PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats
Volume 3 Number
7 February 1999
> Brethren, it is deplorable when some church members will fly in the face of the inspired word of God. I will be the first to admit that for a certain segment (in the church), preaching does them no good whatsoever. Preaching to such dullards is like pouring water on the back of a duck. It runs off as fast as it is poured thereon.
>At one time I could make an airtight, indefensible, ungetoverable, and scriptural case for preaching and speaking in the name of Jesus Christ. I still have the same Bibles which were used in days gone by and although some are tattered and coming apart, I do not believe the Biblical message of inspired truth has changed. Are you concerned enough to attempt to see what the Bible teaches? Are you one of the thoughtless prattlers who chirp that, "preaching does no good!" "Lectureships do no good," "Gospel meetings do no good!"
> It is an undeniable fact that our speech betrays us (Mark 14:70). The attitude of one's heart is verbalized by one's speech. Yes, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34). There is a gross amount of heart trouble which afflicts a certain segment of notables who occupy the chief seats in the synagogue.
> It has been a year since I opened one of my Bibles to preach therefrom. Such does not mean that my Bibles have not been used, for indeed they have been. In reading from one of my old Bibles I learn that, "...The seed of the kingdom is the word of God" (Luke 8:11).
> While looking for some items this week, I found an unopened package of watermelon seed which I purchased over two years ago. Will someone tell me how those seed will produce watermelons inside the package in a desk drawer? Is it not true that I will never have watermelons from that seed package if I do not plant them?
> How can we have kingdom growth without planting kingdom seed? Does it not do good to plant the seed of the kingdom? Why will people dare to be so blasphemous toward the Word of God? We know that there are hearts as hard as granite and all tangled with the cares of this world; but even so, we must never assume that it does no good to plant the seed of the kingdom. It is the business of the sower to sow the seed, yes, even to the upper scum as well as the lower scum. The difficult problem is to find the, "good and honest heart."
> Back yonder when I was not so sick and crippled with pain, I tried to preach to brethren and help them to understand that, "...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:7). "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak" (2 Cor. 4:13). We used to believe that the word of God was a precious treasure. We thought it would do good to let others know about this treasure. Somewhere along the line, someone has ceased to believe that the word is a treasure. This lack of faith expresses itself in saying, "It won't do any good to share treasure." To such obstinate hearts the Bible might as well read, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto hard rocks hidden in a garbage can and for the good it will do, we might as well let them stay hidden." When church members start believing the word of God, we will get rid of so much nonsense and fermented ignorance. The Bible is right. The truth will save lost souls (John 8:32).
We used to tell people that, "the word of God...is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). Of course that was back before some folks got so smart. That word which used to be so sharp has gotten so dull on edge to so many folks that it doesn't do any good to use it now, so we are told. We had rather be entertained by a crew of stupid clowns in the church building.
With great fervor and hopeful anticipation we used to open the Book and try so very hard to convince people that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God to save the believers. This powerful Gospel is unto salvation and was so considered by those who believed it (Rom. 1:16). Now we have learned that it won't do any good to preach the Gospel in a series of meetings, lectureships or special Bible studies (according to some who should know better). I stand amazed at how incredibly brilliant so many pew sitters have become. We can sing, "bread of heaven, I've been fed and I want no more."
> Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life..." (John 6:48). He said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven" (John 6:51). Again, the Lord said, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God" (Luke 14:15). We have the bread of life but it won't do any good to break off a crumb occasionally to feed some hell-bound skeleton. We must exercise great caution lest someone might think that we really wanted to let people know about the Bread of Life. We have the recipe for eternal life which comes down from heaven, but like a lock-box filled and shut up with rare jewels, we want to keep that Bread under lock and key. If we have a lectureship, Gospel meeting or special Bible studies, there are some who refuse to be benefitted. One cannot pour water into a jar if the lid is screwed on excessively tight.
I used to tell people with pathos in my speech and tears in my eyes that Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). We have made such marvelous progress in the last few years and now we can tell people that it won't do any good to preach about the judgment, heaven, hell and everything else contained in the Bible...if we listen to some folks.
Why bother to eat the Lord's supper while babbling that teaching in the name of Jesus does no good? There were some who forbade the apostles to preach or speak in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:40). Today, we have those who sputter that it does no good. What is the difference?
