Bulletin Articles

Husbands & Wives
Eph 5:24-33 [24] Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. [25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.[29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: [30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. [31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. [32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. [33] Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

As we draw near to Valentine's day, this might be a good time to review how God wants us to treat our mates. I think it is quite obvious and clear from these passages in Ephesians that our commitment to our mates can be no less costly or dedicated than Christ's indescribable gift of salvation to the church (us). We see also how man and wife are one, Christ and His church are one, and Christ and the Father are one (Jhn 10:30). There must be a spirit of harmony, unity, and respect within all of these unions for God's perfect will to be satisfied. Let us reflect on these matters in 2006 and recommit ourselves to our mates and the church. By doing so we will be pleasing to the Father and honoring Christ and His sacrifice for us.

Mike Sullivan 01/15/2006

I ran into this at thebibleteacher.net =

QUESTION: Is there REVERENCE and RESPECT for God, when people GO BEYOND God's specific instructions and do what they want to do, rather than that which God has told us to do? NO! When people change, alter, or in some way circumscribe God's Divine Plan, they show no respect or reverence for God. If a person will do that, they demonstrate by those actions that they will change any of God's Laws.
Let's explore the story of a man taking a trip. Before he left he gave instructions to his sons about making some improvements to their home. He said, "Build a house, a Barn and Dig a well." In each case he gave the place where they were to put the house, the barn and the location of the well. When he returned, they had built the house and dug the well where the father had told them too, but had built the barn in a different place.
The father said to his sons, "You have not done one thing that I told you to do." The sons responded, "Yes, the only thing that we changed was the location of the barn." The father responded, "No! You built them where you wanted to build them. By your action, you have shown that if you had wanted the house and well in a different place, you would have put them there."
If people will violate God's Divine Laws of Worship, then they demonstrate to God that they will CHANGE any of His laws. How can one reverence God and NOT follow his directions or instructions? The simple FACT is, they cannot! Yes, we must reverence God in our worship.

Note from Mike: True obedience is doing ALL that we are commanded - ESPECIALLY the things we do not understand OR agree with!
Think about it.

Mike Sullivan 12/11/2005

You Must Be Gellin'

By now, most people are familiar with the ad campaign for Dr Scholl's Gel Shoe Pads. The idea is that when you are wearing these Gel Pads, you are so comfortable that nothing else matters. You can find yourself in a fender bender and be no more ruffled than if you had just dropped your pen. You can have hot coffee spilled on you and not be phased in the least. You can have a baseball come through your plate glass window and smash your TV without one word of distress. All this inner peace because of comfortable feet! How much more dear brethren, should we, as children of God, have a countenance of joy and peace in the face of any situation we face on any given day. At the fender bender where we do not get upset we may hear someone ask "How can you be so calm?". The waitress that dropped our food in our lap is relieved when we tell her "That's OK", and asks if we are Christian. Or, the boy with tears in his eyes finds a comforting word when he comes looking for his ball and wonders why we are so nice. Best of all, situations such as these are where we may have opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Meditate on these words from 2Peter 1:3-9 and then ask the question "What can happen to me in this life that could be bad enough to dim the joy I have because of Jesus Christ?".

2Pet 1:3-9 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4)unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5)who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6)Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials, 7)that the proof of your faith, [being] more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ: 8)whom not having seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9) receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.

Gellin' ain't nothin' compared to being saved! Nothing is!

The Elders
Bulletin 11/13/2005

Biblical Joy
A baby is born, a child excels in a talent, a friend sticks buy you through a difficult time, a son or daughter graduates highschool, a loved one gets married, and the list of events that can bring us joy goes on. But, have you ever wondered at the way Paul talks about joy in 2Cor 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. These folks were going through trials, afflictions, and poverty, yet they found joy in getting together and giving towards there needy brethren (read vs 1-7). Or, how about what James wrote in Jms 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Why would we count it joy when we are tempted? Doesnt this all go against our very nature? The answer is "yes", it goes against our fleshly nature, but NOT against our spiritual nature, if we are born again of the water and the Spirit (Jhn 3:3-5). True joy comes from knowing our spiritual state before God Almighty. Rms 5:11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Read all of Rms 5:1-11. We can know we are saved from the wrath of God and have been given the promise of eternal life (1Jhn 5:20). Could there be anything more joyful than that?

