CAN WE KNOW?
We cannot know the time of our death, the date of the
second coming of Christ or the date of Christs birth. We do
know that life is a vapor (James 4:14), the time of the
second coming no man knoweth (Matt. 24:36), and the date
of Christs birth is unknown. We know the Savior would be born
in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and that Isaiah prophesied a virgin
would conceive and bear a son (Isa. 7:14). Matthew, the Gospel
writer seven centuries later, shows the fulfillment in Jesus
according to prophecy (Matt. 1:21-23). Coming to grip with the
unknown can be a frustrating exercise, but take heart as the
scripture states: The secret things belong unto the LORD
our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to
our children for ever (Deut. 29:29).
OBSERVE THE THINGS WE CAN KNOW:
We live in an age of relativism and doubt with a
culture surrendering biblical truth for whatever is fashionable. Is
it possible for us to KNOW anything? A recent survey of religious
leaders shows a glaring disbelief in the most fundamental truths of
Holy Scripture. Some contend that we cannot know anything for
certain, and that truth is relative. Jesus said, Ye shall
know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John
8:32). The activists promoting relativism says in effect, what
may be truth for one may not be truth for another. Some are so
certain that nothing is certain that it makes one wonder how they
can be so certain!
1. We Can Know That God Exists. We are mindful
of philosophers and theologians debating the existence of God over
the span of centuries. Various points of view have been advanced by
theists, and atheists, and probably no issue has caused more
intellectual discussion. The existence of God is the most important
of all discussions by the human family.
The evidence of an omnipotent God is found both
inside and outside the Bible record. Our purpose is not an
examination of the evidences, but to lay a foundation that
knowledge of Gods existence is possible. It is obvious that
for anything to be known about God it must first be known that God
exists. Paul underlines this basic principle in Romans 1:18-21
that Gods existence was known to the Gentiles. In verse
19 we read, because that which is known of God is
manifest in them literally meaning that which is
capable of being known. How is God known? Paul affirms in verse 20,
through the things that are made. We may
logically and truthfully reason certain facts about God through the
things that are made (Psa. 19:1). Logically, it is understood that
a watch has a maker, a house has a builder, and a computer has a
designer. The Bible states: For every house is builded by
some man; but he that built all things is God (Heb.
3:4). There is sufficient evidence in the natural world for a valid
conclusion of the existence of God. The Hebrew writer states:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence
of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Belief or faith is
predicated upon evidence. While we were not present in the
beginning and did not see with our eyes the actual creation of the
world, the proof in nature and testimony of the Scriptures give us
essential information upon which to base our faith. Paul affirms
that man is without excuse in denying the existence of God because
sufficient evidence is before us (Rom. 1:18-20).
2. We Can Know The Bible Is The Word Of God.
To build upon this premise is to affirm the Bibles
inspiration. Paul writes, All scripture is given by
inspiration of God... (II Tim. 3:16). Approximately
2,500 times, the Bible declares its inspiration through
phrases like: The word of the Lord came unto me
saying (257), God spake unto me
(13), And the Lord said unto him (221), etc.
The aforesaid statements verify the Bibles inspiration. How
can one discount the internal evidence of the Holy Scriptures when
it conveys historical, geographical, scientific, philosophical, and
medical references? The Bible does not claim to be a book of
history, book of science or a book of medicine, but when such
references appear, it does so with extraordinary accuracy. Since
the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God, it follows that
it, and it alone, must be our authority for all that we practice in
religion. Peter would charge every man, If any man speak,
let him speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11). The
evidence is sufficient to cause one to accept the fact that the
Bible is Gods word. The Bible is here and no one doubts its
existence. But how can we account for it? The Bible is beyond the
reach of human authorship. Man would not have written it if he
could. It condemns too many things which men by nature hold dear.
The only conclusion that can be reasonably made is that it is
indeed Gods inspired word.
