in burning someone’s soul. He doesn’t like to lose His children to Satan.
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