I DONT PREACH DOCTRINE
Roger D. Campbell
That is what the man told me. When I knocked on his door he
identified himself as an independent preacher, Reverend
_____. In the course of our conversation he told me that he
would go to any church to preach but he did not want anyone
assigning him a topic. Why? His explanation went something like
this: I dont preach doctrine ... I just preach what the
Lord tells me to preach. If He tells me to preach on how to build
a fire, thats what Ill do....
Three questions come to mind from the above-noted
statements. 1) Should we preach doctrine? 2) Should we preach what
the Lord tells us to preach? 3) Should preachers be called
Reverend? Let us see what the Bible has to say about
1) Should we preach doctrine? Mark 4:2-3 says that
Jesus taught them many things by parables, and said unto
them in his doctrine, Hearken; Behold, there went out a
sower to sow. What was Jesus doing? Teaching people
His doctrine. Note how the Sermon on the Mount
begins, and note how the listeners reacted when that sermon
concluded: And he opened his mouth, and taught them,
saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit...And it came to pass, when
Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his
doctrine (Matt. 5:2; 7:28). What did Jesus do? He
taught the people (5:2). What did He teach them? His doctrine
Jesus not only taught doctrine, His apostles also taught
doctrine. The Jewish leaders accused them of filling Jerusalem with
their doctrine (Acts 5:28). But what had the apostles
been doing? Teaching the people all the words of this
life (Acts 5:20,26). What had Jesus charged them to do? Go
and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15). Thus, when they were teaching
the people doctrine, they were simply preaching the Gospel.
How did the people of Rome become saints of God? They
obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine
that was delivered or preached to them (Rom. 6:17). They had heard
doctrine. Someone had preached doctrine to them. What doctrine? If
faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, then the
word or doctrine that they heard, believed, and obeyed was the word
of God or Gospel (Rom. 10:17).
The word doctrine is translated from the Greek
word didache which simply means teaching or instruction.
Thus, for someone to say, I dont preach doctrine
means that he does not preach any teaching. We wonder, what, then,
does he preach?
Some have the idea that we ought to preach Jesus and leave
off doctrine. Question: How does a person learn about Who Jesus is?
Answer: From the teaching of the Bible. Thus, in order to get
to Jesus, one must first have Bible teaching. Teaching is
doctrine. Doctrine is teaching. In order to learn about Jesus, one
must hear teaching or doctrine! Not only that, biblically speaking,
to preach Christ means the same as to preach the
word. In Acts 8 we read that the apostles and early saints
preached/taught: the word (8:4),
Christ (8:5), things concerning the
kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (8:12),
the word of God (8:14), the word of the
Lord (8:25), the gospel (8:25), and
Jesus (8:35). Do these references show that the
first century disciples preached or taught many different messages?
No. They taught one message. It is simply described in a number of
ways, and the record plainly shows that when one truly
preaches Jesus, he is simply preaching the
Gospel. The idea of, Lets preach Jesus and leave off
doctrine is a deceptive ploy and lie of Satan.
One final thought about doctrine. It is sometimes
suggested that Gospel is the message that we are to
preach to lost people outside of the Christ, and doctrine
is the message that we are to preach to the saints. Get it? Gospel
for the world, doctrine for the church. The problem, though, is
this theory does not harmonize with what the Bible reveals. A brief
look at the Book of Romans shows the fallacy of this line of
reasoning. First, Paul said that he was ready to preach the
Gospel to the saints at Rome (Rom. 1:15,7). Thus,
Gospel can be preached to saved people. Second, Paul
showed that the saints in Rome became saved people when they obeyed
doctrine (Rom. 6:17). Therefore, doctrine can
be preached to those who are outside the body of Christ. Should we
preach doctrine? Absolutely. Which doctrine? The doctrine of the
Christ (2 John 9). To whom should we preach it? To every person
that has ears to hear.
2) Should we preach what the Lord tells us to preach?
