The False Doctrine Of Personal Preference
The following quotation is from an article submitted to the
editorial page of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper.
THE AUTHORITATIVE JUDGMENT OF THE
I am a professing Christian. So is my neighbor who
chooses to interpret scripture differently than I. Is one of us
misled, and by whose authoritative judgment? Was it not Christ
who said, judge not that ye be not judged? If we strive
to remove the beams from our own eyes, is there still time to
deal with the specks in our brothers eye? May I suggest that
how we interpret scripture is a matter of personal preference, an
extension of our individual programming. Moral codes have served
to define civilized society back to the cave-dweller days. Must
they be validated by attribution to a deity, by whatever
WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST
There is a vast difference between someone who
professes to be a Christian and someone who is in deed
and in fact a Christian. A true Christian is one who first of all
has complied with the Lords instructions in order to obtain
the forgiveness of their sins and who remains faithful. The
Lords plan of salvation is clearly taught in word and by
example. Gods plan of salvation requires that we believe in
Him and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him
(Heb. 11:6). The authoritative words of Jesus Christ reveal
Gods plan of redemption. In John 8:24 Jesus said, I
said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if
you believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
In Luke 13:3, I tell you, Nay; but, except you repent, ye
shall all likewise perish. In Matthew 10:32-33,
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will
I confess also before my Father which is in heaven, But whosoever
shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father
which is in heaven. In Mark 16:16, He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth
not shall be damned. No interpretation is needed if we
simply take Jesus at His word. One must have help not to
understand that faith, repentance, confession and baptism are the
requirements to become a Christian.
Not only do we have specific instructions on what one
must do in order to become a Christian, but there are also
examples of those who had their sins forgiven and became
Christians (Acts 2:37-39; 8:26-39; 22:1-16; 16:25-33). No
interpretation is needed. Seeing is believing.
Established by the authoritative teaching of Jesus
Christ (and by a number of examples of what one must do to become
a Christian), we next learn that one must remain faithful to
receive the crown. Then Jesus said to those Jews who
believed on him, If you 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). Truth needs to be believed
and obeyed, not personally interpreted.
Jesus promised that his followers shall know
the truth. He taught nothing about different
interpretations. The Scriptures contain many examples of those
who put their own will above the will of God and they were
rejected by God in every instance. Such is the case with every
man-made doctrine and creed. Jesus rejected them all (Matt.
15:1-9). The concluding verse is a summary of all human
interpretations. In vain do they worship me, teaching for
doctrine the commandments of men. So much for personal
preference (John 14:6). The way of Jesus is the only way. It is
not a case of my way, your way or their way, it is by His way.
The writer poses the question that when he and his
neighbor chooses to interpret scripture differently than I.
Is one of us misled and by whose authoritative judgment?
There is no possibility that you are both right if you come up
with different conclusions. It is possible and most likely that
you are both wrong if you have chosen to interpret scripture
differently. To any given scripture or any Biblical subject,
there is but one correct understanding. All else is wrong. Men
write their own creeds and doctrines because they do not agree
with God, but God is not bound by such arrogance.
When men teach that every person is free to interpret
the teaching of God to suit themselves, they deny that God is
wise enough to make His will plain for mankind. They teach that
God is the author of confusion. First Corinthians 14:33 says,
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as
in all the churches of the saints. Did Adam and Eve
misinterpret Gods instructions? I think not. They just chose
to make their own interpretation. It cost them eternal life and
Now just who is it that desires religious confusion and
chaos on earth? Just what is the consequence of division? Listen
to the words of Jesus Christ as He prayed for the unity of all
Christians. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them
also which shall believe on me through their word; That they may
all 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. And the glory that thou gayest me have I given them;
that they may be one even as we are one; I in them and thou in
me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may
know thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved
me (John 17:20-23).
Does anyone believe Jesus prayed for the impossible?
And just what did the Holy Spirit direct Paul to teach about the
unity of all Christians? Now I beseech you brethren, by
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you 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 (I Cor. 1:10-15). Theres no authority for
individual interpretations found in these verses. The doctrine of
individual interpretation did not come from God. It came from
Satan and his messengers.
