May 2017 Newsletter

Suicide, by Elder Tim McCool
(from an article in the Pickens County Herald recently)

It would be hard to find a family not affected by suicide. Any way you look at it, suicide is a tragedy. Personally, I have lost friends and people I knew to this tragedy. I have spoken at funerals for those who died from suicide, and also written and preached extensively on this subject. Recently, a young man I knew passed from this life by suicide. When I learned of it, my heart was broken to hear of it.

Death is awful in any form, whether by suicide, car wreck, fire, drowning – or even natural causes. Whatever ugly form death takes, it is wonderful to know the truth about death, no matter how it occurs. A “spiritual” urban legend about suicide goes like this – “If a person commits suicide, it means they automatically go to hell…” or something along that line. This is not true at all. If you have suffered from thinking this, then be of good cheer. The good news is this: No matter how we leave this world, it makes NO difference where we go.

Our destination at death is not determined by the way we die– whether by natural causes, suicide, drowning, execution, etc. To dispel the spiritual urban legend about suicide, we need only look at the scripture. There are several examples of suicide in the Bible. The first that comes to mind is the great hero Samson (Judg.14-16). After Samson ran around with too many wild women and was finally caught, he did something as a prisoner that literally “brought the house down.” Judg16:30 details Samson’s suicide. He brought the house down on himself and the Philistines. He died by his own hand. But Samson is in the “hall of faith” in Heb.11. Read it. The way he left this world did not change where he went.

Another example is Saul, the 1st king of Israel. When surrounded by the enemy, Saul committed suicide (I Sam.31:4). Some object and say there is no way a guy who lived his life like Saul could go to heaven. Thankfully, salvation is not by what we do or don’t do, but by the mercy of God. And without question Saul is in heaven. His suicide did not change where he went. We need only read Samuel’s words in I Sam.28:19 where he says that Saul and his sons (including Jonathan by the way!) will be with Samuel the next day. Where was Samuel? You guessed it – Samuel was in heaven. These are only two of several examples in the Bible.

The idea that suicide is an automatic hell sentence is not from God. His mercy is greater than suicide. That is comfort for us, dear child of God. Lastly, consider this. If the spiritual urban legend that suicide will send you to hell is nothing more than a myth – what else that is commonly accepted in religious circles today, might also be a myth? Hmmm…what about “accept Christ as your personal Savior” (hint–it is not in the Bible!), or “Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart to get in…” (hint–also not found in the Bible!), or the “secret rapture” (hint-the word is not in the Bible!). What else do we take for “gospel” that is not in the word!?

If this encourages us to read the word of God, then I have done my job!

Sat., May 6 – 10:00 am – Service; lunch; afternoon svc; 4p – fellowship at Old Farm House
Sun., May 7 – 10:00 a.m. (NOTE THE EARLIER TIME), communion, lunch
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Don’t Build a Fire in the Tent

Practical Christianity
Tim McCool
Pastor Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

When I was in high school I spent a lot of time camping. On one occasion, a few of my friends were camping out with me. It was a cold time of year, so we planned on building a fire to keep warm. As we walked out the door, Mom called to us with her usual goodbyes and warnings to be safe. But this time she added, “Don’t build a fire in the tent!” We were almost out of ear shot but we paused and looked at each other. What she said was worth a trip back inside. I walked in and looked at her and asked, “Are you serious?” Keep reading →

Unsearchable Riches of Grace

Written by Elder Tim McCool and Elder Bryce Lowrance.  The chorus of this hymn is derived from Romans 11:33-36:

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. – Rom 11:33-36 KJV

The riches of God’s grace are truly unsearchable. The account of the thief on the cross and Saul of Tarsus (who became the Apostle Paul) are two of the greatest testimonies to the depths of grace which we can never truly fathom. But, we can certainly rejoice in such grace that is also given to us! May God receive all the glory for his unsearchable riches of grace.

Download a PDF of this hymn

Download Unsearchable Riches Of Grace in MP3 Format

Dress a Chicken

Practical Christianity
Tim McCool
Pastor Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

If I tell you I am going to dress a chicken, if you are from this area, you know what I mean. I am going to prepare a chicken for cooking. Several years ago, when my good friend from Africa was living here, I took him to the farm and talked to him about poultry farming. At some point I mentioned to him that sometimes we would “dress a chicken” and then eat it.

