In This Issue...
FELLOWSHIP IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
Fellowship is a wonderful blessing that is found in Jesus
Christ. Joseph Henry Thayer has written concerning koinonia,
"fellowship, association, community, communion, joint
participation, intercourse" (Greek-English Lexicon,
New Testament Christians are a group of people who have
a mutual interest, salvation in Jesus Christ. In Christ we have
forgiveness of sins, salvation, membership in the true church, and
every blessing that is promised to Christians in the Scriptures.
The Bible teaches that when one obeys the Gospel plan of
salvation, he is added to the church by the Lord. "Praising
God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to
them day by day those that were saved" (Acts 2:47, ASV). The
saved are in the body of Christ. In order for someone to be saved,
he has to be in Christ -- in the church. Those in the church are in
a unique position. They have fellowship with each other in a way
that people outside the body of Christ cannot enjoy.
After Pentecost, the Christians "continued
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). The early
Christians had joint participation in the apostles' teaching, which
was Jesus' teaching. This teaching involves how we are to worship,
to work, and to live as New Testament Christians. Brother Goebel
Music has well said that fellowship "relates to and involves
partnership, joint-participation, co-sharing, and mutual
helpfulness and this can easily be seen from the fact that
Christians are described as: 1. Fellow Helpers (2 Cor. 8:23), 2.
Fellow Citizens (Eph. 2:19), 3. Fellow Soldiers (Phil. 2:25), 4.
Fellow Servants (Col. 1:7), 5. Fellow Laborers (Phil. 4:3)" (A
Critical Study Of A Critical Subject -- Fellowship. p.11).
We are a body of Christians who work together to follow
the Lord's will in spreading the Gospel, worshiping in spirit and
in truth, living our lives for Christ, and following the
commandments of a loving Lord and Savior. As true brothers and
sisters in Christ, we can enjoy the blessings of having "the
right hands of fellowship" (Gal. 2:9). Even though this is a
unique, glorious, brotherly, and warm fellowship in Jesus Christ,
it still can be broken.
Some in the Lord's church have adopted the Calvinistic
view of "once in grace always in grace" and have applied it to
fellowship. They have the false notion that no matter what your
brother or sister teaches, you can never cease to have fellowship
with them. But, the Bible says fellowship can be dissolved, broken,
cut off, and withdrawn when the Scriptures are violated, whether by
one or a group; in teaching false doctrine, immoral actions, or a
failure to remain faithful in the fellowship of God (2 Thess. 3:6;
Fellowship is limited to those who walk in the light. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Also, to those who
abide in truth, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in
the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the
doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2
Fellowship is prohibited to those who are in Biblical
error. Error in the Bible is designated as "darkness." "And
have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11).
With the Word of God so plain in its teaching of the
doctrine of fellowship, why do people in the church overlook and
ignore this teaching? Is it because they do not want to "rock the
boat?" Or, is it because they are afraid they might lose
friendships or associations? When someone is in error, should they
be allowed to inject their false teaching into the body of Christ
without opposition? Does ignoring such teachings really make it go
away? Surely not! Having no fellowship with an individual or
congregation is for the benefit of their soul. It is an attempt to
get them to see their error, repent and come back to the Truth.
Matthew 18:15-17 teaches one should confront trouble with a brother
for the sake of gaining him. One should also have the same spirit
toward disfellowshipped brethren in error -- those who are bringing
reproach upon the church and cause of Christ.
Even though brethren are marked for their teaching and
promotion of error, there are still some brethren, churches, and
colleges that will use those who should be avoided.
When a church or college has a lectureship, is it
necessary to discriminate against known false teachers? Certainly!
We should be interested in using people that will help build up the
body of Christ who are sound in the faith. If we invite false
teachers to speak at workshops, lectures, homecomings, Gospel
meetings, we are putting these precious souls in danger of eternal
Besides using a disfellowshipped brother, some events
sponsored by brethren use denominational speakers. What is the
difference in having a member of the church that is a known false
teacher and a denominational preacher when it comes to fellowship?