I find it interesting that the writer of this article
pleads for individual interpretation and then lifts a scripture
out of context and evidently expects the reader to agree. He
becomes judgmental of those he assumes are incorrectly making
judgments. Does he not recognize the fallacy of his own
A careful student of the Scriptures would see that
Jesus was teaching that hypocritical judgment is wrong. One
should not judge someone else for the same things of which they
are guilty. Did the writer fail to read the conclusion?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own
eye; and thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy
brothers eye (Matt. 7:1-5). First do one thing and
then do the other. The other being what? To cast out thy
In John 7:24 Jesus said, Judge not according to
appearance, but judge righteous judgment. In this verse
Jesus teaches that we must not make uninformed, superficial
judgments but we are commanded to make righteous
judgments. A righteous judgment is a judgment based on the
teaching of Gods word. It is the standard of judgment. If
Gods word teaches that something is wrong, then Christians
have the responsibility to also teach the same. If Christians do
not proclaim Gods word, then just who will do so?
Common sense should teach anyone that life would be
impossible without the ability to make judgments. How ironic it
is for someone to judge someone that they claim has made a
judgment. Do they not see the self contradiction? Since Gods
word condemns homosexual conduct, then Christians are obligated
to do the same. If Gods word teaches that abortion is wrong
then Christians must do the same. Such is the way to make
The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy (and the rest of us
as well) how to determine what Gods word teaches.
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth (II Tim. 2:15).
The problem is that most people today are unwilling to
put forth the time and effort to rightly divide the
word of God. They are then subject to any and every false
doctrine of men. Many mistakenly think that whatever they choose
to believe is acceptable unto God. Such a conclusion is a deadly
mistake. Just because a person believes a thing to be true does
not make it true. We will all be judged by the exact same
standard for there is no respect of persons with God (cf. Rom.
2:11). Jesus said, He that rejecteth me, and receiveth
not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the words that I have
spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John
12:48). I am the way, the truth and the life; no man
cometh unto the Father but by me (John 14:6).
The writer under review shows his lack of respect for
the one and only God (as well as his secular humanism
indoctrination) by his flippant mention of human moral codes that
he claims have served to define civilized society back to
cave-dweller days. Evidently the writer knows little about the
immoral and cruel civil codes of a large part of the human race
when the Creators laws were abandoned. What an insult to our
Creator to speak of attribution to a deity, by whatever
What comes to my mind are the words of Jesus Christ.
Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name
done many wonderful works? And I will profess unto them, I never
knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matt.
No my friends, one belief is not as good as another. It
is possible to understand the teaching of God alike. If we can
all agree that two plus two equals four then it is possible to
understand things alike. We agree because we all accept the same
standard. We conclude without individual interpretation. Are some
matters more complicated than two plus two equals four? Yes
indeed, which means that more time and effort is required to
learn the truth. Shall we stop at two plus two or can we learn
that 12 times 12 equals 144? Do people sometimes reach different
answers? Yes, but honest people will accept the truth when it is
pointed out to them.
Why, for example, do men refuse to learn the truth
about judging when it has been pointed out to them time and time
again? The answer is they do not want to learn the truth. Such
are blind leaders of the blind and Jesus said that their destiny
is settled (Matt. 15:13-14).
The writer of this article states; May I suggest
that how we interpret scriptures is a matter of personal
preference, an extension of our individual programming. Yes,
indeed, you may suggest such non-sense, but only simple minded
people would believe such to be true. Try such an excuse when you
file your income tax or when you exceed the speed limit or when
you pay your bills. Tell the judge that it was just an extension
of your individual programming and see how well it works. It
wont work in this world and it wont work in the world
Yes, when you and your neighbor interpret the
Scriptures differently, one or both of you are misled and you
will be judged by the authoritative judgment of Gods holy,
inspired word. The philosophy being propagated by this misguided
and misguiding soul is politically correct and has many
advocates. Let not Gods people be deceived with the false
concept that one belief is just as valid as another. The Oracles
of God are filled with examples that such is not (in any fashion)
true. Man cannot save himself or dictate his own terms of
salvation. There is but one way and it is the Lords way.
