October 18 Bulletin
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)
9:00 am—Music and Prayer with Worship Team
Impact Hour streams live at 10 am
Worship service streams live at 11:00 am
Click on “Livestream” or "Listen Live" at cornerstonelakeside.com
Recordings are also available
10:00 am—Impact Hour: Tom Szabo
"A Manifesto" 5
11:00 am—Worship for all ages
Celebration of birthdays and anniversaries
Children’s Church and iTeens suspended until further notice
Morning Message: Pastor Clay Stidham
"The Disease of Disuse"
Exodus 20 (The Ten Commandments)
2 Kings 22:3-19
12:30 pm —Commitment and Dismissal
October 19—Monday Marys Bible Study on Zoom 10 am and in person at the office
October 19—Young Life 6:57 pm at Yellow Jacket Youth Center in Lakeside
October 21—Men's Bible Study at the office 7 pm
October 23—Friday Bible Study at the office 7 pm
In the News
Articles featured do not necessarily represent the opinion of Cornerstone Community Church or its members. Selection of articles is for information purposes only.
"The evidence on universal masking is really pretty weak."
White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas is criticizing what he said was an ongoing "obsession" with masks, claiming that universal masking mandates "don't work" at suppressing the spread of SARS-Cov-2.
Atlas made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News's "The Ingraham Angle" following President Trump's Miami town hall event. During that broadcast, host Savannah Guthrie challenged the president several times over his stance on masking.
On host Laura Ingraham's show, Atlas criticized what he called a "lame, bizarre obsession at this point that everyone must have universal masking."
He cited multiple U.S. counties, states, and worldwide countries in which broad mask mandates have been instituted –from Hawaii to the United Kingdom – that have nevertheless had major increases in COVID-19 cases.
The U.K., for instance, has required masks on public transportation and in shops since mid-summer, yet their average daily case rate is currently more than triple from its peak in the spring.
"The president has a rational, common-sense mask policy," Atlas said. "If you cannot socially distance, you wear a mask, particularly when you're high risk."
"And I think Americans are getting a little bit sick of this obsession with masks," he added.
Trump has resisted demands to impose a nationwide mask mandate since the start of the pandemic. A majority of U.S. states, meanwhile, have instituted some form of mask mandate over the past several months.
There is no significant evidence that President Trump’s campaign rallies have been “superspreaders” of Covid-19, a Daily Caller analysis of publicly available health data has found. State health officials responsible for maintaining such data concur that Covid-19 numbers cannot be directly tied to campaign rallies.
Speculation from some observers before and during the events raised alarms that they could worsen the ongoing pandemic. But a combination of publicly available statistics on the spread of Coronavirus and analysis from public health experts concludes that the president’s campaign rallies cannot be tied to spikes in Covid-19 infections in their surrounding areas, if cases in the area even increased, which not all did. (RELATED: ‘It Looks Like COVID-Palooza’: Sunny Hostin Blasts Trump Over Pennsylvania Rally)
The Daily Caller reviewed case data provided by state and county authorities where the Trump campaign held public events. The number of new infections on the day that rallies took place was compared to the number of new infections one week, two weeks and one month later in each location to determine if there was a significant increase in new infections post-rally. Seven-day averages of new infections were used where available.
The Trump campaign has held 23 rallies since the country began shutting down to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, beginning with the now infamous Tulsa rally on June 20.
Thousands gathered indoors in Oklahoma’s second-largest city to welcome the president, and statewide new cases were 32% higher one week after the rally. However, cases in Tulsa County actually trended downward during the two weeks after the rally, and a spokesman with the Oklahoma State Department of Health told the Daily Caller that they don’t have “hard data” that connects the rally with any increase in cases. The Tulsa Health Department does not publicly release information on what events Covid-19 cases could have been contracted.
Examination of the other 22 rallies found similar results. Roughly half of the events clearly did not precede an upward swing in the rate of Covid-19 infections in the host state or county. This includes campaign stops during August and September in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio. The remaining rallies occurred around the times of what appear to be increases in Covid-19, but no evidence can prove a link between the President’s visits and the outbreaks.
The Trump campaign held rallies in Old Forge, PA, Aug. 20 and Moon Township, PA, Sept. 22. Data from both Lackawanna and Allegheny County show increases in Covid-19 infections in the weeks following the rallies. However, Deputy Press Secretary Maggi Mumma of the Pennsylvania Department of Health told the Daily Caller that they had found no links between either rally and new Covid-19 cases.
