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Monday, April 16, 2018

For our citizenship is in heaven


For our citizenship is in heaven from which we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory.........(Philippians 3:20-21)


Each day we live, we move a little closer to that moment in time when we will shed this earthly tabernacle and step out into eternity. As a faithful child of God we will be going to that better country where we will live for ceaseless ages with our Lord and the redeemed of all ages.


The Lord willing, in just a few more weeks, I will celebrate my 84th year on this side of eternity. This life has been exciting and certainly most interesting. It has been a great adventure so far and I feel confident that the same holds true for all who read these words. The path through life is sometimes smooth and easy while at times it is rocky and difficult. In our youth we are strong, vibrant, full of energy and it seems as if nothing can stop us. As we grow older our strength fades considerably and all too quickly the aches and pains that accompany age begin to set in and even though life is still exciting, it does become a little more adventurous.


When all is said and done, if  we could not go to God for help, if we could not find strength and refuge in him, if in those times of troubles and afflictions that strike our human frame causing anxiety and sorrow to trouble us, our walk on this side of eternity would be most difficult indeed (Psalms 94:17; Psalms 40:17; Psalms 46:1-3; Psalms  121:2; Hebrews 4:16).


"Preserve me O God, for in thee do I put my trust-- Psalms 16:1. This is a short but powerful prayer uttered by David asking God to keep him from harm and that God will defend and sustain him as he walks this earthly pathway. This is a prayer that should be on our lips every day. It tells our God that we trust him to watch over us and in turn we are willing to commit ourselves to him at all times(Psalms 62:8)..


Charles Hicks

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Journal Herald newspaper of Dayton, Ohio

Brotherly Love

Mike Willis once shared the story of 13-year-old hero that was the subject of an article in the
February 13, 1984 edition of The Journal Herald newspaper of Dayton, Ohio. The article disclosed how
this young teen saved the lives of his two brothers, ages three and four, when their house trailer
caught on fire.

The boys' father awoke one morning and quickly discovered that the trailer was on fire. Flames of
fire in the hall of their home separated his room from the boys' bedroom. The father ran outside,
broke the window to the boys' bedroom, and yelled to his 13-year-old son, William Holsclaw, to hand
his brothers to him through the window.

William's father later told how William saved his brothers: "He stood there and handed me them
babies out while he was cooking [i.e., was on fire]. He never looked up or hesitated a minute; he
did just what he was supposed to do. The flames were . coming up his backside. He was on fire! I
could see him, but there wasn't a thing I could do except grab the babies. I didn't think he was
going to get out, but he made it. . All he had on was a T-shirt and underwear, and the shirt was
burning on his back while he got the boys out."

After sharing the account of William's heroic actions, Willis stated that a subsequent newspaper
account revealed that at the time of the article, William was in critical condition but was expected
to survive the ordeal.

William's actions were indeed heroic. They also reflect a wonderful example of brotherly love.

As Willis commented: "This thirteen year old lad demonstrated what brotherly love is all about. He
endured pain - excruciating pain - in order to save the lives of his brothers. He put his own safety
second to their good. Surely we can learn a lesson from this beautiful example of brotherly love."

I want to suggest two lessons:

One lesson is that Jesus loves us even more than this amazing brother loved his brothers. "Greater
love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13). William risked
his life for his brothers. Jesus laid down his life for us, and He did it, not just for His friends
but His enemies, too! Read Romans 5:6-10. He died for us so that we can be saved from our sins which
separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2).

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). His
blood will continue to cleanse us from sin as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John

A second lesson is "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).
Jesus instructs His followers: "love one another; as I have loved you" (John 13:34). "Let brotherly
love continue" (Hebrews 13:1), and may that love reflect the depth of love that Jesus has for you
and me. Won't YOU accept God's loving offer of salvation and eternal life through Christ?

Won't YOU share the love of Christ with those around you?

