WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE IN
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS?
The fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands as the
central pillar of the Christian faith. Paul readily admits such
when writing to the Corinthian saints. But if there be
no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if
Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith
[is] also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God;
because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom
he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the
dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not
raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they
also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this
life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable (1 Cor. 15:13-19).
The number of those who would deny the resurrection
account and affirm the truthfulness of the implications given
above as submitted by Paul is growing at an alarming rate.
Further, the number of those abandoning religious belief
altogether is increasing (see Lyons, Non-religion On The
Rise In America: apologeticspress.org/articles/240476). As
Christianity becomes further derided as a religion of ignorance
and superstition, it is maintained that Christians have no
legitimate reasons to believe what they do. Rather, the
contention goes that everything a Christian believes must be
taken on an unsupported and unsubstantiated faith. Believers in
Christ must therefore be prepared to meet these challenges. They
must be prepared to cogently explain the evidence supporting
their Christian beliefs. How, then, are we to begin our defense
of the very nucleus of our faith? Or, to ask a question that many
skeptics continually pose, Why should we believe in the
resurrection of Jesus?
There are several historical facts upon which the vast
majority of New Testament scholars, both believing and skeptical,
agree (see Habermas, G. & Flew, A.G.N. (1987), Did Jesus Rise
from the Dead? San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers).
These facts can be gleaned from the Bible, which therefore makes
this method of study most preferable. An exhaustive list will not
be given here, nor will the items listed be given an exhaustive
treatment. They are submitted merely as an introduction to the
study and as an encouragement to further pursuits along this
First, the resurrection of Jesus was
proclaimed from the very beginning by those who were
eyewitnesses to the risen Lord. According to the report of
Paul to the Corinthians, after being resurrected from the dead,
the Lord ...was seen of Cephas; then of the twelve
(1 Cor. 15:5). Again, he reports that the Lord
...was seen of James; then of all the apostles (1
Cor.15:7). As for himself, he states, and last of all he
was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time (1
Cor. 15:8). So, then, as we hear the testimony of the apostles we
are in fact hearing the testimony of those who were eyewitnesses
to the facts attested. To what did they give witness? Luke
writes, and with great power gave the apostles witness
of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 4:33). Of
Jesus, Peter declared, Him, being delivered by the
determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and
by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised
up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible
that he should be holden of it (Acts 2:23-24). On
another occasion, the same apostle preached, But ye
denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be
granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath
raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses (Acts
3:14-15). Further examples of the early proclamation of the
resurrection can be found in Acts 4:8-12 and Acts 5:29-32.
What, then, is the importance of this early message
with respect to the historical truthfulness of Christs
resurrection? The importance lies simply in the fact that these
men, from the very beginning, made the resurrection of Jesus the
absolute basis of their message. There was no time for legendary
embellishment or for councils to assemble and concoct a false
message with which to deceive the public. As Peter says in his
second letter: For we have not followed cunningly
devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his
majesty (2 Peter 1:16).
Second, the resurrection message was
believed from the very beginning. When confronted
with such a contention as this, one may not be overly impressed.
After all, for every claim extant in the world there seems to be
someone to believe it. However, the unusual facts surrounding the
reception of the resurrection as fact from the very beginning
stand to make it the more historically certain than any other
far-reaching and incredible claim that we are prone to
disbelieving today. These considerations are as follows.
Luke records that some 3,000 souls responded to the
Gospel only two weeks removed from the ascension of the Lord
(Acts 2:41). As time progressed and the circulation of the Gospel
increased, the number of disciples grew to 5,000 (Acts 4:4). The
magnitude of the apostles success would be entirely
unbelievable if the body of Christ still lay in the tomb. Keep in
mind that these converts were made in the very city in which
Jesus was crucified. Certainly many of these men and women had
seen the Lord during His personal ministry on the earth. Perhaps
several had actually witnessed the crucifixion. How, then, could
such men and women still believe this message of a risen Savior?
If the message of the apostles was not compelling enough, could
they not investigate for themselves to determine the truthfulness
of their claims with but little trouble? Would not the apostles
fear this very procedure if they knew their message to be false?
Despite the ease with which their message could be disproved and
exposed, it never was! As Luke reports, multiplied thousands
believed. The only conclusion that can be drawn that explains the
available information is that these men and women came to truly
believe that Jesus of Nazareth had been raised.