Yes. The Lord charged His apostles (and us) to preach the
Gospel (Mark 16:15). Timothy was charged by the inspired
apostle Paul to preach the word (2 Tim. 4:2). The
same command is just as appropriate for us today. The Spirit guided
Peter to tell first century saints (and us), If any man
speak, let him speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).
Conclusion? The Lord tells us to preach His word, nothing more,
But, as you surely know if you have ever discussed the Bible
with others or heard denominational preachers, many today claim
that the Lord speaks directly to them and directly gives them the
message that He wants them to preach. Friends, God speaks to
mankind and calls mankind through the Gospel (2 Thess.
2:14). He draws men to Jesus through the message of the Bible (John
6:44,45). All of Gods truth was revealed in the first century
(John 16:13). No new revelation(s) are being given today because
they are not needed! When inspired men of the first century spoke,
they could perform miracles to confirm the word they preached (Mark
Despite their claims, no person living today has a
direct line from God in heaven to their mind. Despite
their claims, no person today is doing genuine miracles to prove
any new revelation from God. Yes, we do need to preach what
the Lord tells us to preach. But the message that the Lord
wants us to preach is simply the teaching of the Bible. Do not err,
my brethren. Any preacher today who claims to preach something
because The Lord laid it on my heart, is involved in
fantasy and deception.
3) Should preachers be called Reverend? The
man whom I met claimed that he preached what God told him to (he
meant direct revelations from God). He also identified himself as
Reverend _____. Well, surely if this man is preaching
divinely revealed messages from heaven, then calling himself
Reverend must be part of Gods teaching, right?
Consider two points. First, the word reverend is never
used in the Bible in reference to one who preaches the Gospel.
Thus, to call someone Reverend _____ is doing that which
the Lord has not authorized in the Bible (Col. 3:17). Second, Jesus
plainly condemned the use of religious titles. He taught that using
the words Rabbi, Master, and Father
as religious titles is forbidden (Matt. 23:8-10). How in the world
any human being ever came up with the idea of calling a preacher
Reverend, is beyond me. One thing is certain: the idea
did not come from the Bible. Nuff said.
Our preaching brothers that insist on being identified as
Doctor _____ instead of their first name or brother
_____, are in the same category of those that use the title
Reverend. They are violating the principle of Matthew
23:8-10 and need to give it up.
I dont preach doctrine. God forbid that you or
I should ever make such a statement. Let us give serious attention
to each of the three questions we have considered. They are not
trivial. We need to be able to discuss and answer them from the
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CHANGING THE TREND OF MORAL DIGRESSION #2
Garland M. Robinson
Even though the world is full of wickedness and corruption (1
John 5:19), what can we do to change it? By ourselves we cant
change it, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ can. It is both simple
and profound. Its simple when mens hearts are convicted
of their sin and turn from it in obedience to the Gospel. Its
profound when they buck and rebel and refuse to conform to the
Gospel. As long as they resist it, it will be a torment in their
lives (if they have any conscience at all).
So, what can WE do to help the world see the glorious and
blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 15:29; 1 Tim. 1:11)? How
do we help them see the peace of God that passeth all understanding
(cf. Phil. 4:7)? We cant make them see it or embrace it, but
we can be an example of it before their eyes.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Become a Christian and live a faithful Christian
life. If you are not a faithful Christian, youre lost
for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom.
3:23) The wages, the reward, the recompence of living in sin is
eternal death, a conscience death (Rom. 6:23). It is separation
from God (all that is good and right) for eternity in a devils
hell (Matt. 22:9-13). It is being lost forever to be with the devil
and his angels in a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone
(Matt. 25:41; Rev. 21:8). However, God desires you to be saved.
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). The Lord...is
longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
God has provided the means of forgiveness for your sins. It
is up to you to accept it by obeying his will. Believe in
Jesus the Christ and his word, the Bible (John 3:16; 8:24),
Repent and Turn from your sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20),
Confess faith in Christ as the Son of God (Matt. 10:32; Rom.