--Wayne Coats, Editor
In the context of 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul addresses one of the many problems, sinful practices, of the church at Corinth. This situation that needed to be corrected was in regard to their collective worship services. Their attitudes were so bad that Paul said while their coming together was intended for their continued spiritual development, it had become so corrupt that their spiritual development was actually retarded. According to verse 17, "ye come together not for the better, but for the worse." What could possibly have been such a glaring problem? We are not left in the dark about the matter as Paul points out specifically what the problem was in verse 18. He said he didn't want to believe what he had heard, but some he could not help but believe. What was the problem that Paul simply did not want to believe of his Corinthian brethren? "There are divisions among you" (v.18). Paul had already addressed this sinful manifestation of a carnal and childish spirit in chapters 1 through 3 and he addresses it again. Their divisiveness was making itself known in the assembling together of the congregation. What Paul spoke of earlier would ultimately result in this open division in chapter 11.
Let's examine this a little deeper. There are two words used by the inspired apostle to describe the divisions at Corinth. "Divisions" in verse 18 is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 1:10 to describe the effect of their placing their allegiance in preachers and not in Christ and His truth. These divisions were the result of dissension caused by worldly motivation and spiritual immaturity (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). While this is bad enough, the "heresies among you" of 1 Corinthians 11:19 is a different word denoting the end result of allowing the "divisions" to go unchecked. Vine says of this word: "A self-willed opinion which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects." Thus, dissension that continues to fester and produce toxic poison within the body of Christ ends up being out and out permanent separations or "heresies." The promoters of heresies are "heretics." Paul instructed Titus, "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject" (Titus 3:10). Why is that, Paul? The church is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22,23). To seek to defile the church (1 Cor. 3:17) is to seek to destroy the body of Christ. This is serious business folks.
Now to get to the point of verse 19 which justifies the title of this article. The "approved" are made manifest by the heresies. In this context, those "approved" and thus commended are those not guilty of seeking to divide the body of Christ. Those unapproved and thus rejected by God are the division causers. The benefit of the "heresies" in this context is that it reveals, at least in the area of divisiveness, who is approved and who isn't. The fact is that many brethren are showing their true colors, substituting for and refusing to submit to the power of truth and are thereby exposed by heresies. The wise will take note of Paul's inspired analysis.
"God...hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son..." (Heb. 1:1,2). "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matt. 17:5). "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecc. 12:13). This will establish the foundation and theme for this study and discussion.
We are living in an era unlike any that many of us have ever seen before. We can relate very vividly to the time when the Lord's church was strong and the fastest growing religious institution. The reason being, the truth, the gospel of Christ, God's Word was preached in its purity and fullness without fear, favor, appeasement or compromise from anyone. Faithful brethren preached the Word of God, lived by it, stood by it, debated and defended it, exposed error, false doctrines, unscriptural practices, and identified those who were guilty of all types of sin, false doctrine, and error, yet with true love.
However, there are faithful brethren today, who express deep concern and are persuaded that they can see certain trends and inconsistencies with the truth, God's Word, cropping up; which, if continued, could or would lead to further departures from the faith. This subject deserves sober Biblical study, as does all others.
> This four-part question has been asked: 1) How much false doctrine and error can one teach or preach? 2) on what subjects can false doctrine or error be taught? 3) by whom can false doctrines or error be taught? 4) and, the proclaimers of this false doctrine and error still be fellowshipped on lectureships and gospel meetings? The reply is usually, NONE and NO One. That is the correct and Biblical answer. The next question: Is this the way that it is always done today? That question draws a variation of answers or comments, one of which is, WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE? That is indeed a good question, however, the answer seems to be obvious, DRAW THE LINE WHERE GOD DRAWS THE LINE, or better yet, accept the line that God has already drawn. But, someone says, that is not easy to do. But, it can be done and must be done in order to please God. God does NOT TOLERATE false doctrine nor the sin which it produces. We know that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (2 Tim. 3:16); and, "...that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation..." (2 Peter 1:20). We are commanded to "Study... rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). And, "...try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 John 4:1).
