Text The Times 870-225-1456

When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is referring to the mind. Our heart is only a muscle that pumps blood. Our mind makes all the decisions. Also when Jesus said on the cross “it is finished,” he was saying that God’s plan for Him to come to this earth and die for our sins had been completed. He never said that there was nothing left for us to do. In fact, quite the contrary. Heb. 5:8-9 says that he became the author of salvation for all that obey him. When the Bible says “not of works,” it is referring to works of the old law. You can’t work enough to have God in your debt and mankind could never have devised a plan to save us. Only God could do that and He did. If I told you that I would give you a thousand dollars if you would drive to my house to get it and you did that, did you earn that money? No, it would be a gift but you had to do something to get it. Sorry, I was not finished with the message. We are saved by a system of faith but faith alone will not save you (James 2:24). It takes works, also. We are saved by obedience (I Peter 4:17). We must obey just as the Hebrews did in the OT (II Thes. 1:7-9), Bill McFerrin is obviously a good man but misguided on this issue. [Editor’s Note: This is the sort of thing that frustrates me about “religion.” James 2:24 says, “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” I’m Baptist, so I’ve got opinions — well, in this context, let’s say beliefs — and if you’re Church of Christ (or Catholic or Methodist or Presbyterian or whatever) you have yours. There are all sorts of arguments about whether “justified” or “righteous” or “saved” are synonymous in this context. This kind of division among denominations is just the kind of thing that drives people apart and keeps Christians from being a united body. And that’s not even taking into account Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, non-believers, agnostics, etc. Someone who wants to pick Christianity apart can take those two verses above and say, “Those statements contradict each other, so how am I supposed to believe that the Bible is true?” There are plenty of verses in the Bible that you can take in and of themselves that can seem that way. Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” I am not claiming, and never will claim, to be an expert on the subject, but I think that it’s important to know that the Bible isn’t your favorite collection of hand-picked verses. If you’re going to lean on it to justify your beliefs, lean on the entire book, not the parts that are convenient for your argument]

*** I sincerely hope that the heartless driver who took the life of the most loving and beautiful dog on 34th street in wm on thurs am has regrets for the rest of their lives. Rest in peace scooby. We love you. [Editor’s Note: I’m running this one because it seems pretty obvious you’re hurting and/or angry over the loss of your pet, although I feel pretty certain that no one was intentionally looking to run over your dog. I mean, I guess I could be wrong, but in all fairness, animals that aren’t kept in a fenced-in environment or on a leash run the risk of injury or death. But, my condolences on the loss of your pet. Just as a suggestion, since the holidays are fast approaching, and especially if there are children involved, there are a number of dogs available for adoption at the West Memphis Animal Shelter and I bet one of them would make a great Christmas present]

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