10:9-10; Acts 8:37) and be Baptized (immersed) into water
for the forgiveness of your sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter
3:21). Then, continue to Live Faithful to the Lord all your
life (1 Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10).
Live a morally upright life even when those around you do
not. James 1:22 says, But be ye doers of the word, and
not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. By our good
example, we are showing the world what living a Christian life is
all about. We influence others to learn the truth and obey the
Gospel. Jesus said, Ye are the salt of the earth: but if
the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is
thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden
under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is
set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and
put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is
in heaven (Matt. 5:13-16).
There are scores of people in society who are not
Christians, yet they live a decent life of basic morals. They do
not steal, murder, lie, cheat, commit adultery or live in
homosexuality, etc. etc. They are good neighbors. We often refer to
them as good moral people. They are not a detriment to
society as those who fill our jails and prisons. But they are still
lost because their sins have not been forgiven. Cornelius was
a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house,
which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God
alway (Acts 10:2). However, he was lost and needed to hear
what to do to be saved (Acts 9:6; 11:14). When he heard the Gospel,
he readily obeyed it and became a New Testament Christian (Acts
Teach your children basic morals of decency and how to
live in this life. Morality begins at home! Multitudes of
children are left to themselves each day (called latch-key kids)
and have no moral guidance from their parents. They are allowed to
run wild and more than half the time parents do not even know where
they are! Some parents even think its wrong to teach their
children moral uprightness. Their thinking is that they are to
learn and make that decision for themselves. What a shame and
disgrace! Children must be taught! Foolishness is bound in
the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far
from him. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child
left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. And, ye
fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in
the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Prov 22:15; 29:15;
Eph. 6:4). The nation cannot continue to stand when morality
continues to plunge!
Be the proper influence and example before your family,
neighbors, working associates and classmates. Watch your
language. Vulgarity and cursing has become common-place with
so many. Let it not be so with you. Let your speech be
alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought
to answer every man (Col. 4:6). A good man out of
the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good;
and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth
forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his
mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45). Let no corrupt
communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to
the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the
hearers (Eph. 4:29). Watch your actions.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and
hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the
revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, not fashioning
yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as
he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
conversation (living) (1 Peter 5:8; 1:13).
Exercise your right at election time to vote for those
who promote righteous principles. Far too often people vote
merely because of political party or a promise of economic
prosperity. It ought not be that way. There is a vast difference
between politicians in their moral stance. So many run their
campaign on the promise of defending a womans right
to kill their unborn baby. They call it pro-choice. God
forbid!! Pro-choice says, I may not choose to kill my children but
Ill defend your right if you choose to kill yours! There is
absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between a three month old in the womb and
a three month old out of the womb. How disgraceful and disgusting
can one possibly be? Such thinking and practice of killing the
unborn is twisted and warped and void of any moral decency! Those
with this view are disastrous to the moral climate of our country.
Dont be guilty of contributing to moral decay. Learn where the
candidates stand on moral issues and vote according to moral
Proverbs 14:34 says, Righteousness exalteth a
nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. God desires
we contend for righteousness and moral decency. Men can do
right things even though their life is not right itself.
I had much rather live near one who, though not a Christian, has a
moral sense of decency and uprightness than live near one who
doesnt. Hadnt you? Ideally, I would love to teach and
convert such a person, but at least if they dont embrace the
Gospel by obeying it, they exhibit parts of it in their lives.
God blesses a nation when it works righteousness. But, if it
continues a downward plunge into debauchery, immorality, wickedness
and corruption, that nation will not be blessed nor will God allow
it to continue to stand. He will eventually bring it low as we see
he did time and time again throughout the Old Testament.
All that wickedness needs to succeed is for good people,
decent people, to do nothing! Are you having a part in
Americas moral rise or decline?
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Life is filled with troubles, trials and tragedy of all sorts
(James 1:1-11). Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few
days, and full of trouble (Job 14:1). As long as we live
upon the face of this earth, such will be with us. How are we going
to face it is the question that comes to mind?
Facing tragedy, How?
