Christ Could Not Have Come, Either Sooner Or Later
Jesus Christ came into the world to call sinners to repentance. “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17) Jesus Christ came into the world at just the right time. He could not have come, either sooner or later. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Galatians 4:4) Jesus came into the world at just the right time and He came into the world to save sinners. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15) Jesus came to earth at the time that God, in His infinite wisdom, thought best. He came at the time the prophets had specified. The exact period had arrived when all things were ready for His coming.
Jesus came at just the right time because the Law had done its wok. It had showed man the horribleness of sin. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law..." (Galatians 4:4) It is a terrible thing to transgress the will of God. In spite of all of God’s favor and blessings, men still failed to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. The worship of self, the
pursuit of pleasure, following after false gods and worldly philosophies had all left man empty and barren. The fullness of time had come! Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:6) Nothing is more heinous than our sins and nothing is more joyful than having sins forgiven. Sin is a universal problem. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Sin is rebellion against God and only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin. "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22)
Jesus came at just the right time to call people into His Kingdom. In Mark 1:15 we read, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Everything had been done according to the plan laid by Divine wisdom. Jesus came at the time that God believed most beneficial to the human race. Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and save the lost. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) Through repentance and obedient faith people can enjoy the great privilege of being in the kingdom of God’s dear Son.
Jesus came at just the right time to demonstrate the purpose of our life and give Himself a ransom for many. "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28) God, the Father, sent Jesus to bless us by turning us from our iniquities. "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." (Acts 3:26) Motivated by love, God sent Jesus to earth to provide salvation through blood. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3) We cannot have our sin blotted out if we do not turn away from it.
Jesus came at just the right time to be the Light of the world. Jesus said, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:46) Spiritual darkness brought the world to the point where it saw the need for a Saviour. Man never prepares himself to accept salvation until he is burdened with the darkness of this world. Light has now come; this light is able to purify the heart and give hope of immortality. Before the coming of our Saviour, the Sun of righteousness, into the world, all was darkness. Jesus came to dispel the darkness of sin. If anyone wants to be saved today, they must be saved through Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) It was the proper time for the Jesus to come and to reveal His better way.
Jesus came at just the right time to be our spiritual King and to bear witness to the truth. Pilate said unto Jesus, “Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18:37) Jesus was born into this world to set up a spiritual kingdom. This kingdom was established upon the truth and it was established by preaching the truth. Those who hear and obey the truth allow God’s spiritual government over their life. Our world is filled with spiritually starved people who need the truth.
Jesus came at just the right time to offer mankind an abundant life. In John 10:10 we read, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." This abundant life is made available to us through Jesus’ death on the cross. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10) The abundant life is one that is formed and fashioned to God’s will. "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18) Let us learn Jesus' will and be formed in His likeness. It is God's desire that Christians conform to the image of His Son. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
Jesus came at just the right time to make it possible for us to have a new heart. This new heart comes as we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4) Living faith transforms lives. Faith must produce a transformation of life or it is not a saving faith. Saving faith can only be shown in a changed life. Hebrews 10:39 says that we must be of them that "believe to the saving of the soul."
