I believe God’s wrath and judgment is soon to be poured out upon this present wicked world without measure.
But the people of Nineveh heard the word of God, believed and repented in sackcloth and ashes: “For word came unto the King of Nineveh and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes…” They turned, “everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands” (Jonah 3:6, 8).
“Hear ye and your soul shall live” (Isa. 55:3). Suddenly my mind races to Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones in Ezek. 37:1-14. The building of a vivid picture of a world dead in trespasses and sins begins to unfold. As I scan the panorama before me, the living dead of every creed, color and nationality move about in the dark places of this vast valley with their inhuman and ungodly tactics for personal gain and worldly pleasures. I move to a higher ground, a voice, “can these bones live?” I can answer as the prophet Ezekiel, “O lord thou knoweth.” We understand well this vision to portray or announce the future restoration of the nation of Israel while symbolizing the method of her accomplishments of the same. The vision also pictures the true method of any individual that would, through the power and grace of God, pass from death unto life. I compare the prophet Ezekiel with the true minister of today as he walks and works among the spiritual dead in this vast graveyard of sinners, preaching the glorious gospel of the Lord!
As many as should live must hear the voice of the living God: for there is no power that can restore human bones to life, save God’s. God alone has the power to restore either natural or spiritual life. Ask yourself the question, “Am I headed on my way to that far land where the soul of man never dies? Where there will be no sad farewells and no tear dimmed eyes.” Yes, the soul of man will never die. Now is imperative because it embraces the present. “Come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow…” (Isa 1:18).
The Lord has spoken of no other time but now to turn from wickedness and turn to righteousness through the righteousness of His Son, our Saviour and our God.
“Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried saying thus saith the Lord of hosts, turn ye now from your evil ways and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor harken unto me, saith the Lord” (Zech. 1:4).
For he saith, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation, have I succored thee; behold now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2).
Tomorrow belongs to the Lord. The Lord’s day is coming; our day is now. I would like to close this series of lessons with this solemn warning and instructive admonition:
“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more shake I not the earth only, but also heaven, And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Heb. 12:25-27).
After the creation, God the Son received the authority and power from the Father to become the one and only mediator between man, the creature and God, the Creator. Jesus became the means by which God speaks to man and man speaks to God today. This was God’s plan and purpose from eternity to redeem lost mankind from the ruin of sin. From the foundation of the world, God purposed his Word (His Son) as man’s advocate with Him.
May we all be found faithful in sharing this great and powerful message with the lost world around us. To do so, we must believe God’s Word. The Word gives us light, enabling us to understand it and instruction in how to handle it. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105). “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psa. 119:130).
May God bless you is my prayer.
From Our Missionaries
Connection Point, Brookland: Chad White writes, “Once again, we had some major weather impact this week at Connection Point. Over the week we received 8-10” of snow here in Brookland. We were unable to have our Wednesday night groups again this week. We did have a guy come out and clear the parking lot of snow on Friday so we could have in-person services this week, and we are grateful for that.
“Sunday morning, we enjoyed a good service. We had a good crowd despite many still trying to navigate their snow-covered driveways and sideroads. In fact, it was our best in-person attendance for the year.
“Sunday evening, we held our first ever Valentine’s Banquet. It was originally scheduled for last week, but had to be postponed due to weather. However, it was worth the wait. It was a wonderful evening. The tables were all decorated in gold and pink, complete with balloons and even heart-shaped plates. We had food catered by Longhorn and homemade cheesecake for dessert. We enjoyed some funny videos, passed out door prizes, took photos and even played some silly games. It was an amazing evening, and hopefully the beginning of a new tradition.”
The Mustard Seed, Cain: Jim Tollison writes, “It was great to be back in services Sunday. We have missed two Wednesday nights and one Sunday service due to the weather. We had people still out from sickness to busted water pipes. Our attendance was nowhere near what we were hoping it would be, but it was still a great day.
“I am sure the other mission points, as well as our churches, are having to regroup as we begin facing the aftermath of COVID-19 and the winter storm. Despite all this adversity we must remember we are going to experience ultimate victory. We are on the winning team.
“Let’s pray together for the Lord’s work to flourish in the days and months ahead. God bless you all.”
Grace, Green Forest: Carter Pearce writes, “On Thursday, I asked my teenage boys to shovel the snow off our driveway. They complained about it, of course, and did part of the work on Thursday. Because of the slight thaw on Thursday and refreeze Thursday night, the job was much harder to complete on Friday.
“I didn’t punish them much for not finishing their assignment on Thursday, but I made it clear that it had to be done on Friday. They learned that the job was much harder once the light snow turned to ice. Their decision to put things off made the task much more difficult.
“I have learned, in my 30 years as a Christian, that the jobs God gives us are much easier to do when they are assigned. We all have a tendency to put things off, especially when we don’t really want to do them anyway. Often, however, we still put things off and have to struggle through life because we don’t listen to the Father and we don’t understand that He knows what is best.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “This week we suspended our service in Chenal because the snow wasn’t cleaned off in some areas and the streets where the majority of the people live were covered in ice and snow. I did the transmission online from the temple and much of the parking lot was full of snow. The brothers were all very happy and praise the name of our God. We were challenged by the Word of God to be thankful, no matter the circumstances around us.
“Last week, we were able to continue with our Berean Groups (cells) online. It is not the same, but at least we could be edified in the Word of God. The group meeting in Chenal always asks many questions and has a thirst for the Word. The two international groups that we have online continue to grow — the group in Colombia is already an average of 8 and in Chile it is 14. I direct the one in Chile and I see the thirst for spiritual things.
“I am thankful for what God is doing in Ebenezer, changing the lives of new believers and those who have spent time attending the congregation. Pray for those who have been unable to assist us since the pandemic. I thank God for each one of you who read these requests and prays for us Arkansas missions and missionaries. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “The week started out very sad for us. Karen’s father passed away, and after three weather delays and one broken water main at the cemetery, we finally were able to have his service on Friday. Her mom is not doing well at all after her broken hip. Trauma and anesthesia are both very hard on dementia patients, but they did allow us to start visiting her, and that means a lot to us just to be able to be with her.
“Then Sunday, my mom came to our worship service along with my sisters, a bunch of our nieces from both sides and some of their kids. After the service I performed a wedding ceremony for my niece and her fiancé.
“So, this week I preached my father-in-law’s funeral, a gospel message for our brothers and sisters and our family, then performed a wedding for my niece. Then we ate, loved, fellowshipped and rejoiced! If we ever prayed more in a week I don’t know when it was and that is what got us through it.
“Thank you for your prayers, they hold us up! And please remember Karen’s mom in your prayers. And all those on our list too!”
Not Alone, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “I am excited to see how God has already worked through our first two months here on the mission field. We are happy to announce that we are starting our first small Bible study with another couple. They have decided to come into the core of this church plant. My meeting with the Boardgame store owner did not end up happening, but it was rescheduled for two weeks from now.
“We are meeting with another family in the area this Sunday — the husband has expressed interest in what we are doing, but we have yet to invite them in. The timing has not yet been right for this type of conversation, but we are still working on making our relationship with them stronger.
“We are also working on scheduling a time for our ex-Jehovah Witness neighbors to come over to our house. The weather has been terrible! We are now seeing the snow melt, but it has delayed some of the things we had hoped to already have accomplished. It is obviously all in God’s timing. Continue to pray for us as God focuses our ministry.3