- FOCUS on the unseen (2 Cor. 4:16-18; Col.
- ACKNOWLEDGE God (Prov. 3:5-6: James 4:13-15).
- CAST thy burdens upon the Lord (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter
- INVESTIGATE the Word (2 Tim. 2:15; Psalm
- NUMBER our days (Psalm 90:12; 1 Peter 3:10-11).
- GIVE THANKS (1 Thess. 5:18; Eph. 5:20).
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Christianity and Islam #2:
Muslims believe that the Bible has been
corrupted while the Quran has
been perfectly preserved, word for word,
since the time of Muhammad. Islams own
religious texts refute this belief.
In order to understand a religion, it is necessary to examine
the book(s) it venerates. What adherents claim their religion
teaches is not as important as what is actually stated in their
foundational documents. Individuals may not understand or measure
up to the standards of their religion. A faiths canonical
texts present that system of belief in an ideal, pure form.
Islam is based on the teachings set forth in the
Quran and on the words and actions of Muhammad found in
the Sunna. The Quran (i.e. Koran) is
organized into 114 chapters known as Surahs. Although the
Quran is the book most associated with Islam, it only
contains about 14% of the total Islamic text. The Sunna is
comprised of the Hadith, the further sayings and actions
attributed to Muhammad, and the Sira, the biography of
Muhammad. The Hadith expounds upon and further develops the
teachings found in the Quran while the Sira
provides historical context. The Sunna is essential for
making sense of the Quran and for knowing how to
Muhammad lived in present-day Saudi Arabia from 570 to 632
A.D. Muslims believe that at the age of forty, Muhammad went to a
cave during what they call the sacred month of Ramadan. While
meditating, the angel Gabriel appeared to him for the first time.
Illiterate, Muhammad memorized each revelation and recited it to
his followers (Surah 7:157; Quran means recitation).
They in turn memorized it and scribbled down certain passages on
sundry materials. Over the following centuries, oral traditions
about Muhammad proliferated. In the later ninth and early tenth
centuries, Muslim scholars began to assemble these sayings.
Applying various criteria, they began to weed out the hadiths they
considered spurious (false) from those they considered genuine. Two
collections of hadiths, the Sahih Bukhari (870 AD) and the
Sahih Muslim (875 AD), are considered accurate and
authoritative. Four additional volumes are well regarded, but not
to the same degree. Together, these six Hadith collections
are known as the al-kutub al-sittah, the authentic six.
Muslims believe that the Bible has been corrupted while the
Quran has been perfectly preserved, word for word,
since the time of Muhammad. Islams own religious texts refute
Muhammad never assembled the Quran in written
form. Variations in recitation existed even during his lifetime.
One Muslim, Umar bin Al-Khattab,
heard Hisham...reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way
different to that of mine. Allahs Messenger had
taught it to me (in a different way). So, I...brought
him to Allahs Messenger and said, I have
heard him reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different
to the way you taught it to me. The
Prophet...asked Hisham to recite it. When he recited
it, Allah s Apostle said, It was revealed in
this way. He then asked me to recite it. When I
recited it, he said, It was revealed in this
way. The Quran has been revealed in seven
different ways, so recite it in the way that is
easier for you (Bukhari 2419).
Muhammad himself forgot portions of the Quran. In
Bukhari 5038 we read, Allahs Messenger heard a man
reciting the Quran at night, and said, May Allah
bestow His Mercy on him, as he has reminded me of such-and-such
Verses of such-and-such Suras, which I was caused to
forget. On one occasion, Muhammad led public prayer. When
he had finished, the people whispered among themselves. He
asked what is the matter with you? They said:
Messenger of Allah, has (the number of rakahs of) the
prayer been increased? The term rakah refers to the
ritualized movements and words said by Muslims during prayer.
Muhammad responded No. They said: you have
offered five rakahs of prayer. He then turned away and
performed two prostrations, and afterwards gave the salutation. He
then said: I am only a human being, I forget, as you
forget (Dawud 1022).