Believing the truth and living the truth has seldom been popular,
but it is the only road that leads to heaven.
The way that leads to heaven is strait and narrow. The
path that appeals to the flesh is broad and well traveled, but
according to the authoritative words of Jesus Christ, the broad
road leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14).
I point out this God-given truth, not to embarrass or
hurt any precious soul, but because I love them and desire that
they may be in the right relationship with their Creator. Saul of
Tarsus had to be confronted when he was headed in the wrong
direction. To his everlasting credit he was honest enough to
admit that he was wrong and became the great Apostle Paul (Acts
Gods word teaches each and everyone of us the same
thing because our Lord is no respecter of persons. There is no
partiality with our Creator. He is the God of love, grace, mercy,
truth and justice. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all
(I John 1:5). He loved us first, so if we now love Him, we will
keep His commandments (John 14:15).
Powell Grove church of Christ
1186 Martha Leeville Rd.
Lebanon, TN 37090
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Maintain The Pattern
Garland M. Robinson
The cry and wail of so many today is that there is no set
pattern or standard to follow. The digressives whimper and whine,
sneer and mock, at those who demand that all men follow the
Lords set of rules; and, that all men can know what those
THERE IS A PATTERN
There is a PATTERN, despite the cry of liberals and
digressives to the contrary. There is a set of rules by which we
must live (cf. 2 Thess. 3:14) and by which we will be judged
(John 12:48). The rules (commands, laws) are Gods rules, not
mans rules (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). All men must
learn the God-given rules of life and abide by them or suffer
certain and complete destruction (cf. 2 Thess. 1:7-9). Notice the
following scriptures which speak plainly of Gods
CLING TO THE PATTERN
Paul told Timothy to Hold fast the form of
sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love
which is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 1:13). The Greek word
for form means an outline, sketch, example,
pattern (Thayer). The word is also used in 1 Timothy 1:16
where it is translated pattern. Howbeit for
this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might
shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which
should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Paul serves as an example, a pattern, for those who believe and
obey the Lord. Now, is there a pattern or not?
Hebrews 8:5 reads, Who serve unto the example
and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God
when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he,
that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed
to thee in the mount. In the Old Testament, Moses had
been given instructions by God for building the tabernacle and
then warned that he build it, in all respects, according
to the pattern shewed thee in the mount (cf. Exodus
25:9,40). The emphasis here is that since God demanded strict
adherence to His specific instructions (pattern) in the Old
Testament, a law inferior to the New Testament, He most assuredly
demands strict adherence to His specific instructions (pattern)
in the New Testament, a law superior to the Old Testament. The
new law (pattern, rule, standard) is established upon better
promises and is a better covenant (v.6); therefore, it demands an
even greater respect and obedience.
Romans 6:17 speaks about a form of doctrine.
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but
ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which
was delivered you. The word form has to do
with a certain stamp, shape, model, pattern. In the
technical sense, the pattern in conformity to which a thing must
be made (Thayer). Those in the church at Rome, having obeyed
that form of doctrine (water baptism), the model or
pattern, a certain rule of compliance, were freed from their
sins. Their sins were not forgiven before they obeyed the rules
of God, they were forgiven after they obeyed the rules -- the
There is such a thing as sound doctrine.
Sound doctrine is Gods pattern. The laws or rules of God are
made for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves
with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons,
and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound
doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10).
There are certain rules of conduct that those who will
be saved are to follow. Paul said, Those things, which ye
have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:
and the God of peace shall be with you (Phil. 4:9).
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of
Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). And the things that thou
hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to
faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (2
Those who depart from Gods pattern provoke the
wrath of God and bring upon themselves certain destruction (Gal.
1:6-9; Rom. 3:10-18; Phil. 3:18-19; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Peter 2:1-2;
We must hold to and continue in the pattern just as the
faithful of the first century did. They stood fast in Gods
law (cf. 1 Peter 5:12; Acts 13:43; Rom. 5:2; 1 Cor. 15:1).