3. We Can Understand The Bible Alike.
If we could not understand the Bible, then God failed in
His mission to deliver an inspired document conveying the message
intended for mankind. If we cannot understand the Bible, and know
that we understand, it is of no value to the human family. The
critics of this marvelous book claim it is egotistical to assert we
can know the truth. Jesus states unequivocally, If ye
abide in my word then are ye my disciples, and ye shall know the
truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).
Where is the value in Gods message if it is confusing and
disjointed to the reader? Jesus words are unmistakable that
men and women can know the truth. The truth is not a restricted
message for the intellectual or academia, but universal for all
(Matt. 28:19-20; 11:28-30).
Jesus spoke to the most sophisticated religious
leaders of his day and challenged their traditions (Matt. 15:3-9).
Yet, the Gospel writer made the observation: And, the
common people heard him gladly (Mark 12:37). Those
hearing Jesus, the regular, common, everyday person, gladly
received his word, having little difficulty in understanding.
A basic and fundamental principle from the Bible is
that God expects us to learn from what has been written. Faith is
based upon hearing and understanding the Bible (Rom. 10:17). There
is no other way faith can come. Paul plainly states,
Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the
mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4). He did not say when you
read, you might or could understand. He boldly stated
Whereby when ye read, ye may understand... (Eph.
3:4). Paul once more says, Wherefore, be ye not unwise,
but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph.
5:17). The implication is clear that a person is foolish if he
fails to understand the will of the Lord. In fact, he says such
people have their understanding darkened, being alienated
from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because
of the blindness of their heart (Eph. 4:18). This
understanding produces a common faith and a common obedience (Jude
Paul sent Timothy to teach the same things he taught:
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus...who shall
bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I
teach every where in every church (I Cor. 4:17). Please
take note that Paul taught the same thing in every church. This
fundamental principle underlines the Bibles teaching. If the
Bibles message is not understandable to all alike, how could
it be a common salvation? Our Savior clearly stated that
salvation is based upon understanding, or knowing, if you please,
and obeying his words (John 12:48).
4. We Can Know That We Are Saved.
We are not proud or arrogant to state that we are saved from our
past sins. The New Testament uses the term know 240
times. The Gospel according to John uses the designation
know 70 times and in the brief epistle of I John
know appears 41 times, asserting the blessed assurance in
Christ Jesus. It seems clear the grand author of the Bible, God,
wants us to understand and know his will. John, the apostle, said,
these things have I written unto you, that ye may know
that ye have eternal life (I John 5:13). Yes, we can
know that we are saved. We will not be judged by mens
theories, feelings or ideas, but by the word of God (John 12:48).
Paul reminds the Romans of their former lives
dominated by sin, 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. Being then made free from sin, ye
became the servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18).
These Christians could be sure they were free from sin. How? As we
today know by responding to the form of doctrine or teaching.
Salvation is comprised of a divine side and human side. The divine
side includes all the things God has done to bring salvation to
mankind: Christ (Rom. 5:8), grace (Eph. 2:8-9), blood of Christ
(Eph. 1:7), engrafted word (Acts 11:14), hope (Rom. 8:24) faith
(Rom. 5:1), confessing Christ (Rom. 10:10), the Gospel (Rom. 1:16),
love of truth (I Thess. 2:10), and baptism (I Peter 3:21). The
human side includes every human response mandated by God through
his inspired word: hear (Rom. 10:17), believe (Rom. 10:17; John
8:24), repent (Acts 17:30), confessing Christ (Rom. 10:10), and
baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).
Paul affirmed that when we are baptized we obey that
form of teaching (Rom. 6:17). We can know that God is and
that the Bible is His word. Furthermore, we can understand it. We
can know what to do in order to be saved, and having obeyed His
commands, we have an assurance of salvation. We are gratified to
have these assurances, and full confidence may be placed in them.