-- David A. Sargent

SOURCE: "Brotherly Love" by Mike Willis in Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 11, pp. 322, 345-346. June 7,

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Easter Sunday

There is no such thing as "Easter Sunday" in the Bible.  Many people have been led to believe that there is a special day, set aside by God, called "Easter Sunday".  The religious world has been taught that this is the day that Christ resurrected from the dead and that we are commanded to observe the Lord's Supper that Sunday in remembrance of that occasion.  Let's take a Bible look at this.
1) Use of the Word Easter in the Bible. 
The word "Easter" does occur in the King James Version of the Bible.  "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people" (Acts 12:4).
2) Easter Refers to Passover. 
The word translated 'Easter' in Acts 12:4 is translated 'Passover' 28 times in the New Testament. Only this one time did the translators render it 'Easter.'  The American Standard Version renders it properly - 'Passover.'
3) No Example of Observance. 
Read the Bible as much as you will, you will not find one command, or example, of Christians observing a special day called "Easter".  We do read of early Christians meeting on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7).  We find them being told to "lay by in store" upon the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:1-2).  But no where are we told to meet for an "Easter Service"!
4) The Resurrection of Jesus. 
The Bible teaches us to remember the death of Christ.  As we partake of the Lord's Supper, the death and resurrection of our Lord is remembered (1 Cor.11:23-26). This is to be done weekly, not just once a year!  Remember Paul said, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain" (Gal. 4:10-11).

- by Johnie Edwards

Monday, April 2, 2018

1 Corinthians 16


Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all things be done with charity (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).


Five great responsibilities for the child of God are revealed to us in this passage from 1 Corinthians 16. If we are going to be successful in our pursuit for the prize of the high calling of God (Phil. 3:14), it is imperative that we give heed to these responsibilities.


WATCH YE: Be awake, alert, vigilant--watch heart (Prov. 4:23); thoughts (Phil. 4;8); affections (Col. 3:1-2); words (Matt. 12:37); speech (Titus 2:8); actions (Col. 3:17).


STAND FAST IN THE FAITH: uphold sound doctrine (Titus 2:1; 2 Tim. 1:13). Standing fast means to hold on to everything God has commanded of us with our entire being. Call it steadfastness, persistence, endurance, even stubbornness, call it what you will, it is essential to our spiritual well being (1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 6:13-14)


QUIT YOU LIKE MEN: Don't behave like children--abandon childhood tendencies (1 Cor. 14:20; 1 Cor. 13:11). Grow up spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).


BE STRONG: Be of good courage--fear no enemy (Ephesians 6:10; Isaiah 12:2; Proverbs 24:5; 1 Timothy 6:12). Spiritual strength will only come from proper growth (2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 4:14-15;  2 Peter 1:5-11).


LET ALL THINGS BE DONE IN LOVE: There is no place for bitterness, jealousy or envy in the Lord's church or between brethren (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:13-18; 1 John 4:10-11, 20-21; Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Corinthians 13:13)


Each of these five responsibilities are a great challenge to us. Will we accept the challenge and be successful in our quest for a home in the land where joys shall never end? Only time will tell.


Charles Hicks

Sunday, April 1, 2018

"Then the Lord God said. It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18).


After creating man, God determined it was not good for man to be alone so he created a  woman to be a mate who would be a  partner, sharing in all the activities of daily living Thus the first marriage of man and woman takes place in the garden of Eden


The union of a man and woman in marriage is a very serious union that should not be entered into lightly. The marriage bond is a life time commitment between a man and a woman in which two hearts will beat as one. Two individuals walking together, hand in hand down the pathway of life as one. When a man and a woman become husband and wife, they mutually agree to cleave to each other in a bond that is to last for so long as they live. This is a serious commitment (Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:22-25). It is this writer's conviction that an enduring marriage is one that begins with and continues with a firm commitment on the part of husband and wife to always make God an integral part of the marriage.


It is only after living together for many years, jointly sharing together everything, walking side by side, hand in hand, planning and dreaming together rejoicing when the road is smooth and easy, sticking together when the road is rocky and hard,  that the marriage of a man and woman will know the depths of a love that truly binds two souls together as one.


