GOD, SPORTS, AND WORLDLINESS
IN THE CHURCH
The Bible plainly declares: be not conformed to this world.
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the
enemy of God.
I enjoy sports as much as anyone, especially hunting, and of
course, football. I have never believed God was interested in
sporting activities of any kind. For several years, God and sports
have become center stage in America. Whether it be football,
baseball, basketball, soccer, prize fights or cage fighting,
participants will point upward and give the sign of the
cross thanking God for the victory. A few years ago, a
denominational preacher gave the invocation at the opening of
NASCAR. During his prayer he said We know you (God)
are a big fan of NASCAR. Really? Many years prior to this, a
preacher while giving the invocation at a football game, in effect,
petitioned God as follows: Weve practiced hard for this
game and we want You to help us win.
Reducing God to a sports fan and calling upon the
High and Lofty One to give us a win, trivializes The
Almighty and betrays a lack of respect and honor that is due Him!
Furthermore, such blasphemous statements are an attack upon the
very nature of God! The fact is, God could care less about sports!
One British newspaper published a letter to the editor entitled:
Leave me out of your petty games, Love, God. While I
certainly do not agree with making a statement as if it came
directly from the Almighty, the point is well taken! While Paul
made reference to various sporting activities, such as running a
race and receiving a prize (cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-26), bodily exercise (1
Tim. 4:8) or fighting a good fight (2 Tim. 4:7), it was always in
reference to spiritual matters!
The craze for worldly activities has brought about building
gymnasiums by many churches of Christ. Exercise rooms and
other worldly activities are offered to meet the needs of the
whole man. Many members of the church are so in tune with
the world that they will move the Sunday evening service to
accommodate a Super Bowl party! That which is conspicuously absent
by proponents of such activities is biblical authority (Col. 3:17)!
Brethren need to be reminded that recreation and entertainment is
not a work of the church; but rather, the work of the home!
While it is not considered a sport, winners of the
Miss America contest are paraded as role models in many
publications. In 2010, The Christian Chronicle (a vehicle
promoting the ungodly unity in diversity movement among
us) featured on its front page a member of the Lords church
that won the Miss America contest. Not one word was
written condemning immodesty (1 Tim. 2:9)! Many members of the
church are so in tune with the world that one congregation had a
crowning of the King and Queen at their home coming! A
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6)! In
light of these and other occurrences, how can any deny that
worldliness in the Lords church is plunging many down the path
to eternal damnation!
The Bible plainly declares: be not conformed to this
world (Rom. 12:1). How does God view worldly Christians
and congregations? James pointedly answers that question:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the
friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore
will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God
(James 4:4). Children of God are instructed to keep himself
unspotted from the world (James 1:27). Therefore, when a
congregation becomes worldly in its outlook and practice, they are
an enemy of God! All of the shouting, Oh, how I love
Jesus, and look at our good works, to the contrary!
Furthermore, when elders and preachers lead congregations to
conform to the world, unless they repent, they will soon become,
...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Having a
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn
away (2 Tim. 3:4-5).
Every generation of the Lords church is in danger of
being engulfed and swept away, thus, the need to constantly remind
brethren to, Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be
able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against
spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore 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. 6:11-13).
Love for the world and the things of the world have always
been one of Satans weapons to draw away disciples of Christ.
Satan (who is the god of this world) is ever working to
blind the minds of the Lords people. When this takes place,
the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (2 Cor.
4:4) will not only be hidden, if not careful, it will be
That children of God and even congregations of the
Lords church can go back, return or fall from grace is a
constant reminder throughout the Bible (Gal. 5:4; 2 Tim. 2:18; 1
Tim. 1:19; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:12-4:1; Heb. 6:4-8). Of course, there
are the five churches of Asia that were to repent or else (Rev. 2-
John warns the Lords people to, Love not the
world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love
the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is]
in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And
the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the
will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:15-17). We are
further reminded to Set your affection on things above, not
on things on the earth (Col. 3:2).
It is time for brethren to once again, Cry aloud,
spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people
their transgression (Isa. 58:1)! A refusal means we will
not be pure from the blood of all men (Acts
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Table of Contents
FINDING GRACE TO HELP #2
Garland M. Robinson
Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly unto the
throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help
in time of need.
