TEST THE SPIRITS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The author of the letter to the church at Ephesus is Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:1-3). This letter is a part of the Revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ gave to an Angel, and the Angel signified it to John, John wrote it down in a book and sent it to the churches (Revelation 1:1-2). A great blessing is pronounced upon those who read (aloud), hear and keep those things which are written in the last book of the Bible (Revelation 1:3). John received this wonderful disclosure while he was on the Isle of Patmos. He heard a great voice behind him as the voice of a trumpet, loud, distinct and clear. When he turned to see who was speaking, he saw seven Golden candlesticks; and in the midst of those Golden candlesticks he saw the glorified Christ, like unto the Son of Man, and he had in his right hand seven stars (Revelation 1:9-19). Continue reading “TEST THE SPIRITS”

JOINING THE DISCIPLES (CHURCH)

By

Shelby G. Floyd

handshake-clipart

What a blessing it is for all of us to come together and worship God. In a congregation where I preached there was a man that visited from time to time. He would fill out a visitor’s card, and on it he would write, “I am a member of the church of Christ at large.” All of us are members of the church of Christ at large. But are we all members of the church of Christ at small? Today I am speaking on the topic of “Joining the Church.” I have never preached on this topic in over 54 years of ministry. All of my life I have heard that you do not join the church. Is it true that we do not join the church? The answer is both yes and no. There is a sense in which we do not join the church. And there is a sense in which we do join the church. Therefore we can have it both ways. Continue reading “JOINING THE DISCIPLES (CHURCH)”

SOWING AND REAPING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Wheat ears in the hands. Harvest concept

In the beginning, when the Almighty created the heavens and the earth, he established a rule or principle of life which is absolute, and which still holds true to this day; it is the law of sowing and reaping. God ordained that each species of the fauna and flora would always reproduce after their kind. For instance, in connection with the grass and herbs of the field, God said,

“Let the earth bring forth grass, The herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11-12).

Continue reading “SOWING AND REAPING”

PETER ORDERED BAPTISM

By

Shelby G. Floyd

baptism-by-immersion

In the book of Acts we have the record of Peter’s sermon which he spoke to the household of Cornelius. Cornelius was a Gentile and had invited his family and close friends to be present on this occasion.

PETER SPEAKS TO THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS

It is very interesting to read about what Peter said to Cornelius and his friends. First, Peter admitted that God had convinced him that he is no respecter of people, but will accept people from all nations who fear him and do what is right. “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right’” (Acts 10:34-35).

PETER’S SERMON WAS INTERRUPTED

Next he pointed out that Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good until the Jews killed him by hanging him on a tree. Near the conclusion Peter’s sermon was interrupted by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles. We notice that the last thing he said before the interruption began was that everyone who believed on Christ would receive forgiveness of sins:

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:42-43).

FAITH PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS FORGIVENESS OF SIN

After the interruption was over, the first thing that he said to them was,

“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:47-48).

Obviously, if Peter’s speech had not been interrupted, the connection between believing on Jesus and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins would also have been plain to all who love the truth of God.

THE APOSTLES OBEYED THE GREAT COMMISION

This simply is carrying out the Great Commission—the last words of Jesus before he went back to heaven: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Have you been baptized for the forgiveness of sins?

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

Shelby G. Floyd

100_1259
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

GO FORWARD IN FAITH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

forward-in-faith

As we focus on the future, God’s people must go forward with a strong faith that God will bless our efforts when we trust in him.

During the darkest hours of the Second World War, when the future of Great Britain was hanging in the balance, Winston Churchill rallied the people of Great Britain and the world when he said, “let us go forward together.”

Many centuries before when God’s people came out of Egypt to escape their bondage, while they were being pursued from behind by the Egyptian army and with the mountains on each side of them, and the Red Sea before them, the Lord admonished Moses to command the children of Israel to go forward: “and the Lord said to Moses, why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15).

Many congregations are spiritually asleep and not actively pursuing the work of the church. A congregation cannot go forward when it is like the church at Laodicea. They were lukewarm and the Lord said he was ready to spew them out of his mouth. They were like a warm cup of coffee that is neither hot nor cold and therefore nauseating to drink. To the church at Laodicea Jesus Christ wrote these words:

“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:14-16).