The Daily Caller got the same message from Laura Montenegro, Public Information Officer for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, where Trump held a rally Aug. 28. “We are not aware of any cases linked to the Trump rally on 8/28,” she said.
About a Trump visit to Ohio on Sept. 21, Melanie Amato, Press Secretary for the Ohio Department of Health, said, “There have been no cases linked to the rally on 9/21.”
The same pattern emerges for Trump’s Sept. 12 rally in Minden, Nevada, which is less than an hour from Reno. There appeared to be an increase in cases in the Reno area, but Scott Oxarart with the Washoe County Health District told the Daily Caller that they didn’t connect any cases to that rally or a rally the next day in the Las Vegas area.
Shannon Litz, Public Information Officer for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services told the Daily Caller “at this time, one individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has reported to Carson City Health and Human Services a connection to a political rally.”
Two rallies in Wisconsin on Aug. 17 and Sept. 17 appeared to predate Covid-19 outbreaks in their surrounding areas, however the Wisconsin Department of Health says they can’t reliably link any cases to the campaign events. Public Information Officer Judy Burrows of the Marathon County Health Department said “our weekly data demonstrates our upward trend started after Labor Day weekend,” which was two weeks before the President visited that region of the state. (RELATED: Study Finds Oklahoma Trump Rally Didn’t Lead To COVID Spike)
Trump’s Sept. 18 rally in Bemidji, Minn., was the only event we investigated that ended up with multiple connected cases of Covid-19. Doug Schultz, Information Officer for the Minnesota Department of Health says they have identified nine individuals who attended the rally and later tested positive for Coronavirus. The rally was attended by thousands of supporters.
Schultz added that “it’s always difficult to attribute increases or decreases in daily case numbers to specific causes as there can be multitude of factors influencing the numbers.”
It is too soon to draw conclusions about some of the Trump Campaign’s more recent events. Beyond speculation, however, it is clear that there is no verifiable evidence to show that Trump rallies have meaningfully increased the spread of Covid-19. Still, some experts, like Dr. Michael Osterholm, the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, remain concerned.
Poor contact tracing is one reason that some scientists are warning against these large gatherings. Osterholm told the Daily Caller to remember the old adage, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
Osterholm said that many states are woefully ill-equipped to perform widespread contact tracing because the virus may have gotten out of hand there before a system could be properly implemented. He described that many of America’s peers in Europe and Asia were able to implement effective contact tracing systems after getting the initial spread of the virus under control, but “we never did that,” he told the Caller in an interview.
Osterholm further said that more routine indoor gatherings are still the primary vectors of transmission, something multiple health department officials echoed to the Caller. While the media focuses on large public gatherings and blames Trump rallies for increasing spread, they said it is still weddings, funerals, parties, and other such events that are driving this pandemic.
As Dr. Osterholm pointed out, people who attend large gatherings like protests or rallies are “likely to be gathering amongst themselves before and after the events” as well, and these are people who are more likely to be out living their lives “normally” than others, potentially putting them at an increased risk of infection. An individual going to a rally and later testing positive does not necessarily show that the virus was contracted at the rally.
'It's not wrong to call out nuts when s--- is nuts!' the HBO star exclaimed
Maher began by deriding Democrats for threatening to pack the Supreme Court, saying it's "already packed -- with Catholics."
"Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, Sotomayor and Gorsuch -- who I count as Catholic because he was raised Catholic and is now an Episcopalian, which is just a Catholic who flunked Latin," Maher quipped.
"And once when Mitch McConnell and company are done FedExing Amy Coney Barrett to the bench, seven of the nine justices will be Catholics."
The HBO star noted that Roman Catholics were only "20 percent" of the U.S. population, suggesting there should be a "healthier balance on our highest court" that represents the people and stressing atheists were "the fasting growing denomination" in the country.
"We are 26 percent of the country ... where's our voice on the Supreme Court?" Maher, an outspoken atheist, asked. "And atheists actually make better judges because we don't have to work to separate church and state. We're not torn between rational decision-making and what it says in the old book of Jewish fairytales."
Maher then knocked Barrett for a remark she told a graduating class of law students in 2016, when she said, "Keep in mind that your legal career is but a means to an end ... That end is building the kingdom of God."