Paul writes I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded
that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him
against that day (II Tim. 1:12).
firstname.lastname@example.org     Bob Spurlin
INTRODUCING BOB SPURLINS NEW VIDEO
Bob Spurlin, 60, the author of the previous article, has
battled multiple sclerosis for the last ten and a half years. His
bed-ridden existence continues with Bobs wife (Beverly)
serving as the consummate caregiver. Two brothers share the bathing
responsibility with other family members contributing to his care.
Less than two years ago a nurse was employed to monitor the
physical condition and perform other duties necessary for his care.
NEW VIDEO RELEASED
The brotherhood continues to rally to the
Spurlins cause in the purchase of his books (see titles below)
and now a new video. The books were written with the aid of a
computer translating his spoken words into written text. His thirty
years experience as a Gospel preacher coupled with his personal
experience in multiple tragedies has given him keen insight into
many hardships of life. He is truly a Barnabas a great
encourager. You will be blessed as you study with him from the Word
The brotherhood has shown grace and compassion to this
family in the past, and we pray that consideration for this new
project will receive the same enthusiastic support.
Bobs illness has prohibited him from preaching for
many years. But lately, two lessons have been video taped from his
hospital bed. The lessons are: Coping with a
Debilitating Disease and Coping with
Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Paul Sain, Bobs
publisher, conducted an interview with him in the intimate setting
of his home. The interview runs for thirty minutes and is included
with the two sermons on the video. Those reading brother
Spurlins books have expressed an interest in meeting this
valiant Christian soldier. This new video provides that
HOW TO GET THE VIDEO & BOOKS
DOT The video will bring concrete answers to some of
lifes greatest difficulties. Those faced with physical
problems, illness, or emotional troubles will find strength and
encouragement in these lessons.
DOT Giving the video to shut-ins, those suffering
from illness, surgery, or crippling disease will help them discover
strength when many want to give-up.
DOT Passing the video out to each family in the
church/or in the community will give support in time of great need.
The videos (DVD or VHS) are $10.00 each,
which includes shipping. Churches may buy a case of 30
for $250.00, a $50.00 discount ($8.35 each). Profits from these
materials go to the Bob Spurlin medical fund which aids
the family in taking care of his medical expenses. His three books
are still available also: Dont Ever Give Up
(2nd Edition) - $10.00 Tackling Lifes Troubles -
$10.00 DIAL 911: Essentials to Living Life in the 21st
Century - $10.00
Order from: Bob Spurlin, 2101 Glenwood Dr, Hartselle,
AL 35640, Phone: (256) 773-0295, or E-mail: email@example.com
Table of Contents
GODS PEOPLE NEED NOT FEAR
Marvin L. Weir
Many people make the tragic mistake of placing their
trust in this world and worldly things. The apostle John warned,
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in
him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the
lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but
is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (I
John 2:15-17). The apostle Peter affirms that the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be melt
with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein
shall be burned up (II Peter 3:10). One who places his
trust in this world and worldly things has every reason to be
Gods people, however, have no reason to be afraid
as they live the Christian life. Those who choose to place their
trust in God by obeying the Gospel and continuing to walk in
the light (I John 1:7) need not have a fearful spirit. Let us
take heart as we reflect on several eternal principles taught by
Gods people need not fear, because they
have been redeemed. Isaiah wrote, But now thus
saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee,
O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by
thy name; thou art mine (Isa. 43:1). Two tremendous
truths are of comfort in this verse of scripture.
First, God has redeemed us. Mans sins separated
him from God (Isa. 59:1-2). But the death of the Savior made
redemption possible. Paul, speaking of Christ, says, in
whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace (Eph. 1:7).
Christians do not fear death nor the future because they have been
Second, God has called us. Because of Gods love
and grace, the Gospel is available for all. The apostle Paul makes
it abundantly clear that all who are called of God are called
by the gospel (II Thess. 2:14).