There is NO difference! "Oh but the speaker is not going to speak
on the subject he has been marked for." Big deal! Does not the
Bible talk about bidding someone God speed in his error by
fellowshipping them? "If there come any unto you, and bring
not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him
God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his
evil deeds" (2 John 10-11). Elders, college presidents,
board members, preachers, and all who invite and encourage the
promotion of false doctrine will be held accountable before God on
the Judgment Day.
Let us always be thankful for the wonderful blessing of
fellowship with our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. "Ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is
with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).
316 4th St.
Paintsville, KY 41240
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MISCONCEPTIONS OF THE CHURCH #1
The God whom we serve is eternal, all wise, benevolent,
loving. He knows what is best for his creation. He designed it and
sustains it (Col. 1:16-17). Even before the foundation of the
world, God prepared a glorious kingdom/church for his people (Matt.
The kingdom of God and the church of Christ are used
synonymously in Matthew 16:18-19. God chose to make known His
glorious Gospel and eternal purpose through and by the church (Eph.
3:10-11,21). However, there is so much misconception today
regarding the Lord's kingdom/church. Misconception means: "the act or
result of misconceiving," "a wrong or inaccurate
conception," "a wrong notion," "misunderstanding." All kinds of
things are believed about the church: from the belief that it has
not yet been established to the idea that the Lord has already come
the second time!
Why would people have such wrong notions concerning the
church? Is the Bible not plain enough so people can properly
understand the nature and characteristics of the church? The Bible
was written to be understood (Eph. 3:4). Men misunderstand it
because they do not rightly divide the word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
Some misunderstand it because they do not intend to do what it
says. We must remember, "God is not the author of confusion"
(1 Cor. 14:33).
What are some misconceptions people have about the church?
It is a misconception that the church is a building.
The church is the people, not a building. A building is simply
a place where the church meets. Hebrews 10:25 demands that children
of God assemble on the Lord's day to worship. This necessitates a
place to assemble. This place may be rented or furnished by the
church. However, at no time does the place of assembling become the
church. It is improper and incorrect to refer to a building as the
church. The building may burn down but the church will still be
intact. One may attend a beautiful church, but it is beautiful only
because Christ is its head and the members of it live godly lives,
not because the building in which the church meets has eye
appealing architecture and decorations. The word church means
"called out" (Col. 1:13). The church is composed of those who have
been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the
kingdom of God's dear Son.
It is a misconception that the church is a temporary
substitute for the kingdom. Some people say Jesus came to
establish his kingdom in the first century but was rejected in
doing so by the Jews. In its place He established the church as a
temporary substitute until such time He would be able to return and
establish His kingdom. Those who believe this doctrine say Jesus is
coming soon to establish the kingdom and are actually bewildered as
to why He has not already done so. This suggestion comes from not
knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God (cf. Mark 12:24). The
truth is, many of the Jews were ready and willing for Jesus to be
their king and tried to make Him so. In John 6:14-15 we read,
"Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did,
said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the
world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and
take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into
a mountain himself alone."
The kingdom/church of Christ is not an earthly, political,
military kingdom/church. Jesus told Pilate, "My kingdom is
not of this world: if
my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I
should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from
hence" (John 18:36). It
is a spiritual kingdom/church. It is in the hearts of men and women
and is not "of" this world (Luke 17:20-21).
The context of Ephesians 3:10-11 clearly points out the
church was not an accident, nor was it only a temporary substitute
for the kingdom. It is exactly what Jesus had planned! "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus
our Lord." The prophets prophesied of the days of the church
(1 Peter 1:10-12; Acts 3:19-25; Luke 24:27)! Peter made this clear
on the day of Pentecost when he said, "But this is that which
was spoken by the prophet Joel" (Acts 2:16). The kingdom
Christ came to establish was instituted just as was prophesied. It
is the church (Mark 9:1). If it is not, then Jesus is a liar and a
It is a misconception that the church is not essential
to salvation. Jesus believed the church was important enough
to die for. In Acts 20:28 we read, "...the church of God,
which he hath purchased with his own blood." If the church is
not essential, then Jesus died in vain. He shed His blood for
nothing. We know that is not true.
