Ministers Blogs

Ministers Blogs

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If is an “iffy” Word

Monday, April 24, 2017

Have you ever told a child you would take them to the park, or maybe go to the movie theater “if”? If they ate their dinner, if they cleaned their room, or if they did their homework? What happened? Sometimes it might have motivated the child to do what was asked and at other times it might not. 

Most of us understand that the little word “if” is more powerful than its size might lead one to expect.  Your boss might say, "If you get the job done on time you will get a raise."  In that case, the word “if” makes the raise conditional. 

See if is an “iffy” word. It is based on conditions, circumstances, and stipulations.  The work “if” is defined as, “in case that; granting or supposing that; on condition that.” The word “if” is used the same way in the Bible.   Notice how the Bible uses the word “If” in the following verses:

·         John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

The promise is conditional.  What if we don't abide in Christ’s and His words? The promise is that we will not get what we ask for in His name. Imagine if God took away our Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?

·         John 13:35, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What if we do not love one another? Then the world is not going to know we are Christ’s disciples.  Do we forgive others?  What if God treated us the way we treat our mates or neighbors?  What if God stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?  The world may not know Christ if we do not love one another.

·         John 15:14, "Ye are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you.”

What if we don't keep Christ’s commands?  What if we treat God’s commands as not important or old fashion? For example, Jesus commands us to evangelize in Matthew 28:18-20, but what if every church member evangelized just like me?  In 1 Cor. 16:1,2 we are command to give on the first day of the week.  What if God gave us ten times the amount of money we give to Him on Sunday?  If we are friends of Christ we will keep His commandments.

·         Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

What if we don’t continue to do good?  What if we give up?  What if we never saw a flower bloom because we grumbled when God sent the rain? We will never reap or see a harvest, if we stop doing the good God wants us to do today.  So, let us not grow weary of doing good. 

·         John 8:51, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

What if we knew today would be our last? What if we knew that Jesus was coming in the next five minutes?  What if we were found keeping Christ’s word, being obedient and living for Christ?  Then the promise is we will never see death!

"If" is a big word!  If is conditional, there’s a possibility that the task will not get done, there is a likelihood that it might not go our way, there is probability we will not choose wisely.  But there is also a possibility that it might work and we might be successful.  We might receive the blessing, we might be found faithful and prepared for heaven.  We might just be ready for Christ’s return.  It all depends on us! If we are willing to obey Christ and follow Him always we will receive a blessing. Think about it! Mark T. Tonkery


The Bible, What is it Trying to Say?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

            Have you ever wondered what the Bible is trying to say?  In the pages of the Bible we learn that God is the author of all life (Gen. 1-2) and His creation proclaims His existence (Job 12:7-10).  By listening to creation and the teachings of the Bible one can come to know the true God of the universe.  The pages of the Bible maintain that the God of creation cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18).  If God cannot lie then humans ought to pay attention to what has been written in His revelation, the Bible (1 Jn. 5:13; J. 20: 30-31).  God tells us through his Son Jesus Christ that His, “words will never pass away” (Mt. 24:35).  As one reads the Bible they will see that Scripture is powerful, even more powerful than the risen dead (Luke 16:30-31).  The Bible has the words that tell of eternal life (Jn. 6:68).  Romans 10:17 says it is by Christ’s words that product faith and Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of souls and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

            From these scriptures the Bible presents itself as the authority from God, which is meant for people to base their lives on today.  1 John 2:24-25 reads, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning.  If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”  The Bible is God’s message to man on how to live now and how to prepare to live in the next life.

            We at the church of Christ take the Bible very seriously, we teach from it in our Bible classes, preach from it in our pulpit and encourage every Christian to read it and live by it’s teaching.  If you would like to study the Bible with us please give us a call or come to our times of Bible study and worship.  Today, open your Bible and read the wonderful words of life.  Written by Mark T. Tonkery

Saved or Lost?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The story of the Titanic is one of the most compelling and fascinating historical events of modern times.  On a tragic night in April 1912 the ship struck an iceberg and sank. 1,503 people died, including passengers and crew.  It was reported that the scene outside the White Star office in Liverpool, England; A great crowd of relatives of those who had taken passage on that ill-fated vessel packed the street.  On either side of the main entrance a large board had been placed.  At the top of board was printed, KNOWN TO BE SAVED. The other, KNOWN TO BE LOST.

Every now and then, a man would appear from the office bearing a large piece of cardboard on which was written the name of one of the passengers.  As he held up the name, a deathly stillness swept over the crowd; it watched to see to which of the boards he would pin the name. (Taken from The Speaker Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck)

The day after Titanic sank there were only two categories of people - the saved and the lost.  The Holy Scriptures teaches us a similar thing; we are either saved or lost spiritually.

Mt. 25:31-46 Jesus gives a parable describing what the Day of Judgment will be like, all people will be divided into two groups, like the sheep and the goats or the saved or the lost.   Once judgment is given, Jesus states in Mt. 25:46, “And these [the wicked] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."  Two categories.  Two eternal destinations.  Which category are you in?

Acts 2:38 teaches how one comes in a saved condition.  By repenting of their sins and being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins.  The Bible goes on to say in 1 John 1:7 that Christians must continue to walk faithfully with Christ all the days of our life, so they can continue to be saved.