The prophet Jeremiah serves as an example of receiving
Gods grace and help in time of need. It often appeared as
though he was all alone in doing Gods work. His preaching was
not appreciated. He was the object of sneers, mockings and
ridicule. He once grew weary enough that he thought, Oh
that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that
I might leave my people, and go from them! for they [be] all
adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men (Jer. 9:2).
Have you ever felt like that? Wishing you could go away somewhere
and just blend in with the crowd? Not having to bear the
responsibility, just be a nobody? Jeremiah thought it
would be nice to go to some backwoods place (where no one knew him)
and run a motel. But, he had a job to do responsibility to
bear. He could not run away from God and the burden of the souls of
On another similar occasion, in a moment of great
discouragement, Jeremiah thought he just might quit preaching
manage that motel in the wilderness. He penned these words in
Jeremiah 20:7-13: ...I am in derision daily, every one
mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and
spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me,
and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him,
nor speak any more in his name. But [his word] was in mine heart as
a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with
forbearing, and I could not [stay]. For I heard the defaming of
many, fear on every side. Report, [say they], and we will report
it. All my familiars watched for my halting, [saying], Peradventure
he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall
take our revenge on him. But the LORD [is] with me as a mighty
terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they
shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall
not prosper: [their] everlasting confusion shall never be
forgotten. But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, [and]
seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them:
for unto thee have I opened my cause. Sing unto the LORD, praise ye
the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand
of evildoers. He continued by bemoaning the day of his
birth. Cursed [be] the day wherein I was born: let not the
day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed [be] the man who
brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto
thee; making him very glad.
Back in chapter 8 of his book, Jeremiah asked, [Is
there] no balm in Gilead; [is there] no physician there...
(v.22). Of course there was (and there still is)! God loved Israel
with a love beyond their comprehension, but He was not going to
help when the people refused to follow the way of righteousness.
They were carried away into captivity in Babylon and remained there
for 70 years before being restored to the land of Canaan.
Stubborn man refuses to see the love of God and seek His
help. It reminds me of a dog that is put on a leash for the first
time. You try to lead that dog along and he will pull, twist, tug,
bite, toss, roll and refuse in every way to be restrained. Its
a tug of war as you drag him along with him on all fours
resisting every inch. Youre not trying to hurt him or punish
him. Youre teaching him to be led. All he has to do is quit
fighting and tugging and gently walk along beside you. Things would
be so easy if he would do that. But no, he will fight and pull
every step of the way. Youre not the one pulling, tugging,
yanking and giving him a hard time. Youre not seeing how
difficult you can make it for him. Hes the one resisting and
making it hard on himself. Hell get mad at you thinking
youre the one hurting him. But that is not the case. Once he
figures out he dont have to pull and fight, its a simple
matter for him to stroll along and enjoy the walk.
Children are often the same way. When they resist the rules
of the home and the right ways of the Lord, they make the way hard
on themselves by their own rebellion. They will pull and tug, fuss
and quarrel and try your patience. But when they learn to obey
their parents and be patient, theyll see how much more
pleasant their life can be. Theyll get to do a lot of things
if they will only cooperate and quit tugging on their leash.
Its a lesson that must be learned the sooner the better.
Its a lesson they will some day teach their own children as
While Saul was king of Israel, he went through a period in
his life where he felt threatened by David. He was paranoid
thinking David wanted his throne and would take it from him by
force. But that was certainly not the case. David had several
chances to kill Saul, was even encouraged by his men to do so, but
David refused to kill the Lords anointed (cf. 1 Sam. 24).
During this time, David was constantly on the run for this life
because of Sauls pursuit. All the while, the Lord was on his
side. He had been anointed by Samuel to be the future king of
Israel (1 Sam. 16:13) but he was not about to kill Saul to obtain
Later in Davids life, his own son Absalom won the
hearts of the people and tried to seize the throne. David once
again had to flee the city and hide wherever he could. He was a
hunted man. His own son would have killed him in a heart-beat if he
could. However, David had given orders to his commanders not to
harm Absalom when they found him. But they did not listen. At their
first opportunity they killed him. When David received the news,
the Bible says David was much moved...and wept; and as he
went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would
God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son (2 Sam.