Gods people need not fear, because God
has promised to be with them. Isaiah stated,
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and
through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest
through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame
kindle upon thee (Isa. 43:2). The fellowship available
to the child of God is a wonderful thing. The early Christians
continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine and
fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers
(Acts 2:42). The apostle John encouraged the saints by writing,
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in
darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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 (I John 1:6-7). The writer of Hebrews assures us
that Christ will in no wise fail or forsake us (Heb.
Gods people need not fear, because they
have been created for the glory of God (Isa. 43:7). God
does not expect the impossible or give us tasks we cannot
accomplish. Man has a purpose as he lives life on this earth and it
is a glorious one. He is to live his life in such a way that God
will be glorified! Those who do so have nothing to fear.
A Christian should never forget the tremendous
promises and words of encouragement uttered by the apostle Paul in
the eighth chapter of Romans. What shall we then say to
these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that
spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall
he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any
thing to the charge of Gods elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that
is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also
maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we
are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the
slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death,
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which
is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:31-39).
Gods people need not fear as no one can keep them
from obtaining victory in Jesus!
815 SW 42nd
Paris, TX 75460
Table of Contents
One of the most difficult things I find to accept as I
grow older, having preached the gospel now for well over fifty
years, is to see churches and brethren that I have known, with whom
I have labored, to whom I have preached, both as regular preacher
or in gospel meetings, and see them now defiantly set aside the
truth we once upheld together, and see them seek to be like the
nations round about, and act as if truth had never been their first
James W. Boyd
Table of Contents
IS IT OKAY TO USE THE
THOUGHT OF ETERNAL PUNISHMENT
TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO
SERVE THE LORD?
Roger D. Campbell
In society, citizens are reminded by government officials
that they will be punished if they break civil law. In the home,
children are reminded by parents that they will be punished if they
do not obey their parents. In school, students are reminded that
they will be punished if they break the rules of the school or
teacher. We understand that the thought of punishment does, indeed,
serve as a detriment to wrong conduct. But what about in the
spiritual realm? Is it proper to try to motivate people to serve
the Lord by pointing out that eternal punishment awaits the
disobedient? Let us consider some facts.
1) Jesus taught about punishment for the ungodly.
Jesus said, And fear not them which kill the
body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which
is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt.
10:28). Jesus spoke those words to His apostles as He was preparing
to send them out to preach to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words says that in Matthew 10:28 the word destroy [Greek,
apollumi, as in destroy both soul and body in
hell] means the loss of well-being in the case of the
Would you be surprised to know that even in His
masterful Sermon on the Mount, the Christ twice spoke
about being cast into hell (Matt. 5:29,30) and once about
being in danger of hell fire (Matt. 5:22)?
In another instance the Master spoke about the
resurrection of damnation (John 5:29), and once told some
Jewish leaders that they shall receive the greater
damnation (Matt. 23:14).
Yes, Jesus used punishment, even punishment in hell,
as a means of trying to motivate people to do that which is right
in Gods sight.
2) Inspired first-century preachers preached to
lost people about punishment for those that do not obey God.
After exhorting his Jewish listeners to repent and be
converted, the apostle Peter spoke of the Messiah in these terms:
For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall
the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me;
him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass that every soul, which will not hear that
prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people (Acts
3:22,23). To say that one shall be destroyed for not
hearing the Christ points to punishment.
While preaching in a synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia,
the apostle Paul, spoke about justification through Jesus. He then
warned his listeners, Beware therefore, lest that come
upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers,
and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work
which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto
you (Acts 13:40,41). Inspired by the Spirit, Paul quoted
from Habakkuk 1:5, which in the context, deals with the punishment
that God would deal out to the Jews. Thus, Pauls
beware statement that is recorded in Acts 13:40,41 points
to punishment for those that do not believe in the Christ.
From the two examples noted above it is obvious that
the apostles, as a means of motivating people to serve the Lord
faithfully, preached about the punishment of those that do not
3) Inspired penman of the New Testament taught
about future punishment for the unrighteous.
