Here is your weekly newsletter created for listeners and friends of
Paul Heil's "The Gospel Greats" syndicated radio program.

The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter
Published December 13, 2016

In This Edition

Paul's Epistle

Not long ago, a reader of this newsletter shared with me a compelling and timely article he wrote. With his permission, I'd like to pass it along, slightly edited, for your prayerful consideration.

- Paul

"Holding Back"
by Rick Hughes

Last night as I sat watching the news and saw how evil the world has become, I truly became convinced it is in worse shape than I have ever seen it in my 61 years.

A serious thought came to my mind, sparked by a commercial about wearing seat belts that says, "What's holding you back?" If I could ask God one question it would be, "What's holding You back? What's holding You back from turning to your right and saying to Jesus, ‘Son, go get my children?'" As God sits on His throne in Heaven and looks down at a world that He created as a perfect place for us and sees what it has become, really, what is holding Him back?

A selfish thought came to me, wishing He would send Jesus down here to get us and take us out of this mess and send the evil people to hell. But I thought some more. I don't want Him to come back right now. Maybe what's holding Him back is that He's waiting for one more person to get saved. Maybe it's one of my loved ones, a family member, a neighbor, a friend, someone I passed in the aisle at Walmart. If He came back right now a lot of my family would go to hell while I would go to Heaven, so I don't want Him to come back yet.

God is merciful, but He won't hold back forever. Someday He is coming back. Good for us, sad for those who aren't ready.

Then something occurred to me: What's holding me back? What's holding me back from witnessing to those people so they won't go to hell? That family member, neighbor, friend, that person at Walmart? If one of my grandchildren were getting ready to accidentally do something that would harm him or her I would do everything in my power to protect them — to save them from getting hurt, or worse. Isn't that what we would be doing if we witnessed to a person who isn't saved? Try to save them? Why is it so hard to witness to someone when their soul is at stake? Do I do that? Guilty as charged.

Are we as Christians doing our part, what is required of us, to try to keep someone we love or know from going to hell. God is NOT going to hold back until everyone in the world is saved. He is going to tell Jesus, "Son, go get my children."

As I turned off the TV and all the evil and violence that's going on in our world and went to bed, I wondered while lying there if God might finally get tired of it all and stop holding back once and for all. But as I got up this morning, I saw that God is still holding back. He doesn't want anyone, not one person, to perish. He's still holding back. But am I? Are we? God forbid.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).

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A printable version of the Epistle above is linked from our newsletter archive page.
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Epistle" and a "Share" button for sharing this column on Facebook.

Coming on the broadcast the weekend of December 17th & 18th, 2016:

Christmas Music!   This is another all-Christmas music edition with Christmas thoughts from many of the artists whose music we include. Relax and enjoy this great music of the season!

Featured Artists (Hour 1):   Our Featured Artists on this program's first hour will be the father-son duo, Wilburn & Wilburn, with songs from their brand new Christmas CD, "Wilburn & Wilburn, Simply Christmas." You'll find out why they decided to do a Christmas recording — and why they stuck to the tried-and-true Christmas favorites that a focused on the Lord's birth.

Featured Artists (Hour 2): Our Featured Artists on this program's second hour will be the Whisnants and the Mark Trammell Quartet. These two groups have come together on a new CD called "Glad Tidings." You'll find out why they came together for this recording and they'll tell you why they chose the best of the old and the best of the new songs to include.

Other Guests:  Joseph Habedank; Gordon Mote; Bailee Lester (the Lesters); Jason Clark (Nelons); Dianne Wilkinson (songwriter); Josh Garner (Dixie Melody Boys); more.

Who can YOU invite to listen this weekend?
Click here to hear the audio announcement regarding this next program.
Click here to find a local station carrying The Gospel Greats program.

From the broadcast the weekend of December 10th & 11th, 2016:

This was another of our all-Christmas music editions. I'm so glad there's been such an increase in recent years in the amount of great Christmas music available from Southern Gospel artists. I love sharing it with you through the broadcast.

Because there are so many outstanding new Christmas recordings this year, we doubled-up on Featured Artists this time. On our first hour, our Featured Artists were Triumphant Quartet with songs from their new Christmas CD, "He Is Christmas." I especially enjoyed their version of the Phil Cross classic, "Hope Has Hands," along with the Christmas version of "Hallelujah," which tells the entire Gospel story.

On our second hour, the Featured Artists were the Kingdom Heirs. They're no stranger to Christmas recordings. They've probably done more than most other groups (if not any other group). Arthur Rice explained that this is because they sing right through the Christmas season at Dollywood. Their new Christmas CD is called "Glory To God In The Highest."

