What Is The Gospel?
One might ask why such a question is raised by the title
of this article. It should be noted that some would limit the
meaning of gospel as a reference to the first four books
of the New Testament. Others would use the word gospel
only to refer to the acts of obedience by which one is saved from
past sins (or alien sins), by which they are referring to faith,
repentance, confession and baptism. Still others define
gospel as the facts of the death, burial and resurrection
of Christ, and will cite I Corinthians 15:1-5 as their proof text.
In addition to these views of gospel", some of our liberal
brethren will try to distinguish between gospel and
doctrine", suggesting that we preach the gospel to
the alien sinner, by which, if he obeys, he can become a child of
God (saved), and then doctrine is preached or taught to
the individual after one becomes a Christian. Those who hold this
view would tell us that gospel is not to be preached to
the Christian, and doctrine cannot be preached to the
alien sinner. The real difficulty in all of this is a matter of
fellowship. We are told that fellowship is based on ones
acceptance of the gospel and has nothing to do with
doctrine. Such a position will allow fellowship with
individuals regardless of their belief and teaching on matters such
as: the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship to God or
that those who are unscripturally divorced can remarry, and other
such false teachings.
Let us briefly examine these matters in the light of
the use of the word gospel in the scriptures. The word
gospel (noun form) is from euangelion. The
word originally denoted a reward for good tidings, but later stood
for the good news itself, according to Vines Expository Dictionary
of New Testament Words. Thayer says the word refers to the
proclamation of the grace of God manifested and pledged in
Christ. The verb form (euangelizo), according to W.
E. Vine, means to announce glad tidings. The word
gospel in both forms appears over 100 times in the New
Testament. Do all of these references refer only to the facts of
the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, or do they include a
much fuller sense to include Christian living (the whole of the New
Testament)? While we will not explore all of the 100+ verses where
the word gospel is used, a sampling of these verses
should resolve the problem.
In Romans 1:9 Paul writes, For God is my witness,
whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without
ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.... I am
reminded of Pauls words in Acts 20:19-24 as he describes what
it means to serve the Lord. How could this possibly be limited to
the facts of the death, burial and resurrection, except as to how
those facts affect our daily lives on a continuing basis?
The Roman letter was written to those in Rome who are
beloved of God, called saints (v.7). Then, as he further
addressed these brethren (saved ones), he stated in verse 15,
I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome
also. According to our liberal brethren, one does not preach
the gospel to the saved. Did Paul forget what he was to preach, or
are we being led astray by some of our brethren?
In Romans 1:17, Paul further states that in the gospel
is the righteousness of God revealed. While God is
righteous, Paul is not here speaking of one of the characteristics
of God, but describing the means by which man is righteous in the
eyes of God. Is one made righteous by only obeying the form of
doctrine involving the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, or
is one righteous as he continues to obey all the
commandments of God? The Psalmist said, ...for all thy
commandments are righteousness (Psa. 119:172). Also noted in
this connection, as per Romans 6:17, these brethren had obeyed
from the heart that form of doctrine (not gospel), which was
a reference to their becoming children of God.
In Galatians 2:14, Paul mentioned some who walked
not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel. What was
the occasion? Peter, Barnabas and some of the Jews withdrew
themselves from eating with the Gentiles fearing them which
are of the circumcision. These brethren were among the saved,
yet it is said of them that they were not walking according to
the truth of the gospel. This had nothing to do with their
becoming children of God, but had everything to do with how they
were living after being saved from their alien sins.
In Romans 16:25, Paul speaks of ...him that is
of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching
of Jesus Christ.... Here, the Christians (saved) at Rome were
to be strengthened ("to make firm, to render constant, confirm
ones mind, Thayer) by the gospel. This is contrary to what we
are being told by some of our brethren.
Even in one of the passages mentioned as a proof text
for such false doctrine (such as I Cor. 15:1-4), note what is
really stated. Paul plainly states that he had preached unto them
the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (the gospel,
according to false teachers). He further states ...wherein ye
stand. They were standing firm in their adherence to the truth
which had been preached to them. It would seem apparent that the
thing preached to them was also the thing in which they were
continuing. What had been preached to them not only enabled them to
become children of God (saved from alien sins), but was also
affecting their lives on a continuing basis. The phrase ...by
which also ye are saved... is literally being saved.
Salvation is a continuing process; otherwise, once saved, always
saved would be true; but, it is not true. It is a false doctrine.
Paul also says ...if ye keep in memory", which means to
hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of (Thayer). In
other words, allow what has been preached to you to affect the way
you live. Such statements would strongly indicate that the
preaching of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and
their obedience thereof, would allow one to be free from alien
sins, but would also continue to keep one saved, so long as there
is continued obedience to the same. That is exactly what the
majority of the New Testament is all about; that is, teaching us
how to live so as to continue in a saved relationship with God.