And to you who are troubled rest with us,
when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty
angels. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the
Lord, and from the glory of his power (II Thess. 1:7-9).
What about those that do not obey righteousness? They shall receive
indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish
(Rom. 2:8,9). These truths remind us that for the disobedient,
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
God (Heb. 10:31).
Yes, the horrible thought of being lost is a strong
motivator to right thinking people, is it not?
4) The punishment that awaits the wicked is
eternal in nature.
We point this out as a separate fact simply because
the question we are answering is, Is it okay to use the
thought of eternal punishment to motivate people to serve the
Lord? We have clearly shown that the Christ, first-century
preachers, and the writers of the New Testament at times used
punishment as one form of motivation to convince people to obey
God. But what about the eternal aspect of punishment?
Does the New Testament teach such a concept? As we have already
noted, when the Christ comes again, some shall be
punished with everlasting destruction (II Thess. 1:9).
We also recall that Jesus said that some shall go away
into everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46).
Yes, the punishment of hell is eternal in nature, a
place where the fire is not quenched (Mark
5) Jesus taught about punishment, but not about
The Master warned both His followers and His enemies
about destruction, punishment and hell. If we want to imitate our
Lord, and if we really love peoples souls like He did, then
we, too, will teach both the lost and the saved Gods truth
about future punishment of the ungodly. However, the horror of
future unending punishment was not all that Jesus used to try to
motivate people to live righteously. Hell was not the only topic on
which Jesus preached. Hell and its future residents did not
dominate every lesson He presented.
What else did Jesus use in order to motivate people
to obey the Godhead? In His Sermon on the Mount, before
Jesus spoke about hell, He told His disciples, Rejoice,
and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven...
(Matt. 5:12). A reward in heaven appeals to
right-thinking people! The Bible calls that wonderful reward
life eternal (Matt. 25:46) and the crown of
life (James 1:12). It is an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in
heaven for you (I Peter 1:4). Punishment motivates, but
so does a reward.
In addition to using the possibility of future
punishment and future reward, the Lord and His faithful preachers
also appealed to their listeners to serve the Lord out of
love. The first commandment of all of the old law
was, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all
thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark
12:28,30). On the night of His betrayal, Jesus exhorted His
apostles, If ye love me, keep my commandments
(John 14:15). He went on to tell them, continue in my
love (John 15:9). To whom has the Lord promised the crown of
life? Answer: ...he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord hath promised to them that love him
(James 1:12). The Lords love for us should compel us to love
Him in return (II Cor. 5:14).
Is it okay to use the thought of eternal punishment
to motivate people to serve the Lord? Jesus and His faithful
servants of the first century certainly did so. As we have noticed,
fear of punishment was not the only means they used to motivate
their listeners. Yet, it was, and is, a God-approved way of trying
to get people to obey God.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
CHRIST, CHURCH AND SALVATION
Matthew 19:3-9 records Jesus being engaged by the
Pharisees with questions pertaining to divorce and remarriage.
Jesus, in answering these pitiable men applies a timeless principle
of truth, what therefore God hath joined together, let
not man put asunder let not man chorizo,
separate. While Jesus applied this principle to
marriage, we must understand that it is also applicable to anything
God has joined together. However, this principle is not always
honored by men because they are continually trying to separate what
God has joined.
James, by inspiration, declared that God has joined
faith and works faith, if it
hath not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:17). Yet,
we find men continually teaching that man is saved by faith apart
from works. In fact, the Baptist Member Handbook, under
the heading of Salvation, states on page 20: Salvation is
given by God in grace, apart from human works ... it is received by
man through faith. Though God has joined faith and works, man
has sought their separation.