Sadly we are living in a time when so many marriages are ending in a divorce and many that do not end in divorce are void of the happiness and harmony that should be in the marriage. The likelihood of this happening is greatly diminished if husband and wife have it in their hearts to sweeten an beautify their marriage every day with a large measure of kindness, tenderheartedness and a forgiving spirit (Ephesians 4:32). In marriage there is the ever present need for a love that is dependable, responsible, strong and enduring, a love that will stick, stay and win, a love that is portrayed in 1 Cor. 13:4-7.


Charles Hicks

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Seek and Ye Shall Find

"Many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 Jno. 4:1,2. One should not be blinded to the existence of error, but should seek TRUTH. Jesus promised that "the truth will make you free." Jno. 8:32. Truth is the only antidote for error. This truth is accessible to all men alike. Yet there are certain basic considerations which are essential for the sincere truth seeker. Let us notice some of them.

1. THE INITIAL BATTLE IS WITH YOUR OWN WILL. If you really want the truth, you can find it. Jno. 7:17. The desire of the Holy Spirit is that you "be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:17. But you must first make up your mind that your DESIRE is to know. Then you will be ready to begin the search. A "good and honest heart" is first.

2. YOU MUST HAVE A WHOLESOME, RESPECTFUL ATTITUDE TOWARD THE TRUTH. To search for it will be a waste of your time if you do not plan to accept the truth -- whatever it may be. One must LOVE and BELIEVE the truth to avoid God's condemnation. (Be sure to read 2 Thes. 2:10-12).

3. BE SURE THAT YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION IS RELIABLE. God's revealed Word is the only infallible source of religious truth. The Bible writers were inspired of God. They could not err, therefore, in what they spoke by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are God-breathed, perfect, and all-sufficient as a guide for man in his search for forgiveness and the hope of eternal life. 2 Tim. 3:16,17.

4. RECOGNIZE THAT IT IS NOT YOUR PEROGATIVE TO CHANGE THAT WHICH THE WORD OF GOD TEACHES. Be content with what you find in the BIBLE. It is possible for parents to be wrong. Remember, too, that even men who are called "preachers" and "rabbis" have NO AUTHORITY at all to bind upon you any tradition or commandment of men. They are just men--and nothing more. BUT, the Author of the Bible is GOD. The Holy Spirit simply revealed to humanity what was in the mind of God. The Bible alone makes know the will of God for you. Steer clear, then, of any disposition to prevent this divine revelation. It is perfect; you are not.

5. DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO HINDER YOUR OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH. A soul (yours) is too valuable. The gospel of Christ is God's power to save. Rom. 1:16,17. Your concern must be, "What does CHRIST teach me to do to have remission of sins?" Read carefully these passages: Mk. 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:10; Acts 22:;16; Rom. 6:3,4. The simple requirements of Jesus are FAITH, REPENTANCE, CONFESSION and IMMERSION for the remission of sins.

BELIEVE the truth, OBEY it to have your soul purified. 1 Pet. 1:22. Let no one dissuade you from obeying the Author of eternal salvation. Heb. 5:8,9. All who seek salvation in this way WILL find it. THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE.

- by Barney Keith


Monday, March 19, 2018

Love is Kind


There is a man who is a regular customer at the Waffle House in La Marque, Texas. This same man recently underwent surgery and has to use a portable oxygen tank. When he went to the restaurant to eat on March 3, he told the waitress, Evoni Williams, age 18, that his hands “don’t work too good.” So Williams stood on the other side of the counter, took a fork and a knife, and cut the ham on his plate for him.


This simple act of kindness was photographed by Laura Wolf who was also eating breakfast at the Waffle House. She posted the photo on Facebook with this caption:


“I don't know her name but I heard this elderly man tell her his hands don't work too good. He was also on oxygen and struggling to breathe. Without hesitation, she took his plate and began cutting up his ham. This may seem small but to him, I'm sure it was huge. I'm thankful to have seen this act of kindness and caring at the start of my day while everything in this world seems so negative. If we could all be like this waitress & take time to offer a helping hand...”


