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Remember the Days of Old

by Larry Miles

Remember the Days of Old

by Larry Miles

Delivered at the 2022 Kentucky Indiana Fellowship in July. 

Text: Deuteronomy 32:7. “Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:

 

Isaiah 46:9. “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me.” (ESV)

 

Introduction:  How can we pass on our faith to the next generation? We can do it audibly, and by our actions. We can tell the next generation how God has worked in our lives.  We can show them by our actions that we serve a Living God who wants to be active in our lives. It’s very important that we share our faith with others.

            Christianity is a living and active religion. God is the God of the past, present and future. All throughout biblical history, God has told us to share our faith and to share what He has done for us, is doing for us, and will do for us.

            Concerning the passage in Isaiah 46:9, John MacArthur writes the following in the “MacArthur Study Bible,” The readers are to recall: (1) All the past history of fulfilled prophecies, as well as (2) miraculous deliverances such as from Egypt, and (3) providential blessings Israel has experienced.  All of these are ample evidence that He alone is God.

One of the   great themes   in the   whole   Bible, especially in the   Old Testament, is God reminding His people what He did for them, what He was doing, and what He will do.  God, many times over reminded them how He had delivered them from Egyptian bondage and sustained them in their wilderness wanderings. Although the wanderings were extended for about 38 years because of the unbelief of the people at Kadesh Barnea, God brought the rest to the east side of the Jordan River. There, after the death of Moses, He commissioned Joshua to lead the people over the Jordan and to conquer the land.

      In this lesson, I want to break down how we can share what God has done for us with the next generation by examining some ways He has worked in the past.

Throughout the Old Testament, God commanded his people to share with future generations how He had always loved and took care of His people and that He wanted them to share with future generations about that. Refer to how God brought the Israelites. Out of Egypt into the Promised Land, led by Moses and later Joshua.

They were instructed to recite the Lord’s mighty acts to subsequent generations. Here are a few verses where this is highlighted.

  1. In Joel 1:3, we read these words, 3 Tell your children about it, letyour children tell their children, And their children another generation.
  2. In Deut. 4:9, we read these words, 9 Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,
  3. In Deut. 6:6-7, we read, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

 In the remaining part of our message, I want to share some things that we need to share with future generations. We, in what Is called the Pre-Mil churches of Christ, have a great heritage.  We have stressed many things in our heritage.  The theme of this years’ Kentucky-Indiana Christian Fellowship Week is “A Time to Remember, 75 Years of Grace and Truth.”

In 1917, a book called “Truth and Grace” was released. It features editorial articles that Bro. Robert Henry Boll wrote when he was Front Page Editor of the “Gospel Advocate.” (1909-1915) They are Primarily from 1909-1911.

      The title of that book and the theme of this conference speak to the heritage we share and some of the. aims and goals presented that we need to treasure and share with others, especially the next generation.  You have heard from Bro. Garrett about some of his and many other mentors of our fellowship.

I want to focus the time have left and talk about 3 areas that the Pre-Mil churches have stressed over the years. Sadly, in the. past, these 3 areas were not taught as much or stressed, in my view, in many Churches of Christ, especially in the early and middle part of the 20th century.  I am glad to say that at least 2 of the 3 are being stressed more by some today.

The three areas that I want to talk about are as follows:

  1. “For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men.” We find these words in Titus 2:11. This is the opening passage to the thoughts in Titus 2:11-15. This passage might be titled “Christian Living in Expectation of the Return of Jesus.”
  2. In this passage “grace” is both a person and an action. It is evident to the reader that this verse is talking about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus. In the fulness of time, God sent forth His Son ( 4:4-5) to redeem mankind. We have the promise of God  throughout the Old Testament to send forth the Redeemer prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10); He came to save all mankind (Romans 5:8). We see the grace of God throughout the Old Testament.
  3. This grace is also an action. The saving grace of Jesus illustrates His great love for mankind. God so loved the world (John 3:16). It is in this action that we have the Godhead showing forth this great love towards mankind. The grace of God is truly wonderful and beyond description. We never will deserve it, but we praise God that we can enjoy the blessings of grace through our Lord Jesus Christ
  4. The main crux of the verse is that both of these thoughts in Titus 2:11 bring salvation. There is no salvation outside of Jesus (John 14:6; Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. and Acts 4:12). 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”  Let’s embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord and never fail to praise Him and thank Him for His great mercy “in that while we were yet sinners.” He died for us.
  5. We must live out our faith-Jesus is our Example--
  1. In our fellowship, there has always been an emphasis on the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the. believer. We believe that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when we are. Baptized into Christ for  the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38) Paul told the Romans that unless we have the  Holy Spirit we are not a Christian.
  2. The Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it.” He is the 3rd Person of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit inspired the Word of God (2nd Tim 3:16-18).There were some in Churches of Christ who did not and or do not stress a personal indwelling, but rather, say that the Sprit does not operate outside the Word of God. I would rather  put it: The Holy Spirit does not Operate contrary to the Word of God.
  3. He works in our  lives; we trust in the Spirit’s life to guide us. He guides us in our Understanding of God’s Word. Th Holy Spirit- dwells in our “hearts,” this really means He dwells in our minds—expound on the thought of Mind Renewal in a Mindless Society.
    • The Imminent Coming of The Lord
  4. Prophecy as a Motivation for Holy Living (Titus 2:11-14) 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation[a] for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works.
  5. H. Boll, “The Christian Leader and the Way,” September 20, 1904 wrote the following:

 

Our steadfastness and perseverance depend on perpetual expectation of our Lord's; return. "But if that servant shall say in 'his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming," he will forthwith begin to neglect his duty, grow lax· in service, and make- havoc of God’s heritage. The tendency of the flesh lies that way; and that perpetual tendency downward must be met by a perpetual tendency upward. For this reason, the "grace of God" not only taught us to deny ungodliness and \Worldly lusts, and live "soberly, righteously and ~godly in this present world," but also to look "for the blessed 'hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2 11-13). Those who "mind earthly things" have in every instance ceased to look to heaven for the return of the Lord; and, vice -versa, those who look for Jesus do not "mind earthly things" (Phil. 3:18-21).

Conclusion: Let’s strive to stand true to the teachings of the Bible as we strive to live out daily our faith in the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 15:58) 5Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. before all we come in contact, especially the next generation.  75 years of believing these truths and then living these truths. Let’s let our lights shine so that folks will see in us that we seek to put Jesus first in our lives.

Jesus is coming again!  We hope it’s right now!—We’ll be with Him for eternity. But of not, let’s keep on “keeping on for Jesus!”  Refer to Col. 1:12-14and 2nd Peter 3:18-  This should motivate  us to greater service.

 

Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends the Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.

 




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33