Mike Sullivan 09/25/05



Acts 4:34-35 For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need.
There really is no reason for any faithful brother or sister in Christ to be lacking in basic needs, except one: no one knows of their need! Pride keeps us from sharing our troubles with one another. As Americans we tend to have a "I can take care of it myself" mentality. And yes, I am just as guilty as the next for such an attitude. But together I think we can all grow in this area and really make a difference in the dynamics of this congregation. As Christians, we should have a "God will take care of it" mentality. The church is made up of the servants of God. So how do you think God might address your needs? The church, of course! The first century church was known for their care for each other. This brings great glory to God. Think of the shame that is brought on the church when a faithful member is known by those outside of the church to be struggling but not receiving any help from those in the church (and the church isn't even aware of a problem). This has got to change. If we have needs, there is nothing to be ashamed of. We must look to each other for help, counsel, and advice. Think on these words of Paul:
2Cor 8:13-15 For [I say] not [this] that others may be eased [and] ye distressed; 14 but by equality: your abundance [being a supply] at this present time for their want, that their abundance also may become [a supply] for your want; that there may be equality: 15as it is written, He that [gathered] much had nothing over; and he that [gathered] little had no lack.
If we are in the midst of "good times", and our brother is in the midst of "hard times", then we are blessed to help out our brother. There may be a time down the road when the tables are turned and the blessing is reversed. However, the most important thing to remember is that we are honoring God whether we are asking for help, or whether we are giving help. Let us tear down the walls of pride and learn to rely on each other as brethren in the Lord. If you are ever in need, please see the Deacon of Benevolence or one of the Elders and make those needs known.

Mike Sullivan 08/28/05


HERE'S TO the single mother who always get's the kids around to Sunday School and Worship services every Sunday that she possibly can. HERE'S TO the married woman or mother who's husband won't attend worship services yet she gets there whenever possible. HERE'S TO the single person who really has no one to motivate them but themselves and yet still seem to be on time for the assembly of the saints. HERE'S TO the widow who still feels incomplete and never really over the grief of losing their mate, yet still are faithful and active in the church. HERE'S TO those who have aches, pains, disabilities, and any number of ailments that could keep them away from church services, but don't allow them to. HERE'S TO the child of unbelieving parents that gets to all the Bible classes they can by any means available. HERE'S TO the people who seem like life has just thrown every grief and woe their way, yet remain steadfast and true to Jesus and His church. HERE'S TO their dedication, which should motivate the rest of us to be at every assembly of the church that we can possibly make!

Heb 10:22- 25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Mike Sullivan 08/14/2005


"You Can't Judge Me, The Bible Says To Judge Not"

Now there's a saying that gets tossed around more than a ball at a basketball game! Unbeknownst to most people who use such terminology, they are really showing there biblical ignorance. The saying is based on Mat 7:1 which reads "Judge not, that ye be not judged". However, the next 5 verses go on to clarify the meaning of verse 1 by illustrating the idea of not judging hypocritically. It is interesting to note that verses 6, 15, and 16, in the same chapter, give commands that we could not carry out UNLESS we judge! Consider also these verses:

Jhn 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

1Cor 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

2Thes 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

1Jhn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Judging is a key part of our Christian walk. How would you even know who needs the gospel if you are not to judge anyone? Today's title and theme is just another example of how people of the world so easily throw reasoning out the door when it comes to God's word.

Mike Sullivan 04/03/2005



What is a legalist? A legalist is a person who practices legalism. Though many shudder at the term, and some even use it as a negative label against other brethren, legalism in it's truest sense is a GOOD thing. Can a blood washed saint be considered "faithful" unless he or she adheres strictly to the laws of Christ (1Jhn 1:7)? That is what legalism means, "Strict, literal adherence to law" (the American Heritage Dictionary). Notice also what the word "adhere" means in this same context: "To be devoted or loyal to, follow closely, observe" (the American Heritage Dictionary).

Many people equate legalism with the Pharisees. But the Pharisees were not condemned for legalism, they were condemned for hypocrisy. They would add to or take away from God's laws and then not even follow their own rules.
Consider these scriptures:

Mth 23: 23, 28 = Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 28)Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Emphasis mine, MJS)

We are all amenable (accountable) to the Law of Christ (Jhn 12:48, Acts 17:30,31, 2Thes 1:8). We must obey God's laws. Think on these scriptures:

Jhn 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

1Jhn 2:3-4 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4)He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1Jhn 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3)For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Think of it this way, if you are not adhering to God's law, that is to say, if you are not being a legalist - you are a sinner (1Jhn 3:4). Jesus left us the perfect example of being a legalist by strictly adhering to the Father's commands (Jhn 15:10, Phil 2:8). So when someone calls you legalistic, be sure to say "Thanks, I'm doing my best to adhere to my Heavenly Father's commands!"