In order to further understand the gospel,
a word study will be helpful. Those who try to limit the meaning of
gospel", tell us that the preaching of the gospel
(kerugma) calls one to Christ. After one has been called
to Christ, then that individual is taught doctrine
(didache). Those who advocate such would further contend that
this distinction is sharply made throughout the scriptures. But an
examination of these words in passages such as Romans 16:25, Acts
20:25; I Corinthians 9:27; 2 Timothy 2:22 and others, will show
this argumentation to be false.
The gospel does in fact include the death, burial and
resurrection of Christ, but also encompasses all the word of God
that affects how we live our lives to be pleasing to God. A serious
study of this matter will conclude with the truth that
gospel and doctrine refer to the same body of
material, the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.
654 Alabama Ave. S.
Bremen, GA 30110
Table of Contents
How We Know The Church Of Christ Is Right
Garland M. Robinson
Christ knew people would be confused and divided over
religion and that it would be their own fault and not his. And
there shall be one fold and one shepherd (John 10:16), one body and one
faith (Eph. 4:4-5), one church
(Matt. 16:18). The Bible is plain enough. If among men there are
more churches than the ONE established by Christ, there are too
God hates division for it is recorded, mark
them which cause division (Rom. 16:17). Since God hates
division and the Bible says there is only one body, this certain
fact must be pointed out: either one of the many religious bodies
is correct and the others wrong, or none of them are correct.
Theres no other conclusion to be reached. How then does one go
about determining which one (if any) is correct? The answer is not
as difficult as some suppose. This determination is made the same
way we identify every other thing in life, by certain marks or
traits which are its characteristics. When your car is stolen you
give the police its identifying marks. People are identified the
same way. Why not use this same method in regards to the church we
read about in the New Testament? What are some of the identifying
marks of the church in the Bible?
The church of Christ in the New Testament had a
certain beginning PLACE, TIME and FOUNDER.
Jerusalem was the place (Isa. 2:2-3; Acts 2). During the Roman
Empire (33 A.D.) was the time (Daniel 2:44; Luke 3:1-2). Jesus was
the founder (Matt. 16:18). These are certain marks of identity
characteristic of the Lords church. We must examine all
religious bodies to see if they match these identifying marks by
noting who, where, when, and by whom were
they started. A short list of denominations that currently exists
are these: Roman Catholic, Rome, 606 A.D., Boniface III
(assumed first universal title of pope); Lutheran,
Germany, 1520 A.D., Martin Luther; Presbyterian,
Switzerland, 1536 A.D., John Calvin; Baptist, Holland,
1607 A.D., John Smythe; Methodist, England, 1739 A.D.,
John Wesley; Jehovahs Witness, America, 1872 A.D.,
Charles T. Russell.
The church of Christ was started in Jerusalem, 33
A.D., and its founder was Jesus the Christ (Acts 2). If you are a
member of a denomination, where did it begin, when and by whom?
Unless it has the same marks of identity as the New Testament
church, it is not the church of Christ. When Jesus comes again, he
will come to save his body, the church, and no other (Eph. 5:23).
The church of the New Testament Wore The Name
given it by God. It was called: the church of
God (I Cor. 1:2), the body of Christ
(Eph. 4:12), the church of the firstborn
(Heb. 12:23), the church (Acts 2:47; 5:11) and
all the congregations collectively were referred to as
churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16). Look at the names
of the religious groups today: Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian,
Baptist, Methodist, Jehovahs Witness, etc. Rarely do you find
one wearing the name God gave it. If a religious body has the wrong
name, theres no need to look any further, it does not fit the
pattern. If you think there is nothing in a name, try stocking the
grocery shelves with grandmas favorite vegetable soup with the
name Campbells! The church of which I am a member wears
the name God gave it, which is the church of Christ.
The church of the New Testament was Guided Solely
By The Authority Of Christ. We will be judged by the word of
Christ (John 12:48); therefore, everything we do in word or action
must be in the name (by the authority) of Christ (Col. 3:17). Among
the denominations we find: creed books, manuals, disciplines,
councils, conventions, and conferences. Each of these either
legislate doctrine or policy to be used by that group. The churches
of Christ use only the Bible. It is our sole guide. There are no
councils, synods or creed books!
The church of the New Testament taught Certain
Things Were To Be Obeyed in order to have salvation. One had
to believe in Christ (John 8:24), repent of sins
(Acts 2:38), confess Jesus is the Son of God (Rom.
10:9-10), be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Mark
16:16; Acts 22:16), and live faithful unto death (I Cor.
15:58; Rev. 2:10). A survey of the denominations reveals many
differing ideas. None of which I am aware teach the plan outlined
in the Bible. For most, faith is all that is required. However, the
church of Christ teaches exactly the plan of salvation described in
the New Testament.
