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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



A postmodern world has rejected God's truth and wants to make up its own truth. The result is a "no rules" way of thinking which has saturated our society and is showing up in commercials:

* Prince Matchabelli perfume: "Life without limits."

* Outback Steakhouse:"No rules. Just right."

* NFL video game: 'No refs, no rules, no mercy."

* An Isuzu Rodeo commercial said: "The world has boundaries. Ignore them."

* The Spice Girls (remember them?!): "The rules are for breaking."

It all sounds so good-but is it good? Several thousands of years of human history have proven it isn't. Adam and Eve wanted no rules-and their attempt at life without limits hurt them and the world in a terrible way. King David and Bathsheba ignored God's sexual rules, but their choice to break the 7' Commandment ("You shall not commit adultery"-Exodus 20:14) in the end wound up breaking them (and has broken millions since). Read Romans 1:29-32 and see what happens when people insist on living by the "no  rules" philosophy. Trying to live without rules is equivalent to trying to live without God.

Two men in a small village got into a terrible dispute and -could not resolve it, so they decided to talk to the town sage. The first man went to the sage's home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the sage said, "You're absolutely right." The next night the second man went to the sage and told his side of the story. The sage responded, "You're absolutely right." Afterward, the sage's wife scolded her husband-"Those men told different stories and you told both they were absolutely right. That's impossible-they can't both be absolutely right." The sage turned to his wife and said, "You're absolutely right." You don't have to read that story very slowly to know that the sage's wife proved to be more sage than the sage! Second Timothy 2:5 records words from not just a wise man but an inspired man, the apostle Paul- "If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." It doesn't matter if the "game" is football or forgiveness, horse racing or holiness, soccer or salvation-there are always rules to follow if you want to win. The Bible doesn't just give us good rules, it gives us God's rules. Those who say there are no rules have forgotten God rules!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