The apostle John wrote, "...if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31,32). NOTE: A false teacher does not continue in God's Word. "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). "...The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). The apostle Peter wrote, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth..." (1 Peter 1:22). Who can deny these powerful scriptures? It is obvious from these scriptures that one must not compromise truth, nor tolerate false doctrine. All would be in vain. Also, we can know the truth and know where God has "drawn the line" by His word. Furthermore, God expects us to know.
Did not the apostle Paul DRAW THE LINE when he wrote, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8). Then he repeated it in verse 9. Who will deny that the inspired apostle "drew the line" on all false doctrines, error and the false teacher? Note the strong, emphatic, unconditional consequences: "let him be accursed." Jude expressed it so well, so emphatically, and convincingly when he wrote, "Beloved...it was needful for me to write unto you, and to exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3). That does not sound like Jude would tolerate false doctrine and error on any subject nor the false teacher. Jude also "drew the line" where God has drawn the line. These scriptures are sufficient to convince any open-minded, honest, soul-searching Christian that we MUST NOT tolerate the preaching of false doctrine and error on any subject nor fellowship the false teacher. "I hate every false way" (Psa. 119:104). This must be our attitude and stand steadfast and solid on God's Word. If we love God, His word and the souls of men, we will obey these scriptures referenced herein as all other scriptures.
>There is no room for a "loop hole" for the weak, cowards, politicians, friendship, nor such. We must accept the "line" as God has drawn it! The apostle Paul again uses strong, powerful language in rejecting false brethren and false doctrine; and also rebuked a fellow apostle (Peter) for his hypocritical conduct. The apostle Paul did not excuse, overlook, nor compromise with a fellow apostle (Gal. 2:11-14). Then the apostle wrote, "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in...To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour...that the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (Gal. 2:4,5). We see from God's word that the Gospel of Christ has the saving power (Rom. 1:16), not the false doctrines of men. Therefore, the apostle Paul "drew the line" where God had "drawn the line." And, the apostle wrote to the church in Corinth, "... for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness" (2 Cor. 6:14)? We cannot homogenize truth and error.
Various reasons or excuses have been given by some for not having "drawn the line" where God has already "drawn the line," such as: let's not splinter, let's not divide, let's have unity, be tolerant, be patient, show love, etc. Indeed we must possess the characteristics of a Christian. The right attitude and disposition of heart and mind on this subject and our conduct and actions must be in harmony with the will of God. However, faithful brethren nor faithful churches of the Lord will not allow, condone, endorse, tolerate nor fellowship false teachers, false doctrine, error and unscriptural practices by compromising the truth in order to attempt to have peace and unity. There is ONLY one way to have Bible unity, the ONLY unity that will please God, and that is to OBEY GOD'S WORD. Man seems to want union rather than the unity for which our Lord prayed (John 17:20,21). "There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling..." (Eph. 4:4).
>There are some who have an unscriptural concept of love, tolerance, patience, let's not splinter, etc., and have "copped out" or failed to take appropriate scriptural action or perform necessary discipline as a result thereof. "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal. 1:10). We must "obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29). "And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God...Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you" (2 Cor. 6:15-17).
>This is a command and must be obeyed to be pleasing to God. It is, no doubt, misunderstood by many today. If God's Word divides, then it is scriptural division. The apostle Paul did not consider it to be "splintering" when he commanded them to "come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (2 Cor. 6:17). Brethren need faith, conviction, strength, and courage to obey THIS command.
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly..." (2 Thess. 3:6). "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17). Indeed, God's word has unequivocally DRAWN THE LINE, and so must faithful brethren and faithful churches -- DRAW THE LINE. These scriptures show that God expects us to know, among other things, when and why the "line" must be drawn.
Let it be clearly understood without mistake or doubt, that opinions and whims of feeble man, traditions of man, merely disagreements, private interpretations nor anything of the sort are under consideration whatsoever; just simply the inspired Word of God as discussed herein. Neither is it suggested by any stretch of the imagination, that one should act too hastily, "shoot from the hip," be too "quick on the trigger," or anything of this nature at all. GOD HATH SPOKEN! He has already DRAWN THE LINE! We must recognize it, accept it and OBEY God. Faithful brethren, and all others also, must understand and accept the profound TRUTH that GOD HATH SPOKEN and that His Word is the infallible standard of authority, not some man. Indeed, we should give credit to whom credit is due; respect and honor to whom honor is due; however, faithful, beloved, well-known, respected brethren of the past nor present, regardless of how much they were/are loved, nor the great good they might have accomplished, are not the standard of authority in our pursuit of eternal life to heaven. JESUS CHRIST said "All authority (power) is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18).