The church of Christ in the Bible (Rom. 16:16)
worshipped God In Spirit And In Truth (John 4:24). There
were specific acts of worship in which those early Christians
engaged: Singing without the accompaniment of mechanical
instruments of music (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16); Prayer
directed to the Father in the name of Christ (Acts 12:5);
Lords supper each Sunday as a memorial of Christ (I Cor.
11:23-26); Giving free-will offerings each Sunday, no
sales or business actions to raise money (I Cor. 16:1-2);
Hearing the gospel preached and nothing but the gospel (Rom.
10:13-17). Any departure from this God-ordained pattern is sinful,
whether it be adding to or taking from Gods Word. The churches
of Christ participate in each of these acts of worship just as they
are outlined in the pages of the New Testament.
Notice the practice of denominations. They sing
but add to it mechanical instruments of music. Many songs are
clearly not taken from the Bible and are actually anti-biblical!
Many make the song service a party-type atmosphere. They pray
but address their prayers to Jesus, Mary, dead people, etc.
The Lords supper is observed, but on any day of the
week. Some observe it monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or even
annually. Some partake of the bread only, some think the elements
actually become the body and blood of Christ. They give
but require tithing (10%). Collections are taken other than the
first day of the week. Some have bake sales, bazaars, rummage
sales, bingo, and even operate liquor distilleries. Preaching
is done, but never the whole gospel proclaimed. Many things
are left out and many things are added in. Many are preaching a
social gospel attempting to meet the social needs of the community.
The church of the New Testament practiced baptism
as immersion for penitent believers in order to have forgiveness of
sins. Philip and the eunuch went down into the
water and came up out of the water as
recorded in Acts 8:36-39. The word baptize means to
immerse, plunge, dip. The word baptism always means immersion
and never means anything else! Jesus commanded that those who would
be saved must believe and be baptized (Mark 16:16). Who
are we to argue with the Lord? This commandment was given to those
on Pentecost when they asked what to do to be saved.
Repent and be baptized, every one of you...FOR the remission
of sins (Acts 2:38). Saul of Tarsus had to be baptized
before he received forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16). Though some
want to argue with God about it, I Peter 3:21 says that baptism
To look at the denominations today is to find them
teaching everything but what the Lord said! They go to great
lengths in an attempt to avoid plain Bible teaching. The majority
of the denominations do not immerse people in water; instead, they
substitute something else such as sprinkling or pouring. Some teach
that nothing is required while others teach that
works alone will save. Many believe that faith
only will save when the Bible plainly says it will not.
Men are not saved by faith only (James 2:24).
The churches of Christ practice baptism as
immersion and for the forgiveness of sins just as the Bible says.
If the church of which you are a member does not practice baptism
as immersion and for the forgiveness of sins in order to go to
heaven, then your church is not identified with the church we read
about in the New Testament.
Why am I a member of the church of Christ, because it
matches the identifying marks of the church of the New Testament.
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What Is The Church Of Christ All About?
Roderick L. Ross
The church of Christ is all about Christ. It is all
about Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the Anointed One of God (that is
what Christ means). He is the Messiah (the Hebrew equivalent of
Christ) (John 1:41). He is the LORD, the Lord of lords, the King of
kings (1 Tim. 6:15). He is God made manifest in the flesh (1 Tim.
3:16). He alone, of those born of woman, is worthy of the worship
of men and of the worship of angels (Rev. 5:5-14). He is the Savior
of the world (1 Tim. 1:15). He is our High Priest (Heb. 4:14-5:10).
He is our Advocate and Comforter (1 John 2:1). He is our
Propitiation (1 John 2:2). He is our Sacrifice (Heb. 9:1--10:23).
He is our sin offering (1 Cor. 5:6,7). He is our Shepherd (John
10:14; 1 Peter 2:25). He is the Head of the church (Eph. 1:20-23;
5:22-33; Col. 1:18). He and He alone, has been given all power and
all authority in heaven and in earth by the Father, as the
only begotten of the Father (Matt. 28:18).
It is the purpose of the church to make known the
manifold wisdom of God in Christ Jesus our Lord to all authorities
and powers in this world (Eph. 3:9,10). Thus, to Him be glory in
the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.
Amen (Eph. 3:21). That is what the church of Christ is all about:
making known the wisdom of God, and giving glory to God by Christ
Jesus. This is done by following Him and Him alone: by being
Christians and Christians alone (1 Peter 4:13-19).
Being a Christian means that we follow Jesus and
that we are to become like Him (John 8:31,32; Acts 11:26). That is
accomplished by following only His teaching, His doctrine, and
placing all other doctrines aside. The words, the traditions and
the laws of man are set aside for the words of Christ, the
traditions of the apostles and the laws of God (1 Cor. 14:37; Gal.