When a person's sins are washed away at baptism (Rev. 1:5;
Acts 22:16), the Lord adds them (the saved) to the church. He does
not add them to a building. Concerning some on Pentecost we read,
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and
the same day there were added unto them about three thousand
souls...And the Lord added to the church daily such as
should be saved" (Acts 2:41,47). First Corinthians 12:13 says
the same, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one
body." Those people who think they can live a good life and
go to heaven without being a member of the church of Christ are
sadly and tragically mistaken.
When the Lord comes again it will be to save his body, the
church, not a building. Ephesians 5:23 says, "he is the savior
of the body." Matthew 22:11-12 shows that those without a
wedding garment will be cast out. The church IS the saved. There
are no saved individuals that are not in the church of Christ.
Jesus taught the church would stand until the end of the
world. "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). "Then cometh the end,
when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the
Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and
power" (1 Cor. 15:24). A building built by man, no matter how
strong, is subject to decay and will eventually fall (2 Peter
3:10-12). However, the Lord's spiritual body, His church, is not
subject to decay. It will be delivered up to God in the end.
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"THAT'S NOT FAIR"
Most parents encounter the above statement when trying to
raise children. They possess a sense of fairness when it comes to
what is happening to them. The unfairness arises because children
often fail to see the whole picture of what is taking place. Even
though this is part of their growing pains, there are things in
life which are not fair. At times, we must call a thing for what it
is, it is just not fair. Let us take a moment and mention a few.
A few years back, faithful preachers were waging war
against the dangers of Pentecostalism. It was debated on the
polemic platform, in pulpits, bulletin articles and in Bible
classes. The lines were drawn very clearly and the Pentecostals
could not handle the Truth. We challenged them, if you think you
have the power to heal, then prove it. You think you can raise the
dead, then prove ft. On and on, the battle went. It was indeed a
trying of the spirits to see if they were of God or not (1 John
4:1). When truth was held up, the doctrines of these people were
At the close of the 20th century, there are those standing
in pulpits which defended the Truth against Pentecostalism who are
now trying to hold hands with it. It is not fair for these "Johnny
come latelys" to speak about what the Holy Spirit does and offer no
proof for it. Young men, barely out of college, are able to tell us
things that we have not known until they came on the scene. They
are not old enough to know of the battles which have been fought to
provide them with the ground on which they now stand. They lack the
courage to confront the errors of Pentecostalism, thinking instead
they have found new Truth, which no other generation has had since
the first century.
There was a time when the message went out from our
pulpits about the danger of changing worship as authorized by God
(Col. 3:17). Those who wanted the instrument of music (mechanical)
in public worship were met by faithful brethren who declared we
must have a "thus saith the Lord." Time and again, these
false doctrines were met head on, and the truth did not suffer from
such confrontations. It is so unfair to see pulpits now being
occupied by those who claim we need a different approach to
worship. They now occupy pulpits and labors, which they would have
were it not for faithful preachers in the past who took long and
hard stands against altering worship to suit man and not God.
In days gone by, the religious world was confronted by
loving brethren who called upon all men to obey the Lord. The
message was clear. There is salvation in no one but Jesus (Acts
4:12). At the end of the way, Jesus will save His church (Eph.
5:23). All souls who would desire to be saved must be in the church
built by Jesus and paid for by Jesus (Acts 20:28). The religious
world trembled because truth was exalted and souls were being
brought to God. It is so unfair to see some occupy pulpits which
they would not have to stand in, had it not been for the efforts of
those in the past who called the world to Jesus and His church. The
"churchbashers" of today would have sought the shadows had they
been in the company of great preachers of by-gone days.