GUARD THE PATTERN
Timothy was told to Hold fast the form of
sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love
which is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 1:13). All Christians
are exhorted, saying, Let us hold fast the profession
of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that
promised) (Heb. 10:23). The church at Thyatira was told,
But that which ye have already hold fast till I
come (Rev. 2:25). To the church at Philadelphia, we
read, Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which
thou hast, that no man take thy crown (Rev. 3:11).
When Paul and Barnabas traveled among the churches they
had earlier established, we read of them Confirming the
souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the
faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into
the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). To the churches
throughout Galatia, Paul wrote, Stand fast
therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and
be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Gal.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold
the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or
our epistle (2 Thess 2:15). That ye may be
mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy
prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord
and Saviour (2 Peter 3:2).
We must contend for and guard the pattern. If there is no
set standard, this would be unnecessary. However, Jude tells us,
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of
the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you,
and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the
faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude
1:3). The words earnestly contend mean to struggle
for. Why would God have us struggle for that which does not
exist? The point is, the faith, the system of faith,
Gods Way, the law of God, the New Testament, the pattern, is
to be maintained. It is so important that we are exhorted to
struggle (contend) to maintain it. Therefore we must uphold it
and guard it closely.
DONT FORSAKE THE PATTERN
But Saul increased the more in strength, and
confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that
this is very Christ (Acts 9:22). Paul used the
Scriptures (the pattern) to confound the Jews. The word confound
means to be in disorder and uproar. He proved from the Scriptures
(Gods set order, instructions, pattern) that Jesus is the
Christ. If the Bible is so powerful, it surely must be guarded
and upheld. Notice other passages on the subject. And he
reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the
Jews and the Greeks (Acts 18:4). For he mightily
convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the
scriptures that Jesus was Christ (Acts 18:28).
Many were the occasions when the Gospel was upheld by
exposing those who had violated it and demanding that men keep
its commandments. To whom we gave place by subjection,
no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue
with you (Gal. 2:5). But when Peter was come to
Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be
blamed (Gal. 2:11). Paul did this because Peter had
violated the pattern. Those who would not repent were withdrawn
from (1 Cor. 5) and/or marked (Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 1:20;
2 Tim. 1:15; 2:17).
The church at Philippi was told, Only let your
conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether
I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your
affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind
striving together for the faith of the gospel
We must not leave nor forsake the pattern. Be not
carried about with divers and strange doctrines... (Heb.
13:9). That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to
and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the
sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait
to deceive (Eph. 4:14).
Do you love the pattern, the old Jerusalem way, the
Lords Way? Jeremiah was commanded to write, Thus
saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the
old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not
walk therein (Jer. 6:16).
Will you do the will of the Lord or your own will? Will
you seek to follow the pattern or refuse to do so as those of
Jeremiahs day? The choice is yours.
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Bake Sales, Yard Sales and Raffles Is A No, No!
It is common today for churches to have bake sales,
yard sales, raffles and such in order to raise money. But the
only method of raising money for the churches needs found in
the Bible is this, Now concerning the collection for the
saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so
do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by
him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no
gatherings when I come (I Cor. 16:1-2). This is a
God-given pattern (order) for raising money for the church. The
phrase each one refers to Christians, not those outside
the church. This giving is to be done on the first day of the
The responsibility for supplying the needs of the
church is the obligation of Christians. When the members of the
church rise to the occasion to meet the needs of the church, then
God has promised His blessings. Jesus praised the widow for
giving her last two mites at the temple (Luke 21:1-4). He has
promised abundant blessings to the one who gives liberally (Luke
6:28; 2 Cor. 9:6-8). When a Christian gives in a sacrificial
manner, then it is treasure that is laid up to his or her account
in heaven (Matt. 19:21; Phil. 4:17-18).
Our Lord has said, It is more blessed to give
than to receive (Acts 20:35). When there was a famine in
the city of Jerusalem, Paul did not go to those outside the
church for help. He asked his fellow Christians in Macedonia and
Corinth to help provide relief for the brethren in Jerusalem (2
Cor. 8:1-15). And, they gave liberally.
The church is not a business. The church is a divine
institution designed by God and paid for with the precious blood
of Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9-11; Acts 20:28). Shall we take the
house of God and make it a den of thieves?