Currently, this post has been shared on Facebook over 73,000 times and “liked” or “loved” over 145,000 times. Because of this post, several have sought to honor Williams for her kindness. La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking recently declared one day, “Evoni Williams Day.” As a thank-you gesture in recognition of her kindness, Texas Southern University presented her with a $16,000 scholarship.


The young employee told ABC 13 she didn’t expect any of the recognition she’s received. She saw a man who could use some assistance, and she helped him. "It just came from the heart," she said.*


What a simple but wonderful act of kindness! This writer is also thankful for the favorable attention that this kind act has received. It is quite refreshing when, as Laura stated, “everything in this world seems so negative.”


May this act point to the greatest act of kindness this dark world has ever experienced:


“3For we ourselves [that includes you and me] were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:3-5).


When we were lost in sin and couldn’t help ourselves, “the kindness and the love of God our Savior” appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life. He did this, not because of our “works of righteousness,” but because of His love, His mercy, and His kindness toward us. He saves us through “the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” This washing and renewing refers to what happens when a person places His faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turns from his sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confesses Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and is baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Then, as one continues to walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse him from sin (1 John 1:7).


Because YOU and I were lost in sin and destined for destruction, the kindness of God sent Jesus to save us. Won’t YOU receive the gift of His kindness through your trusting obedience?


-- David A. Sargent


* Information gleaned from “Waffle House employee's act of kindness toward elderly customer lands her $16G scholarship” by Michelle Gant of Fox News.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Cross-Shaped Marriage

A Cross-Shaped Marriage

Tomorrow, my wife and I will give our second daughter away in marriage to a great Christian young
man. Yes, our hearts are full with a myriad of thoughts and emotions, but we are very happy for
them. My prayer for Lacey and Will - and for all marriages - is that they will have a
"Cross-Shaped" Marriage.

There were three nails that held Jesus' body to the cross for our salvation. Actually it was His
love that held him there. By dying on the cross for our sins, Jesus demonstrated the greatest love
for you and for me. "This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the
world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and
sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:9-10 NIV).

The three nails of Jesus' cross can stand for three principles that are included in a "Cross-Shaped"

The first nail stands for "Selflessness." Jesus' death on the cross was done out of complete
selflessness. He willingly gave His life for us (John 10:17-18). Selfishness is the greatest enemy
of a happy marriage. Jesus' death on the cross demonstrates complete selflessness, which is crucial
to a strong, happy marriage. Read Philippians 2:3-4.

The second nail stands for "Sacrifice." Jesus gave His life for us on the cross. The Apostle Paul
said, "[Jesus] loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice
that atoned for our sins. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, wrote: "Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her" (5:25). This nail in Jesus' cross
should remind us of the sacrificial love that we are to have for one another.

The third nail stands for "Surrender." Jesus surrendered His will to that of His heavenly Father.
He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39). It was the Father's will that Jesus
die on the cross for the sins of the world; there was no other way to save mankind. May this nail
in Jesus' cross always remind us that the greatest thing that a husband and wife can do for their
marriage is for each of them to surrender his/her life to Christ. Then, as each one draws closer to
Christ, the two will draw closer to one another.

When these principles that are reflected in the nails of Jesus' cross are applied to a marriage,
that marriage will be strong - exactly what God has intended for marriage.

Yet, these same principles are applicable to each one of us - whether we are married or not. The
greatest life we can live - the abundant, God-blessed life - is a Cross-Shaped life filled with
selflessness, sacrificial love, and surrender to the will of God.

God will save and give eternal life to those who surrender to His will: place your faith and trust
in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men
(Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
Then, continue to live surrendered lives, daily submitting to the will of God as revealed in His
Word. As we walk in the light of His Word, the blood that Jesus shed on the cross will continue to
cleanse your soul (1 John 1:7).

If you get married, may it be a Cross-Shaped Marriage. Whether you are married or not, may you live
a Cross-Shaped Life. It will make an eternal difference.