Triumphant Quartet's CD featured on this program, as well as the Kingdom Heirs' new CD, are available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, December 16th, ask for the "Featured Artist Discount," and get 20 percent off these items. You can order easily from our webstore by clicking on the respective links above. Note, too, that our "Featured Artist Discount" applies to any other currently in-stock recordings by this artist. While ordering online, when you get to the "Checkout" page, find the "Special Instructions" lines near the bottom, type in "Featured Artist Discount - 20 percent" to get the discount. Note that the discounted price will not be reflected online or in your first confirmation e-mail, but it will be applied here when the order is processed and before it is charged or shipped.

Another group with a brand new Christmas CD this year are the Hyssongs — a CD called "The Hyssongs - Merry Christmas." Dell, Susan and Richard have a chance to tell you a few things about their celebration at Christmastime. And they had three outstanding new Christmas songs, including the timely original song, "Christmas Is Still About That Baby." By the way, I was privileged to help put together a one-hour Christmas special for the Hyssongs called, "Celebrate Christmas with the Hyssongs." Ask your local station if they'll be carrying it this Christmas season. (It is unrelated to The Gospel Greats program series.)

On the Headline Update I mentioned the new YouTube video series Allegiance Trio is doing. Here's a link to their first episode.

For the song list from this broadcast, click on the link below.   (PDF viewer required.)

Hear last weekend's Headline Update report about your favorite artists by clicking on this link.

New item available this week from

  • Chris Freeman"The Hinson Side Of Me" (CD)

Click here to view that Southern Gospel music items in this week's Springside Music Update newsletter — including 20 percent discounts on this week's new release. Or get the Springside Music Update newsletter by email each Thursday morning. Details can be found here. Or call 800 38 MUSIC during weekday office hours to ask about this week's specials or to order. Your purchases from Springside help support The Gospel Greats program.

Shelia Shares
"It Started With A Child"

The billboard read: "If Mary had had an abortion, we wouldn't be in this mess."

I was stunned. What twisted logic was this? If Jesus had not come, think what a mess this world would be. There would be no hope of a happy life here or a life with God for eternity. It all started with a child – one special child.

Yes, Christmas started with a child. A baby was born. But this baby was born straight from heaven. He would grow as a child into manhood. He would live, but without sin. He would die and live again.

Matthew 1:18 says, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit."

Matthew 1:23 tells us, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

And Matthew 2:11 says, "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

It all started with a child.

In His ministry, Jesus gave great attention and great worth to a child.

Matthew 18: 2-5 gives this example: "Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.'"

And, Scriptures refer to all of us who have received Jesus' gift as His children.

1 John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

Christmas started with a child. We need to come with childlike faith. We are blessed to be the children of God.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, my prayer is taken from Revelation 22:20: "I Am coming quickly. He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

- Shelia

Comments on this?
(To ensure that we get your comments, please use that address and do not simply hit "reply" on your email program.)

A printable version of the "Shelia Shares" above is linked from our newsletter archive page.
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Shelia Shares" and a "Share" button for sharing this column on Facebook.

On the Lighter Side

Top Ten Gifts Your Wife Doesn't Want For Christmas

10. A car wash kit
9. A table saw
8. Two all-day passes to a major appliance retailer's Home Theatre Installation Seminar
7. A case of motor oil
6. Five-year subscription to Field & Stream
5. Custom engraved bowling ball
4. New outboard motor for fishing boat
3. Rambo Trilogy on DVD
2. Three-year membership to Weight-Watchers Clinic
1. An ugly Christmas sweater

Top Ten Gifts Your Husband Doesn't Want For Christmas

10. "Anne of Avonlea/Anne of Green Gables Collectors Edition" with 74 minutes of extra footage
9. Any knick-knack
8. Tickets to the ballet
7. Another new tie
6. A Bath and Body Works Soap Basket
5. New teddy bear pajamas
4. Vacuum cleaner
3. A weekend seminar on "Getting in Touch With Your Feelings"
2. Pair of fuzzy bunny slippers
1. An ugly Christmas sweater

Making Something

One Sunday morning at a small rural church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, "Lord, I hate buttermilk." The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, "Lord, I hate lard." Now the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, "Lord, I ain't too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix 'em all together and bake 'em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits." He paused, "Lord help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don't like, whenever we don't understand what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making. After you get through mixing and baking, it'll probably be something even better than biscuits." Amen.

Are You Ready?
1 Thess. 5:2-10; Matt. 24:44; Luke 21:34,36
Free Gift
Pray for the President!
Until next Week...Keep Looking Up!

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