Third, the conversion of two early skeptics supports
the veracity of the resurrection. The two most prominent
early skeptics of the Lords resurrection became two of the
most prominent Christians in the early church. James was the
brother of the Lord (Gal. 1:19). However, of the Lords
brethren (brothers) it was said, For neither did his
brethren believe in him (John 7:5). In spite of this,
James, as described by Paul, came to be regarded as a pillar in
the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9). Why the sudden and drastic
change? Paul records, ...he was seen of James; then of
all the apostles (1 Cor. 15:7). This striking reversal
of James belief respecting his brother is best explained
when the resurrection is accepted as true.
More remarkable than the conversion of the Lords
own brother, however, was the conversion of the Lords
greatest earthly foe. Saul of Tarsus, in his own words, stated
regarding himself, and I persecuted this way unto the
death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and
women (Acts 22:4). Again, he says, I verily
thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to
the name of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9). What, then,
changed the convictions of this militant unbeliever? Again, his
own words provide the answer. And it came to pass, that,
as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon,
suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me,
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art
thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom
thou persecutest (Acts 22:6-8). From this moment onward
the history of Christianity, along with the history of the world,
changed in dramatic form. The newly converted Paul could later
say of himself, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I
now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). What
other plausible explanation might there be for one of
Christianitys greatest enemies transforming into one of its
most ardent proponents if the resurrection never occurred?
Finally, the establishment and perpetuity of the
church declares the reality of the resurrection. It is an
undeniable point of history that the church of Christ was
established (Acts 2). It is further incontestable that it has
persisted for almost 2,000 years. However, a view of the Biblical
data reveals that the church of the Lord did not begin until
after His death (cf. Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4,41). The
significance of this lies in the test of divine origin as
submitted by one of the churchs early antagonists, a doctor
of the law known as Gamaliel: And now I say unto you,
Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel
or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of
God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight
against God (Acts 5:38-39). How, then, do we reconcile
the perpetuity of the church with the atheistic contention that
Christ never rose from the dead? I submit that such
reconciliation cannot occur. The best and fullest explanation is
that Jesus truly rose from the grave, thereby fulfilling His own
prediction, ...I will build my church, and the gates of
Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18b).
For these reasons and more that could be named, all
Christians have a broad platform upon which to affirm the
historical veracity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There
are other objections which the skeptic may offer that fall
outside the range of this article, but these proofs are given
that we might be prepared to intelligently discuss with the
doubting and the inquiring the reasons we have concerning
the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).
As the peerless apostle to the Gentiles wrote in the
long ago, ...take unto you the whole armour of God, that
ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
to stand (Eph. 6:13).
118 Apple Dr.
Auburn, KY 42206
Table of Contents
WORSHIPPING GOD IN ONE PLACE #2
Garland M. Robinson
SPLITTING/DIVIDING OUR ASSEMBLIES
A practice of dividing or splitting our assemblies has crept
into the body of Christ in recent years. It is a practice that
was done among the denominations; and, as often is the case, it
was borrowed from them by some churches of Christ and
incorporated into their church services. Instead of the whole
church assembling together in one place to worship God on the
Lords day, some divide into smaller groups and conduct
services. This is sometimes called childrens
church, youth worship or junior worship.
It is also sometimes referred to as childrens bible
hour. While the adults are having their worship, the young
people meet in another part of the building and hold their
service. This requires adults to be taken out of worship in order
to conduct the young peoples services.
EXAMPLES OF THE PAST
Various reasons (excuses) are offered as to
why the worship assembly is divided: 1) the children disrupt the
worship service, 2) the young people can learn better if they
have a service conducted on their level, 3) this is a learning
period so they can be taught what adult worship is, etc. etc. The
motive in dividing the worship assembly may proceed from a good
intention, but is it scriptural? Is it authorized? Is it done
according to a thus saith the Lord? The answer is a
resounding NO. It is not authorized! This is a classic example of
an oft stated fallacy, the end justifies the means.
Supposedly, the end result is that the young people will be
trained so they can one day be brought back into the main
assembly. But what better place to be trained how to behave than
in the worship assembly of the saints? The Lord has not
authorized dividing the Lords day worship assembly,
regardless of the motive or intent.