1:6-9; 2 John 9). Even the apostles were not allowed to bind or
loose anything unless it was first bound or loosed in heaven (Matt.
16:19; 18:18). Neither does the church of Christ bind anything
other than what has been bound in heaven, nor loose anything other
than what has been loosed in heaven.
Following only the teaching of Jesus means ignoring
the years of traditions, doctrines, creeds, manuals, disciplines,
etc. that have been added to the doctrine of Christ over the past
almost 2,000 years. It means going back to the original doctrines
and practices of Christ and His followers in the first century. It
means being willing to put aside any doctrine that is not the
doctrine of Christ, being willing to put aside any doctrine that
has originated with man, and being willing to put aside any
tradition that has its origin some place other than in the New
Testament. That is what the church of Christ is all about: going
back to the original doctrine of Christ and following it alone.
Following Christ means not being a sect of
Christians, but simply Christians. Not being hyphenated
Christians of a Catholic variety, or Protestant variety, or
Evangelical variety, or Baptist, or Methodist, or Holiness, or
Wesleyan, or Four-Square, or Presbyterian, or Nazarene, or any
other variety (1 Cor. 1:10-19).
Following Christ means committing our lives to God
through Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice, willing to obey any and
all of His commandments (Rom. 12:1,2). It is not a buffet to pick
and choose. It is all or none (Matt. 28:19-20).
Do you want to know what the church of Christ is
all about? Thats it. It is a group of people, imperfect
people, who rely upon the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse them
daily. They are not different from me and you, except that they
have been forgiven. They struggle through the same difficulties.
They face the same temptations. They experience the same
tribulations. Yet, through it all, they rely upon their faith in
Jesus of Nazareth to see them through. Their dedication to
obedience to the word of God, and zealousness in doing good, along
with their love for one another, characterizes them; but, they are
people just like you and me. And, you can be one of them.
Visit the church of Christ, and see what it means
to serve and glorify God through Jesus Christ.
4345 Lawrence Rd.
Baltimore, OH 43105
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Whose Church Is It, Anyway?
It has been a few years since I passed that little
church building, but the sign certainly caught my attention. It
read: "Evangelical Spirit Filled Orthodox Catholic Church of
St. Thomas the Apostle." It was likely a spin off from the
Catholic Church that had been influenced by the charismatic
movement of the 60s and early 70s. Eleven words without a single
reference to God or Christ. One can only wonder what they believed,
and since my schedule would not allow it, I did not
take the time to inquire. Were I a "non-Christian," I might read
the title on that church sign and wonder, "Whose church is it,
While that particular title may be a little out
of the norm, so far as the number of words used to identify the
"church" that meets in that place, there are many "names" and
"designations" being used to "denominate" the large number of
small, independent, and novel churches cropping up all across our
land. We now have the "Cowboy Church," the "Community GLBT
Church" (in case you did not get the GLBT, it stands for "Gay,
Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender"), and the "Liberated
Theological Free Thinkers" church (which by the way, is an
amalgamation of atheists who have banned together to form a
church for non-believers...really!). I have seen the "Harvest
Church," the "Palm Tree Church," the "Fruit of the Spirit
Church," the "Little Country Church," and the "Holy Spirit Filled
Church" (all here in east Texas). In the past twenty years or so
there has been a virtual "explosion" of independent churches
cropping up and with them an attempt to come up with a unique
name for a banner of identification. The most recent count of
denominations in America has exceeded the imagination, not to
mention the strange doctrines being taught and the so-called
"worship" that takes place on any given Sunday. In fact, our
society has become so inundated with these new churches that one
wonders if the Lord has a church at all.
The Bible tells me that Jesus clearly promised,
"upon this rock I will build my church" (Matt 16:18b). I am
interested right here in three simple, but important words. The
"I" suggests the builder. Any religious institution
designed, organized, and built by someone other than Jesus is
bogus and exists without divine authority. The word "church"
translates the Greek word eklesia, and means the
"called out." Those who make up the church are no more and no
less than the saved and redeemed. One is added to that church
upon obedience (Acts 2:41,47). The most impressive word among the
three is the word "my." The church belongs to Jesus. He
planned it, purchased it with His blood (Acts 20:28), and will
save it in that final day (Eph. 5:23). If it is the case that it
is HIS church, would it not be proper to say it is "Christ's
church"? Who would suggest otherwise? By the same token it is
proper to speak of those congregations that are made up of the
saved as "the churches of Christ" (Rom. 16:16). Where, then, is
the authority [either by example, inference, or command] for any
designation the likes of which we see on church buildings in our
city, not to mention across this land and throughout the world?