Mike Sullivan 03/2005 (rewritten 04/25/05)

Do you still feel saved?

Acts 20:28b ---- to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Some people may be able to relate to this first hand, while the rest of us can pretty much imagine what it must feel like to be rescued from almost certain death. I know one time I was fishing in a creek when I stepped into a deep hole where I lost my bearings and was close to drowning. My young son reached in to grab me and I was OK. Others may have been rescued from fires, car wrecks, falling trees, or whatever. It sure gives you a new and instant appreciation for life - YOUR life! It also gives you a feeling of gratitude to the one who may have helped rescue you. How much more should we appreciate the spiritual life that we have been given by Christ. He rescued us from the very depths of death and hell. Without Him we would be ETERNALLY lost. He paid our debt - we have been bought with a price, the price of His very blood! Let us remember that there is nothing good in and of ourselves. We could NEVER save ourselves. Let us humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord, and put to death any prideful or haughty spirit. Let us remember from what, and by whom, we have been saved! Let us not only feel saved, let us know it, act like it, and share it.
(Ran 03/06/05 - Mike Sullivan)


1Pet 1:23-25 Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, Because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever."

So many people search a lifetime for truth and never find it, though it is not far from them at any given time (Acts17:27). God's word has been faithful and true since the beginning of time (Tts 1:9). Man's knowledge and theories have been shifting and fleeting at best (Jer 10:23). History shows again and again how God points out the folly of man. Civilizations, kings, and kingdoms come and go, but God is always proven true (Psm 49:12-14). He has set up His spiritual kingdom in the church of Christ. This kingdom is built upon the truth of God's word (Mt 16:16-18). Why would you want to be anywhere else when everything else will fail in the end (1Cor 15:24)?

TRUTHS FROM GOD'S WORD THE WORLD COULD USE: If you would like to know more about God and His word, please feel free to talk with the Elders or the preacher at any time.
(Ran 02/05 - Mike Sullivan)


Shepherding The Flock (Acts 20:28)

What a thrill it was to see the Iraqi people risk their lives to vote in their first ever free election last week! Under the most dire and threatening of circumstances, these people laid their lives on the line ( as literally some WERE killed) to take part in this privilege. But of how much more is it a privilege for Christians to be able to gather on the Lord's day and worship the Almighty God according to His pattern. We come together to edify one another and praise God in song, preaching, and giving. We commune with the Lord at the Lord's table. We have the freedom to do God's will as we see fit without fear or any threat of persecution by the government.

But what if all that would change in the next couple of years. There are already signs that the government may be stepping into the church's business via "civil rights" for practicing sinners. Who amongst us will stand against the god of this world when he has infected enough of our society to where they will attack the church as being "narrow minded" and "hateful". Soon it could be considered "hate speech" to preach out against homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, drunks, or any sin that God calls us to stand against. It is already happening in Canada and Europe. Will you continue to serve Christ's church and meet with the saints if the "heat" gets turned up?

Heb 10:32, 34-35 32) But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 34) For you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.35) Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

NOTHING could stop the early Christians. What stops you today? What might stop you in the future? It is good to think on these things and prepare our minds to be steadfast in our convictions (Heb 10:23) no matter what the cost. Let us "set our minds on things above, not on things of this earth" (Col 3:2) and we will have taken the first major step in preparedness. Just as freedom here on earth is worth dying for, so salvation and the cause of Christ is even more!

02/06/04 - Mike Sullivan


Shepherding The Flock (Acts 20:28)