Jesus, in explaining the rule of marriage said,
The two are one, and can only be separated for
fornication (Matt. 19:5,9). Despite this fact, man is
continually removing husband and wife for any cause, thus, again,
that which God has joined, man has sought to separate. And now,
perhaps more than at any other time, man is attempting to separate
Christ, salvation and the church, notwithstanding the fact that God
has forever joined them together. Thus it has become necessary for
us to prove, from Holy Writ, the inseparability of these three. We
can accomplish this by showing: 1) the point at which a person
receives salvation, and 2) the point at which one is added to the
church. This is so because, as we will show, they merge at the same
At what point does a person receive the
hope of eternal life? The Bible is a book that must be
learned, studied and applied properly, or else it becomes useless.
That is not to say that the Bible is a useless book, but that it
has become useless to him who does not use it properly. Consider a
math teacher. Should he set aside the laws that govern math and
conclude, falsely, that 2 plus 2 equals 5? Has not math become
useless to him? Indeed, we must so concede. Math, in general, is
not useless, but only to the teacher who has not applied the rules
which govern math. And, such is the case with the Bible.
One rule that governs biblical interpretation is that
of considering all the available facts, as revealed by God, on a
particular subject. So, then, as pertaining to the subject of
salvation, we must consider all that the Bible has revealed on the
matter, and from this anthology of facts, draw only the conclusions
that are warranted.
By collecting the revealed facts of salvation (under
New Testament Law), we find there are a great number of things
involved, none of which stand alone. This immense list can be
narrowed, however, when viewed from the standpoint of that which
man is required to do (acts of obedience; cf. Heb 5:8,9) in order
to receive the hope of eternal life. We find that man must
hear the word of God in order to develop faith (Rom.
10:17ff). We further understand it is required of man to
believe that which has been revealed in Gods word,
particularly that Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 16:16). This faith,
however, if left alone, is a dead faith which cannot save. Thus,
faith must be made an active faith by man repenting or
turning from his past sins (Acts 17:11). Yet, the facts do not stop
here, for, as we continue to study Gods revelation, we read
that man must associate himself with the Christ by confessing
faith in Jesus as the Son of God (Rom. 10:9-10). The Bible
further reveals that man must be baptized (immersed) in
water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). After all these things
are done, the Bible says that the person who so complies has the
hope of eternal life. Not only do we have these facts revealed, but
we also have examples of this system being followed in the book of
In Acts 2:37 the question is asked, what shall
we do? What shall they do for what? They were asking, in
reality, what must be done to call on the name of the
Lord. You see, Peter, in his historic sermon, quoted Joel in
saying, And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall
call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (v.21). Thus
the question asked is: What shall we do to call on the name of
the Lord to be saved? This question came from them having
heard the word of God, and having faith in Jesus
(v.32). By asking the question, their confession is implied. They
were answered, repent and be baptized (v.38).
Verse 41 records, Then they that gladly received his word
were baptized. Thus they called on the name of the
Lord (cf. Acts 22:16, arise and be baptized, calling on
the name of the Lord). If by calling on the name of the Lord
one is saved (v.21), and one calls on His name by being baptized
(v.41), then it must follow that this is the point at which a
person receives the hope of eternal life (cf. Titus 1:2).
The Bible also reveals an institution known as
the church. In fact, the Bible explains the church as
being the manifold wisdom of God, which He purposed in
Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:10-11). Christ said, of Himself,
that He would, on the foundation that He is the Son of God (cf. I
Cor. 3:11), build His church (Matt. 16:18), which He explains as
being synonymous with His Kingdom (cf. Matt. 16:18-19; Eph. 1:13;
Rev. 1:9). He then taught His disciples that the church/kingdom
would come with power in their generation (Mark 9:1). Before
ascending to the right hand of the Father, Jesus reminded His
apostles of this fact when He said, ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Spirit is come on you (Acts
1:8). So it is, then, that in Acts 2 when the power came, the
kingdom came, which must logically follow since the power was to
accompany the kingdom, and since the church and the kingdom are
synonymous terms, the church was established then and there. But,
at what point was/is a person added to the church? Acts 2:47
states, And the Lord added to the church day by day,
those that were saved (ASV).