Dear reader, will you take just a moment, pick
up your Bible, and search its pages? Is there just ONE reference in
the Holy Book that contains the name of that religious
organization to which you have entrusted your immortal soul? Why
not pick up your Yellow Pages, turn to the section on "churches,"
and put a scripture by every name that you can find in the New
Testament. You may find yourself asking the same question I have
asked: "Whose church is it, anyway?
PO Box 283
Talco, TX 75487
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When I Have A Convenient Season, I Will...
Roger D. Campbell
Do you remember this quotation from the Bible? Consider
the setting in which someone said it. The apostle Paul was taken
into custody in Jerusalem then transferred to Caesarea. During the
first two years of his imprisonment there, he was under the care of
Felix the governor (Acts 23:24). Paul had the opportunity
to teach Felix and his wife, Drusilla, reasoning with them of the
faith in the Christ, righteousness, temperance, and judgment to
come (Acts 24:24,25).
In response to Pauls message, Felix
trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a
convenient season, I will call for thee (Acts 24:25).
The Bible tells us that after that, Felix often sent for Paul and
conversed with him (24:26). Sadly, there is nothing in the Bible or
annuls of secular history that would cause us to think that Felix
ever obeyed the faith.
Some people of our day are like Felix in that they
are visibly moved by the words of the Gospel. Felix trembled, but
trembling and being shaken are not the same as being saved.
Trembling and shaking do not have the same result that believing
and obeying do. The demons believe that there is a God and they
tremble (James 2:19), but that does not put them in a good standing
with the Lord.
Others are a lot like Felix in the way that they, too,
often hear what Paul and other inspired men said and wrote. Many
fine people there are throughout the world who frequently attend
the worship services and Bible classes of Gods church. They
hear, and hear, and hear some more. Hearing and learning the truth
is essential in order to come to Gods Son (John 6:44,45), and
faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17). Some of our regular visitors
have more Bible knowledge than some members of the church who have
warmed the pews for decades. However, knowledge without submission
to the Christ and His word is of no saving value (James 1:22-25).
Felixs claim that he would call for Paul at a
more convenient time serves as a reminder to one and all that there
is no guarantee that we will still be alive five minutes from now,
let alone five weeks, five months, or five years from now! Tomorrow
may never come, so let us not boast of our plans for the day after
this one (Prov. 27:1). Because today is the day of salvation (2
Cor. 6:2), we must appeal to the lost to submit themselves to the
Lord and obey the Gospel while they still have the chance. Taking
the right action now is the difference between heaven and hell!
Go back and look at what Felix told Paul:
When I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Something needed to be done (obey the Gospel), but Felix was
content to put it off with an attitude that said, Ill
take care of that later. Do you and I ever do the same in our
service to the Lord? Do we know that we need to step it
up in our personal prayer life, and we really would like to do
so, but are we always waiting on a convenient season to come
Do we say that if our schedule ever gets a little bit
less hectic, then we will start going to visit and see to the needs
of our widows? Does that convenient season ever come? Probably not,
as long as we are waiting on other people to clear our schedule for
Do we say that we really intend to spend more time in
serious, productive, personal Bible study? Do we convince ourselves
that we are going to do just that when we get a more convenient
When I have a convenient season, I will try
and contact some of those members that have been missing services.
Really? And just when do you suppose that will happen? By the time
we find ourselves a convenient time six months or a year
from now, those wavering saints may have become so set in their
ways and hardened in their hearts that you and a stick of dynamite
could not budge them.
When I have a convenient season, I will talk
to some of my lost family, friends, and neighbors about the Light
of the world. And what happens if they move away or even die before
I find that convenient time?!
I believe that some wellintentioned parents take an
approach with their kids that says, When I have a convenient
season, I will diligently teach them the Bible. Beloved, are
you aware that in the Mosaic age Jehovah commanded the Israelites
to teach His laws diligently to their children, and that they were
to do it when they were walking, sitting, getting up, and going
down? I am not making it up (Deut. 6:6,7). We applaud sincere
parents who want their kids to learn the Book. But what kind of
plan is it to wait for a convenient season to do so?! God
told His people to discipline their kids while there is
hope (Prov. 19:18). Would not that same principle apply in the
matter of teaching kids the Bible?
When I read that Felix heard the truth and responded
by telling Paul that he would call for him when he had a convenient
season, I sort of shake my head and think, What a fool.
Let us take heed lest we adopt a Felix-like approach to our service
to the Lord and fellowman by saying, Well do that later
when it is more convenient. If we are not careful, the old
devil will see to it that such a time never comes. Think about it.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
Does It Matter?
Marvin L. Weir
There seems to be no end today to what is done and said
in the name of religion. Sad as that is, it is even sadder that
multitudes believe anything they hear if it comes from a religious
group. Does it matter? Christ knew that it mattered and thus
admonished His disciples, Take heed therefore how ye
hear... (Luke 8:18). One who desires to please the Lord
today will hear His Word humbly (James 1:21), reverently (1 Thess.