Pro.23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

In today's society, and even more tragically, in the Lord's church, "truth" is sold without a second thought. Self satisfaction is easily obtained at the expense of truth by millions every day. The world engages in these transactions every minute without batting an eye. They sell their souls for pleasures and self seeking goals to the Devil's delight. Many of the sins of the day are grounded in selfishness such as abortion, cheating, divorce, fornication, gossiping, lying, stealing, and the list goes on. It's all about "me"! What is really disheartening though, is when this attitude rears it's ugly head among God's people. The world at least might have some excuse (though ignorance will not save them). God's people have absolutely NO excuse and will be held to a higher standard and stricter judgement (2Pet 2:21). God's word is truth (Jhn 17:17). There is no getting around that. It means what it says. We must obey it at EVERY expense to ourselves. SELL IT NOT! If it says that God created everything in six days, believe it - sell it not! Science changes it's theories more than an actor changes his outfits. God's word never changes (1Pet 1:23). If it says that their was a flood that covered the whole earth, believe it - sell it not! If it says Jesus is the Son of God, believe it - sell it not! If it says Jesus died for your sins, believe it - sell it not! If God's word says you must repent and be baptized for salvation, believe it - sell it not! If it says you must live faithfully day by day, believe it - sell it not! Take heed dear brethren, and do not take God's word lightly, for one day we must all give an account to God on how we responded to his word in this life (Jhn 12:48). A good thing to remember is that when you sell the truth, you sell your soul! Think about it.

2Cor 13:5a Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

01/30/05 - Mike Sullivan

Shepherding The Flock (Acts 20:28)

"Pastor" is a word used heavily in the Religious world today, albeit it is used unbiblically. In today's culture, it generally refers to one man (or even a woman) who "oversees", or takes care of, an entire congregation of a religious group. On top of that, they are usually the preacher for that congregation.

The word "Pastor" has it's origins in Latin and means "herdsman" or "shepherd". It is translated in the Bible from the Greek words "poimaino" - which relates to the overall act of shepherding, and "poimen" - which is to say "a shepherd".

The problem isn't so much with it's meaning, as with how it is applied in the religious world today. The Bible speaks of a plurality of "overseers", better known as "elders" or "bishops", who watch over each congregation (1Tim 1:5). Two or more men fill this role when they are qualified per 1Tim 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Never do we find 1 person shepherding, or overseeing, an entire congregation by themselves in God's word. So, in the Lord's church, you could say the elders are spiritually sound, mature men (presbuteros), who are to oversee (episkopos) the affairs of the local church, with a care for the spiritual feeding (poimaino) of the congregation. Look with me at 1Peter 5:1-3 =
1) The elders (presbuteros) who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2) Shepherd (poimaino) the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers (episkopeo), not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3) Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; (See also Acts 20:17,27-29)

The office of the Eldership does not necessarily make one an Evangelist (preacher), as well as being an Evangelist does not qualify one for the Eldership. A qualified person CAN be both but it would seem that was not usually the case in the first century AD (however, note Peter's remark in verse 1above).

So today's "Pastor" who is the preacher, and the overseer, of an entire congregation has no Biblical basis for existing. Add to that how most "Pastors" today do not even meet the qualifications of 1Tim 3:1-7, or Titus 1:5-9, and we see a mockery being made of God's word and it's authority!

Jan 2005 - Mike Sullivan
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Shepherding The Flock (Acts 20:28)


Just say "No" to Denominationalism

It is with paradoxical humor that I hear or read things from those of the denominational persuasion. It is sad to see the success that Satan has had in blinding people to God's word. First let me state that I do not doubt any one's sincerity, however, anyone can be sincerely wrong (Prov 14:12, Jer 10:23)!

One "Reverend" (see Mth 23: 5 -12) I have read about, says God called him to be a minister in the Presbyterian Church. If I look to God's word to judge this statement, I can easily judge it to be false (Yes, we are to judge: Jhn 7:24, 2Thes 3:14). First I know that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). Next I see that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rms 10:17). The word of God says nothing about a Presbyterian Church. It does, however, have a lot to say about being sectarian and dividing the Lord's church such as the Presbyterians do along with every other denomination. God's word condemns such practices in 1 Cor 1:10. We are to teach and practice the same truth in every congregation of the Lord's church (1 Cor 1:10 and 1 Cor 4:15-17). Note also how we are "called" by the gospel in 1 Cor 1:10 and 1 Thes 2:14. So either God called this man into a religion that contradicts His own word (which is impossible), or he has received a calling from someone else (you guess who).

I would use the same line of discernment with anyone in a denomination who says they stick to the Bible, but yet contradict God's word by being a part of a denomination that exists without biblical authority, and, teaches doctrine outside the word of God (2Jhn9).

The root of the problem dear people is not in what these denominations are endorsing or promoting, it is with the whole concept of denominationalism (see also Jhn 17:20-21)!