"No, it's not," Maher fired back. "That's not the point of a legal career and you pundits earnestly debating whether she will vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade? Of course, she will! She's been groomed since birth to overturn Roe vs. Wade. She's like the Terminator, a robot programmed to fulfill one task except she wasn't sent from the future, she was sent from the past."
Maher then divided Catholics into two categories -- "scary" and "not scary." And while he said the vast majority of them "aren't scary," he warned that the "uber-conservative Catholics who have an agenda" want to "return to the Middle Ages," citing Attorney General William Barr and The Federalist Society as examples.
"These old-school Catholics, they play the long game. Amy Barrett has been on their radar since forever because she was raised in an extremist Catholic community called People of Praise, where husbands' responsibilities include 'correcting' his wife should she stray from the proper path and where women were called 'handmaids,'" Maher explained. "It's not wrong to call out nuts when s--- is nuts!"
"Chuck Schumer said Democrats won't make Barrett's religion an issue," he concluded, "but they should because being nuts is relevant."
Authorities in Nashville, Tennessee are coming after worship leader Sean Feucht for holding a public event with people not masked.
Government officials across the country have imposed restrictions against Christians and holding indoor church services since the Coronavirus pandemic started.
So religious leaders like Feucht have been gathering for outdoor worship events as a way for Christians to come together and for non-believers to find hope in our Heavenly Father.
Now, the local police and health officials are attacking Feucht for simply sharing the Gospel with hungry souls that are yearning to be a part of the church.
The praise leader brought his "Let Us Worship" tour to Nashville last weekend where an estimated 9,000-10,000 people gathered at Public Square Park.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department told CBN News the department is "assisting the health department in their review."
Police Chief John Drake said in a statement on Monday, "I am greatly disappointed that the organizer of Sunday's event and those in attendance did not better prioritize their health and the health of others through social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. Personal responsibility is a necessity regardless of the purpose for a public event."
But Feucht told CBN News, "There’s really nothing for Nashville to investigate. Thousands of Christians gathered together peaceably and responsibly to worship the Lord and pray for Nashville. It was incredible. We saw breakthrough happening. God is moving in all the cities we go to, miracles, salvations, healings, baptisms, but what we’ve discovered is that the greatest breakthroughs happen when we face the strongest opposition. Our nation needs worship and prayer right now, so we are not going to slow down, and we are not going to back down just because we face little opposition. God is moving. And thankfully we live in a country where the Constitution protects our freedom to follow Him and worship together. We are going to keep gathering and keep worshipping because revival is happening right now!"
Other faith leaders have come under attack for holding worship services that stand for religious freedom and revival.
A 142-year-old church in Washington DC filed a lawsuit against the District and the mayor for the restrictions placed on worship gatherings.
Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) had not been able to meet – even outdoors while inside the District limits – and was meeting at a church in Virginia.
Amid the pandemic, churches in California have faced multiple challenges with singing and worshipping together.
Grace Community Church in Sun Valley has gone through a round of legal battles but vows to continue to fight and protect religious freedom for the church.
Jack Trieber, pastor of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, said his church is facing financial penalties in the thousands for gathering at indoor worship services.
And Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks was found to be in contempt of court after violating Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders prohibiting in-person worship, including home Bible studies and fellowship.
Despite the limitations that have been placed on Christians during COVID, many are willing to take a risk for the same reasoning – to worship Jesus Christ together.
Feucht still plans on bringing the Let Us Worship event to the National Mall in Washington, DC on Oct. 25 for the purpose of sharing the Gospel in pursuit of a nationwide spiritual awakening.
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'We Can No Longer Sit on the Sideline:' Cissie Graham Lynch's Urgent Election Message to Christians | CBN News
Cissie Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham, is calling on Christians to make their voices heard in this year's presidential election.
Graham Lynch, an outspoken supporter of President Trump, is one of several evangelicals lined up to speak at an outreach for Christian voters called "Non-Essential."
Hosted by the creators of Hope Rising and Revive Us, national faith leaders and panelists, including Dinesh D'Souza, Kirk Cameron and Charlie Kirk will discuss faith and voting as well as the issues of 2020. K-LOVE male artist of the year, Danny Gokey will lead a time of worship.