It is common today for churches to have bake sales,
yard sales, raffles and such in order to raise money for the
churches. THIS IS A NO, NO!
Charlie Turner, Elder
215 Lakeshore Dr.
McMinnville, TN 37110
Table of Contents
Pauls Farewell to Timothy
There came a time in the life of the apostle Paul when he
knew his life was drawing to an end (cf. II Tim. 4:6-8). The aged
apostle was a prisoner at Rome his second imprisonment.
Tradition says he was beheaded at Rome in A.D. 68. Lets
consider three things which enabled Paul to be prepared for his
First, Paul said, I have fought a good
fight (II Tim. 4:7). The Christian life is a warfare,
not physical, but spiritual (cf. II Cor. 10:3-5). Faithful
Christians are good soldiers of Jesus Christ (II Tim.
2:3). Our warfare is a constant battle against the forces of
evil. We must ever resist the devil (James 4:7). Paul set an
example worthy our imitation (I Cor. 11:1). He would not have
been ready for his departure had he not fought a good
fight against the evil of his day. Brethren, theres
presently a war going on, are we in it?
Second, Paul said, I have finished my
course (II Tim. 4:7). Pauls course was
determined by Christ. Jesus said to Paul, I have chosen thee
for this purpose (Acts 26:16ff). Paul was a witness of the
resurrected Lord: a minister of the Gospel sent to the Gentiles,
To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan to God, that they might receive
forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are
sanctified by faith that is in me (vs.16,17). All of what
the Lord wanted Paul to do, he had done to the best of his
ability. Are we working out our own salvation, with fear and
trembling (Phil. 2:12)?
Third, Paul said, I have kept the
faith (II Tim. 4:7). Notice carefully how the personal
pronoun I appears in each of these statements. Like
Paul, each Christian is responsible for his/her own salvation.
The faith is the Gospel of Christ the system of
faith (Rom. 1:16,17). Paul preached the Gospel publicly and from
house to house (Acts 20:20). He defended the faith (Phil.
1:7,17). If ever there was a man who obeyed Judes command to
earnestly contend for the faith, Paul was that man.
Right here is where many preachers fail in their calling. Why?
Because they are either (1) ignorant of how to defend the truth,
and/or (2) they fail to see the need to do so.
Brethren, my greatest concern (and hopefully yours too)
is that I might come to the end of my life and be able to say,
I am ready (II Tim. 4:6). Paul was ready to die. How
ready are you? Think about it.
1336 Spring Lake Rd.
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Table of Contents
Did you know the church of Christ does not subscribe to any
church discipline, creed or manual other than the Bible? The
church consists of obedient servants who have been baptized into
Christ for the remission of sins and thus added to the church by
the Lord. They are called Christians and only Christians, nothing
more and nothing less. Acts 2:47, Acts 11:26 and Romans 16:16
reveals these clear facts. The Lords church (the church of
Christ) does not add to Gods Word, nor does it take away
from Gods Word. This is made clear in Deuteronomy 4:2,
Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18-19. The Bible and the Bible
alone is its guide because it was given by the inspiration of God
(II Tim. 3:16-17).
What Do We Know About Hades?
Garland M. Robinson
The word hades is often used and thought of as a
milder way of saying the word HELL. But hades is not the
word hell. It is a different word altogether. When we think of
hell, the word is gehenna, not hades.
Hades is the place the dead (all the dead) go
when they die. All who die go to hades: both the good and
the bad, the righteous and the wicked, the saved and the lost.
The Greek word hades is defined as: unseen, the place
(state) of departed souls, the nether world, the realm of the
dead. The Hebrew word sheol is equivalent to the
Greek word hades.
In hades, there is a place or compartment of
punishment. Regarding the rich man of Luke 16 we read: And
in hell (hades) he lift up his eyes, being in
torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his
bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me,
and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water,
and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame
(Luke 16:23-24). It is called a place of torment in
The place of torment in hades is also referred
to in II Peter 2:4 where we read that ...God spared not the
angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell
(tartaros), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to
be reserved unto judgment. The word tartaros is used
here instead of the word hades and is the only time the
word appears in the New Testament. It is a place of punishment.
