Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 10 October 2021
Page 6

An Unanswered Question

Therman Hodge

Therman HodgeThere are more than 125 questions found in Book of Matthew. Many of them were asked by the Lord. His questions helped men focus on things that really matter. Jesus Christ’s questions in Matthew 22:42 were asked within the last week of the His life. “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David” (NKJV). Our Lord posed this question to people who were interested in spiritual things. Jesus addressed the central issue, “What do you think about the Christ?” If the thinking is not right at this point, it will not be right in other areas.

What do we think of our relationship with Jesus Christ? If the disciples thought of Jesus only as the son of David, they would have had only a partial view of the Lord. We know the answer to our Lord’s question if we accept what the Bible says about Him. Jesus continued by expanding the initial question.

He said to them, How then does David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool? If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son? And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. (Matthew 22:43-46)

As God (Deity), Jesus Christ is David’s Lord, but as a man, he is David’s Son. The disciples to whom our Lord spoke had Him in their presence as David’s Lord and as God’s Son. This should have caused them to respect Him.

What do we think of Christ’s sacrifice? We can know what John thought of Him (Revelation 19:9-10). We can know what Isaiah thought of the Messiah (Isaiah 53:4-7). What John the Baptist thought of the Christ appears in John 1:29. The apostle Paul expressed his thoughts about Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:25-26). The apostle Peter’s view of the Christ appears in 1 Peter 1:18-19.

What do we think of Jesus Christ’s integrity? Turn to Revelation 19:11 to see what the apostle John thought. “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” Why is this so important? Jesus made some great claims (Matthew 6:33; Mark 16:15-16). He will fulfill them even as He said.

What do we think of Christ’s standards? John wrote about His righteousness (Revelation 19:11). The apostle Paul told those in Athens that judgment would be according to righteousness (Acts 17:31). Paul also convinced Felix that judgment would be according to righteousness (Acts 24:25).

What do we think of Jesus’ power? The apostle Paul said that Jesus Christ is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16). Our Lord has “mighty power” (Ephesians 1:19-23). Jesus Christ is at the “right hand of God” (Acts 2:33).

When you look at Matthew 22, you will see that the disciples did not answer Jesus. Why? Did they not know the answer? It was difficult for them to answer. We, though, have the completed Word of God, by which we can know that as God (Deity), Jesus Christ is David’s Lord, but as a man, he is David’s Son.


Alcohol

Royce Pendergrass

Royce PendergrassIt’s that time of year again! November 4th is voting day and time for each one of us to have the opportunity to speak our minds on candidates and issues. For the first time ever, on the ballot there will be a spot to mark your X as to whether you want the sale of alcoholic beverages to become legal in the whole state. If you take the local newspaper, you’ve seen quite a bit about this matter from both sides of the issue. Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind how you are going to vote. Alice and I chose to vote early, and so our ballots are cast.

We’ve all heard the pros and cons of how making the state “wet” will either hurt or help our county. Most folks who have voiced their opinion either way have made it sound good for their side. You know, when it comes down to it, it really does not matter which way we feel about this issue. What matters is how God feels about it. Let’s look at His Word to see how He feels.

Early in the book of Genesis, we already see God having to deal with men’s desire for strong drink.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:5-8 NKJV)

Noah and his family were saved from the flood in the ark, but even Noah was not without sin. “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent” (Genesis 9:20-21). The balance of the verses in Genesis 9 relate additional consequences respecting Noah’s drunkenness.

From the earliest days, we see that drunkenness was a problem, and we see the damage it can do. Alcohol caused men to be unable to function properly, and that’s the way it’s been ever since. Alcohol impairs good judgment and clear thinking. “'Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart” (Hosea 4:11). The prophet Isaiah spoke of drunkenness, too. “But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment” (Isaiah 28:7).

Alcohol takes away man’s wisdom as stated in Proverbs 20:1. “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” The apostle Paul wrote:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Certainly, all wise men who strive to know and to do God’s will want to be with Him in the hereafter, but we see that alcohol will cause some to be excluded from that number. Isaiah said, “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! …Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink” (Isaiah 5:11, 22).

Not only does drinking affect the one drinking, but it affects those around him. We read in Proverbs 23:29-35:

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”

Consumption of alcohol brings sorrow and sadness to those who consume it, and the statement that really does it for me is that it bites like a serpent. When I was a child, I was bitten by a venomous snake and almost died before my dad got me to the doctor’s office some five miles away. Alcohol can be just as deadly, and, in fact, will separate you from God’s eternal blessings which is much worse than losing earthly blessings.

So, alcohol takes away one’s ability to make good judgments and to think clearly. It takes away wisdom, separates one from God and brings him or her misery and woes. God has no intention for us to participate in such condemned activity in any way. Those who are determined to consume alcoholic beverages don’t have any problem getting it now, and so they can continue to do that. However, let’s not bring the sale of alcohol closer to home. We live in a beautiful place, but bringing alcohol in will make the beauty start to slide downhill. Vote to keep our town and county alcohol free and clean. At the same time, we can please God!


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