"I think I speak for everyone when I say this country's in severe trouble," Graham Lynch told CBN News. "And I don't believe that any Democrat's gonna fix it. I don't believe any Republican's gonna fix it. Only God can fix this nation."
The goal of the event is to encourage the more than forty million inactive Christian voters in the country to participate in this year's election.
"Every election cycle, I'm both shocked and disappointed to learn how many Christians do not participate in our elections and it's my hope that an event like this can make a historical difference, " said Ryan Higgins, Co-Creator of Non-Essential and Founder of The Tempus Collaborative.
Graham Lynch says it is time for believers to engage the political process.
"I've traveled the world with my dad Franklin Graham with the ministry Samaritan's Purse and I just know what a precious gift we have to be able to vote and to have a voice," said Graham Lynch.
She admits 2020 has been a tumultuous year for many and compares what families have faced to waves crashing on a beach.
But she says there is more to fear as the country heads in the wrong direction, particularly on the issue of gender identity.
"I've seen so many concerns," she explained. "I'm a mom of young children and I see it very essential to speak on these issues that we're facing right now.
"The time has passed," Graham Lynch continued. "We can no longer sit on the sideline and let these issues keep coming up and we're not having a voice in it."
She added, "Just this week I had to go to the local school board and I had to fight for our children on the frontlines because this idea of sexual ideology has become the forefront of education endeavors where they're trying to teach children in kindergarten about sexual identity."
"Those are the things we're seeing all across the country. I'm a mom and I'm going to fight as long as I can for my children. But one way to do that is with our vote," she commented.
Graham Lynch also says that many in America have been gripped by fear due to the pandemic. But she says even more is at stake at the ballot box this year.
"As Christians, we need to be fearing in this country the idea of socialism and the attack of our religious liberties," said Graham Lynch. "These are some of the things that our religious liberties, our forefathers fought for free exercise of religion. Some evangelicals and those on the left have adopted this idea that our religion should just be kept inside the four walls of our home and inside our places of worship. That's not what our forefathers intended. They intended our faith be very involved in jobs, our businesses, and our schools. And we're being very quiet."
On the issue of life, Graham Lynch said Christians have a moral responsibility to defend the rights of the unborn.
"Science is on our side when we talk about life. When you talk about a child inside of the womb growing and thriving and we're talking about people who govern over us who believe its ok, not just first trimester abortions, but they think it's ok to have an abortion in the sixth, seventh and eighth month, all the way 'til the child is born. We as Christians, is it ok for us to turn our back and not engage in that conversation, to help end that?"
She said during troubling times, many often ask whether God has abandoned America? And why is He allowing so much suffering?
"I was just reminded of a message that my grandfather spoke back in the 90's in New York City and he says, 'God hasn't abandoned us. We've abandoned God'."
Graham Lynch says turning to God is what America needs more than a politician.
"God's ear is inclined to us and we have to be a nation that turns back, and he will hear the cries and pleas of those who are righteous," said Graham Lynch
The Non-Essential get-out-and-vote event is scheduled for Sunday, October 18 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, California before a live audience.
It will also be streamed on Non-Essential and on the CBN News Facebook page.
Click on the headline to see the video
With just 19 days to go until Election Day, an unexpected development hit the Biden-Harris campaign.
Kamala Harris' in-person campaign events have now been canceled through Sunday. That word came from Biden's campaign manager after two of her staffers, including her communications director, tested positive for coronavirus. But the presidential campaigns are continuing, full steam ahead.
On the campaign trail, President Trump talked about his recovery from the coronavirus and how he needed God's help.
"Masks, no masks - everything, you can do all you want, but you know, you still need help from the Boss. You need help from the Boss. That's what happened. We needed help," he said pointing up to heaven.
At that rally in Greenville, North Carolina the crowd applauded when Trump said, "Somebody said to me the other day, you are the most famous person in the world by far. I said no, I'm not. No, I'm not. They say yes you are. I say nope. They say, who is the most famous? I said, Jesus Christ."
Just to make it even clearer, he said, "I'm not taking any chances. I'm not going to have an argument." So he looked up to the heavens and said, "It's Jesus Christ... And let me look up and I'll say it's not even close."
And First Lady Melania Trump has revealed their son Baron tested positive for coronavirus but says he is a strong teenager and has no symptoms.
Thursday night, an election first unfolded in the form of a divided presidential debate with Trump and Biden participating in dueling town halls on competing networks.
