Home> The Lower Lights> May 2005

   THE

   LOWER

   LIGHTS

 

  Alan Jones, Editor

  (734) 942-7956

 

 

 

"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 4                                                                         May 2005                                                                                      No11 

 

“WHAT ARE YOU ADVERTISING?”

 

Last month, when I was distributing this bulletin from house to house near the church building, I met a man who was curious as to what I was handing out.  He inquired, “What are you advertising?”  This was a logical question, as we all receive so many flyers on our door, soliciting us to buy various products such as pizza, replacements windows, telephone and TV service, and lawn care.  Perhaps if you took this bulletin off of your door or out of your mailbox, you were disappointed that it wasn’t a pizza coupon.  But, this bulletin is not about trying to get you to buy something and it is about something far more important than pizza.

             If you listen to TV and radio preaching for very long, you might conclude that religion is all about the money.  Hardly a program ends without a solicitation for money to keep the program on the air and offers of books and tapes/CDs that can be yours for a “donation”.  But, did you realize that the gospel of Jesus Christ was first preached for free!  John records that preachers “went out for the sake of the Name (Jesus-AJ), accepting nothing from the Gentiles.” (3 John 7)  Paul told those he preached to at Corinth, “I do not seek what is yours, but you” (2 Cor 12:14), making it very clear to them that he was not after their money, but after their souls.

             Unfortunately, not all Christians, even in N.T. times, were like the preachers John wrote about or like Paul.  Many, in fact, were like the churches and preachers of today, marketing the Word of God for financial gain.  Paul said that he and his fellow preaching companions were “not

 

like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.” (2 Cor 2:17- NASV).  Some versions use “corrupt” where the New American Standard Version uses “peddling”, but it is the NASV that really brings out the meaning here.  It wasn’t the message that they were corrupting, it was their marketing of the message that was corrupt.  Vine’s Expository Dictionary says that the Greek word (kapeleuo) Paul used “primarily signifies to be a retailer, to peddle, to hucksterize, hence to get base gain by dealing in anything, and so, more generally, to do anything for sordid personal advantage.”

             This bulletin has been put on your door, mailed to you, or handed to you by a member of the Palmer Road church of Christ in all sincerity, with no interest in anything you might have.  It is free of charge, as are our sermon tapes and other teaching materials.  We hope that you will visit our worship services and Bible classes.  You will find that these meetings also are free of charge.  We do not solicit funds from visitors. 

            We do not put out The Lower Lights for our advantage, but yours.  We want to impart to you the gospel, and if you would let us, ourselves for your spiritual profit (1 Thess 2:8).  Our intention is the same as Paul’s, who told the Corinthians, “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord; and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor 4:5)  Please read on to see why what we are presenting to you is far more valuable to you than a pizza coupon…. 

 

 

“ADVERTISING” JESUS

As we have said, we are not among the many who are selling Jesus to make a profit for themselves.  However, there is a definition of “advertise” that describes very well the purpose of The Lower Lights and the purpose of our other evangelistic efforts.  The American Heritage Dictionary gives as their second definition of “ad-vertise”, “to make known, call attention to.”  In this way, we do “advertise” Jesus, calling your attention to you what was first made known so long ago:

             When Jesus came to earth, an angel gave the first “advertisement”, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Lk 2:10-11) 

John the Baptist “advertised” to his disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29)

              Peter, unmoved by being arrested for “advertising” Jesus, said of Him, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

Paul “advertised” to his fellow Jews, “He whom God raised did not undergo decay.  There-fore let it be made known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (Acts 13:37-38)

 

 

John the apostle, gave this eyewitness “advertisement” to all who never had the oppor-tunity to walk the earth with Jesus, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was mani-fested to us- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 1:1-3)

               The most serious problem that all men face is sin.  Sin destroys our relationship with God, now and forever.  Sin will cause us to face God’s wrath at the Judgment day and be sentenced to eternal separation from Him in hell.  But, there is good news of salvation- of a Savior, Jesus.  Because of His sacrifice on the cross, our sins can be forgiven; we can have fellowship with God, both now and forever.  We can enjoy the joy and peace that come from a clean conscience and the guidance of a Good Shepherd and the hope of heaven with God and Jesus beyond the grave. 

Our “advertisement” is not to sell you something, but to tell you something- about what God is willing to give you, if you meet His conditions of forgiveness.  Let us know if we can tell you more.  Please visit us, write, call, or email.

 

 
 


 

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