Posted in General

The Fullness of Time!

By John Henson

Since mankind is lost and is headed for eternal punishment if it dies in that condition, then mankind needs a savior and a plan of salvation.

This is exactly what God provided for ever since the fall of man into sin in the Garden of Eden. Through history God has been working out the plan of salvation to save man from sin.

The apostle Paul wrote, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Do we realize all the things God did to send Jesus? To send a descendant of David in the tribe of Judah, God had to preserve Judah through hundreds of years. Although Israel was sent into Assyrian captivity and Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity lasting 70 years, God preserved Judah and David’s line all the way to the birth of his Son.

In order to give people the fullest opportunity to hear and obey the gospel, God gave the Romans control of the world. During its domination of the known world, the Romans provided roads throughout its territories. People were free to travel from one place to another. Not only was this beneficial for commerce, but also it was beneficial for the gospel and those who would preach it.

During Greek and Roman rule, Koine Greek was practically the universal language of the world. Almost everyone understood and spoke Greek during the days of Jesus and Paul. One of the advantages of this was that the average Alexandrian in Egypt could read the Old Testament in Greek and come to an understanding of the prophecies concerning the Son of God.

Having a language understood by almost everyone was handy in teaching the gospel, wasn’t it? With a common language, there would be few mistakes in translation and no misunderstandings over what something would mean. God did that; his providence brought the Greek language into existence and into general use.

Understanding all that God did to save mankind helps us appreciate Paul’s statement, “But when the fullness of time was come….” The birth, life and death of Jesus was not an ordinary occurrence. It was divinely planned and divinely executed at just the perfect moment. And all this was done by the Father so you and I might hear the gospel and obey it.

What a wonderful opportunity we have this week to tell others about Jesus and give them this opportunity to obey the gospel!

Posted in Christian Living

What Kind of Attitude?

By John Henson

Monica McNutt, a recently-graduated guard playing for the Lady Hoyas of Georgetown University, wrote an article in The Washington Post about attitude.

She wrote, “Your attitude will determine so much, from who is willing to work with and for you, to how far you will allow yourself to go.” She continued by saying, “Are you doing everything in your power to get your team back to winning? Are you all in and dedicated, or just along for the ride?

Certainly, her remarks were from the perspective of a college athlete, but aren’t her remarks equally valid when applied to spirituality?

In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus discusses attitudes. Just before this passage, Jesus had been critical of the scribes and Pharisees and their poor attitudes. “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive the greater condemnation” (Luke 10:46ff. NKJV).

The scribes’ attitude was the wrong one. The right attitude is found in Luke 21:1-4 — the attitude of the widow.

Jesus sat watching people throw their money into the trumpets in the Court of the Women at the Temple in Jerusalem. There were thirteen collecting boxes the trumpets emptied into, each assigned to a specific cause. The rich gave, Jesus said, from their “abundance.” One can almost see the huge bags of money being carried by the rich, out of which a small sum was cast into the trumpet.

Then, Jesus saw a poor widow who gave two coins, the smallest denomination in local currency called a “mite” or a “lepta.” Because God the Son knew all things, he knew this was all the money she had. Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21:3ff.).

Her attitude was the real gift. It was a gift that flowed from a loving heart. She could not live without giving because she loved God!

Her attitude was in the gift because her gift was her sacrifice. This is why her gift mattered more to Jesus. The rich gave from their abundance. They could easily replace any amount they gave. It meant nothing to them. The gift the widow gave was her living!

In McNutt’s last sentence of her Washington Post article, she said, “Are you doing everything in your power to get your team back to winning? Are you all in and dedicated, or are you just along for the ride?” These are the questions the widow’s giving asks us.

One commentator of this passage in Luke 21 wrote, “Only a completely insensitive person could read the story of the widow and her two lepta without searching and humiliating self-examination.”

Brother Gus Nichols, in one of his sermons on attitude, asked the question, “If everyone had the same attitude as mine, what would their contribution be? What would their attendance be? What would their attitude toward Jesus be?”

In the hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Isaac Watts wrote, “See from his head, his hands, his feet; sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did ere such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?”

Jesus loved us so much he gave himself to die on the cross for our sins. But, are we in the game, as Ms. McNutt wrote? Are we dedicated to the Lord? What is our attitude when we compare ourselves to the widow? If everyone in the church had our attitude, what kind of attitude would they have?