-- David A. Sargent

Monday, March 5, 2018

How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things

How Beautiful Are His Feet

He had beautiful feet.

I don't ever remember seeing his bare feet. He probably had larger feet than most. He had to. He
stood tall at about 6 foot 5 inches. He stood tall in many ways.

And he had beautiful feet. How do I know? Because of this Scripture:

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good
things!" (Romans 10:15).

He had beautiful feet because he brought good news to all that he met. He brought the Good News,
the Gospel - the greatest news of all: that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1
Corinthians 15:3-4). That Good News, when it is received in good and honest hearts and placed as
the foundation of our lives, will save our souls (1 Corinthians 15:1-2). Many souls have been and
are saved because this preacher brought the Good News to them, and they believed it and obeyed it.

His name was W.T. Allison and he was a great Gospel preacher. That's why he had beautiful feet.

And he backed his message with his life. In the words of his daughter, Pam, "this sweet man of God
truly talked the talk and walked the walk." Marla Moorer Eddins summarized well the sentiments of
many when she wrote of him: "What a constant blessing he was to the entire Moorer family. We've
loved and adored this Christian man his whole life. He loved greatly, preached earnestly, and
laughed heartily. He was the real deal when it comes to faithful follower of God. He just loved
God! Thank you, Mr. Allison, for blessing every single person who knew you, all the couples you
married, all the funerals you performed, all the many Gospel sermons you preached, all the children
and babies you held, all the laughs and good jokes you shared. You will always always be in our

Now, don't you think his feet were beautiful, too?

And even though he passed from this life earlier this week, W.T. is still preaching. His life is
still pointing us to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins. Many of us can
still hear his booming voice as he proclaimed throughout his life and even in his death:

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31).
"Now [God] commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will
judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to
all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31). "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name
of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). "Be faithful until death, and [Christ] will give you the crown of life"
(Revelation 2:10).

I think W.T. would also say, "Love one another; as [Christ has] loved you" (John 13:34). That's how
W.T. loved people. He loved people so much that he would open up his heart and his life to them,
and he would always make sure they would have an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus.

My, how his feet were beautiful.

Won't YOU listen to W.T. as he continues to proclaim the Good News? Nothing would make him happier
than for you to believe and obey the Gospel and see him in heaven one day.

You will be one among many that will be in heaven because of the preaching and influence of this
great man of God who gave all the glory to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ.

-- David A. Sargent

* In loving memory of and extreme gratitude for the life of W.T. Allison, a great Gospel preacher
and dear friend. Until we meet again.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A judgment to come



Thought for the Week


And the time of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead.--Acts 17:30-31


There is no truth more firmly established in God's word than that which tells us we are going to one day die. then face God in judgment to account for how we have lived in this life (Heb.9:27; 2 Cor. 5:10). We are frail human beings and must always be aware of how brief this earthly existence is. Regardless of what our life span is, it will be only a short time when we considers the eternity to which we are going.


The words of Amos, spoken to Israel long ago echo down the corridor of time and should be ringing in our ears: "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD" (Amos 4:12). Because of the certainty and the nearness of death, that preparation should not postponed or delayed (2 Cor. 6:2).


We are prone to measure our lives in terms of years when in reality we should measure our lives in terms of one heartbeat at a time. We all walk a very fine line between living and dying (2 Sam. 20:3; Job 14:1-2). Realizing that our stay on this earth is brief and will quickly come to an end makes the words found in Psalms 39:4 encourage us to make the most of each moment: "Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am".


One day we will stand before the judgment bar of God to account to him for the things done in this body whether they be good or  bad (2 Cor. 5:10). We can live this life walking after the flesh or we can spend our life walking after the spirit in a manner that pleases God (Gal. 5:19-25). God leaves the decision as to which way we walk entirely up to us. That being true, if you were to stand in judgment this day, where would you spend eternity? Would happy your portion be or would it be a sad ending for you? What will it be, O what will it be?


Charles Hicks

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