In his mind he pictured me taking a chicken and dressing it with clothes. For many days he was confused as to why I would put clothes on a chicken and then eat him. Finally he asked me why I would put clothes on a chicken and then eat it. I almost doubled over laughing. When I explained it all to him, the light came one.

We can get in hot water if we don’t define our terms. If I walked up to a person on the street and said, “Do you know about election?” Nine out of ten (or maybe 10 out of 10) people would say, “Sure, it’s coming up in November.” Now bear in mind, in 1776, if you had asked that question, 3 out of 4 church goers would have known the answer from the Bible.

So let’s define the term. Election in the Bible is the sovereign act of God in choosing an innumerable host of people to be his children, and this occurred before the foundation of the world (Rom. 9:29-30). I Pet. 3:2 defines how God’s children are elected. It says they are elected by God’s foreknowledge, by the Spiritual new birth (being born again) and by the obedience of Jesus. What does this mean? It means that all glory only goes to God for our salvation.

Election is also part of the gospel. I Thes. 1:4 says that the people Paul preached to understood election. Do you? If not, I am so happy to be able to share this with you! A great majority of church goers once had a common working knowledge of this truth. Sadly today, it has fallen by the wayside. Did you know that Jesus is the primary Elect One of God? He was chosen by God (and He is God) to be the Choice sacrifice to pay for our sins.

And oh, by the way, election guarantees that more people will be in heaven than we could ever comprehend. The modern concept of the choice for heaven is up to you will leave so many out because they didn’t choose the right way! Thank goodness our salvation is not our choosing, but God’s! The number of God’s chosen is as the stars of the sky and the sands of the sea. It is a people out of every kindred (family), tribe (ethnicity), nation and people (Rev. 5).

Election is nothing to be afraid of. It is the root of our salvation. It is what God describes in the word as our first blessing (Eph. 1:4). May we glorify God for the good news of our salvation through His electing love.

Elder Tim McCool is pastor of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church located on the Boyd Road near Echola. For inquiries email Pastor McCool at Please join us each Sunday morning on the March to Zion Broadcast at 8 am on 100.1 FM in the Tuscaloosa area or 9am on 106.5 in the Fayette / Lamar county area. 


Have you ever given much thought to what the Bible says about worship? In today’s time what churches across the country consider worship can vary tremendously. Some churches have very simple, family-integrated worship. Others have elaborate worship services that are certainly impressive. The purpose of this article is to look at what the Bible says about worship and to answer questions like ‘Is all worship pleasing to God as long as it’s sincere’? Keep reading →

Mr Renzo, Part 2

Practical Christianity
Tim McCool
Pastor Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

Last week I wrote about Mr. Renzo Abrams. (Thanks to all of you who pointed out how I misspelled his name!). There are probably a 100 stories to tell about Mr. Renzo. As I mentioned, he always referred to himself as “such a worm as I” when he prayed. Keep reading →

Old Mr. Rinso Abrams

Practical Christianity
Tim McCool
Pastor Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

Some of you in west Alabama may remember Mr. Rinso Abrams. He was a stalwart in the Zion community and a great sawmiller and timber man his whole life. He was blessed to build a life from the natural creation of God. Mr. Rinso loved the truth of salvation by grace alone. As a child attending church, I will never forget every time he was called on to pray. He had a high-pitched, unique voice that once you heard it – you would never forget it. Keep reading →

An Old Log House

Practical Christianity
Tim McCool
An Old Log House

Recently my family was blessed to visit the old log house where my granddad was born. The house was built in the 1830s and Granddad was born there 100 years ago. The old house was built of heart pine and the axe marks on the hewn logs are still visible. It has a middle breezeway and 12 foot ceilings- still a spectacle of history and workmanship. Keep reading →

A Gripping Account of Romans 10 Salvation by Both Sure and Steadfast

Though I will never gain a full understanding of it until I see Him in glory someday, my appreciation for how great and mighty the Lord really is has grown immensely over the last year, so I’ve written this post to talk about the things that led me to this understanding. I know it’s long-winded, but I hashed out the details of it all because I know that many people in my social circle have never heard the things that I believe, and I figured that it would make more sense if I told the whole story. The last few years have easily been the hardest of my life, but I would not trade the trials in them for anything now.

Click here to read the rest of this blog post.