The message then to all of God’s people is to wake up out of our spiritual sleep and become active in serving the Lord. That’s the reason Paul wrote to the church Ephesus and said, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:13-14).

Almighty God has been good to all of us. He has blessed us by placing us in the most prosperous country in the world. He has blessed us with great material wealth and therefore we need to remember Solomon’s Council to his son in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:1, 9-10
My son…Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
NIV

Let us all go FORWARD IN FAITH!

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana

THE SCHOOL OF LIFE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

psalm143-10

This is the time of the year when young people begin to think about going back to school. Let us capitalize on this thought and apply it to the Christian life.

From the beginning to the end the Christian life is like a school. In the great commission Jesus commanded his people to go out and “make disciples” of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). “Make disciples” is from (matheteuo-μαθητευω) and means “to make a disciple; to teach, instruct” (J. H. Thayer, p.386). Therefore, we are to be teachers and pupils under the master-teacher Jesus Christ.

The secret of learning in this school as in all schools is to teach much, ask much, remember much and do much!

The School of Life perhaps is best summarized by the statement of David,

Psalms 143:10
Teach me to do Your will,
For you are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness
NKJV

Continue reading “THE SCHOOL OF LIFE”

SOWING AND REAPING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Sowing and Reaping

We have all heard it said that you will reap what you sow—the proverb is a true axiom in the physical, moral and spiritual realms of life. It is the law of cause and effect.

ADONI-BEZEK REAPED WHAT HE SOWED

In the history of God’s dealing with his people Israel we have many examples that bear this out. For example, after the death of Joshua, there was still land to be taken and enemies to be subdued. God promised Judah that he had given the land of the Canaanites into their hand. Judah invited the Simeonites to join them in the battle and together they defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites:

Judges 1:4-7
Then Judah went up, and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they killed ten thousand men at Bezek. And they found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek, and fought against him; and they defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Then Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me.” Then they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
NIV

Continue reading “SOWING AND REAPING”

WHAT IS GOD’S NAME?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

gods-name

God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and revealed himself to the great prophet. He promised Moses he world be with him when he went before Pharaoh to demand that he let the children of Israel go free from their slavery.

“I AM WHO I AM”

Moses replied to God that the Israelites would want to know God’s name. He asked what he should say. God’s answer was, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:13-14). “I AM” is God’s name and his name means “The Self Existent One.” God is also known by “God Almighty”—El-Shaddai; “Elohim”—Lord; and “Jehovah.” God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” (Exodus 6:2-3). The name “Lord” in the Hebrew is equal to I AM (Exodus 3:15). Continue reading “WHAT IS GOD’S NAME?”

RUN THE RACE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Run the Race

When Paul was completing his third evangelistic journey by ship, at every stop the Holy Spirit warned him of impending hardship and suffering when he would arrive at Jerusalem. But Paul made up his mind to go there because he also was compelled by the Spirit to do so:

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:22-24).

Continue reading “RUN THE RACE”

SHOW UNUSUAL KINDNESS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Unusual Kindness

On Paul’s voyage to Rome there were 276 people aboard the vessel when they had a shipwreck that resulted in the loss of the ship and cargo (Acts 27:37). But in keeping with God’s promise to Paul, not a single person lost their life (Acts 27:22).

When they discovered where they were stranded it turned out to be the island of Malta (Acts 28:1). It was here that a war conference was held by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, during World War II.

Luke describes the reception they received by the native people:

“The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold” (Acts 28:2). We all enjoy the milk of human kindness, especially when we are in trouble. But it is “unusual” when total strangers show such kindness extended to those who can do nothing for them. Their “unusual kindness” involved building a fire to warm their cold bodies, giving them food and shelter and honoring them with an audience with the chief ruler of the island. But before they left for Rome, their kindness was rewarded in Paul healing the father of Publius (Acts 28:7-10).

Continue reading “SHOW UNUSUAL KINDNESS”