If a congregation can divide the Lords Day worship
assembly into two groups that are conducting worship services
simultaneously or parallel to each other, then they can divide
the worship assembly into as many groups as they desire. And
sadly, some have even done so. They have followed this
unauthorized path to its logical conclusion.
Shall we segregate the couples with children from the
couples without children? What about those with special needs?
Can they be singled out so they can meet and worship together
where their particular needs are addressed? What about those who
have earned degrees in higher education, wouldnt they
benefit by worshipping with those who share their level of
academics? If so, then what about those with a High School
Diploma or an eighth grade or third grade education?
Shouldnt they worship together? Men have needs peculiar to
them and women have unique needs too. Shall they be divided and
each worship in their own assembly? Wouldnt the farmers
deserve their own assembly. What about factory workers or stay-
at-home moms? Where will it all end? If two groups can, then all
Once brethren become accustomed to dividing the
assembly, before long theyll decide its not necessary
to go to the meeting house with the rest of the saints anyway.
Such has led some to form house churches. Consequently,
you have small groups meeting all over town or all over the
county. Are elders authorized to oversee mini-churches
(house churches)? Its not even practical and certainly not
Biblical. Some like going to the lake or camping, so off
they go. They want to enjoy their time in the great outdoors
and marvel at Gods creation. They dont think twice
about forsaking the assembling of the saints because they
dont do much assembling anyway. Theyll borrow some
unleavened bread and fruit of the vine from church and have their
own worship service. And, by the way, one of the elders will be
along with them. Could not the golfers, hunters, fishermen,
sight-seers, and I-can-worship-at-homers do the same?
If not, why not?
Brethren, theres nothing wrong with enjoying the
outdoors or engaging in morally upright activities, but we ought
to plan our trips while being mindful of the Lords church.
We ought to seek out the church where were going to be and
make plans to assemble and worship with them. Wherever Paul went,
he found the church and worshipped there (cf. Acts 9:26; 20:6-7).
The practice of dividing the assembly for worship on
the Lords day is sowing the seeds of the local churchs
own destruction. Carried to its logical conclusion, every group
can decide to meet wherever they want, conduct their own church
service and feel good about it. Consequently, theres no
longer a need for the local church with elders, deacons,
preachers and members (cf. Phil. 1:1). The work of the local
church is destroyed because theres no longer a common church
treasury and no elders to oversee the flock. Each group pacifies
themselves because they gave a few minutes on the Lords day
to think about Jesus. Once that is dispensed with, they can get
on with what they like to do and dont have to worry about
being challenged to grow and being responsible, mature, working
members in the kingdom.
Ancient Israel was instructed by God through Moses when they
were about to enter the land of Canaan. This instruction was for
the whole congregation of Israel: men, women and children.
When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD
thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this
law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the
people together, men, and women, and children, and thy
stranger that is within thy gates, that they may
hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD
your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that
their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and
learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the
land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. (Deut. 31:11-13)
Though there is a supposed generation gap
between the young and the old, Gods will was for Israel, a
type of the church, to have periods wherein they assembled
together. The young need to learn the ways of the Lord and
God saw fit to include them in certain assemblies. Vital
instruction is given in these assemblies the old are
reminded of the word of the Lord and the young are taught it. The
young can learn. They can learn from the adults. This was
Gods will. They were to assemble together.
When Israel had conquered a portion of the land, Joshua
assembled Israel together in one assembly and ...read all
the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to
all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word
of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all
the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the
little ones, and the strangers that were con-
versant among them (Josh. 8:34-35).
The masses gathered to see and hear Jesus. Thousands
are mentioned in Matthew 14:21, And they that had eaten were
about five thousand men, beside women and children .
Didnt these people know the children could not understand
Jesus? Oh yes they could understand! What a tragedy it would have
been had the children been put off by themselves and missed the
opportunity to see and hear Jesus.
The church at Troas came together to worship on the
first day of the week (Acts 20:6-12). They did not have a
parallel service for the young while the adults were having their
worship. The young people were present. Verse nine says that
among their number was a young man named Eutychus who
had ...fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long
preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third
loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him,
and embracing [him] said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is
in him. ... And they brought the young man alive, and
were not a little comforted.
The example of the church in Corinth gives a great deal
of information in regards to worship. The Scriptures are so plain
and specific that they cannot be ignored. God knew men would one
day divide the worship assembly, so He refuted the practice
nearly 2,000 years ago. The apostle Paul made clear that all men
should know that the things he wrote are the commandments of
the Lord (1 Cor. 14:37).