It would behoove people in all denominations to separate themselves (2Cor 6:11-18), and get into an autonomous local congregation of the Lord's church (Mth 16:18, Eph 4:4-6). They can know it is the Lord's church because their teaching and practices are in line with what the word of God teaches (2Tim 1:3-11). That is where true disciples of the Lord will be found. -------- Mike Sullivan 08/15/2004


I'm OK, Your OK, with God?

Is there more than one way to heaven? Many people seem to think so. They say one religion is as good as another as long as you are sincere in your beliefs.
Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me (Jhn 14:6). That is pretty exclusive, don't you think? Also, note in Mth 7:13 -14 how Jesus spoke of the few there will be that find the narrow path of life, while many shall be on the wide path to destruction. These are sobering thoughts dear people, and not to be taken lightly.
All people will be judged by the words of Jesus (Jhn 12:48). He is the Creator of all things (Col 1:16), he is the sustainer of all things (Col 1:17, Heb 1:3), he is the Savior of the world (Titus 2: 13-14), and He is our God (Jhn 20:28). Should we not submit our total being to Him? On the day of Judgement, as we stand before Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was beaten, pierced, and slain for our sins, any and all excuses offered will fall with a thud from our lips.
To except anything but what Jesus spoke is to deny him. You can not include him with any other way to Heaven because he says he is the only way. To say that the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or any other man made religion (including any "Christian" denominations) can make you right with God, is to trample the Son of God underfoot and count him as refuse! There is only one safe place, and that is in the Lord's church - his body (Eph 5:23). This is not arrogance, it is humility, for it is our duty (Lk17:10). Living by "Thus saith the Lord" is a sure way to stay on the strait and narrow path that leads to Heaven. Any other philosophy or belief will guide you smoothly to the lake of fire for an eternity of torments. Think on these things! ------------ By Mike Sullivan 08/01/2004


Diggin' In The Scriptures.

"Where did Cain get his wife (Gen 4:17)?" is the question of many today. This answer is not that difficult to find if we will just do a little "diggin' in the scriptures".

Note how Gen 3:20 tells us that Eve was mother of all the living. Gen 1:28 records that one of the first commands given to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply (have children). Surely Adam and Eve did have many children.

Take note also that genealogies in the Bible often focus on lineages relevant to pertinent characters to God's message, and, most importantly to the lineage of the coming Messiah. As a relevant example, the main genealogical focus of the first few chapters of Genesis have not so much to do with Cain as they do with Seth (Gen 4:25- 5:32). Seth gives rise to a godly (spiritually minded) race (Gen 4:26) and eventually to Noah himself (Gen 5:30-32) who's line eventually produces the Messiah. Cain however propagates a race of ungodly, selfish, physically minded people (Gen 4: 17, 23). We see the contrast in Gen 6:1-8 where the term "sons of God" no doubt refer to Seth's descendants, and the "daughters of men" refer to Cain's descendants. The mixing of these two in marriage produced a destructive, tyrannical people ("giants" in Gen 6:4) which eventually brought about God's watery judgement upon the world.

Now, with this in mind we can see that even though God's word mentions only three of Adam and Eve's children by name, they did have many sons and daughters (Gen 3:20, 5:4). From this large family Cain would have taken his wife. So, the answer is: Cain married one of his sisters! Now some of you are probably crying "Incest!", but God made no pronouncements against inter-family sexual relationships until the days of Moses in Leviticus 18:9 and Deut 27:22. You see, in the days of Cain, the human gene pool was not riddled with diseases and mutations. It was not until later in the descent of man that harm would come from incestuous relationships. That is why from the time of Moses to today, it is not only spiritually dangerous to commit incest, it is physically and mentally dangerous as well. The world would have never been populated unless brother could lie with sister at the beginning. God's plan always works! Keep on "diggin' in the scriptures" brothers and sisters! ----- Mike Sullivan 07/04/04


How Good Do I have To Be To Be Baptized?

Through the years I have seen people who felt they weren't good enough to be baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of their sins. They felt they had to "get things right" before they could even consider being baptized. This is somewhat of an understandable theological position albeit an erroneous one. Would you be surprised to learn that "goodness" has nothing to do with it, but "willingness" has everything to do with it? Let's look at a couple of biblical examples.

Remember Peter's dissertation in Acts chapter 2? He was addressing some of the very people who had been involved in crucifying Jesus (Acts 2:23, 36). He showed them that Jesus was the Messiah. When the people realized what they had done, they were pricked in their hearts and cried out "What shall we do?" Now, did Peter tell them to go and prove yourselves, or, make yourselves "good"? No! He said to repent (that is to be sorry for, and, make a commitment to turn away from your sins) and be baptized (that is to be fully immersed in water) for the forgiveness of your sins.