2:13), lovingly, (1 John 4:19) and obediently (John 14:15).
The mind-set of the religious majority is that there
are many different ways to get to Heaven. This is the reason for
the popular plea to attend the church of your choice.
Everyone realizes that there are different churches that believe
different doctrines but this doesnt matter to most because
they believe there are many different ways to get to Heaven. Yet,
Christ said, I am the way, and the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
Does it matter or not whether one follows the way or just
any way devised by man?
The following advertisement is typical of the emphasis
and appeal most religious groups are using to lure people to their
services. A specific church is mentioned and the ad says: So
come as you are and enjoy our mix of upbeat worship and
relevant teaching. ... where the coffee is hot, the people are
warm, and the donuts are, well, cold. (But still yummy!)
I know someone is thinking, Does it matter? What
is wrong with hot coffee and donuts being made available to the
congregation? It is the attitude that is manifested towards
things spiritual that is cause for alarm. There is nothing wrong
with peanuts, popcorn, cokes, candy and coffee at a movie theater.
People attend the movies to be entertained and to view a film that
is appealing to them. Thus it may be that this explains why coffee
and donuts are so popular in todays assemblies everything
is geared towards entertainment and what is appealing to the
It is God who is to be worshipped and not man or
mans felt needs. Acceptable worship must come from
a heart that is filled with reverence, respect and awe for the
Almighty. If the food, fun and games were no longer available in
many churches, the members would cease to attend. Is our assembling
together on the Lords Day for the purpose of pleasing
ourselves or pleasing God? Does it matter?
The Saturday, March 23, 2002 Dallas Morning News
carried the story of the new all-female ministerial team
for the Woodhaven Presbyterian Church located in Irving, Texas. The
headlines for the continued column said, Women take helm at
Irving church. The newspaper stated a truth that they probably
did not intend to state. These women took these positions
of leadership, the Lord did not give it to them! Neither does the
Savior give the right to one to be a member of some man-made
religious body (Matt. 16:18). Does it matter? The Bible teaches
that men are to assume the leadership role in the church. This
principle is affirmed by Paul in saying, But I would have you
know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the
woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:3).
The apostle taught the Corinthian brethren that women were to
keep silence in the churches (1 Cor. 14:34). To Timothy
Paul said, Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the
man, but to be in silence (1 Tim. 2:11-12). One will search
the Bible in vain looking for examples of apostles, preachers or
elders who were women! Does it matter?
Many people who are not faithful in their church
attendance put forth every effort to attend on two occasions.
Much ado is made by the religious world over Christmas
because it is alleged to be the birthday of Christ. Many folks
attend some special Christmas service to honor the Lord
that they refuse to honor throughout the year. Where in the Bible
are we told that Christs birthday is December 25th? Where does
the Bible authorize us to celebrate the birthday of Christ? The
Bible is silent in regard to these matters.
Gods Word authorizes members of the Lords
church to remember the Lords death every week as they observe
the memorial called the Lords supper (1 Cor. 11:20-26).
Manmade religion has decided, however, that celebrating what has
not been commanded, such as Easter, is more important that obeying
what has been commanded. Does it matter? The Lords supper was
instituted to remember Christs suffering and death, but no
such institution was instituted to remember his resurrection. So
many choose to neglect what is in the Bible while emphasizing what
is not in the Bible. Does it matter? Yes!
815 42nd St. SW
Paris, TX 75460
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I Stand Amazed
It is not uncommon to have brethren come to me after hearing
a sermon preached, saying: I havent heard a sermon like
that in forty years. What can be inferred from such a
statement, or, what can be said when one declares: I
didnt know that was in the Bible?
Evidently, some folks are not studying and are not being
fed from the pulpit and/or classroom. What has happened to
Gods people? The time was when members of the church of Christ
had their hearts and heads full of the Word of God. We laugh at the
old saying that If the Bible was to be lost in a courtroom,
just find a member of the church of Christ, lay your hand on his
head, theres enough Bible in his head to swear in any court of
law. Laugh as we may, there was a day when such was true!
What has happened? Here are a few suggestions:
1) Many folks have replaced their Bibles with the
television and computers! Television is one of the greatest
and worst of inventions. The Bible gathers dust while the
television is watched endlessly. Adults and children spend
countless hours on computers while the Bible lies closed on the
2) Children grow up with little or no spiritual
training. We get upset because prayer and Bible study is
denied in most schools, yet public schools are not to be blamed if
Johnny and Susie do not pray or if they do not have a knowledge of
the Bible! Our homes have turned their backs on their God-given
responsibility (Read: Deut. 6:48).