Pitching voters in Iowa, the President's message couldn't be clearer. "For me, to only be up six, I'm a little bit concerned. I'll tell you that," said Trump. Some polls are showing the race tight in states like Iowa that the president easily won 4 years ago.
Meanwhile, early voting records are being shattered across the country. There are long lines from Tennessee to Georgia and Texas. "First time I'm voting early, but I didn't want to leave it to chance," said one voter.
Thursday's town halls come after the president said he would not participate in a virtual debate with former Vice President Biden. So Biden took questions from voters in Philadelphia while the president answers voters in Miami.
The Biden campaign says it raised a record $383 million in September, bringing its cash on hand to $432 million in the final stretch of the race. "I want to thank, thank, thank you for all you've done for me," said Biden.
But in a new digital ad, former President Barack Obama urges Democrats not to get complacent. "It's going to be close. It could come down to a handful of voters just like you."
'We’re Watching a Coup Attempt in Process': The Dangers that Could Bring America Down from Within | CBN News
One Christian author thinks the current divides in the U.S. are so deep and so toxic, the country is now in more danger than it’s ever been. He’s Alex McFarland and the book is The Assault on America: How to Defend Our Nation Before It’s Too Late.
McFarland is a Christian apologist – or defender of the faith – so tends to see things through a spiritual lens.
“Most of our problems stem from spiritual issues, and what we call the loss of natural law – that is, any sense of moral boundaries,” he told CBN News.
‘An International Attempt to Suppress Moral Knowledge’
The author writes in The Assault on America, “The 21st century is different from all other generations, at least in this way – we are living in the first era of an international attempt to suppress moral knowledge. I refer to the widespread cultural abandonment of belief in “natural law.”
He continues, “In the classroom, through the media, in our entertainment, and via rigidly enforced corporate policies, accommodation of clear moral truth is being squelched with unrelenting pressure.”
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Much of the book is spent on such dire warnings, but McFarland insisted, “Also, we convey the message that every person can make a difference. Every vote counts, every person really mindful of God and country can make a positive difference.”
In The Assault on America, McFarland backs up the idea that voting is a godly duty, writing, “The precedent of choosing godly, representative leaders goes all the way back to the Old Testament. God told Israel to ‘Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’”
Such passages in the book led McFarland to say, “While we do give some pretty sobering critiques of where we are culturally and spiritually, ultimately it’s a message of hope – that God can change our nation and it can begin through each one of us.”
‘We’re Watching a Coup Attempt in Process’
The worst danger comes not from enemies outside America’s borders, but from enemies within.
“I’m absolutely concerned that we’re watching a coup attempt in process,” McFarland stated. “I honestly believe that we are in a state of war. And there are people who want the U.S. Constitution to fall, all our civil liberties given by God to be gone. And so I will say this: that I believe we are in the most tenuous position our country has ever faced since the American Revolution.”
If these forces could bring down America’s capitalist, free-market society, McFarland believes they’d clamp-on systems that would bring darkness, depression, and decrepitude in its place.
“The people who have a vested interest in the fall of the American Constitution want to replace our representative republic, our moral Judeo-Christian capitalist society…they want to replace it with secular communism. On the political-economic side, they want communism,” the author said. “And they want 330 to 350 million Americans that they can control, exploit, and basically financially and spiritually soak the life out of this nation.”
He continued, “There are two juggernauts arm-wrestling for the future of America: the iron fist of state-ism and communism and the iron sword of Sharia. One thing and one thing only is sufficient to hold these two forces at bay. And that’s a Judeo-Christian worldview.”
That world view is based on the belief that there is a true and objective reality, created by the only true God. But those gaining more and more levers of power in our culture insist truth is relative, reality is what’s real for you, and there might well be many gods if indeed there are any.
Is There Really a Real Reality? Or is It All Relative?
“We’re living in a time when people believe that they can make their own reality. People who are genetic males or genetic females believe merely by their mind, they can ‘identify’ and change reality. And what’s so dangerous is we’ve seen decades where feelings trump scripture and feelings trump spiritual reality. But now we’re letting feelings and emotions even trump science,” McFarland explained.
“We are in the process of throwing away centuries of human history, moral boundaries, and the basis for Western civilization because for 40 years, coalitions of activists have been dictating how things should be,” McFarland writes in The Assault on America.