The Messiah was to be the seed of a woman. (Genesis 3:15) You have the wonderful privilege to know the Lord and to obey His will. The Lord will bless his faithful child. “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.” Be converted now! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Matthew 10:32) and be baptized to be saved. (Mark16:16) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) Let us never forget that, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: Jackson Hospital: Gary Leger. In Need of Prayer: Lorene Beverly, LeRoy Boutwell, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Camren Coleman, Anna Bell Conway, Lillie Crawford (great-granddaughter of Nelson & Nell Daughtry), Bonnie Croley, Tim Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Mike Dalton, Crowell Davis, Ethan Flowers Diamond, Marietta Faulkenberry, Michelle Flowers, Gail Gipson, Bernice Gorum (mother of Cindy, Gary & Tony), Devin Hawkins, Doris Hayes, Patrick Hicks, Ann Jackson (surgery), Patricia Kennemore, Peggy Lassiter, Alice Little, Arthur Little, Annie McKee, Betty McQueen, Charlotte Miller, Ethan Miller, Jeff Miller, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Dan Raybon, Lydia Ann Raybon, Candie Reaves, Peggy Rice, Mary Riley, Billy Rodgers, Rosie Rudolph, Nathan Simmons, Margaret Skipper, Joe Smith, Sarah Stidham, Virginia Stiers, Bobby & Mary Lou Terrell, Cindy Thomas, Arlene Thomas, John Tindoll, Jenny Trawick, Bobbie Walker, Jimmy Walker (surgery),Leroy Waller, Jim Watts, Carlton Whittle, and Cody Yelverton. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Elizabeth Perdue, Nelda Sanders, Annie Ruth Tetter, Alice Thompson and Gladys Warren. Georgiana Nursing Home: Earl Lowery.
2. Baptized Into Christ: We rejoice that Calvin Webb put on Christ in baptism. Calvin is Annie’s husband. Make Calvin feel welcome.
3. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to Evelyn Duke in the death of her son-in-law, Ronnie Shavers.
4. New Year’s Eve Night Get-To-Gather: We will have our annual New Year’s Eve singing for the young and old on Monday, December 31st at 6:00 p.m. Please prepare finger foods. Bring your favorite games and join us for a fun time with singing and game playing. Everyone please make plans to come and enjoy the fellowship!
5. Building in Annai: Please pray that everything can come together for the completion of the building in Annai, Guyana, South America. Charles Box will be in Guyana January 8th – 25th. Pray that much can be accomplished on the building.
6. Crowne Health Care: (a) A special “Thank You” to all who had a part in the Christmas party this year. It was great! Some provided the snacks we needed; some were there to serve. God bless you all! (b) There will not be a class at Crowne Health Care December 29th. A special “Thank You,” to those who continue to help with this good work.
7. Anniversary: Celebrating an anniversary this week: December 26th Nelson and Nell Daughtry.
8. Birthdays: Celebrating birthdays this week: December 23rd Debbie Johnson and Wayne Garlock, December 24th Leroy Waller, December 26th Jamie Powell, December 27th Calvin Webb, and December 28th Anne Webb.
12. Be a Daily Bible Reader: It take about seventy-two hours to read the Bible completely through at an average reading speed. Fill your heart with the word of God daily.
13. Teach A Friend the Gospel: Please put forth an honest effort to teach a friend the gospel. Be excited about helping someone go to heaven.
Will You Deny Him?
Peter looked boldly into the eyes of the Lord and said without hesitation, “though all men shall be offended because of you, yet will I never be offended.” To which Jesus replied, “assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” But unwaveringly, Peter clove to his self-confidence and said, “…though I should die with you, yet will I not deny you.” (Matthew 26:33-35)
Soon after this conversation, Judas came with the multitude to betray Jesus. They took Him away to be placed on trial for the crimes, which He had not committed. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death. And as they began to mock and spit upon Jesus, Peter was following at a distance when he sat to warm himself by a fire. First, a servant girl saw him and said, “this man was also with Him,” to which he replied, “woman, I do not know Him." (Luke 22:56-57) “And after a little while another saw him and said, ‘You also are of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!” (Luke 22:58) Finally, another said, “surely this fellow was also with Him,” but Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying! And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.” (Luke 22:60) “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times. So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:61-62)
No doubt any faithful Christian would hope they could look into Jesus’ eyes and say, “I would never deny you.” The truth is, while He is not physically here on earth, we have chances every day to stand with Him or to deny Him. When given an opportunity to share the gospel, do you declare as did Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” (Romans 1:16) or do you sound more like Peter and say, “I do not know Him?” Do not be fooled into complacency. With this denial, you crucify Christ again. (Hebrews 6:6)
- - - - Darrell Powell
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, AL 36037-0551