Another good example is Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-19) who was smack dab in the middle of persecuting the church when he had an encounter with the risen Christ. Paul's reaction was akin to the crowd in Acts 2, "What do you want me to do?". He was told to wait in Damascus for further instruction. There a man named Ananias met Saul and instructed him in the ways of the Lord. Saul was baptized and "the rest is history" so to speak! The point is that Paul considered himself the "chief of sinners" (1Tim 1:15) yet knew his only hope was obeying the Lord in baptism.

Before the point of immersion for the forgiveness of sins you are as filthy rags before the Lord God Almighty. NOTHING you can do can change that. You will NEVER be good enough for Him to accept you. It is only at the point of submitting (giving of your total self in obedience to His will), and trusting His plan for the dispensing of His grace that we can be made as white as snow before his eyes. Why tarriest thou?

Mike Sullivan 06/27/04

Some Things NOT To Be Left Undone!

Repentance (Lk 13:5) and forgiveness (Mth 6:14-15) are two important components in maintaining our salvation. Any person unwilling to repent or forgive is a person out of step with God. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we have no right to walk away from one another (or a congregation) without addressing any issues that we have with one another. If I have a personal problem with you, and I do not confront you, I leave myself in sin, and I also contribute to your remaining in a sin that you may not even be aware of. How does this conform to my placing my brother's needs above my own (Phil 2:3-4)? Then, to make matters worse, I might talk to someone else about the matter and still not confront you - now it has become backbiting, factious, and gossip! Take heed to the words of Jesus in Mth 18:15 "Moreover if a brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother." and Lk 17:3 "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him." No one else can relieve you of this responsibility, not the Elders, not the Preacher, not a spouse or a parent. For the good of yourself, a brother or sister, and the body of Christ, approach any person that you are harboring ill will towards and make it right so that all parties can be right with God! And if it has been awhile since you read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, now might be a good time. May the peace of Christ reign in all our hearts, and the unity of the Spirit bond us in everlasting love, that God may be glorified in all!

Mike Sullivan 06/20/04


There can be only ONE.

In today's pluralistic society where "anything goes" when it comes to religion, Jehovah God calls us (2Thes 2:13-15) to a higher, and narrower, standard. The sad fact of the matter is that there will be far less souls in Heaven than in Hell (Lk 13:24, Mtt 7:13-14). This is not God's will (2Pet 3:9), but sadly, it is the choice most people make. God has always let His will be known for those who are willing to hear. His final revelation has come to us through His Son Jesus (Heb 1:1-2, Jhn 14:24). We will ALL be judged by God's word (Jhn 12:48, Rev 20:12). With this in mind, let us answer the question; How many "churches" are acceptable to God? According to His word, only one!
Eph 4:4-6 reads There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
1 Cor 1:10 reads Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
From these two verses alone we see one body (the church) which is joined together in the same teachings! See also Mtt 16:18 (Jesus calls it "my church"), Jhn 17:20-21, and 1Cor 4:6, 16-17. There is NO room for any other "church" in the parameters laid out by God. It must be Christ's church, established 33AD, at the right place (Jerusalem), and organized per the pattern and examples we find in the New Testament. Ephesians 4:4-6, as shown above, means exactly what it says. God means exactly what He says. How long shall we halt between two opinions? Choose ye this day whom you will serve, God or man. As for the Susq. Valley church of Christ, we will serve the Lord!

Mike Sullivan 6/6/04


Does belief incorporate obedience?

This is an interesting part of a study I shared with my teenage class last Sunday morning. If we go to Strong's concordance and look up the words for "believeth, believe" in John 3:36, we find two totally different Greek words for the highlighted references below (the KJV reads almost identical):
Jhn 3:36 (NKJV): He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
As it reads here in the NKJV and the KJV, we can see that obedience is not something you necessarily would glean from the text. But if we "do a little diggin" in the Greek text, we find the following:
believes = Strong's # 4100 Pisteuo: "to have faith", "trust"
not believe = Strong's # 544 Apeitheo: "disobedient", "obey not"
When we go to the Greek it is much easier to see that Jesus equated belief with obedience. The American Standard translators got it right when they translated Jhn 3:36 thus: Jhn 3:36 (ASV): He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.
In this case we see another reason for looking at a couple different versions in our study of certain texts, and, using a good concordance in our studies. Biblical belief includes obedience to God's word (see Rms 6:7, 2Thes 1:8, 3:14, Heb 5:9, all of Heb chapter 11). Keep on "diggin' in the scriptures" and grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Mike Sullivan 05/04