The assembling of the whole church together was not
just the practice at Corinth, it was the common practice taught
everywhere, as stated in 1 Corinthians 4:17. Notice the many
verses which speak of their coming together into
one place to worship (1 Corinthians chapters 11 & 14).
11:17, Now in this that I declare [unto you] I
praise [you] not, that ye come together not for the
better, but for the worse.
11:18, For first of all, when ye come together
in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and
I partly believe it.
11:20, When ye come together therefore
into one place, this is not to eat the Lords
11:33, Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come
together to eat, tarry one for another.
11:34, And if any man hunger, let him eat at home;
that ye come not together unto condemnation.
And the rest will I set in order when I come.
14:23, If therefore the whole church be come
together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and
there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will
they not say that ye are mad?
14:26, How is it then, brethren? when ye come
together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all
things be done unto edifying.
Whether correcting their abuse of the Lords supper
or the exercise of spiritual gifts, one thing is common
they all came together into one place to worship. They
did not divide into groups and segregate their number.
James 2:2 gives an example of the church assembling
together when he wrote, ...if there come unto your
assembly.... Thayer defines the Greek word translated
assembly as: ...a bringing together, gathering (as
of fruits), a contracting; an assembling together of men.
The assembly of which James spoke was the common meeting of the
church. It was the gathering together of the members of
the local congregation. The saints united in their worship to God
by assembling together in one place as one group and offering
their adoration and thanksgiving in unison. There can be no other
conclusion drawn from the very definition of the word James used.
Hebrews 10:25 specifies the same uniform teaching.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so
much the more, as ye see the day approaching. The church
cant assemble in separate groups. If they divide,
theyre not assembled; and, if theyre assembled,
theyre not separated!
Websters Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary
defines the verb assemble: ֿ: to collect into
one place or group : convoke 2: to fit together
the parts of vi: to meet together: convene. The same
dictionary defines together: la: in or into
one place, mass, collection, or group b: in a
body: as a group ....
If theres three or five or ten (or more) in a
family and an order is given to assemble, how can that be done if
the whole family is not together assembled in one place?
How can a local congregation come together into one place on the
Lords day and not be together?
The good book specifies that the whole church
come together into one place on the first day of the week and
worship God (cf. 1 Cor. 11:20; 14:23).
Table of Contents
Christianity is a religion that emphasizes self-control.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come
after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow
me (Matt. 16:24). To deny self requires subjecting
ones will to that of God. This means that the disciple needs
to have the attitude the Lord expressed when he said,
Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke
22:42). To deny self certainly requires control of ones
Sadly, there are many who have never learned to
practice the virtue of self-control. Paul spoke of some unmarried
and widows who might not exercise self-control (1 Cor. 7:8-9).
When Paul addressed Felix ...he reasoned of
righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled,
and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient
season, I will call for thee (Acts 24:25). He was right
to be afraid because his life was one of wickedness and
immorality. Proof of this is seen in the next verse where we
learn he was hoping Paul would offer him a bribe to release him
from custody. His thoughts were evil and it appears he did not
desire to control himself.
Christians are commanded to develop self-control in
their lives (2 Peter 1:5-7). Doing such makes one able to bear
fruit in the Lord. Failing in this regard makes the person
vulnerable to false teachers who turn the grace of God into a
license to sin (2 Peter 2:18-19; Jude 4). Peter said that
developing self-control is intimately connected to the knowledge
of the Lord (2 Peter 1:8). Thus, it should come as no surprise
that self-control is included in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.
What is necessary to develop self-control in a
persons life? One thing is learning to control what you
think about. Proverbs 4:23 says, Keep thy heart with all
diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.
Obviously, the word heart in this verse is not referring to the
blood pumping organ in the chest, but the mind of man. What a
person thinks about will determine what kind of person he is or
will become (Prov. 23:7). Jesus put it this way: For out
of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt.
The old saying, garbage in, garbage out is
very true. If a person wants to live a holy life with
self-control, he must fill his mind with things that are true,
noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy (Phil.
4:8). Paul said to meditate upon these things. In other words,
fill your mind with the good and it will push out the bad.