There was a time when the message of salvation was rooted
in the idea that the grace of God had appeared to all men (Titus
2:11). Faithful preachers stirred their audiences and closed out
each session of a Gospel meeting with an invitation calling the
sinner from Satan to accept the grace of God as revealed in the
Gospel. How unfair for some today to spread the lies that we never
preached grace. Preaching Jesus without grace would make as much
sense as preaching Jesus without faith or claiming the church is
not a part of the teaching. Those who espouse "grace only" insult
the dignity and the work of faithful brethren over the years who
fought so hard for the church to be here today.
In a sense of fairness, let me say "thank you" to all the
faithful preachers, elders and Christians everywhere who paid the
price to get us to where we are now.
2842 Shelby St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
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SOME CORNERS INTO WHICH WE HAVE NOT PAINT
OURSELVES ON THE VERSIONS
Robert R. Taylor, Jr.
A member of the church in another town recently said, in
essence, to a dear and close friend of mine, "You fellows pushing
the King James Version have painted yourselves into a corner." I
want to respond to this statement which is critical of both the KJV
and those of us who will revere it and use it for our study Bible.
There are definitely some corners into which we have NOT painted
ourselves. I shall number, name and elaborate on some of these.
1) We have not painted ourselves into the corner of
the indiscriminate usage of anything and everything that calls
itself a Bible. We have not made the colossal mistake of
casting out a good, safe, reliable and reverent Bible for a bad,
unsafe, unreliable and irreverent Bible such as proliferate the
Bible reading populace today.
2) We have not painted ourselves into the corner of
modernistic Bibles. The New Testament Revised Standard
Version was this when it came out in 1946. The RSV
Bible was this when it came out in 1952. The Preface of the 1946
product said they could not be content with the older versions and
their word-for-word approach. They axed Mark 16:9-20 -- more than
160 Greek words wholly left out of the text. The 1952 RSV
tampered with the Abrahamic promise in Genesis 12:3.
They removed the Deity of Christ from Psalms 45:6. They
removed the virgin birth from Isaiah 7:14 and injected
young woman in its place. They tampered with an eldership
qualification in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
The New English Bible left virgin out
of Isaiah 7:14. Good News For Modern Man had Mary a virgin
in its first edition but changed virgin to a girl
in the second edition. This product by Robert Bratcher showed
great irreverence toward the blood passages of the New
Testament. Modernism has never had an ounce of respect for the
precious blood of Christ in such passages as Colossians 1:14;
Ephesians 1:7 and 1 Peter 1:18,19.
3) We have not painted ourselves into a sectarian
corner. This is the basic thing wrong with the New
International Version. It is favorable to faith only
in Romans 1:17. It is Calvinistic to the core with
David conceived and born in sin in Psalm 51:5 and the
sinful nature passages in Romans 7, 8 and Galatians 2.
It is favorable to the usage of mechanical music in
worship in Ephesians 5:19. It favors Jehovah's Witness
doctrine in Acts 2:27,31. It favors Judaism in
denying the removal of Mosaic Law in Matthew 5:17. It really messes
up the Gospel plan of salvation in Ephesians 1:13;
Romans 10:9,10 and Galatians 3:27. Were I a premillennialist,
I would be happy with its rendering in John 5:28,29 and
4) We have not painted ourselves into a
neo-Pentecostal corner. One cannot study Bratcher's Good
News For Modern Man and tell who received Holy Spirit
baptism on Pentecost. The New English Bible abets
the tongue talkers and their language of ecstasy in 1
Corinthians 14. Were I a Pentecostal, I would really like how
Phillips rewrote 1 Corinthians 14:22. I would also like how
the NIV rendered 1 Corinthians 13:10. I would like several
of the renderings by Kenneth Taylor in Living Bible Paraphrased
were I in the Neo-Pentecostal camp.