3) Many of the churches have failed. Weak
pulpits lead to weak churches. The past four or five decades elders
have hired preachers who speak to us smooth things (Isa.
30:10). In Hosea 4:6 we have a modern truth: My people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge. But, if you go on to Hosea
13:9, he tells us the one at fault: O, Israel, thou hast
destroyed thyself. And, the way Israel did it was to forget
Gods law (Hosea 4:6), thus they rejected hearing God!
I am saddened when invited for meetings or speaking
engagements (I have been preaching 45 years), to have Gods
people, some with tears, say: Brother Carter, I havent
heard preaching like that in forty years!
Now what is the answer?
Rededicate, repent and return to God! A revival is needed
in our land. The prophet Amos cried to his people long ago:
Behold, the days come says the Lord God, that I will send a
famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of the hearing of the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11).
Let me close with one final passage. The prophets
prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my
people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end
thereof (Jer. 5:31)?
2002 Azalea Dr.
Killeen, TX 76541
Table of Contents
When The Lord Returns
The Lords return will be a surprise to many. The
atheist and agnostic will be surprised. The atheist was sure there
is no God, and the agnostic didnt believe there is enough
evidence to prove Gods existence. However, the apostle Peter
summed up the whole matter when he declared, But the day
of the Lord will come as a thief in the night... (II
Peter 3:10). No thief ever announces his coming, and those who
think there are signs of the Lords return misread the signs of
Matthew 24. The signs of Matthew 24 pointed to the destruction of
Jerusalem and were observed by the generation that was then living
When the Lord returns it will be too late to make
adequate preparation for his coming. Our Lords parable of the
ten (10) virgins illustrate this truth (Matt. 25:1-13). The five
(5) foolish virgins learned this sad lesson, and so will the
majority of mankind. In Gods vocabulary it is always today,
not tomorrow, for our salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). Satan wants all to
put off obeying the gospel. He knows, if he can keep you putting
off obeying the truth, he has you firmly in his grasp. Gods
only power to save man is his gospel (Rom. 1:16). Among those
people who f ailed to make adequate preparation will be the
lukewarm Christian. Just as lukewarm water, if sufficiently
ingested, will make one sick, so it i s with the lukewarm
Christian; he makes the Lord sick. To the lukewarm church at
Laodicea the Lord said, So then because thou art lukewarm, an
d neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth
(Rev.3:16). T he church of Christ is saturated with lukewarm
members, who will be surprised to hear the Lord say, at the last
day, ... I never knew you... ( cf. Matt. 7:23).
When the Lord returns it will be too late for those
folks, sincere as they may be, who are in denominationalism. Sadly,
they never learned there is but one true church which belongs to
Christ (Matt. 16:18) and its not made up of all denominations
who are simply branches of the true vine (John 15:1-8).
Denominational preachers have argued this for y ears, but
they, along with their brethren, will discover how mistaken they
have been. The branches in Jesus parable are
individuals, not churches. Jesus said, If a man abide not in
me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather
them and cast them into the fire, a nd they are burned (John
15:6). Salvation is in Christ (2 Tim. 2:10). To be saved, we must
be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). When one
is baptized he enters into Christ (Rom. 6:3,4). He the n must
abide in Christ, which means he must remain faithful,
even unto death (Rev. 2:10), in order to enter heaven. No
denominational preacher ever tells his audience this.
Denominational preachers are deceived an d, in reality, are nothing
more than Satans agents who are leading multitudes to hell
(cf. 2 Cor. 11:13-15). Not only is this so, but it is pa st time
that preachers who are Christians begin calling the hand of
sectarian preachers and informing their people of these truths.
When the Lord returns, those who truly belong to Him
will he overcome with joy. Contrary to what premillennialists
claim, we will ...meet the Lord in the air and so shall we
ever be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17b). There will be no
rapture of the saved, as is claimed by the premillennialists. No
man of the seed of Coniah (Jeconiah, MK) will prosper, sitting upon
Davids throne, and ruling any more in Judah (See Jer.
22:28-30). Christ is of the seed of Coniah (Matt. 1:11).
Therefore, Christ will not rule on Davids throne for 1000
years, in Judah or anywhere else! The premillennialists are simply
mistaken. When the Lord returns, time will be no more.
Dear friend, to be ready for the Lords return,
you must obey the gospel of Christ (2 Thess. 1:7-9). Have you
obeyed the gospel? If you havent, please contact the nearest
church of Christ so we may assist you in your obedience. Do it
today, tomorrow may be too late. Think about it.