Posted in Books, Reviews


By John Henson

I don’t write recommendations for books, or do book reviews, but let me tell you a little about my favorite book.

Big things come in small packages, and this little book has been one I have treasured and loved almost as much as I do the Bible, for it helped clear many things concerning Bible authority since I first bought it in 1987. It has helped me understand that people need to understand what faith really is. And how people must “walk by faith,” for many really don’t know what that means or how to do it.

The book is Roy Deaver’s Ascertaining Bible Authority. I’ve highlighted in it, memorized much of it, and almost torn the book from its cover by use.

Why is it one of my favorites? Let me give you just part of the first chapter on page two: “Christians are obligated (and privileged) to ‘walk by faith’ (2 Corinthians 5:7). The standard by which the Christian is governed is the standard of faith. In Romans 10:17, Paul declares that ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Obviously, then, the Christian walks by that which comes by hearing the word of God. If faith comes by hearing the word of God, then where there is no word of God there can be no faith.”

Think about it. Whenever the Bible talks about anyone having faith, that faith must have come from hearing God’s word. Bro. Deaver said that since we know this to be true, then “it becomes imperative that we be concerned about Bible authority, and how to ascertain Bible authority.”

The religious world stands apart from this, and it is one of the things Satan would love to convince us is unimportant. Satan works unceasingly to deny that Bible authority matters. He works day and night to convince people that God’s word is not the standard of authority ― in fact he denies there is any standard whatever ― and he works to confuse people, telling them they needn’t have any concern about how to interpret and use God’s word.

And, this is why this is one of my favorite books. This book deals with all of Satan’s attacks on Bible authority. If an honest person reads his Bible and this little book, there is no doubt that person can come to an understanding of the truth and be saved from sin. ‘Nuff said.


[Note: For book ordering info, email wdeaver[at]].

Posted in General

Listen to God

By John Henson

My father had a piercing whistle. He’d use it to call us home to dinner. Of course, we didn’t want to come home because we were deeply involved in the biting drama of sandlot softball.

My sister and I believed we could safely ignore the whistle when we heard it the first time, but we couldn’t ignore the second one.

Human beings, however, learn to ignore things. It begins when we refuse to heed Dad’s call to dinner. Later, we learn to ignore our parents. Then, with the help of some educators, philosophy and science books, we learn to ignore God.

The inspired ruler wrote, “Listen as wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! She stands on the hilltop and at the crossroads. At the entrance to the city, at the city gates, she cries aloud, ‘I call to you, to all of you! I am raising my voice to all people. How naive you are! Let me give you common sense. O foolish ones, let me give you understanding. Listen to me! For I have excellent things to tell you,’” (Proverbs 8:1-6 NLT).

There is certainly a vivid picture here, isn’t there? We see the wisdom of God’s word shouting at the top of “her” voice, in full public view, calling for people to LISTEN! How foolish and naïve we humans are listening to voices that have no wisdom at all, and how we give credence to ideas that are nothing more than fables.

People listen to the voices saying, “There can be no God.” They listen to the ones who say, “Jesus was a great man, but he wasn’t the son of God.” There are so many wrong voices in the world when all we need is to listen to one, the right one.

Listen to this advice: “Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you,” (Jeremiah 7:26 ASV). Listen to true wisdom. Let the words sink in. Listen to God in the Bible.

Posted in Old Testament

Edom Will Answer: Obadiah

By John Henson

History records the fall of Edom only about five years after Judah fell to the Babylonians.

Ensconced in their heights, Edom believed it had little reason to help Judah face the coming threat of Babylon. That Edom was related to Judah (since Jacob and Esau were brothers), produced little or no concern for the southern kingdom. They were unconcerned.

It is clear from the verses of Obadiah that God was displeased by Edom’s conduct. Because of Edom’s arrogance and apathy, they would give answer to God.

Obadiah wrote, “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” (Obadiah 3 ESV). The pride of arrogant Edom had deceived it into thinking things that were not true.

The deception contributed to Edom’s second mistake: apathy. The word comes from two Greek words, “a,” a negative particle, meaning, “not;” and “pathos,” or “feeling.” So, the word means “not feeling.” Edom simply didn’t care the Babylonians were coming. Obadiah wrote, “On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them,” (Obadiah 11).