Shortly after Muhammads unexpected death in 632 AD, a
battle took place in which hundreds of his companions (who heard
him recite the Quran) were killed. Concerned that
a large part of the Quran may be lost, Abu
Bakr, Muhammads father-in-law and the first caliph or leader
of the Muslim community, instructed Zaid bin Thabit to collect the
Quran. He protested How dare I do something which
[Muhammad] did not do? Eventually, Thabit agreed to
search for the fragmentary scripts of the Quran
and collect it (in one book). He described the task if
Abu Bakr had ordered me to shift a mountain...from one place to
another it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me
to collect the Quran. Thabit assembled scraps of
the Quran written upon leafless stalks of the
date-palm tree and from the pieces of leather and hides and from
the stones, and from the chests of men (who had memorized the
Quran) (Bukhari 7191). What guarantee is there
that Thabit found everything?
As the Muslim Empire expanded, differences in the
recitation of the Quran threatened to divide the
Islamic community (Bukhari 4987). Where did these competing
versions come from? Muhammad instructed his followers to learn
the recitation of Quran from four persons: Ibn
Masun, Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa, Ubai and
Muadh bin Jabal (Bukhari 3806). Differences were
inevitable between these four men. The origin of the
Quran is comparable to an enormous game of telephone.
In the 640s AD, the third caliph, Uthman, instructed Thabit
and three other scribes to standardize the Quran. As
the scribes worked to redact a canonical Quran
from various written manuscripts, Thabit realized
one of the Verses of Surat Al-Ahzab was missing which I used
to hear Allahs Apostle reciting. I could not find it except
with Khuzaima bin Thabjt An-Ansari, whose witness Allahs
Apostle regarded as equal to the witnesses of two men (Bukhari
4784). How many verses were lost due to Thabits imperfect
recall or because he could find no collaboration? This is not
conjecture. The Hadith references a teaching that is not
found in the modern Quran.
...among what Allah revealed, was the Verse of the
Rajam [stoning adulterers] and we did recite this
Verse and understood and memorized it. Allahs
Apostle did carry out the punishment of stoning and
so did we after him. I am afraid that after a long
time has passed, somebody will say, By Allah, we
did not find the Verse of the Rajam in Allahs
Book, and thus they will go astray by leaving an
obligation which Allah has revealed (Bukhari
That the Quran is incomplete and imperfect is
established by Islams own documents.
Every Muslim province received a copy of
Uthmans new Quran. Uthman then ordered all
the other Quranic materials, whether written in fragmentary
manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt (Bukhari 4987).
Uthmans standardization sparked dissent. Incensed, Ibn
Masud, one of the four men singled out by Muhammad as an
authority on the Quran, asked How do you want me
to recite [the Quran]? According to the recitation of
Zaid bin Thabit, when I learned seventy-odd Surahs from the mouth
of the Messenger of Allah when Zaid was with the other boys with
two braids (an-Nasai 5064)? He refused to surrender his
materials and eventually completed his own version of the
Quran. Known as the Kufan Codex, it omits Surahs
1, 113, and 114.
The oldest extant Quran dates to around 790 AD
some 160 years after Muhammad. There is no way to verify any
of the transcribed oral tradition found in the Hadith
regarding the origin of the Quran. Consider that when
Muhammad Ibn Ismail Al-Bukhari compiled the Sahih Bukhari, he
gathered over 300,000 hadiths, but only accepted about 2,600 as
genuine (only 0.867% made the cut). It is apparent that error,
omission, collusion, and censorship took place in the assembly of
both the Quran and the Hadith.
The origin of the Bible presents a stark contrast.