5) We have not painted ourselves into a premillennial
corner. Taylor really majors in such. It would be virtually
impossible to refute militant premillennialism if all we
had was Taylor's paraphrased product of the Living Bible
6) We have not painted ourselves into a feminist or
women's movement corner. The New Revised Standard Version
of 1989 has done this. This product will go a long way in
moving women into every religious position of leadership from
preacher, to elder, to teacher of mixed classes, to song director,
to prayer leader and to officiating at the Lord's Table.
7) We have not painted ourselves into the corner of
contradictions. THE RSV frequently gets Old Testament
prophecies clear out of harmonious gear with New Testament
fulfillments and thus have contradictions galore. Most of the new
Bibles have flat contradictions between Matthew 5:17 and
Ephesians 2:15. They have Christ to deny doing what Paul affirmed
he did do. The Calvinistic Bibles such as NIV
and Living Bible Paraphrased have David born totally
depraved at birth in Psalm 51:5 and yet wonderfully and
fearfully made in Psalm 139:14. Several will stress salvation
by faith only and yet contradict themselves with renderings
that demand more than faith to be saved.
8) We have not painted ourselves into the mutilated
corner. Addition and subtraction is the name of the
game played by the new Bibles. Denominationalism has
been added to the text. Faith only has been added.
Calvinism has been added. So have Pentecostalism
and Premillennialism. The new Bibles get shorter and
shorter. They do not like only begotten Son relative to
Jesus and so "begotten" is axed. Some have not liked Mark
16:9-20, and out it comes. The Readers Digest axed
about 300,000 words plus -- 50% of the Old Testament and 25% of the
New Testament. Earlier ones paved the way for they had already
employed their Jehoiakim penknives in cutting away words, verses
and even sections.
The KJV and ASV have brought the church
to us. They are safe and reliable. This is why our elders ask that
all Bible reading, teaching and preaching done in our services be
from one of these. I defend 100% their right to make and execute
such a wise and safe policy.
PO Box 464
Ripley, TN 38063
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SO MANY HAVE ITCHING EARS
Timothy L. Dooley
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the young evangelist
Timothy, instructs him to "Preach the word..." (2 Tim.
4:2). The young man was told to do this when it was popular to do
so and when it was not so fashionable, even when it would prove to
be dangerous. The reason behind this direction from Paul is then
given in verses three and four when he says, "For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their
own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching
ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall
be turned unto fables."
Shortly after this writing we are told, in both God's word
and history alike, that many apostasies took place. But this was
not new or novel. For people from the beginning of time have sought
to please themselves by their own personal wants and desires. They
wish to hold to their own traditions and practices, even when these
are not in harmony with God's direction.
We see this in the beginning of time with Adam and Eve and
their sin in the garden. We also see it in the story of Cain and
Abel. God even destroyed the world with the great flood, only
sparing Noah and his family because of man's desire to serve self.
And, what of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?
But nowhere is this attitude more prevalent or blatant as it
is in Isaiah 30. The children of Israel had chosen to be
self-serving and did not wish to hear or heed "God's Word." In
verses 9-10 we read, "That this is a rebellious people, lying
children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which
say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto
us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits."
The least that we could admire of these people is the fact
that they were honest. But honesty will never save a soul that is
wrong (Matt. 7:21-23).
Today, so many have itching ears and do not desire to hear
the Truth. Therefore, there is an abundance of false teachers like
those described in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15. "And no marvel; for
Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it
is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the
ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their
works." Christ gives a vivid description of such individuals
in Matthew 23:27-28 when addressing the Scribes and Pharisees.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like
unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but
are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even
so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are
full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
We need to preach the Truth in love (Eph. 4:15), both in
season and out! We have to be willing to stand up and preach God's
Word just as Micaiah said in 1 Kings 22:13-14, "And the
messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying,
Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king
with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one
of them, and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the
LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak."
