Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 7 July 2014
Page 4

Killing Ants and Christians

Tim ChildsFire ants are a significant, costly problem across the southeastern United States. One means of extermination is by mixing equal amounts of powdered sugar and baking soda, sprinkling it where the ants are visible. The ants love the sugar but are unable to separate the baking soda from the composition, and the chemical reaction in their bodies brings death.

Equally deadly to the Christian, spiritually speaking, is the combination of Gospel truth with foreign elements of human or satanic origin. Evil workers in the disguise of “angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) often supply their adherents a portion of the sweet as they speak about the love, mercy, grace, power and promises of God. However, they are eager to supplement with portions of opinion, human tradition, philosophy and feel good options for a semi-spiritual – carnal blend. Like the ant, so many are either unable or unwilling to distinguish the good from the harmful.

Time and again the Scriptures sound the warning to God’s faithful children not to be duped by error or avoid deception by false teachers (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1-8). Paul grieved over the harmful influence certain people were gaining in Galatia while altering or perverting the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-9). He knew how life-threatening the danger was (and continues to be).

In Philippians 3:18 Paul used a word that meant “to sob” or “wail aloud” when he had warned of false brethren (Judaizing teachers) who opted for and promoted a blend of Judaism and Christianity. They were religious. These men and women believed in God, but they were actually “enemies of the cross of Christ.” Because he loved them dearly, in Philippians 3, Paul was not silent about the spiritual danger they posed with their doctrines that could only lead to destruction (vs. 19). Paul made an earnest appeal for the saints at Philippi to mimic his faith and example rather that those who would do them harm (whether maliciously or unintentionally) (3:17).

Friend, who can avoid spiritual death when he ingests a blend that contains poison into his soul? God supplies truth and purity of doctrine. Satan works to break God’s heart.

Planting the Seed

Gary C. Hampton

Gary C. HamptonJesus used illustrations from daily life to help His hearers understand the nature of His kingdom. The Parable of the Sower demonstrates this point and helps us grasp a number of lessons important to followers of Christ.

The Lord said, “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Farmers might have to be careful with their money, but they will never scrimp on seed. The reason is simple, the only way to have a harvest is from seed sown. Seed left in a bag in the shed does not produce. Neither will God’s Word left unscattered produce a harvest. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6).

The Lord said the farmer does not know how the seed sprouts and grows (Mark 4:26-29). The soil in which God’s Word grows is the human heart. It is not our place to decide which heart contains which type of soil. We know some hearts are like the packed earth of a footpath. Other hearts have shallow topsoil. Still others have hearts filled with the weeds of the cares, riches and pleasures of this life. Some have hearts filled with good soil ready to take in the seed and produce fruit to the glory of the Almighty (Luke 8:12-15).

The oldest known mature seed to sprout is the seed of the Judean date palm. It was found in Herod the Great’s fortress at Masada and is believed to be 2,000 years old (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080612-oldest-tree.html).

God’s seed does not lose viability over time. The Lord declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Those who gladly receive the Word today and are baptized will be saved from their sins by the blood of Jesus and begin a new life (Acts 2:41, 47; Romans 6:3-4).

Let us resolve to fulfill our role by planting the seed and watering it. Then, pray God will bring forth the increase. The results will bring forth much fruit to his glory.

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