The angles are held in chains of darkness. It exists
now and will continue until the second coming of Christ, at which
time, all the dead will be judged. The angels who sinned are held
in tartaros (hades). Notice again that verse four says
they are reserved unto judgment.
Another compartment or place in hades is called
paradise. To one of the thieves on the cross, Jesus said,
...To day shalt thou be with me in paradise
(Luke 23:43). Jesus went to hades in the part called
paradise. We read in Acts 2:27, Because thou wilt not
leave my soul in hell (hades), neither wilt thou
suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Jesus was not in
torment in paradise. The compartment or side of hades
called paradise is a place of comfort and serenity.
Abraham and Lazarus were in paradise for they were in comfort
(Luke 16:23). Jesus said to one of the thieves, To day shalt
thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
Some wonder what it will be like after death. What the
Bible says regarding hades gives us a glimpse into that
realm. Those who lived their life in disobedience to God will go
to that part of hades (tartaros) that is reserved for the
wicked, for all who disobey God are wicked. All have sinned,
there is none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:23,10). They will be
in torment, agony and pain (cf. Luke 16:19-31) awaiting their
final judgment (sentencing) to be ushered into eternal hell where
their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44),
where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 25:30). The
smoke of their torment will ascend up for ever and ever and they
have no rest day or night (Rev. 14:11). Our finite minds cannot
imagine the pain and agony of that terrible place called
tartaros in the hadean realm.
On the other hand, those who lived their life in
obedience to God will go to that part of hades (paradise)
reserved for the righteous. This is a place of peace, comfort and
reward -- where Abraham and Lazarus were (cf. Luke 16:23-25). All
the physical infirmities individuals may have suffered while
living on earth do not exist there. Debilitating diseases that
ravished the physical body will be no more. Whatever God has in
store for us will completely satisfy. There will be no
disappointments there! While we do not know exactly what we shall
be in that day, we do know that, when he (Jesus) shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he
is (I John 3:2). It is a place of no more tears, sorrow,
pain or death for all these things shall be done away (Rev.
21:4). The misery suffered in this present world will be no more.
The righteous will be truly at rest and peace (Heb. 4:9-16). In
the hadean world called paradise, we await the
final judgment (sentencing) where we will be ushered into the
eternal place called heaven to be with the Lord God and all the
Hades is temporary in that it will cease at the
judgment. The souls in hades will stand before the Lord to
be judged (sentenced). When the Son of man shall come in
his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit
upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered
all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31-
On which side do you want to be? On which side are you
NOW? Only YOU have the control to direct your life now, which
will determine your final destiny in that last great day.
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Five Things God Does Not Do
Roger D. Campbell
If the God of heaven truly is all-powerful, then He can
do anything. Didnt Jesus say that with God all things are
possible? The truth is, the Bible describes the God of
heaven as the Lord Almighty (II Cor. 6:18). And, yes,
Jesus did proclaim that in the matter of being saved, with
God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). But, there are
some things that God does not do because they are against His
nature. There are yet other actions that He does not take because
they are not in mankinds best interest. What are some things
that God does not do?
First, God does not lie. Feeble, deceptive man
is no match for the integrity of God. In Titus 1:2 we read about
Him described as God, that cannot lie. If God says it,
then you know it is true. Since God is always true to His word,
the Bible says, God is faithful (I Cor. 1:9).
Second, God does not stop caring about people
despite the sins they commit. Make no mistake about it: God
hates all forms of unrighteousness and holds us accountable for
all of our actions (Heb. 1:9). But, He keeps on loving those that
transgress His will. The Bible says, But God commendeth
his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us (Rom. 5:8). We might offend God, hurt God,
and even anger God, but His love toward us does not change. What
an amazing Being He is!
Third, God does not get fooled. A person might
fool some folks some of the time, but he can never fool all the
people all of the time. When it comes to God, no one fools God,
ever! Be not deceived; God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7).