710 Rock Creek Rd.
Erwin, TN 37650
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SAY WHAT YOU MEAN, AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY
Most of us are familiar with the court system in this
country. Many have watched courtroom dramas on TV -- either real or
fiction. What I have found to be most interesting, and oftentimes
frustrating, is seeing the lawyers in action. It seems as if law
attorneys possess this ability to twist around just about anything
that can be said. If the defense is on the stand, the prosecutor
will find any way possible to bend, manipulate and discredit the
testimony given. The same is true with the defense attorney. In any
case, lawyers are experts in using (or misusing) words to help them
in achieving the desired verdict. A lot of times, this means using
deceptive language, vague terminology, and articulating in a
roundabout way. People in the law profession are skilled in not
saying what they mean and not meaning what they say! Unfortunately,
brethren can be like this as well.
Sometimes preachers will word things in a sermon in a
certain way as to cause the listener to not be sure what was meant.
There are several reasons why this might happen.
A preacher might be deliberately trying to be vague.
is common among false teachers, as they do not want
their heresies to be easily exposed. Therefore, they will
"sidestep" and try to make their statements complex and/or
indistinct and when they're called to task on what they said, the
usual response is, "well, you just misunderstood!"
A preacher might be trying to sound sophisticated.
This can happen among men who possess a high education and
advanced degrees or even among men who don't possess them but wish
to sound as if they do. The result is the same. The listeners are
confused, not knowing what was meant (and many times not even
understanding the language).
A preacher might not know how to put his message in
straight, easy-to-understand terms. Honestly, I believe that
anyone with some education knows how to make himself easily
understood. But I suppose that if ambiguity is the only way you're
used to, then anything else might prove troublesome.
Whatever the reason, vague language is a problem when
proclaiming the Gospel. God did not write his book for only the
Ph.Ds. The word of God is written for everyone to read and
understand. God inspired it with the intent that all men might
learn of His Will and obey the Gospel! Jesus said that whoever
believes in him will have everlasting life (John 3:16). How is that
possible if we can't understand what to believe? God commands that
all men everywhere repent (Acts 17:30). How can people repent if
they don't understand what they must do? We're also told that we
must be baptized in order to be saved (Mark 16:16). But what if we
can't understand what it means to be baptized? Jesus said that all
people will be judged according to His Word (John 12:48). Would a
just and righteous God judge us based on something we can't
understand because it's too vague and complex? Ridiculous!
As preachers then, and even as Christians in general, we
need to be careful what we say when proclaiming God's word, and how
we say it. We need to be sure our speech is plain, simple, on the
level and easily understood. Jesus warned about the use of fancy
talk and vain repetitions when we pray (Matt. 6:7). The same lesson
can be applied to preaching. Our Lord also said, "But I say
unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall
give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou
shalt be judged, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned"
(Matt. 12:36-37). We need to avoid such idle and useless speech
when we are teaching God's word.
The apostle Paul told Titus that Christians are to have
"sound speech that cannot be condemned" (Titus 2:8). We
can do this best by following Peter's command: "If any man
speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11).
If we simply speak as the Bible speaks and keep silent on
everything else (which causes confusion), then our speech will be
sound and easily understood unto the edification of those who hear
(1 Cor. 14:26).
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God" (Rom. 10:17). When we realize that it is through
preaching and teaching God's word that one obeys the Gospel and
obtains salvation, then we understand how crucial it is to speak in
plain language. Vague speech will confuse. It will not help a
person understand what he must do in order to be saved and remain
faithful. Since people's souls are at stake, let us be sure to say
what we mean, and mean what we say!
Rt. 4, Box 161A
Camden, AR 71701
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This writer wishes that every young man in the church who is
charting the course for his future would seriously consider
becoming a "full-time" Gospel preacher. There is no work in the
world more important, more challenging, or more rewarding than
preaching the Word.
