Christmas Activities

Be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming Christmas happenings.

Mount Zion Association Hymn Sing at Lisbon Baptist Church on Sunday December 5,  at 2:00 pm.  The sing last year was at Armstrong Baptist.  This year make a trip down to the river and join in praising God in song at a sister church.

Armstrong Community Choir will hold their annual Christmas cantata at Armstrong Baptist Church on Sunday December 12, at 7:30 pm.  This is always a special time of celebration with Christians from several area churches praising God together.  There will be refreshments afterward.

The Armstrong Baptist Church Christmas program will be Sunday December 19, at 6:30 pm at the church.  Bring a special to bless others and praise God, or just come and enjoy the fellowship.

There will be no business meeting in December unless a special need arises.

Are We Joking?

There is an interesting aspect to the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plains in Genesis 19. After God had determined that the ungodliness of those cities was so great that total destruction was needed, Lot, a righteous man living in the ungodly city of Sodom was given the chance to take out any associated with his family and save them. Lot went to his sons-in-law and told them to “Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!”

The reaction to his plea is one of the saddest statements in Scripture: “But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.” Lot was able to get his daughters to leave with him, but his sons-in-law stayed to be lost in the complete devastation of the rain of fire and brimstone.

The judgment of God is never a joking matter. God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die a horrible death on a cross to pay for our sins so that we could turn to Him and receive eternal life. God hates sin and will bring devastating judgment upon sinners who refuse to repent and receive the gift of salvation in His Son Jesus.

Please turn from sin to Jesus today. Do you think we are joking?

The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ Be With You

It sometimes seems as if fierce is in. Some people seem to be against everybody and everything. That is such a hard way to live.

You know there is another way. God is angry with sin every day, and yet he doesn’t immediately strike down every sinner. He continues to send the sunshine and the rain, to preserve our planet, and offer salvation to every sinner who will accept Jesus as their Savior. In short, he doesn’t give us the hell we do deserve, but extends grace, giving us what we don’t deserve. What a gracious God sits enthroned in heaven.

He also shows us a remarkably different way to live. Instead of giving the worst to people, we can hope the best for them. It is such a glorious thing to be reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ that we should desire that for everyone. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ Be With You!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. I Thessalonians 5:28

The Animals Were Easy

Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every [kind] will come to you to keep [them] alive. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather [it] to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. Genesis 6:20-22

God told Noah that the birds, animals, and creeping things of the earth would all come to him to keep alive.  Getting the animals on to the ark was the easy part, God did all the work.

The harder part was getting the food together.  God told Noah that he was to gather the food to himself for himself and the animals.  That would be a considerable in-gathering, in other words, a lot of work.

This is perfectly consistent with God’s continuing reminder of our fallen condition.  Even as Noah and company were being saved through the flood, they were being reminded of the curse because of man’s sin.

God told Adam: “Cursed [is] the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat [of] it All the days of your life. Genesis 3:17b. Gathering food for the multitude would be quite a reminder of the reason for all that toil and sweat.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:8.  The toil of gathering was a painful reminder that Noah was a sinner as deserving of death as any other.   The salvation came by God’s grace as Noah believed and obeyed God.  As we encounter the pain of life, let’s be reminded that we are fallen creatures deserving of God’s wrath.  It will make the blessings graciously bestowed by the Lord all the more precious.

And the Angels Sang

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  Luke 2:8

You can hardly imagine what it was like for the shepherds who were watching their flocks in the vicinity of Bethlehem many years ago.  To them it was just another night.  The routine must have been fully ingrained.  Watch the flock, eat, and sleep.  Arise to a new day, watch the flock, eat, and sleep.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

As they were beginning another night with their flock, the routine was shattered.  You have to believe that they were never able to take their lives so much for granted again!

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  Luke 2:9

The glory of this heavenly messenger struck them down.  If the messenger can cause such awe, it is beyond comprehension what it will be like to be in the presence of the Lord Himself!  The amazing thing is that this angel came to reveal to them that God was even now preparing the way for us to come into His presence.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

What an announcement!  Everything provided that fallen man needs; a Savior who is the long awaited Messiah (Hebrew) or Christ (Greek), and who is the Lord Himself.  What a blessed night.  Isn’t it amazing that this glorious announcement wasn’t made in the palaces of kings, but was made to simple shepherds who were simply working to survive.  God always loves to exalt the simple to confound the wise.

To confirm the word of this angel, God provided two signs.  First, when they got into Bethlehem they would find this amazing baby lying in a manger, not exactly the place where you would expect to find any baby, let alone the King of the Universe.  Secondly, even as they were trying to digest what was happening and being told to them, the testimony of this lone angel was confirmed by the testimonies of a multitude of heavenly beings.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14

Praise be to God for His good will to men, making peace through the blood of the cross of His Son.  O glorious night when Jesus stepped into history to begin this redemption. A night in which the angels sang: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  May all His people sing His praises as well!

That by all means we may save some