Self-control is developed when a person learns to
control his thinking. Far too many never reflect on their
thoughts. This is why they fail to change for the better. They
are at the mercy of the bad thoughts in their minds. The Lord
taught that overt sins arise from the motives that prompted the
action. For example, adultery is a sin that arises from lust in
the heart (Matt. 5:27-28). To prevent adultery, the lust must be
removed. That is why Jesus said, If thy right eye offend
thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable
for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that]
thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matt. 5:29).
He did not mean that a person should literally pluck out his
eyes. He is teaching that one needs to control his thoughts. The
impure needs to be cut out and replaced with pure and holy
thoughts. This is the heart of self-control.
24735 Huron River Drive
Rockwood, MI 48173
firstname.lastname@example.org       phone: (734)
[Brother Douglas Hoff is a faithful Gospel preacher
Ive known for many years. He is in need of a place to
preach. If you know of a faithful congregation needing a good
preacher, please let brother Hoff know. editor]
Table of Contents
PROBLEMS FACING THE CHURCH #1
James W. Boyd
The church faces problems that come
from within and from without its
ranks. Our lesson will center
attention on problems that we
create for ourselves and come from
This is not a lesson that makes one happy. The very
subject is unpleasant. We do not consider it in order to express
pessimism nor create depression. But we must face certain
realities as we serve the Lord. We are going to consider some
problems facing Gods people in our time, not so much
concentrating on specifics as with general problems that give
rise to many aggravating situations and circumstances. Specific
problems usually come from larger issues that must be recognized
and corrected before the specific matters can be rectified.
Who would dare set himself forth as an expert as if he
knew all the problems facing the church? Most of us are only
aware of things in a relatively small area of the world compared
with the church over all the world. Furthermore, a problem in
some localities may not be the case in other places. Each
locality may have its own peculiar set of problems, but often
they overlap. We wish to consider some matters that are probably
characteristic of brethren in many, if not most, places.
It is nothing new for the church to face problems. It
has been that way since Pentecost. This is not said to minimize
the seriousness of problems, but only to help us get and keep
things in perspective. We need to be aware of problems, but we
should not think that merely being aware of them will correct
them or cause them to go away. But if we are ever going to do
something beneficial in correcting problems, we must first become
aware of their existence.
The church faces problems that come from within and
from without its ranks. Our lesson will center attention on
problems that we create for ourselves and come from within.
Often, these are by far the most difficult ones.
There is among brethren a growing ignorance of the Bible.
This is not being judgmental in an evil sense. It is to observe
what is the case. It seems that so many in the church, young and
old, have such a wide lack of knowledge, even of fundamentals.
This is serious, seeing the emphasis in the Bible on knowing what
the will of the Lord is. The Word provides the evidence upon
which our faith is founded. Lack of knowledge of the Word can
only mean a weak faith.
THE WAY IT WAS
We are to study the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15), but it is
evident that many members of the church neither study nor show
much interest in Bible study opportunities afforded them by the
Even though Jesus said, Man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God (Matt. 4:4), so many place such importance on
the material side of life to the neglect of the spiritual side
that they do not learn His Word. Jesus taught, Search
the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and
they are they which testify of me (John 5:39). Yet, so
many do not search the Scriptures as did the noble Bereans (Acts
17:11). As in the days of ancient Israel, My people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
When members of the church know the Word of God, they
will not only remain faithful, cannot be led astray by the
whimsical manners of men, but will be aggressively active in
doing the will of the Lord.
Without knowledge, there will be weak faith, no
guidance, disapproval from God, dangers of apostasy, and loss of
salvation. Christianity is a taught faith (John 6:44-45).
Churches of Christ were once known as a Biblically informed
people. It would not be fair to so characterize the church
generally that way now, even though there are many who know the
Word. There has been an emphasis on academic degrees alongside a
de-emphasis on thus saith the Lord in
preaching and teaching. Some who preach are trained in religion
generally, but not in the faith of Christ. Opinions of
religious authors and theologians are more in vogue than the
inspired writings of Scripture. Human literature, human wisdom,
human reasoning are taught in classes rather than the Word. We
have become a people that follow men all too often rather than
learning from the Bible the way of God.