The preacher is God's "mouthpiece" here upon the earth;
therefore, he must be extremely loyal to God. In Paul's work of
preaching he said, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11). Yet, it was God he tried to
please, not men, for he said, "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. 5:11).
A mature thinker realizes that the best service he can
offer to man is preaching and living in a manner pleasing to God.
However, some refuse to accept God's will. For this cause Paul
wrote the young evangelist Timothy and said, "I charge thee
therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge
the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the
word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort
with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when
they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and
they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do
the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2
Tim. 4:1-5). Once one has come to understand this (the first and
foremost qualification), he is ready to proceed to other
qualifications an evangelist must meet.
A preacher must live a life as pure and holy as humanly
possible. Paul instructed, "Lay hands suddenly on no man,
neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure" (1
Tim. 5:22). A good preacher must be consecrated to his task. First
Timothy 4:15 states, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself
wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all."
Young preachers must work especially hard to achieve a
good reputation and therefore gain the respect of the brethren.
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in
faith, in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12).
Every preacher who is pleasing to God must be sincere.
Several instructions had been given to Timothy in regard to his
efforts in Ephesus, but the "bottom line" from Paul was, "Now
the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of
a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" (1 Tim. 1:5).
Study is a must for any respectable preacher.
to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
Prayer is another must. "I exhort therefore, that,
first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of
thanks, be made for all men..." (1 Tim. 2:1ff). When a man
meets these qualifications, he deserves the respect of the people.
Too many preachers lose their respectability by becoming
involved in "church politics." They preach for profit or popularity
and therefore prostitute the pulpit in which they stand. Their
sermons are designed to soothe the brethren, to make them "feel
good." Generally speaking, such preachers could preach their
sermons without modification in a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian,
or any other denominational church without being detected as a
member of another church. Yes, they preach the truth. There is no
doubt about that. But, they refuse to preach all of the truth, or
the appropriate truth for the appropriate occasion.
Then, there are other reasons preachers lose their
respectability. Some do not have the necessary self discipline to
make themselves study and work, they are lazy. Others become
possessed with a disease called "preacher jealousy" and they, by
their feelings and actions toward preaching brethren, become
"little men" in the eyes of the church. Many preachers allow their
attitudes to be impaired by unfortunate difficulties with brethren,
even to the point of becoming mean and bitter. It is hard to
respect such men.
We need respectable preachers in the church today. Young
men, we need you! Train and prepare yourself so that you might
preach the Gospel in its purity and simplicity. Set sail on an even
keel and maintain your course. Have a "thus saith the Lord" for
everything you preach and shun not to declare the whole counsel of
Preachers, seek out and recruit more preachers.
Tommy J. Hicks
P.O. Box 64430
Lubbock, TX 79464
Table of Contents
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McMinnville, TN. "Thank you and
the good congregation there.
Keep fighting for the "Faith" we are gaining ground against the
"Liberal Movement." I have much love and respect for faithful
Brethren who respect God's Holy and Divine Word. We need to keep
upholding it until our Lord returns! May the faithful continue
"holding up your arms" until Liberalism is utterly defeated. We do
not need this foolishness in the brotherhood or the church which
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really enjoyed your website. Thank you. I am a new Christian. I
have been seeking the truth for a long time. I used to be a
Nazarene Minister (for 4 years) and am currently serving in the
Army as a chaplain assistant. Thought I was saved that whole time
period because of false teaching. But through it all I was seeking
a fellowship that best represented the New Testament church. I even
joined the Catholic Church thinking it was the most historic.
Through the study of the Word and different ministries such as
yours I have found the truth that is in Christ and His Word. I am
having to "unlearn" many things I have picked up over the years but
know God will help me through His Word. I am 40 years old and
desire to serve Christ and His church as a Gospel Preacher and
after my retirement from the Army will do so. (God willing of
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