Question if the Lord was to come back tonight which category would you find yourself in?  The Saved or the Lost?  If you say of the saved, praise God, and let me encourage you to remain faithful and obedient to Christ always.  But if you look at your life and find yourself in the lost category will you repent of your sins and be baptized today and begin your journey with Christ?

                  Only those who are found in Christ will be able to be saved from this evil world.  Think about it and make the necessary changes now before you are lost for eternity.    Be God’s Mark T. Tonkery

What does the church do?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

              So many times, people think about church as just Sunday morning, Sunday evening worship, and Wednesday night Bible study.  Although worship and Bible study are essential to the Christian, as we can see in Heb. 10:25 which teaches, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  However, the Bible does present “church” as more than just Sunday and Wednesday meetings.

Notice the book of Acts, we learn that as soon as Christ’s church began, in Acts 2 with 3,000 people repenting of their sins and being baptized (Acts 2:38-41).   The church immediately devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:41-47, Acts 20:7).  The church continued to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and convert lost people (Acts 8:4,12; 16:15; 16:30-33).  They continued to give to those in need (Acts 4:34; 11:29).  Elders were appointed in the local congregations (Acts 14:23) and the leadership delegated certain responsibilities to reliable men (Acts 6:2).  Christians continued to meet for prayer (Acts 4:31; 12:12).  They sent out missionaries so that the gospel of Christ would continue to be spread beyond their communities (Acts 13:2).  Although there were many good things taking place, there were also problems in the church; but they worked through them as we see in Acts 6 and 15.   Once the church began it continued to reach out and grow.  This was done in large part because the early Christians understood that being the church was not just limited to what was done on Sundays and Wednesdays.

In reading the book of Acts we see that the church continued to function and work outside of the regular gatherings of Christians.  These Christians were continually devoting themselves to the purpose and will of God.  They looked for opportunities to teach the lost, help those in need, pray together, and continued to be faithful to God in between meetings.

So, what is the church doing today?  What are we doing today once we leave the assembly?  Do we look for opportunities to teach, to help, and are we continuing to be faithful to the Lord once we leave the assembly? 

I have seen over the entrance of one church building the phrase, “Enter to worship.  Leave to serve.”  How true!  As we gather each week to worship, will we leave to serve and be the Lord’s church where ever we go?  Think about!   Written by Mark T. Tonkery

Are you ready to live?

Friday, January 13, 2017


Are you ready to live?  Often times we get so busy with life that we forget to prepare to live.  Maybe you can picture the following in your mind.

Agony claws my mind. I am a statistic. When I first got here, I felt very much alone. I was overwhelmed by grief, and I expected to find sympathy. I found no sympathy. I saw only thousands of others whose bodies were as badly mangled as mine. I was given a number and places in a category. This was called "Traffic Fatalities." The day I died was an ordinary school day. How I wish I had taken the bus! But I was too cool for the bus. I remember how I wheeled the car out for Mom. "Special Favor," I pleaded. "All the kids drive." When the 2:50 p.m. bell rang, I threw my books into the locker. Free until tomorrow morning! I ran to the parking lot, excited at the thought of driving a car and being my own boss. It doesn’t matter how the accident happened, I was goofing off – going too fast, and taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. The last thing I remember was passing an old lady who seemed to be going awfully slow. I heard a crash and felt a terrific jolt. Glass and steel everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out. I heard myself scream. Suddenly, I awakened. It was very quiet. A police officer was standing over me. I saw a doctor. My body was mangled. I was saturated with blood. And pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over. Strange that I could not feel anything. HEY! I cried. Don’t put that sheet over my head. I can’t be dead. I’m only 17. I’ve got a date tonight. I’m supposed to have a wonderful life ahead of me. I haven’t lived yet. I can’t be dead. Later I was placed in a drawer. My folks came to identify my body. Why did they have to see me like this? Why did I have to look at mom’s eyes when she faced the most terrible ordeal of her life? Dad suddenly looked very old. He told the man in charge, "Yes – That is our son." The funeral was weird. I saw all my relatives and friends walk toward the casket. They looked at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen. Some of my buddies were crying. And a few girls touched my hand as they walked away. Please – somebody – wake me up! Get me out of here. I can’t bear to see Mom and Dad in such pain. My grandparents are so weak from grief they can barely walk. My brother and sister are like zombies. They move like robots. In a daze. Everybody. No one can believe this. I can’t believe it either. I’M SO UN-PREPARED TO BE DEAD. Please don’t bury me. I’m not dead. I have a lot of living to do. I want to laugh and play again. I want to sing and run once again. Please don’t put me in the ground. I promise if you give me just one more chance God, I’ll be the most careful driver in the whole world. All I want is one more chance. Please God, I’m only 17 (Written By: John Berrio).

Are you ready to live?  This young man thought he was living, living life to it’s fullest, yet he was not ready to die.  We never know when that day may come when our life on this earth will be no more.  So I ask again are you ready to live, live for eternity?  It is important that we prepare ourselves for the next life.  Jesus says in John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Although Jesus does the preparing we must respond to what He is doing.  Mark 16:16 proclaims, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  Are you ready to live?  Live for eternity in Heaven.  (By Mark T. Tonkery)          

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