This article will approach humility from the direction of God saying one thing, and man doing another. This problem manifests itself in the many "churches" and the different ways to worship God. Part of being human is having opinions, and opinions are part of what shape who we are. I submit to you that most "churches" are founded on the opinions of men rather than the truth of God's word. Just because someone believes something, or has a strong opinion about it, does not make it true. Yet truth exists. The premise of "I am, therefore God is" is true. It is the only thing that makes sence. Something can not come from nothing, therefore there must be an eternal God (Col 1:16-17). Logic demands that a creator would be loving and caring. This being the case, this God would not leave his people "clueless" to his will (Mk 3:35). That is why we have the Bible (Jhn 17:17). Through the scriptures we learn that God worked through the Patriarchs, then the Jewish nation, and his final revelation through Jesus the Messiah and his apostles (Heb 1:1-2). This is our yardstick, our gauge of truth. This is where true humility comes in! As we learn and grow in God's word, we should be conforming to his will. If we are taught or indoctrinated one way, and read that God's way differs from what we believe, but then don't change, where does that leave us? Rebellious, hardhearted, and lost. Did you know that out of the 8 conversions in Acts (2:36-42, 8:4-12, 9:17-20, 10:1-48, etc,), all heard, 6 spoke of faith, 2 dealt with repentance, 2 with confession, and every single one included immersion (baptism)! Yet today millions claim baptism isn't neccessary for salvation! They continue in the traditions of men, worshipping thier own way, making their own creeds and rules. Why not start today doing things God's way? He's always right! Humble yourself before God Almighty, and be baptized for the forgivness of your sins today! Tomarrow (or even later today) may be to late!
Mike Sullivan 01/31/1997



Some argue that you don't need to "go to church" to be right with God. For the sake of limited space to argue the difference, we will use "going to church" and "assemble" interchangeably. First we must assume one is actually saved to begin with. If they have heard the word, believed, confessed the Lord Jesus, and been immersed for the forgiveness of their sins, then according to God's word, they are saved. But now they must maintain that salvation by obedience (1Jhn 1:7, 2:4). This is where the going can get tough in a day to day, week to week, and year to year struggle. This is also the first reason we'll use in our argument for going to church. By meeting with the saints at every opportunity, we renew ourselves and strengthen our faith. We are edified (Rms 14:19, 1Th 5:11). Let's take a look at what the church actually is: Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. The church is each individual Christian collectively making up the body of Christ under his headship. If we do not come together then that body suffers. How important is the church? Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. It is precious, it is priceless. I would think twice before dismissing the Lord's church! For any who wear the name "Christian", there is no doubt where they'll be when there is "church". God commands it in Heb 10:24 - 27 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin willfully after that we have recieved the knowledge of truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Do we need to assemble? Need we ask?

Mike Sullivan 01/01/1997



As in most things, the way the world views love, and the way God veiws love, are two different things. The world ranges in beliefs from sex equating love, to a politically correct view of not making someone emotionally uncomfortable. God's love is complex as it is interwoven with justice, mercy, and grace. God's character demands holiness and justice (1Pet 1:15-16, 2Tim 4:8), yet He is patient and merciful (Rms 2:4, Lk 6:36). This is all beautifully illistrated in John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All have sinned (Rms3:23). God's justice demanded a sacrifice for sin (Heb 9:22). God's love provided that sacrifice through the death of His own Son on the cross! Jesus' death and resurrection are the pinnacle of God's grace and love. However, the procurement of the benefits of this ultimate act of grace hinges on man's obedience (Heb 5:9). We must possess the faith that trusts in God's ways to save us (Col 2:12, Rms 6:17). Many in the religious world say you don't have to do anything to be saved, that "doing" equals "working" and we can't trust in works. They miss the point that there is a difference in works of the law (flesh) and works of obedience (faith). Their whole way of reasoning crumbles with the words of Jesus in John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. Even belief is a work of obedience. Obedient faith doesn't lessen the value of God's grace, for just as a child grows to it's fullest potential in obedience to loving parents, so we reach our fullest potential in obedience to our loving heavenly Father.

Mike Sullivan (date unknown)