Brethren, may we all submit humbly to His Will and DRAW THE LINE where God has already DRAWN THE LINE? Let us be challenged to think seriously on this important four-part question in the light of God's Word. Remember: "Whosoever trangresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God" (2 John 9).
>In conclusion, "...Fear God and keep His commandments..." (Ecc. 12:13).
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Orlando, FL 32825
A casual survey of the writings and sermons produced in middle Tennessee many years ago will show that what is being advocated now by digressives was at one time torn asunder by the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).
> In Questions Answered, by David Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, brother Sewell wrote the following in answer to a question relating to the church of Christ uniting with denominations in a union prayer meeting.
"The disciples of Christ cannot afford to enter into any sort of compact or connection with denominations that will recognize them as being all right in their names, their claims and practices, without imposing upon and dishonoring in some measure the word of God, which does not name or recognize any of them as such. That they all teach and practice some things that are in the Bible, we presume no one will deny; but that they all teach and practice some things that are not in the Bible is equally certain. This being true, disciples of Christ cannot make an indiscriminate compact with them in anything that will recognize them as all right when they do not believe they are. In this sense, then, we say to the above question, 'No.' But if disciples of Christ will frankly say to these denominations, 'We think that in some things you are radically wrong, but we are willing to engage with you in prayer meetings with this understanding: that we will prayerfully read and investigate the word of God in these meetings regarding our differences and see if we cannot harmonize upon the teaching of that word, and all of us become one people in the sight of the Lord and in the light of God's truth,' such a union prayer meeting as this might result in great good. But we cannot see how good can result from a union prayer meeting that ignores all differences, and thus blots out the line between truth and error." (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1974, pp. 700-701)
In a series of sermons delivered in the War Memorial Building and Central Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, November 1-8, 1942, the scholarly N. B. Hardeman commented regarding fellowship with those who are not Christians. He said,
"Unity means the combination of elements of the same composition. It follows, therefore, that if men are united and have fellowship in the church of the Lord, they must be converted precisely as the Bible directs, and they must be of the 'same mind and the same judgment.' From these statements of fact, it ought to be clear to all why it is that as a people we cannot fellowship those who have not obeyed the gospel of God's Son. It would be wholly inconsistent with all of my preaching for me to recognize as an associate or comrade in the work of the Lord any man who has not 'obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered.' Neither can I fellowship or be a joint partaker with any man who preaches or practices that which I believe the Bible does not authorize. I cannot bid such an one God-speed." (Hardeman's Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. V., Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1976, p. 82)
Another great gospel preacher who had a wonderful influence in the Athens of the south, was H. Leo Boles. Brother Boles presented the following summary of unity in his speech in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 3, 1939.
"There is but one pathway to unity among God's people; there is but one rule that can make us one in Christ Jesus; only one way that can bring salvation to the world. All must exalt the supremacy of the word of God and keep opinions private; no one should propagate his opinions in 'the areas of silence,' but acknowledge the leadership of Christ and love each other as brethren in order to enjoy Christian unity. So let each one lay aside all opinions, ways, inventions, devices, practices, organizations, creeds, confessions, names, manner of work, except those plainly presented and clearly required in the New Testament. Let all determine to do nothing in religion, save that plainly taught in the scripture and ask his brother to accept nothing that God has not required. Let all do faithfully just what God has required, and let all do this in the way approved by God, and unity is the inevitable result and no 'conference' or 'unity meeting' is needed. This will reduce all religious worship and service to its original divine simplicity and purity, and will restore to it its original efficacy and power to save. In this simplicity and purity of worship, and in perfect harmony with the will of God, the richest blessings of God will be ours." (Tract, The Way of Unity Between "Christian Church" and Churches of Christ, Memphis: Getwell Church of Christ, 1984, p. 32)
Many other men of the same caliber could be quoted here to show how unity meetings with denominations compromise the truth of God. The men quoted above, simply followed the Bible in their preaching and teaching regarding these matters. Notice the following from Holy Writ that shows how unity is based upon God's Word and not man's!