This is an era when Christian bakers, florists, coaches, and many others have been hounded for their beliefs, but the author writes those beliefs, “…are right in line with 2,000 years of biblical Christianity.”
Were All These People ‘Haters?’
He continues that such beliefs, “…were also held by the likes of Augustine, Aquinas, Pilgrim William Bradford, the framers of our Constitution, the author of the First Amendment, C.S. Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and the late Rev. Billy Graham, to name but a few. Were all these leaders “haters” or “phobic?”
“We’ve watched so many dominoes fall – gay marriage and now transgenderism treated as an ethnicity – and there are people advocating for, really, the molestation of children,” the author exclaimed. “Because people identify as…pedophilia is their orientation. And there are serious academics writing papers on why we should be okay with this.”
Such a time has been coming towards America for decades.
“Now it all began with abortion on demand. When we cut ourselves loose from the belief that human life is sacred, every other moral domino began to fall,” McFarland asserted.
The Spiral Down to a Culture’s Death
And that led him to write, “Cambridge anthropologist Joseph Unwin (1895-1936) is frequently cited by those concerned that the West’s loss of morality points to a future of anarchy and lawlessness. Unwin is most famous for his 1934 work, Sex and Culture, that concluded the stability of a nation is directly tied to the degree of moral and sexual restraint present.
“Observation of diverse civilizations throughout 5,000 years of history led Unwin to posit that a common cycle manifests itself in societies: Moral restraint leads to prosperity, but prosperity leads to decadence. Decadence and sexual license ultimately unravel the structure, stability, and prosperity that years of discipline had accomplished. Unwin believed that when moral decadence became dominant in a people, an irrevocable tipping point had been passed. The culture would die.”
Is America the New Nineveh?
In The Assault on America, McFarland posits the U.S. is like Nineveh before Jonah arrived, so pagan and immoral as to soon face harsh judgment from God. But, America could – just like Nineveh – turn and be saved.
He writes, “Perhaps America will quickly decimate, as Joseph Unwin’s model predicts. Perhaps our nation will experience a recovery of moral awareness and a thirst for truth. It will take the Holy Spirit of God to initiate this. Are you willing to play a role?”
McFarland told CBN News, “I would just encourage people…and it’s got to be ministers and clergy that lead out on this…that all people need to courageously say ‘look, God is still God, truth is still truth, right is still right and wrong is still wrong. The future of our country, the preservation of America depends on us rediscovering and restoring belief in God and morality.”
A key paragraph in McFarland’s book says, “If America is to be saved from extinction, we must rediscover the source of all life, and who the Founders said made possible our pursuit of happiness: God. Our Founders predicated everything we’ve enjoyed on the reality of moral truth and on each person’s accountability before God. We’d better rediscover these things—and fast. We need a growing number of authority figures who are willing to talk openly and honestly about the bedrock values we were once proud to proclaim. This should begin with leaders in American homes, churches, classrooms, and in Washington. Christianity, if promoted and embraced, will surely preserve this nation from threats within and without. How do I know this? Because for more than 200 years, it did.”
This story was originally published on September 17, 2020.
Word for Worship
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Several words are used in Scripture to imply spiritual watchfulness, and each has a slightly different meaning. Only as we compare and combine these words do we get the full force of the Scripture exhortations to watchfulness.
One such word is the Greek word agrupneo, translated “watch.” In Mark 13:33we read, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” The word literally means to be sleepless and comes from two Greek words meaning “to chase” and “sleep.” It implies a purposeful and active state of awareness.
More commonly used is gregoreo. It is a stronger word, meaning to arouse oneself and shake off lethargy, implying activity as on the part of one who is fully awake. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13), and “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). “Watch ye, therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh” (Mark 13:35).
A third word is nepho, which literally means to abstain from drink that would produce stupor, as well as sleep, and therefore conveys the additional idea of sobriety. By combining the teaching of these three words, we are instructed not only to keep awake but to keep active and to avoid the intoxication of this world’s seductive pleasures.
In our text, we see that we are not only to be sober (nepho) and vigilant (gregoreo), but we also see the reason why. Our “adversary the devil” is a vicious opponent. He stalks us both day and night with brutal cunning. We dare not underestimate him by figuratively closing our eyes in sleep or dulling our senses with intoxicants. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober” (1 Peter 1:13). JDM