Psalm 13 is thought to have been written at such a time when
David was in great distress. How long wilt thou forget me,
O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How
long shall I take counsel in my soul, [having] sorrow in my heart
daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider [and]
hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep
of] death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; [and]
those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted
in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing
unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
At times of despair when David did not know what would
happen. When he wondered what he would do and whether he would live
through it, he still trusted in Gods mercy. His heart rejoiced
in his salvation. He would sing unto the Lord because of his
bountiful blessings. Should we not do the same? We are no different
than David. We serve the same God and our Lord is the same
yesterday, today and forever (cf. Heb. 13:8). If he helped David,
he will help us too.
Another of the best known and loved sections of Scripture in
all the Bible is the 23rd Psalm. It certainly speaks of times when
Davids life was in great peril, yet it reveals a calm and
peacefulness that can only be known and experienced by a child of
God. The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh
me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still
waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righ-
teousness for his names sake. Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art]
with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a
table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my
head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of
the LORD for ever (Psalm 23).
In times of great anxiety and burden, there was serenity
knowing Jehovah God was his keeper and protector. David had the
same frame of mind as Job who said, Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before
him (Job 13:15).
Is this not an example of Gods care for his children?
David trusted in Gods mercy and rejoiced in his salvation. It
brought comfort to him in his darkest hour. We too can take great
comfort in our Lord in spite of all the troubles of life.
Theres a better day coming. Theres a better time ahead,
if not in this life, certainly in the life to come.
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Christianity And Islam #4:
DOCTRINE ABOUT JESUS
Many Christians are surprised to learn that Jesus is referenced
dozens of times in the Quran. However, Christianity and Islam
hold irreconcilable positions concerning His identity and mission.
Each religion proclaims the others doctrine concerning Jesus
to be the gravest of blasphemies. Muhammads Allah is clearly
distinguished from the God of the Bible by what is taught in his
name concerning Jesus. They cannot possibly be the same deity.
Consequently, there can be no agreement between faithful Christians
Christianity is built upon the deity of Jesus the Christ.
That Jesus is both the Son of God and God
incarnate is set forth clearly in Scripture. When the angel
Gabriel appeared to Mary, he told her that the holy One who
is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
Matthew 16:16-17 reads: ...Simon Peter answered and said,
Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered
and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and
blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in
heaven. The apostle John opened his account of the Gospel:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ...
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of
grace and truth (John 1:1-2,14). The Hebrew writer further
explained how God Hath...spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom
he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the
worlds; Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express
image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his
power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the
right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:2-3). This is
why Jesus taught, he that hath seen me hath seen the
Father (John 14:9). Paul wrote that in Christ
...dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily
(Col. 2:9). As John brought his Gospel to a close, he explained
that the miracles he had recounted were ...written, that ye
might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that
believing ye might have life through his name (John
The Jewish leadership understood Jesus claims.
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because
he...said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with
God (John 5:18). Jesus responded ...all [men]
should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that
honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent
him (John 5:23). On another occasion, the Jews prepared to
stone Jesus for teaching I and My Father are One.
They accused him of blasphemy...because...thou, being a
man, makest thyself God (John 10:29-33). During His trial
before the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded of Jesus
...I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us
whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus affirmed
It is as you said (Matt. 26:63-64). When Jesus appeared
before Pilate, the Roman governor found no fault in Him.
Determined to see Him executed, the Jewish leaders argued,
...We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because
he made himself the Son of God (John 19:7).
These quotations only barely begin to touch upon the
Bibles teaching that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and
co-equal with the Father. The Quran vehemently denies
this foundational truth. It befits not (the Majesty) of Allah
that He should beget a son (Surah 19:35). Exalted is the
Majesty of our Lord [Allah]: He has taken neither a wife nor a
son (Surah 72:3). Allah begetteth not (Surah 112:3).
Muhammad did not understand the concept of Jesus being the Son of
God. He conceived of it in human terms, thinking that Christians
believed that God had taken a human female as His consort and that
Jesus was their biological offspring. This is a pagan understanding
common in ancient mythology (i.e. Zeus and Hercules).
Over and over, the Quran rails against the
Sonship of Jesus. Understand that Muhammad considered Allah to be
the God of the Bible. This is patently false, but recognizing his
belief is essential to grasping what the Quran teaches
about Jesus. O People of the Book [Jews and Christians]! Come
to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but
Allah. That we associate no partners with him; that we erect not,
from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah
(Surah 3:64). Surah 4:171 declares: O People of the Book! Do
not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah
save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a
messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and
a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say
not Three Cease! (it is) better for you! Allah
is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty
that He should have a son.