Apathy can cause dreadful problems. An example of this is the smoker who ignores a nagging cough until a chest x-ray proves the existence of advanced lung cancer. Apathy dismisses all concern. Edom should have keenly felt the dangers the Babylonians presented ― it was Babylon that had defeated Assyria, one of the most violent civilizations that had ever lived ― but Edom paid no heed.

How many people have been warned and encouraged to obey the gospel, but for a lifetime, have ignored the warnings? Apathy will result in almost as many lost souls as covetousness.

For its arrogance and apathy, Edom will give and answer to God. “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head,” (Obadiah 15). Edom would be responsible for its conduct.

All are responsible for what they have done. God, through Obadiah, said Edom could expect to pay for its shortsightedness. So it is for all who refuse to obey the truth. Just because some attempt to evade responsibility doesn’t mean they will skate by unscathed. All will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).

God’s word is given to us so we may learn from the examples of others (Romans 15:9). We should learn from Obadiah, and from Edom, that arrogance and apathy carry a price and that an answer will be required one day.

Posted in Christian Living

Arm Yourselves!

By John Henson

Some obey the gospel and may think as they emerge from baptism that their lives will become a story of blessing forever and then heaven. Little do they realize that if they live faithful lives in Jesus Christ, they will suffer (2 Timothy 3:12).

In 1 Peter chapters three and four the Apostle Peter deals with how to deal with this reality. In chapter three, the apostle wrote, “Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit,” (1 Peter 3:18 NET).

Christ’s path back to the glory with the Father (Philippians 2:5ff.) was on the road of suffering. If we follow Jesus, then our way to glory is in his steps and also on that same road. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone that suffers goes to heaven. Peter addressed saints who were headed into a “fiery ordeal” (1 Peter 4:12).

Therefore, it is time to arm ourselves. This word, “arm,” is the word “ὁπλίζω,” which is translated “arm” in the New American Standard Bible and “equip” in the New English Translation. The word picture is of a soldier who prepares himself for battle by making sure he has the proper weapon.

Christians need to prepare our minds in the same way Peter described in this passage. The apostle wrote, “You also arm yourselves with the same attitude,” (1 Peter 4:1 NET). In his landmark work, Word Pictures in the New Testament, A.T. Robertson wrote, that “attitude” also means “mind, thinking, will.”

We arm ourselves with the same attitude, mind, thinking and will by building our faith with the word of God (Romans 10:17). There is no other way. If we arm ourselves with the word of God and have the right attitude, we may be confident we can endure suffering and then arrive at our destination in heaven with the blessed Savior.

Posted in Christian Living

An Act of Love

By John Henson

Passover was the most significant feast of Judaism and every Jew was to be present in Jerusalem, if possible, to celebrate it.

The Passover memorialized Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Specifically, it called attention to the night death passed over. It was an important time in Palestine.

Passover’s additional importance was the coinciding barley harvest. According to Leviticus 23:10-11, the crop could not be sold until a barley sheave was waved before the Lord.

The Jews made every preparation for the feast including helping pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. According to Josephus, 256,500 lambs were slaughtered ― one for every ten people ― for consumption during the feast. If true, almost 3,000,000 people would attend the Passover.

Other preparations included teaching daily lessons in the temple, repairing and marking roads and preparing minds for the coming holy day. Interestingly, tombs were white-washed not for aesthetic purposes, but to help pilgrims identify them so they wouldn’t be touched. Touching a tomb made one ceremonially unclean.

With all the preparations, there was one other performed in the house of Simon the Leper when Jesus reclined to eat. A woman (according to John 12 probably Mary, Lazarus’ sister) broke a vial of Nard and poured the entire contents on Jesus.

Jesus said the act was lovely. Love does lovely things. Nard was a very expensive import from India. Custom required only a few drops be used for guests, but Mary used the entire vial.

Mary’s act was extravagant. Love does not count the cost; it does all it can. When a husband gives a bouquet, he doesn’t give dead or dying flowers. What message would that send? No, he buys a fine bouquet of roses because they’re the best.

Mary wouldn’t let this opportunity to show her love for Jesus slip. Sometimes there may be only one opportunity to tell someone, “I love you.” Love won’t let that opportunity get away.

In our relationship with Jesus exactly what is the status of our love for him? Do we do lovely things? Do we give the best of ourselves and our money? Do we take every opportunity we can to express our love in good works?

Have you prepared yourself for heaven? Of all the things we can do to prepare for a great event, have we kept in mind Jesus coming? Are you ready? Prepare today!