We enjoyed a lovely day, this Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Blackjack Church in Drury. We had special prayer and a good worship service before dismissing to Sunday School classes. In Acts 18, Paul left Ephesus to journey to a feast in Jerusalem and returned through parts of Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen the disciples as he returned to Ephesus. Aquila and Priscilla did not accompany Paul on this trip, staying in Ephesus. There they heard Apollos preaching in the synagogue, zealous in spirit, preaching the word and the baptism of John the Baptist. He was unlearned of the full gospel until Aquila invited him to his house and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly”. (verse 26) Apollos, a great speaker, was given a letter of introduction to other churches as he left their care for “he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (verse 28). In Chapter 19, Paul returned to Ephesus and found certain disciples who were baptized of water, not knowing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul, having confirmed their belief in Christ Jesus, laid hands on them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit, “spoke in tongues and prophesied” (verse 6).
The youth shared their story of Jonah and his experience with the whale when he was in disobedience to God, understanding our choices bring forth consequences. Then they shared a song before Pastor Vic Murdy preached on God’s letter to the church of Pergamos, Revelations 2:12-17. These letters, tho written to certain churches, pertain to the church today. We used to be a world of contributors, now turned to a world of consumers. Consequences of choice is not considered; rather, sin is to be overlooked in the name of love. Jesus is love and merciful. “I have not been punished; this must be okay!” we think. The church is so weak that we don’t make the difference anymore. As with the church of Ephesus, Pergamos had done good works and held fast to the name of God. However, both had taken their eyes off God, compromising the word and allowing sin in the church. There are two types of sin: sin of commission and omission. Sins we do and sin we condone by not standing against them. There were those who followed the ways of Balaam and beliefs of the Nicolaitans that were within the church. God cries out “repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth”. God will keep the promises of His word. Deuteronomy 28 lists the blessings and curses that will result based on the choices we make.
But verse 17 declares that “if we overcome”, we will receive the hidden manna and a white stone on which we get a new name. The white stone represents free entry and a high seat to events in the Bible, and will be ours if we stand for the word without compromise. Hebrew 4:12 reminds us that “the word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword……and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. God will not be mocked. He knows our thoughts and the purpose under which we choice to do a thing.
Our noon day meal was wonderful as was our fellowship. Please feel free to join us next Sunday at l0:00 a.m. for service which will be followed by a meal. Pastor Murdy can be reached at 4l7-543-3659. As Christians, we are to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Our choices must consider not only what we believe to be a right thing to do, but also how it might appear to be to another who would look upon it. It may open the door to confusion or become a stumbling block to another. Consider your ways. God bless you and keep you.