Those things people think they have kept hidden as secrets; well,
there are no secrets before Jehovah! Because God knows all things
(I John 3:20), there is no pulling the wool over
Fourth, God does not act contrary to what He has
revealed to us in the Bible. Gods word, the Bible, is
truth (John 17:17). Because He is the LORD God of truth
(Psalm 31:5), God always acts in harmony with truth. In view of
that, we should never ask Him to do anything that goes against
what He has told us in the Bible. For instance, in 2
Thessalonians 1:8,9 we read that those that know not God,
and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will
be punished with everlasting destruction. Because that is true, I
must not ask Him to do otherwise (or even in the back of my mind
that He will), because it will not happen.
Fifth, God does not reject anyone that comes to Him
on His terms. What color is my skin? What is my nationality?
What is my religious background? What is my gender? When it comes
to the salvation of a persons soul, none of these matters
has one iota to do with it. You see, God wants every person to be
saved (I Tim. 2:4), regardless of where they came from, what they
look like, or how their lifes history reads! Jesus said,
Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).
The Lords invitation is for all; whosoever will,
let him come! The only way to have our past sins forgiven by the
blood of Jesus is to come on the conditions that He sets forth in
His word. It is not our will, but Gods that must be done.
The New Testament teaches that in order to be saved, a lost
person must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John
20:30,31), repent of past sins (Acts 2:38), confess
faith in Jesus (Rom. 10:10), and be immersed in water
(Acts 22:16). After one becomes a Christian, the Lord wants him
to live faithfully, trusting in and living for the Lord
4889 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
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Jesus said about a certain sin, it shall be forgiven
him (Matt. 12:32). John said, there is a sin unto
death: not concerning this do I say that he should make
request...and there is a sin not unto death (1 John 5:16).
Paul said, regarding some who fall away, it is impossible to
renew them again unto repentance (Heb. 6:6).
What is the unpardonable sin? It is not a single act or
transgression. A single act may be a culmination of a long
journey to that condition of heart where one is beyond
redemption. It is not a sin over which you are troubled.
The very fact that you are troubled shows that you have not gone
beyond redemption. If you are troubled you have not sinned away
your day of grace. It is not the sin of impulse or
passion. David made a great mistake for which he was
The unpardonable sin is a condition of the heart and
not a single act. When ones heart becomes so corrupt and
hardened that he cannot be moved to repentance, he has passed the
point of redemption. If someone asked you to pray for him it is
evident that he or she is not past the point of redemption. Jesus
said, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth
speaketh (Matt. 12:34). Those who blasphemed the Holy
Spirit were corrupt at heart. Their hearts were so hardened
that they could not be moved. Such a condition makes it
impossible to be saved because they cannot be prompted to repent.
It is impossible to renew some again to repentance. If
they could be made to repent they could be saved. The hearts of
those to whom Jesus speaks in Matthew 12 were past being moved to
repentance. They were malignant souls who were chronic,
confirmed, and habitual opposers of truth. Only such characters
could do as they did. And since they could not be moved to
repentance they could not be saved. The way they spoke against
the Holy Spirit showed the condition of their hearts.
G.K. Wallace, deceased
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Please take note of my new address. Thank you
...Jeffery Jones, Cordova, AL. Please send STOP to
friends of ours. Thank you so much. God bless your work
...Oliver & Dorrity Schreiner, Royal Oak, MI. Return
to sender ...Gary Love, Beaumont, CA. Please
remove J.D. White from your mailing list. He passed away
...Newport, AR. I would appreciate it if you would
add me to your mailing list. Billie Sisson let me read hers and
they are wonderful. Thanks ...Betty Hufstedler,
Pocahontas, AR. I sure enjoy the paper. Enclosed is $$
in memory of Austin Gilley, my husband ...Dorothy Gilley,
Garden City, MI. I have been taking STOP for many years
and it is the best of all of them. I was an elder at Jackson
Street in Alexandria, Louisiana, but I am 89 years old now and
had to step down. Keep up the good work ...John T.
Barton, Pollock, LA. Due to temporary change of address,
please discontinue sending your publication. I will advise when
permanent housing is secured and I wish to resume receiving your
journal. Thank you ...Brandon Rader, Lexington, KY.
