Exercising Your Sixth Sense

I was recently reminded of some lines from the 1999 movie, Sixth Sense. Basically, the movie was about a young boy who had an extraordinary ability to see dead people. Ultimately, if I recall correctly, the boy used this ability to help these troubled souls find peace so that they could transition from their limbo status between two worlds. Clearly, this was a fictitious idea with circumstances that do not reflect reality; it is just a movie.

 

However, there were a few particular lines from the movie that have profound implications when considered from a spiritual perspective. When explaining this ability, the boy related at least four profound experiences and observations: He said, “I see dead people,” “They don’t even know that they

are dead,” “they see what they want to see,” and “somebody ought to tell them.”

 

Admittedly, when I first saw this movie, I was not a Christian and I did not see those words as I do today. Now, if I had seen those quotes without any knowledge of the movie, I would immediately think of the circumstances facing sinners in this world. Follow my train of thought for a moment.

 

First, “I see dead people.” The question for you and me is, do we see dead people? Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, he said that “the wages (just earnings) of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This world is full of spiritually dead people. You and I pass them on the streets and in the hallways. We interact with them on the job and in our community. Unfortunately, we rarely take notice of the fact that they are dead. We have a sense that we are not using.

 

Second, these individuals, for the most part, do not realize they are dead. On the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ, Peter and his apostolic companions preached the Gospel to a group of people who were dead in their sins. When Peter showed them that their spiritual hearts had

flatlined, they immediately became concerned about their condition. Consequently, many of them repented and were baptized for the remission of their sins. It is a frightening thought that a person could be dead (spiritually) and not even realize it.

 

Third, for many, spiritual wellbeing is the last thing on their mind. They truly see what they want to see and nothing else, especially if it implicates them in wrong. Most people are content to pretend that

they are alive, even those who are rotting spiritually. Self-deception is a powerful force. Repeatedly, the Bible authors caution against “being deceived” (Matthew 24:4; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 6:9; 5:33; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 6:3; 6:7; 2 Tim 3:13). I wonder which is worse, for the spiritually dead to deceive themselves into thinking they are alive, or for the Christian to deceive himself into thinking all these people are not really dead.

 

Fourth, somebody ought to tell them. That is a profound thought. The uncertainty of being the one who reveals such life-altering information is frightening. However, unless someone tells people that they are spiritually dead, they will never truly appreciate the need to deal with it. Christianity is a taught religion (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Dead people must be taught the way to eternal life (John 6:68). I cringe at the possibility of someone actually saying to me, “I was dead, you knew that I was dead, I could not see it for myself, and you never took my situation serious enough to tell me.”

 

 

Are we really exercising our sixth sense? Dead people are all around. 

What to expect

We in churches of Christ take seriously the Lord’s words in John 4:24: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The word of God, and specifically, the New Testament of Jesus Christ (Heb. 8:6-13), is our standard of truth for acceptable worship (John 17:17). God has not left it up to us to do as whatever we please when we approach him; through the inspired apostles of Christ he has directed the church in the manner in which we are to worship him. Our goal is to do as the early church, which “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).This makes our worship distinctive from what most are accustomed to seeing in other churches.

Because we are committed to following the God-given, apostolic pattern for worship, we praise God in song, “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16). Our singing is not accompanied by a piano or band or other forms of instrumental music because we do not find authority for these additions in the New Testament. We learn from God’s word the church is to sing (Eph. 5:19), and we do not add to what God has instructed us to do or go beyond the authority of his word (1 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18-19). While most visitors find our a cappella singing unusual, they also find the four part harmonies beautiful and edifying.

We learn from apostolic example and instruction to the early church that God’s people are to observe the Lord’s supper when they meet every first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-29), and so each Sunday we partake of the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine in remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ. Also, our members give into a collection for the work of God’s kingdom in accordance with the teaching of God’s word (1 Cor. 16:1-2).

In our worship assembly we also offer prayer to our Heavenly Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and listen to the preaching of the life-changing, soul saving gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). Our preaching is Bible-based, for we are to “speak as the oracles of God,” (1 Pet. 4:11). We are committed to exalting God by teaching and preaching “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and citing book, chapter and verse as we exalt God and focus on hearing his will for our lives revealed in the scriptures.

You will also find a warm welcome from friendly folks who want to help you understand God’s will for your life and his plan for your salvation so that you can be sure you are saved by his grace and have the hope of eternal life. We hope you can attend one of our worship assemblies or Bible classes soon. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

“The churches of Christ greet you”

Those are the words of Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, and we in the Roanoke Church of Christ echo that same sentiment to you today. But perhaps you’re wondering: Who or what are the churches of Christ? We hope the following will help answer that question:

Before the world ever began, God had a plan for you. That plan is revealed in the Bible and includes his church. The Bible tells us the church is part of the “eternal purpose” of God for every one of us that was made possible through Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:10-11). But there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the importance and identity of that church.

It was Jesus who said to his disciples, “I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18). The Lord kept that promise; he built his church and it exists today. The word of God tells us the church is called “the body of Christ” (Eph. 1:22-23) and that there is “one body…one Lord, one faith” (Eph. 4:4-6). There are no denominations in the Bible, yet when we look around today we see so many different churches, different faiths, different teachings. All of this religious contradiction can be confusing.

But if set aside the denominations, doctrines and traditions of men and simply go back to the Bible, we can belong to the church that Jesus built—the Lord’s church that is a part of God’s eternal plan to redeem us and bring us to heaven through his Son. If we follow the New Testament of Christ and do today what they did then, we can be today what they were then—simply Christians (Acts 11:26). Nothing more, nothing less—just Christians. Not members of any denomination, but members of Jesus’ church we read about in the Bible.

We in the churches of Christ are striving to be faithful to the authority of God’s word and abide by the pattern he has given us for his church (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 1:13). We kindly invite you to join us in going back to the Bible to be Christians only, a part of the Lord’s family, the church which he died to save with his blood (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23-25). Please let us know if you would like to study the Bible to learn more about the Lord’s church and his plan for our salvation.

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Location
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 737
Roanoke, TX 76262
Physical Address
Map
305 Rusk
Roanoke, TX 76262
P: (817) 491-2388
Meeting Times
Sunday

9:30 am - bible class

10:30 am - worship

6:00 pm worship

Wednesday

7:00 pm bible class

Singing every 5th wednesday of the month