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed" (Amos
3:3). "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also
which shall believe on me through their word; That they all
may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that
they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that
thou hast sent me" (John 17:20-21). "If any man speak, let
him speak as the oracles of God; If any man minister, let
him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all
things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be
praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter
4:11). "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that
there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly
joined together in the same mind and in the same
judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). "Endeavouring to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body,
and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your
calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you
all" (Ephesians 4:3-6).
No matter what Rubel Shelly, or his fellow workers of error say or do, no matter what is shouted from the roof of the Nashville Convention Center, where the Jubilee is held, THE BIBLE IS RIGHT, and the LIBERALISTIC, CHANGE AGENT AGENDA IS WRONG!!
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Paintsville, KY 41240
>Last month our flyer was about women's roles in religion, upholding the truth that God does not allow women preachers, etc. One of the reply cards received was not a request for further study, but an effort to "tell us off." On this small card (3"x5") the dilemma of the denominational world was clearly shown.
First, there was the rejection of the Bible as a complete and inerrant guide. "...Bible was written by men, though inspired, many of their own ideas were added -- all the culture of the times." This thinking is twisted in itself. Are we to believe that God wasted his time by inspiring men to write a book that was so intermingled with their own uninspired ideas that we cannot use it as an inerrant guide? Why would God do such a thing?
Second, if we reject the Bible as our guide, we must look to some other authority. Under the line that requests a free Bible study this person wrote the following: "You are too ignorant and closed minded. Pray for enlightenment!" In rejecting the scripture, this person turned to a different authority both more subjective and less easy to identify - "Pray for enlightenment!" Ask the Holy Spirit to pour knowledge and spirituality directly into our brains and souls.
Will this really help? If Paul was inspired and yet held on to his cultural bias against women, will we give up our cultural biases just because the Holy Spirit enlightens us? How can present day enlightenment (which does not truly exist - 1 Cor. 13:8-13) be any better than inspiration was in the first century? After enlightenment, would we not be left with the same jumble of God's will and our culture?
Third, under the line that requests further knowledge about the church of Christ, was written, "My own church is my advisor and happy teacher." Having left the truth of God's word, and judged it to be corrupted with the doctrines of men, this person looked to his (her?) church as an "advisor and happy teacher" (as if the teaching of that church did not contain the doctrines of men).
> This is the dilemma of those who reject the Bible, there is nothing left for them but the subjective ideas of men. This is more than reminiscent of those who left the true and living God to follow dead idols. It brings to mind the words of God through Jeremiah, "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13).
> The fact is clear and glaring. If God wanted to communicate his will to man, he must have done so in such a way as to keep it pure from the taint of man's ideas. If not, he failed to communicate in such a way that we can know his will is really his. We would do well to pay heed to the confirmed (made sure) word of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19). Therein is enlightenment. Therein is the word of God.
"We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shinelh in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by, the will qf man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:19-21).
SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 1999
8:30am Coffee and Doughnuts
9:00am Curtis Cates -- "The Scriptures Teach That the New Testament is the Supreme Authority in Christian Religion"
10:00am Keith Mosher -- "The Scriptures Teach That
Miracles, Signs and Wonders as Recorded in
the New Testament Are No Longer in the
11:00am to 1:30pm LUNCH WILL BE SERVED AT THE
1:30pm David Brown -- "The Scriptures Teach That There Is A Supreme Being"
2:30pm Garland Elkins -- "The Scriptures Teach That A
Child of God Can So Sin as to be Finally Lost"
SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 1999
9:00am Lester B. Coats -- "The Scriptures Teach That the First Day of the Week as the Day of Worship is Enjoined Upon God's People in This Age of the World"
10:00am David Brown -- "The Scriptures Teach That
Baptism Is For (In Order To) the Pardon of
One's Past Sins"
11:00am to 1:30pm LUNCH WILL BE SERVED AT THE
1:30pm J. E. Choate -- "The Scriptures Teach -- Versus the Modernists"
2:30pm Gary Colley -- "The Scriptures Teach That the Religious Order in Earth Today Called by Name, 'Church of Christ,' is the Exclusive New Testament Church Originating on the First Pentecost After the Death of Christ"
7:30pm David Brown -- "The Scriptures Teach That There Are Three Distinct and Separate Persons in the One Godhead: The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit"
According to a newspaper account a debate was scheduled to be conducted in Nashville between Rubel Shelly and Dan Barker, "a minister who has turned atheist." I did not attend the debate for several reasons. I do not care to honor Shelly with my presence at anything he ramrods. Of course he would never feel honored to see me in a audience where he speaks.