Abundant evidence proves that the Bible has come down to the
present day essentially identical to the original manuscripts
penned by the holy men of God who wrote as they were
moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). The Dead Sea
Scrolls are a salient corroboration of this truth. Prior to their
discovery, the most ancient Old Testament manuscript (the Aleppo
Codex) dated to 935 AD. Then, among the Dead Sea Scrolls,
researchers discovered a nearly complete copy of the book of Isaiah
the famous Isaiah scroll. Gleason Archer summarized Even
though the two copies of Isaiah discovered...near the Dead Sea in
1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript
previously known...they proved to be word for word identical with
our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The
five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the
pen and variations in spelling (A Survey of Old Testament
Introduction, 25). Over a thousand years of copying and not a
single meaningful error had entered the sacred text. There are
literally tens of thousands of manuscripts that collectively attest
to the accurate transmission of the holy Scriptures through time
down to the present. Truly, the Bible, the word of our God,
stands forever (Isa. 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25).
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Postmodern Thinking #2
Victor M. Eskew
In our first installment (Jan/17), we introduced the fact that
the United States is a society that has embraced postmodern
thinking. In this article, and four to follow, we are going to
briefly examine five of the main pillars of postmodern thought.
When a person is cognizant of these foundational elements, he will
have a better understanding of what is taking place in our nation
and with many in the church as well. Basically, we are being
influenced by a thought process that runs contrary to the thinking
of our nations Founding Fathers and tragically, contrary to
the teaching of the New Testament of Jesus Christ.
The cornerstone of postmodern thought is the concept of
pluralism. Pluralism is defined as the mixture of many
diverse people, things, elements, etc. In our nation,
we see pluralism everywhere we look. In fact, our nation has
defined itself as pluralistic. On the base of the Statue of Liberty
are the words of Emma Lazarus, entitled: The New
Colossus. The second half of her poem reads as follows:
Keep, ancient land, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
The United States calls for people of all races, cultures,
and nationalities to come to us. We welcome diversity into our
borders. This huge melting pot is one example of
Pluralism can also be seen in the business world.
There used to be a time when our nation went through fashion
fads. Different fads could come and go. Now, anything goes. At
the mall a person can see individuals dressed as executives, jocks,
Goths, hippies, rockers, cowboys, yuppies, rappers, or a host of
other fashionistas. In fashion, anything goes. Everything is
acceptable. The fashion world has embraced pluralism. The same can
be said of the car industry. It used to be easy to keep up with the
various models of cars produced by The Big Three. Now,
there are literally hundreds of makes and models from which to
choose. It is extremely difficult to shop for a car because of all
the options available. The car industry has embraced pluralism.
In many ways, pluralism is a wonderful concept. Indeed, the
Lords church accepts men and women from all walks of life
every culture, ethnic background, economic status, etc. etc.
None are excluded. The Gospel is for all with no exceptions (Acts
10:34-35). However, pluralisms concepts and
practices also creates havoc in the religious world. The
reason is because Christianity (as the Lord made it, not the way
the world sees it) is an exclusive religion. Exclusive
means: not admitting of something else; incompatible.
When men and women obey the Gospel to become Christians, they
cannot bring their culture, background, status, philosophy, habits,
etc. etc. with them when its contrary to the Scriptures. The
Lords church is indeed a melting pot because all the
things of the world (moral and doctrinal habits, concepts and
practices) are left behind. Acts 17:30 demands all repent of such
things. All blend (melt) into one body, speaking the same thing,
having no divisions among us, being perfectly joined together in
the same mind and the same judgment (1 Cor. 1:10).
Christianity cries out to the world that it is the one, the
only, true religion. It was Jesus Himself who said: I am
the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me (John 14:6). Peter echoed Jesus words
when he proclaimed: Neither is their salvation in any
other: for there is none other name under heaven given among
men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
In addition to there being only one Savior in
Christianity, there is also only one truth that will set men
free from sin. In John 17:17, we have these words of the Christ:
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is
truth. This Word, when it is heard, understood, and acted
on, will set a man free from sin. Then said Jesus to those
Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are
ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free (John 8:31-32). Christianity does not
declare there are many truths that exist. Christianity
proclaims that there is one truth and only one
truth. The truth is the Bible, the Word of the living God;
particularly the New Testament since it is the book by which the
whole world will be judged at the last great day.