Now, lets draw some conclusions. We have shown:
1) the point at which a person is saved water baptism; 2) the
point at which a person is added to the church upon their
salvation. Thus, it can only be concluded that salvation and the
church are inseparable for they merge at the same point, baptism
(cf. I Peter 3:21). And, further, since the church is the body of
Christ (Eph. 1:22-23), having Christ as its head, wherein salvation
is found (Eph. 5:23), then it must also be concluded that Christ
and His church are inseparable. Thus we have shown, in brief, the
inseparability of Christ, the church and salvation.
917 Fig St.
Morgan City, LA 70380
Table of Contents
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
Christ not only came to shed His blood for our sins, but
he also bled to purchase the church (kingdom). Paul reminded the
elders at Ephesus just how much the church cost: Take
heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the
which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of
God, which he hath purchased with his own blood
(Acts 20:28). The church was a vital part of
Gods plan for mans salvation: For the husband
is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:
and he is the saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23). Jesus
loved the church and gave Himself for it (Eph.
THE CHURCH MUST BE HOLY
Worldliness has been a problem for the church
throughout the ages. Christ warned the church at Laodicea about
their worldliness: I know thy works, that thou art
neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue
thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased
with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art
wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked
(Rev. 3:15-17). Today, we have the same concern over worldly
attitudes of many members of the Lords church. The scripture
is clear about the role of the church in the world.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show
forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvellous light (I Peter 2:9). Each member is to
practice holiness: But as he which hath called you is
holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is
written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (I Peter 1:15-16). As
members of the church, we represent Christ and the Father. No
wonder some misjudge the church because of our worldliness and
ALLIANCES WITH THE WORLD ARE CONTRARY TO GODS WILL
Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD,
that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering,
but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (Isa.
30:1). The Israelites sought counsel from their worldly neighbors.
Sometimes, so do we. Gods grace teaches us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus
2:12). The world does not have answers to the questions that should
be most important to mankind, such as: 1) Who is my maker; 2) Why
am I here? And especially 3) Where am I going?
OUR HOPE IS IN KEEPING OURSELVES UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD
A worldly life is not in the best interest of mankind.
We are told: Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness
(II Cor. 6:14). The worldly will ridicule and persecute us
for not being like them: Wherein they think it strange
that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil
of you (I Peter 4:4).
The world is full of lusts of every kind:
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but
is of the world (I John 2:16). It is so easy for
Christians to fall prey to these enticements of Satan:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own
lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth
sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the
Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world
(James 1:27). How do we do this? Paul said: Wherefore
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and
touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (II
Cor. 6:17). Effectively, we are IN the world, but not OF the world.
Those in the world may laugh at us, but we will have the last
laugh: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your
reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were
before you (Matt. 5:12).
Stand firm, stand fast!
120 Stegal Rd.
Shady Valley, TN 77688
Table of Contents
Greetings from the church that meets in Allenhurst, Georgia.
We have been receiving your sound publication for some years. It
continues to be one of the best publications in the brotherhood. We
have encouraged sister congregations in south Georgia to take
advantage of this fine publication. We ask that you continue to
send the publication to us on a monthly basis. Please accept the
enclosed check and use it in whatever way you deem best for the
publishing and distribution of this good work. May God continue to
bless you in your good efforts. The church here is looking for a
full-time minister to work with the congregation. We are a sound,
conservative, debt-free, self supporting congregation near Fort
Stewart, Georgia military base. Ministers interested may contact
Bob Miller, phone 912-545-9172, PO Box 401, Allenhurst, GA
31301 for more information ...Church of
Christ, Allenhurst, GA. I enjoy reading the STOP
very much until I come to those that want to be removed from the
mailing list and it makes me sorry and brings tears to my eyes to
think people will read good things and reject them knowing it is
true. I know you will keep telling it like it is as long as you can
and Ill keep reading the good news. Though Ive never met
you in person, youre my faithful brother doing all you can to
lead the lost to Christ and what more can one ask for on this
earth ...Addie B. Long, Harrisburg, AR.
