The Spin Cycle

We invite you all to the Gospel Meeting we are hosting next week, October 8-11, with Jack Honeycutt speaking. Jack has been traveling to India to preach for over twenty years. He is my old friend.

On my first trip to India’s tribal areas (around here we call it “living in the country”), the local ladies would gather up our dirty clothes for washing. They didn’t have washing machines in those places back then, so they would take them to the river and wash them by hand, then they would use their ingenuity for the spin cycle. They would flip the clean wet garments into the air and then crash them down on the biggest rock they could find, over and over. Viola – mission accomplished! Your socks would end up twice as long, but that was okay, they were clean.

What’s that spin cycle for, anyway? Whether in a machine or a river, the idea is to rinse the soapy water and the remaining dirt from the clothes, and begin the drying process by getting as much water out of the clothes as possible.

The Spiritual Spin Cycle works in a similar fashion. Frequently the Bible speaks both literally and figuratively of sin’s effects on people. “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6 NKJV). What are we to do? Revelation 1:5-6 tells us Jesus “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father”!

How can we partake of God’s washing process? In Acts 2, Peter convinced his listeners that they had crucified God’s Son, Jesus Christ. That sounds like too deep a stain to be washed, but think again. When they asked, “What shall we do?”, he responded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” There you go – stains gone! The washing process works the same today for you!

My wife likes the smell of clothes hung outside to dry. She says they just smell fresher. When you go through the Lord’s washing process, you come out the same. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). I smell better already!

Stop by next week to hear from Jack on how you can wash your spiritual clothes. We’d love to see you!


This article was first published in the local newspaper. Feel free to copy/reproduce/post this article, but only in full.

The Leaves Are Falling Already!

Did you see them? Say it ain’t so, Joe! Last week I started noticing leaves from the tulip poplars falling into our yard; then when I cut the grass there they were: walnuts under my blades. I’m anxious for cooler temperatures, like most everyone else, but it seems too early to see the lush greenery around us decaying!

God thinks so, too. Oh, it’s not the beginning of the change in seasons that He set in place originally, that bothers Him (Psalm 74:12-17); it’s the fall of humanity. When God observed “that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6 NKJV). He is heartbroken when even one of us chooses to wade into the undertow of sin (2 Peter 3:9).

Will God throw us a rope? He already did. When Peter’s faith wavered on the sea and he began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Who was there “immediately”? Jesus (Matthew 14:30-31). That pretty much sums up Jesus’ mission. He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)!

What do we need to do to grab God’s rope? Jesus said we need to believe in Him (John 3:16), and confess that belief (Matthew 10:32); repent of our sins (Luke 13:3); be baptized (Mark 16:16) so that those sins might, as Ananias told Saul, be “washed away” (Acts 22:16); and lastly, “be faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10).

That last thing is the challenge. How many people, who are pulled out of the sea, decide to fall right back in? Who would do such a thing? We would!

Fortunately, God has a continuous escape-from-sin plan for every Christian. Actually, I’d say most of the New Testament was written to “keep you from falling” (Jude 24), but let’s consider a short recipe. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). If we diligently and continuously add those ingredients to our lives, we will “never fall” (1:10)!

What about “going to church”? Did you know that one of the reasons we are to gather together is so that we can help each other “hold fast” to the Rope (Hebrews 10:23-25)?

The saddest pictures I’ve ever seen are of fallen soldiers on the battlefield. What if we could see what God sees and grieves: the fallen souls whom were thrown the saving rope of Jesus to grab but they “would not” (Matthew 23:37)! I hope you’re not in that picture. Come join us at the South Stokes Church of Christ.


Jeff Greene, minister, South Stokes Church of Christ