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Monday, December 9, 2013

Where Are You?

By Charles C. Pugh III

     An old gospel preacher stood before a great audience and announced the text of his sermon.  He said, “My text is Genesis 3:9.  The Bible says, ‘And the Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou?’”  The preacher continued, “I will make three divisions in this study.  First, every man has to be somewhere.  Second, some men are where they ought not be.  Third, they that are where they ought not be are one day going to find themselves where they don’t want to be!”
      God’s question to Adam (“Where are you?”) serves to remind us today of spiritually geographic locations where accountable persons find themselves.
     Some ARE in Christ.  Those who have obeyed the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 6:17), and are living faithful to Christ are in Him (Ephesians 1:3).  There is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1).  There is forgiveness of sins in Christ (Ephesians 1:7).  There is salvation in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10).  The Scriptures teach that one is baptized into Christ’s death where He shed His blood (Romans 6:3-4; John 19:33-34).  Paul wrote, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).  Having been baptized into Christ, one remains in this spiritual location by walking in the light (1 John 1:7) and remaining faithful to Him unto death (Revelation 2:10).
      Some WERE in Christ.  It is possible for those who were once in the right spiritual location (in Christ) to depart (fall away from) that location.  Those who think they stand in Christ are warned to “take heed” lest they fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).  The grace of God is in Christ (2 Timothy 2:1), and some have fallen from that grace (Galatians 5:4).  Some were in the location where they had escaped the sinful pollutions of the world, but they moved to another location where they were condemned (2 Peter 2:20-22).  It is possible for those who have been enlightened by the truth, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:4; 10:26-32; Acts 2:38), to fall away (Hebrews 6:4-6).  Those who do not abide in Christ will, one day, be where they will eternally regret such (cf. John 15:6).
      Some ARE NOT (and never have been) in Christ.  To be outside of Christ is to be without hope (Ephesians 2:12).  Most are in this location (Matthew 7:13-14), because they have not obeyed the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9).
      Where are you?  Are you in Christ?  Are you away from Christ due to having fallen?  Are you outside Christ because of having not obeyed the gospel?  “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith...” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

- via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg Church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  You may visit their website at
http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org


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