I cannot forget Shelly's babbling as to why he refused to meet me or brother Garland Elkins in debate. His excuse was that he had better things with which to spend his time, rather than debating. If Rubel can get a place on the Vanderbilt campus among scholars, he can puff and blow. What a contradiction for a modernist to be debating an atheist! What value is such a scenario? Shelly knows better than to have his modernism exposed by sound, conservative, brethren. With congregations dividing all over the brotherhood due to digression, liberalism, modernism, and denominationalism, Shelly would do better trying to defend his sorry attitude of making fun of faithful brethren. Brother G. K. Wallace used to tell many of his opponents that they had written too much to be debating. Well said! Incidentally, who is Dan Barker?
Millions shudder with horror at the massacre of those high school students in Colorado. How and why such could happen is simply mind-boggling. It is not a note of pessimism but a statement of fact - we might as well look for things to get worse before they get better. It is absurd to send little children into a school system and begin to teach them that as humans we are the offspring of apes. With this godless evolutionary theory repeated year after year, so many young people grow up with the feeling that humans are just evolved animals. This fool notion removes God and His authority. There is no heaven or hell and in reality animals have no responsibility. A soul-less society is dangerous and promoters of evolution are doing their best to make mere animals out of all of us. Many nature television shows, geographic magazines, etc. are filled with evolution guesses. Millions of babies have been murdered all in the name of progress. If someone suggested that the high school students might substitute prayers for bullets, a lot of freaks would go berserk. I still say that a lot of people have sense enough to know how to have babies but they do not have sense enough to know how to rear them.
The sad and sorrowful word has just arrived that our beloved brother J. A. McNutt has departed from the passing scenes of this old world. The influence which radiated from this humble man of God will continue to do good. We give an outline which brother McNutt submitted to the Gospel Advocate back in 1940. What marvelous hope for the Christian to be a joint heir with Christ.
HEIRS OF GOD AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST
1. Heirs of famous or wealthy parents usually honored and respected. Wonderful thing to be an heir of God, joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Holy Spirit certifies our relationship to God, the Father, by
bearing witness with our spirit that we are his children. Our
confidence is based on indisputable testimony of God's word,
not feelings nor imagination, but scriptural evidence.
I. Nature of the Christian Inheritance.
1. Not material, but spiritual, mansions. (John 14:1-5)
> 2. Tue riches. (Rev. 3:18)
3. Wealth that can never be stolen, or corrupted. (Matt. 6:20)
>4. "A city which hath foundations." (Heb. 11:10)
5. All the world affords cannot compare with Christian inheritance.
II. How Do We Become God's Heirs?
1. Only by becoming his children. (Rom. 8:17)
> 2. Likened to adoption. (Rom. 8:15)
3. Presented as a birth. (John 3:5; Gal. 3:26-29)
> 4. All spiritual blessings in Christ, outside not heirs, nameless, no Father, and no hope.
5. Christ, a Son by nature, inherits by absolute right. We are children by adoption and inherit through God's grace.
III. Actual Possession of the Inheritance.
1. Eternal life is in world to come. (Mark 10:29,30)
> 2. We have it in hope, or prospect. (Titus 1:2)
3. The Father has promised eternal life. (1 John 2:25)
> 4. Is contingent on faithfulness. (Rev. 2:10; Rom. 2:7; 1 Cor. 10:11,12)
a. Therefore, the inheritance can be forfeited. (Heb. 4:11), and we can be disinherited (Gal. 5:4; Rom. 11:22)
> b. Children should submit to head of family. (Eph. 1:22)
> c. Wear the family name. (1 Peter 4:16)
> d. Bear the cross if we expect to wear the crown. (Phil. 3:8)
> e. Promised to those who are rich in faith and love God. (James 2:5)
1. Weigh in the balances the soul of man, what the world has to offer, and the hope of life eternal. Compare present suffering with future glories (Rom. 8:18) and come to Christ.