Greetings to the Lords church there in McMinnville. My
prayer is that all is well with you and may God bless you as you
teach his word there. God bless ...Ron Shandor, Death
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the universe. Good, wise, and great men have met in councils,
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formulated creeds, confessions of faith and disciplines, which have
been adopted by religious bodies, but, like all things of human
origin, they are imperfect. That they are often wrong in seen in
the fact that it is necessary to change, alter, or amend them.
Translations of the Bible may need revisions, but the Bible, as it
came from the inspiring Spirit of God, needs no alteration. Being
perfect, it is not susceptible of improvement. Perfection cannot be
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New discoveries are often developed. But Christianity was perfect
when it came from its author, and cannot be improved. Man may grow
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God ...Peggy Wright, Atoka, OK. We
were recently passed a few copies of your monthly publication,
Seek The Old Paths, and liked what we read. We would like to
start receiving it for our members to read. We wish you much
success with the publication and with your congregation
...Philip Steele, Chelsea church of Christ, Chelsea, MI.
Thank you so much for standing for the truth. We
appreciate the work you and yours do for the Lords cause. We
recently moved to Tucson and went through fourteen churches before
we found one and the only one that is sound in the area. God bless
you and the church at McMinnville. Hope you all have a happy and
prosperous new year in Gods Word ...Baleri &
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name of our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. Continue the good work
for spreading the Gospel of God. God bless you all
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receiving the Volumes for several years and I want you to know,
Thank You. Please keep sound in the faith ...Harold
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Greensboro Road Church of Christ. A very good paper. Keep up the
good work. Thanks. God bless ...Geralene Bearden,
Jonesboro, AR. Keep up the good work. You are such
a blessing to us ...name withheld. My
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publication. I read a few of them from a friend. I enjoy reading
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for STOP ...Jackie & Evelyn Weathers, Corinth, MS.
I am writing on behalf of the leadership at the
Shannon Oaks Church. We currently receive your publication and
would like for you to remove us from your mailing list. You have us
listed as Shannon Oaks Church of Christ, Sulphur Springs, TX. Our
church has undergone some changes over the past three years and no
longer agrees with a majority of the views stated in your
publication and therefore would not like to receive it any longer.
We are now known as the Shannon Oaks Church a Christ
centered family. Thank you for your cooperation in this and if
you have any questions, please direct them to me at my email
address. Have a Blessed Day ...Jon Paul Dennis,
Worship/Media Minister/Administrator, Shannon Oaks Church,
www.shannonoakschurch.com ...Sulphur Springs, TX. [EDITORS
NOTE: I wrote this church back in an attempt to
correspond with them regarding their departure from the faith. As
of this writing, I have not received a reply. I continue to pray
that well hear from them and began a study of Gods Holy
Word. gmr]. Thank you dear brother for your most helpful
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Please stop my subscription to Seek The Old Paths
printed newsletter. Thank you ...E. J. Jaax, Bandera,
TX. We are having a series of classes on the
eldership because we are working towards setting up elders in the
near future. I noticed that the December 2005 issue had some good
information about the eldership. I would like to have 35 copies of
this issue ...Duane Wright, Pickwick, TN.
[EDITORS NOTE: I have a 48 page book that can be
used in class study on preparing for the eldership. They are $2.50
each (plus postage) and can be ordered from Old Paths Publishing at
102 Edison St., McMinnville, TN 37110. Quantity discounts are
(check out the web site for other books)
editor]. The Hornbeak Church of Christ is enclosing a check for the support of
STOP ...Hornbeak, TN.
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