There is one other thing that is exclusive to Christianity,
the one church wherein salvation can be found. In Ephesians
4:4, Paul begins his list of the seven ones. Here is how
he starts the list: There is one body....
In Ephesians 1:22-23, Paul reveals the identity of the one body. It
is the church of Christ. He writes that God the Father
...hath put all things under his feet (the feet of
Jesus the Christ), and gave him to be the head over all things
to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that
filleth all in all. The church is the body and the body is
the church (Col. 1:18). There is one body (Eph. 4:4). Therefore,
there is only one church. In Acts 2:47, we learn the saved are
added by the Lord to the body, his church. In Ephesians 5:23, Jesus
is referred to as the savior of the body.
Salvation can only be found in the church built by Jesus Christ
(Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). His church is exclusive and man cannot
Dear readers, when exclusive ideas are introduced into a
pluralistic society, controversy, to say the least, will be
started. Usually, there will be an all out war of
ideologies. The things that declare themselves to be exclusive are
despised. They are mocked, ridiculed, and persecuted. Some will
seek to eliminate them altogether. Exclusivism and pluralism do not
mix. They are as opposite as light and darkness.
The faithful Christian who stands opposed to pluralism in
religious and moral matters is a thorn in the side of those who
accept pluralism. Some Christians have not been able to handle the
pressure and the persecution of a pluralistic society. Instead of
standing, they have compromised their principles. Instead of
condemning all that opposes truth, they condone the lies,
falsehoods, and evils of religious pluralism. Those who do are
accepted by the world. We will find out why in another section of
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ANTIDOTE FOR WORRY
Worry is a killer! It is a contributing factor in heart disease
and hypertension according to medical experts. It is also directly
linked to mental and emotional illness. Worry is not only a killer
of the human body, it is also a killer of the joy of living. Many
people are so paralyzed with worry they cannot enjoy the simple
pleasures of life.
Worry is distinctively a human characteristic. Did you ever
see a horse or a dog or any other animal with a worried expression
on its face? Unfortunately, Christians seem to be as much afflicted
with worry as people in the world.
Many of our worries are unnecessary. God does not want us to
be miserable and morose, filled with fear of the present and dread
of the future. Jesus said: I am come that they might have
life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John
In Gods Word we can learn a few simple rules which, if
applied, will largely eliminate worry from our lives.
First, let us realize God loves us and is PERSONALLY
concerned about each one of us as individuals. Jesus told his
disciples: Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and
one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But
the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore,
ye are of more value than many sparrows (Matt. 10:29-31).
Paul said: 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 freely
give us all things (Rom. 8:31,32)?
Second, let us have faith in God. We may think we
trust God but falter when a crisis comes. Jesus chided His
disciples on one occasion by saying, O ye of little
faith! (Matt. 6:30). God has all the abundance of the
universe at His disposal (Psa. 24:1). He loves us and will not
with-hold any good thing from us if we but ask Him according to His
will. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
you (Matt. 6:33). Most if not all of our worries would be
dissipated if we had a stronger faith in God and in His providence.
Third, let us learn to live one day at a time. What
is past cannot be changed. What is future is in the hands of God.
We need to learn to live in the present tense and we will not be so
tense. Jesus said: Take therefore no thought for the
morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matt. 6:34).
Fourth, let us remember to take it to the Lord in
prayer as the words of an old hymn state so well. If
we would do this, it would lift many a burden from our shoulders.
The Apostle Paul said: In nothing be anxious; but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth
all understanding shall guard your hearts and thoughts through
Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6,7). The Apostle Peter adds:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your cares upon him;
for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:6).
Let us not shorten our lives or fail to enjoy everyday
living because of needless worry. Let us trust our gracious
heavenly Father to fulfill His promises to us. Just as we want the
very best for our fleshly children, so God wants us, His spiritual
children, to have what is best for us. If ye then, being
evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more
shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that
ask him (Matt. 7:11)?
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We appreciate the great work you are doing through Seek The
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