1336 Spring Lake Road
Fruit land Park, FL 34731
Table of Contents
A Personal Note From The Editor
In last months issue, I announced a new emphasis in
my work of preaching the Gospel. I so much appreciate the positive
response received in such a short time. Thank you so much. With the
help of faithful brethren like you, this new endeavor will become
a reality. As was announced last month, this is being done with the
full cooperation and endorsement of the elders of the East End
church of Christ. If you have not yet read last months issue
(Feb. 2009), we invite you do so. If you need a copy, well be
glad to mail you one or you can read it online at
This work involves teaching and preaching Gods Holy
Word by use of the radio, internet and the printed
page through Seek The Old Paths and other study
materials. Gods word will not return unto him void (cf. Isa.
55:11). It is our task to proclaim it from the house tops and in
every corner of the earth (cf. Matt. 28:18-20). This is done
through the use of our mouths and also through the use
of our pens. Much and lasting good can be done in
proclaiming Gods Word. His Word will judge us in the last day
To do this work, it is necessary for me to raise financial
support. I humbly ask your assistance to do this most important and
needed labor of love. Any amount will help and will be
greatly appreciated. Would you consider putting me in your
budget for monthly financial support? If you cannot help monthly,
one time contributions would also be of great help.
You may contact me or the elders at 102 Edison St.,
McMinnville, TN 37110 or by email: email@example.com.
We would like to get this new work started as soon as
possible. Please let us hear from you soon.
Table of Contents
Keep sending the Seek The Old Paths. I love reading
every one of them. Thank you ...Leonard Wroblewski,
Grovetown, GA. Enjoy STOP so much. We are sending a list
of names we would like you to add to the mailing list. These people
need TRUTH because they are moving toward the liberal side. We have
tried but cant get anywhere with them. Maybe STOP can. We are
sending a small contribution to help toward the cost of printing.
We know it will be used wisely and postage to rise again in May.
May God bless the work you are doing. So many of us appreciate the
truth ...name withheld by request. I would like
to start receiving your paper called Seek The Old Paths.
A sister in Christ received it and was good enough to let me read
it. I couldnt stop. Very informative ...Charlene
Wells, Ravenden, AR. Please put this donation toward the
expenses of Seek The Old Paths. I enjoy all the
articles. God bless you all. We need this paper very much. Keep up
the good work ...Steve & Sue Siligato, Millville, NJ.
Dear ones at East End, Finally getting around to sending a
contribution to help with Seek The Old Paths. Please
keep it True to the Book. Good sound material is getting scarcer
all the time. What is more scary, is the way some of our older
preachers who may not be teaching and preaching error themselves,
will hold up and support preachers who do, or who will not make it
clear just where they stand. Keep up the good work, A Sister in
Christ ...Geneva Stark, Eufula, OK. Dear Brother
Robinson, You are doing a great work there and the January 2009 had
wonderful articles in Seek The Old Paths. Im
sending you some money to mail one to each of the people Im
enclosing. I have reason for you to do it now. One is a Christian
and in prison and will accept it from you. The other two are not.
I also want 6 or 8 or even a dozen if you have them. I cannot do
much but can use these to help. God Bless and Thank-you
...name withheld. I am sending my new address so I can
continue receiving STOP. Thank you ...Franklin Bell,
Paris, TN. Dear members of church and minister. I wish to
thank whoever sent me the January 2009 issue of STOP. I am a mother
of a young man inside a correctional center named Douglas A. Kirk.
He was wrongly found guilty, feels its Gods will as he
has done a lot of work for God there with other inmates. He ordered
your church pamphlet for me. I understand he gets them monthly and
as I am a Christian and havent gone to the church of Christ
here for a while as I am 70 and in not best of health. I am a
shut-in. I would truly love and appreciate it if someone would send
me a copy of the November 2008 issue. I believe that to be the one
my son did an article and sent to you and it was published in that
pamphlet. I am too far from where my son is here in Virginia to
visit him and have no one who will take me, sad to say, the church
of Christ here is not able to even send the minister or a member to
visit shut-ins like myself or visit people in prison. I recently
got a very nice book called Dont Ever Give Up from
M/M Gene & Audrey Pegg and a very nice note she wrote me. Maybe
they are the ones who also sent the pamphlet. I am going to write
back and thank them for the wonderful book. It is helping me so
much. If someone can send me that issue with my sons published
article, Id love to read it. I miss my dear beloved son so
much. We can only communicate by writing weekly letters to each
other. How I wish your church were here instead of Tennessee. I
would be so blessed. I feel blessed that God made sure my son found
out about your church and he told me he and Gene Pegg write back
and forth. I pray for all who belong to such a nice church and
maybe whoever reads this will find out who sent me the January
issue and will send me the November issue. In Christian love
...Melva Farley, Staunton, VA. Continue to enjoy
STOP. Thanks so much ..Waymon Swain, Bastrop, LA.
I have moved. Please change my address. I so enjoy your paper.
Thank you ...Waymel Smith, Sugar Land, TX.
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