This drift has been accomplished under the guise of
being more relevant for today, as if Gods Word is not a
sufficient guide for today. In some churches, if there is any
Bible study at all, it is more from what some men have concocted
than what the Holy Spirit has revealed. What a contrast to
speaking as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11) and
preaching the Word (2 Tim. 4:1-4) as Paul instructed Timothy
The result of this trend toward ignorance has been more
language of Ashdod (cf. Neh. 13:23-24), imitation of
denominationalism, unsound and uncertain sounds, non-Biblical
doctrines, division, confusion, apostasy, digression, and a
general disrespect for the Word itself. When you realize that the
law of sowing and reaping is still operative, it is frightening
to consider what is happening and will happen to the future
generations as we see the church becoming less and less like the
New Testament church and more and more like the ways of men
WRONG GOALS CREATE PROBLEMS
A major problem that has arisen is confusion over what
is the work and mission of the church. You would think this would
never be the case among us. You would think in light of the
teaching that Christ came to save the sinner (1 Tim. 1:15: Luke
19:10), the church is His body (Eph. 1:22.23), the Gospel is
Gods power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), that it would not be
difficult to determine the work of the church as spreading the
Gospel to the saving of the lost. Especially ought we understand
this since the church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1
We also must be reminded that what we do must be
authorized by Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17). The written Word is the
source of that authority (2 Tim. 3:16-17). So many brethren seem
to have ignored the need for authority because they look
longingly toward doing what denominations do. We are not left to
do just anything and everything somebody wants to do. We have a
work that is to be done, a distinctive work of the church, and we
must confine ourselves thereto.
Some, in order to get numbers and finances, have shifted the
drawing power from the Gospel, to recreation and social reform
without conversion to Christ. Some have gone wholesale into
entertaining, providing fun and games for every age, secular
education, baby sitting services, political actions, even joining
the world in demonstrations for first one cause then another. The
work of the church is the spiritual salvation of mankind through
spiritual reconciliation with God.
I once heard a man spend fifty minutes of a so-called
sermon urging the congregation to put his college in their
budget. Since when did it become the work of the church to
provide tennis courts, science laboratories, gymnasiums, etc. for
schools? Some seem to think that if they throw in some Bible
classes alongside everything else that this justifies the church
financing the whole scene! We only ask for Biblical authority for
such as that before we accept it.
One manner used to confuse the work of the church is to
contend that whatever a member of the church can do, the entire
church can do collectively. The fallacy of that is that there are
duties the individual has that are not always parallel with the
duties of the body, the church. Even though the church is made up
of individual members, everything the individual does is not a
part of the corporate work. It is perfectly acceptable for the
individual to conduct a profitable business, but not the church.
The idea that the church can do whatever an individual can do is
false doctrine that has taken millions of dollars from the
treasuries of churches that was given for the work of the church,
but used in areas of activity where the funds should not have
gone, and the work of the church is abandoned to that extent.
Some have spent huge sums on recreational facilities while
missionaries go begging. My brethren, these things ought not
so to be.
2720 S Chancery St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
(Part 1 of 2)
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Earl B. Claud
The word Reverend is often added to a preachers
name to designate his position in a church. We also see the words
Pastor, Father, Master, Rabbi and Worshipful Master used in
various religious groups. What does the Bible say about men
wearing such titles?
Jesus said, But be not ye called Rabbi: for
one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And
call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father,
which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your
Master, even Christ (Matt. 23:8-10). The Psalmist
wrote, He sent redemption unto his people: he hath
commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his
name (Psalm 111:9). The English word Pastor is never
used in the New Testament in reference to just one man. It is
only used once and it is plural (Eph. 4:11). Pastors were also
called elders. There was always a plurality of pastors/elders
These verses are easily understood and show there is no
place for titles in religion. Jesus tells us why men wear such
titles. But he that is greatest among you shall be your
servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and
he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matt.
23:11,12). When men accept the titles of Reverend, Holy Father,
Father, Pastor, Rabbi or Master, they stand opposed to the
teaching of Christ. When you find churches that have men wearing
these titles you know they are not following the teaching of
We would hope that all Christians would be satisfied to
be brethren and never be exalted by wearing man made
titles (Matt. 23:8). Why not be satisfied to be just a Christian
(Acts 11:26). Wearing the name Christian gives honor to Christ
who deserves to be worshipped.
Wearing man made titles takes honor away from
Christ and gives it to man. Jesus is the one who deserves our
respect and worship (Phil. 2:9-11).
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I would like several copies of the November edition of STOP.