Brother Garland, we appreciate the work you are doing and
the work of Seek The Old Paths ...Bill & Ellen
Brockway, Lucedale, MS. Thanks ...Billie Sisson,
Pocahontas, AR. I really look forward to the next STOP.
Please send me some back issues. My prayers are with you
...Lillian Harrison, Gallipolis, OH. Please remove my
name from your mailing list. I have enjoyed it in the past
...Ida Horn, Alton, IL. We need your help. Our
preacher is so desperate for our congregation of the Lords
church to have elders that he is trying to distort the Scriptures
concerning the qualities that an elder is supposed to have, as in
divorce does not count, we should only take into account the
children who are still at home (one of his picks all the children
are gone from home, many living in sin [shacked up], some married
to members of denominations and the like) and that we should work
with these men to improve in their weak areas, i.e. on the job
training and not voice our concerns as this would not be the
Christian thing to do. My wife and I have had many conversations
and prayed over this ever so much to the point that because it is
a salvation issue we have discussed the possibility of having to
leave this congregation for another. When he (the preacher)
started his teachings on this subject, he even refused the idea
of having one or more preachers coming in to help make sure the
subject was fully covered scripturally and did not end up being
one sided, which it did. We are not the only ones in the
congregation who feel this is headed in the wrong direction. Any
information or help you could give us would be greatly
appreciated ...Name Withheld. [EDITORS NOTE: I
am sending you two DVDs which contain 14 lessons on the eldership
regarding their qualifications and work. The selection and
appointment of elders in a local congregation is the Lords
will. Paul left Titus in Crete to ...set in order the things
that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had
appointed thee (Titus 1:5). However, there is nothing more
destructive and detrimental to a congregation than for it to have
elders who are not qualified. Each of the men who serve as elders
MUST meet every single qualification given in 1 Timothy 3 and
Titus 1. And, they must maintain those qualifications in order to
continue in the eldership. It will not work, neither is it
Gods will, that men be appointed as elders whom we think
will grow to meet the qualifications. They must meet
the qualifications BEFORE they are appointed, not afterward. If a
man does not meet the qualifications, he is not qualified to be
an elder. It is true that an elder will grow in grace and
knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18)
after his appointment. But, this is true with every Christian.
The appointment of elders is not an endeavor that should be
rushed into. It takes time and study with the whole congregation.
Before the appointment of elders, the membership will have grown
to love and appreciate the men who will one day be elders. They
will have confidence and trust in them, knowing that they will
watch for their souls once they are appointed (cf. Heb. 13:17).
Then, and only then, can men be appointed to the eldership. -
Evidence from the Worldwide Flood. The existence of
salt lakes and inland seas provides strong evidence that there
has been a global Flood. The huge salty Caspian Sea is completely
landlocked and during the past several centuries has been
shrinking in size. How did sea water get so far inland? Why did
it not dry up millions of years ago? A gigantic flood within the
last 5,000 years would seem to be a very good answer. Lake Van
(5,900 feet in elevation) to the southwest of Ararat and Lake
Urmia (4,300 feet in elevation) are excellent examples of high
elevation, landlocked, salty lakes. The huge Gobi Desert in
Central Asia has tiny leftover lakes which are only a small
fraction of the size they once were. In America, the Great Salt
Lake and its nearby desert tell the same storyit is the
leftover remains of a much larger body of isolated salt water.
Lake Titicaca in the Andes, 12,500 feet above sea level, and
covering more than 300 square miles, was also apparently much
larger in the past. It is the worldwide extent and rate at
which these isolated bodies of water are currently
shrinking that testifies they were much larger in the
relatively recent past. This is exactly what would be expected as
the continents lifted up at the end of the one-year-long global
Flood, leaving pockets of stranded water to slowly recede over
the subsequent millennia. A Closer Look at the
Thank you for the work you are doing with the STOP
publication. We at the Belle congregation would like to be placed
on your mailing list. Please send us 50 copies for distribution
within the congregation. We have enclosed a check to help with
the distribution of this most worthy publication. Thanks to the
elders of the East End congregation for their support of this
work. You are appreciated ...For the elders at Liberty,
Russell Heck, Belle, MO.
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