If December continues the article by Robert Taylor Jr. on the
versions, I would like extra copies of that. These are as good
articles as you will read trying to make people aware of what is
happening to the church. I will use some of the original copies
to give to the elders of the congregation I attend as well as
elders of congregations around me. I am hoping they will order
the paper for their congregation. One congregation is more than
250 members. We have a preacher here that has literally destroyed
a congregation that was once very strong. He uses the NIV in the
pulpit. The preacher rules, if you have ever heard the statement.
He will have to be stopped if it survives. The walking Bibles
that we did have in the past are slowly decreasing and will
continue if somebody doesnt stand up. The Foy Wallaces and
Robert Taylors wont be here to help. Foy Wallace has already
gone. We need your prayers and help. Theres an older
preacher in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that highly recommends your
paper. I have a copy of an article that he wrote that was in the
Gospel Gleaner in the 70s or 80s. That paper must not be in print
anymore. There are several people in this area that receive STOP,
thanks to brother Bob Spurlin. He used to preach at the
congregation I attend. He would put a paper at the back. He ask
everyone to sign their name and address to receive these sound
papers like STOP. He was one of the best. He was fired for no
reason. His daughter was killed in a wreck. The next day he was
diagnosed with M.S. He wrote several books and continued to
preach with the help of the computer. He has been a great man in
the Lords work. You can print any part or all of my
comments. I only ask that you not use my name or area. It will
hinder my efforts in fighting this evil of versions
...AL. Thank you for this paper. We both read it and
love the truth in them and praise the day Carolyn Coleman sent my
name to you. We pray your work will help many more ...M/M
Carl Bayne, Dalhart, TX. We still enjoy STOP better
than any other and would love to have one sent to our daughter
and a good friend ...Charles & Gail Coulter, Lexington,
TN. Keep up the good work ...Everett Poteet,
Imboden, AR. T. J. Phillips has passed away
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you some money by reading it on the internet ...KY.
Brother Robinson, Here is a check that I hope will help a
little to pay some postage or whatever is needed. Keep up the
good work for the Lord. We need it. The world needs it
...Charlotte Rauchie, Bartlett, TN. A friend of mine
gave me a copy of Seek The Old Paths. I really enjoyed
it. I would like to get on your mailing list to receive it every
time its published. We need more things like this to read
and pass along to others, believers and non-believers. I am a
member of Bainbridge Church of Christ in Bainbridge, Georgia.
Its always good to find Christian articles to read. I like
reading and studying. So many churches of Christ are changing,
but not for the best. Some are bringing in too much of the world.
Im from the old school. I think we need to stick with what
Gods Word says. Keep up the good work. Thank you
...Lavada Allen, Bainbridge, GA. I am writing to
request a friend be put on your mailing list to receive the
publication, Seek The Old Paths. He is a fellow
Christian and would enjoy the lessons taught in this publication.
I have received this publication in the past and have enjoyed
reading and studying from it. Thank you ...Pamela Jones.
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you ...North Little Rock, AR. Mary Barnes
passed away ...Winfield, KS. Patsy V. Cox passed
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the good publication you publish ...Corrine Young,
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With the ease that I can view Seek the Old Paths
on the internet and the rising costs to you for mail
service, I am requesting that you stop mailing the publication to
my address. Thank you for your service ...IN.
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anonymous. Would you add a name to your mailing list? If you have
any Feb/2011 issues left, please send some. I gave mine away. The
article on the Hate Crimes law is very informative. Keep
up the good work ...OH. I would like to thank
you for these news letters. They are uplifting and
resourceful ...Keith Lause, Lima, OH. Jerry Ash
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stand for truth. The Bible is the most beautiful, perfect,
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Seek The Old Paths. I received it and want my friend to have
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work coming ...John Bowlen, Bloomfield, IN.
This is to commend Lloyd Gales article on Dual
Citizenzhip in the Feb/2011 issue. I am so happy to see
teaching of this type, which hopefully will urge Christians to
pay attention to what is going on in the world. We need to get
out of the church pews and become involved in our government and
be the salt and light in a dark world. Preachers seem
to be fearful of mentioning what is happening concerning abortion
(4,000 plus babies murdered each year). They will not preach on
homosexuality which is condemned by God. They will not urge
Christians to contact their Senators, Congressmen and others in
federal and state governments to see that laws they pass are
Biblical. I look forward to seeing more articles such as
this ...Riceville, TN.
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