It is blasphemy to say that Allah is Christ
the son of Mary according to Surah 5:17. Hell is the final
destination of those who utter such things (Surah 5:72). Surah
10:68-70 is explicit on these two points: They say:
(Allah) hath begotten a son! ... No warrant have ye for
this! say ye about Allah what ye know not? Say: Those who
invent a lie against Allah will never prosper. A little
enjoyment in this world! and then, to Us will be their return, then
shall We make them taste the severest penalty for their
blasphemies. To teach that Jesus is the Son of God is to
declare a thing most monstrous. At it the skies are ready to
burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountain to fall down in
utter ruin, that they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most
Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most
Gracious that He should beget a Son (Surah 19:88-92).
The Quran teaches that one of its purposes is to
warn those who say, Allah hath begotten a son: no
knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is
a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying what
they say is nothing but falsehood (Surah 18:4-5).
The Quran contradicts other basic New Testament
teachings. Surah 4:157-159 denies the death, burial and
resurrection of Christ: That they said, We killed Christ
Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah, but they killed
him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them,
and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain)
knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they
killed him not: Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself...And there
is none of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] but must
believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will
be a witness against them. Paul wrote that the
resurrection from the dead declared Jesus to be
the Son of God with power (Rom. 1:4). If the resurrection
never happened then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not
risen, Paul explained, then our preaching is empty and
your faith is also empty (1 Cor. 15:14).
The Hadith denies Jesus role as the mediator
between God and man (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25). Muhammad taught
that on the Day of Judgment the believers would look for someone to
intercede on their behalf with Allah. They approached Adam who sent
them to Noah who referred them to Abraham who advised them to ask
Moses who sent them on to Jesus. Muhammad put these words into
Jesus mouth: I am not fit for this undertaking, but
youd better go to Muhammad whose sins of the past and future
had been forgiven (by Allah) (Bukhari 7410). The Hadith
also condemns anyone who believes that Jesus is Lord (Bukhari
5285). Romans 10:9 teaches that a person must confess...Jesus
as Lord in order to be saved. Islam views the Bible plan of
salvation as blasphemy against Allah.
How can anyone believe that the God of the Bible and
Islams god (Allah) are the same being? One proclaims Jesus to
be His beloved Son while the other denies that he even has a son.
True Christianity and Islam are at an impasse. Islam holds
Christianity to be a blasphemous religion founded on monstrous
lies. Anyone who becomes a Christian, professing Jesus as Lord, is
destined to Hell. Islam would view the beloved John 3:16 as the
greatest of blasphemies instead of a wonderful summation of the
grace of God found in Jesus.
It is fitting that the apostle John, whose account of the
Gospel proclaims the deity of Christ, wrote, Who is a liar
but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist,
that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son,
the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son
hath the Father also (1 John 2:22-23). Furthermore, John
explained, If we receive the witness of men, the witness of
God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath
testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the
witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar;
because he believeth not the record that God gave of his
Son (1 John 5:9-10).
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Timberville, VA 22853
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THE REALITY OF DEATH
Regardless of the culture in which one lives it is a universal
fact that the concept of a human death is not one that brings
excitement to our minds. There are those who try to avoid speaking
about death, because to them, such a thought is simply too morbid.
Others refuse to talk concerning death because they are afraid
discussing it will bring bad luck.
Why do humans die? In Romans 5:12, it is written
...by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have
sinned. It was sin that caused death to come
into the world the sin of Eve and Adam. Because of their
violation of Gods will, God cast man out of the Garden of
Eden, in His own words, lest he put out his hand and take
also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever (Gen.
3:22). Today, you and I do not have access to the tree of life on
earth, so we die.
Generally, people are living longer today than people of
recent generations did. Improved medical practices, discovered
cures for some diseases, improved health education, and improved
dietary choices are some of the factors which have contributed to
mans longevity. Yet, despite our efforts to maintain our
fitness and prolong our exit from this world, we will die one day.
Death shows no partiality. It comes to the highly educated and less
educated, to the poor and to the rich, to the ungodly and to the
godly. Just before his death, King David told his son, I go
the way of all the earth (1 Kings 2:2) a clear
reference to the universality of death.
It is an unavoidable truth that it is appointed unto
men once to die (Heb. 9:27). Physical death is part of the
human experience. There have been two exceptions to this rule in
the past, the prophets Enoch and Elijah did not die. When Jesus
returns, those still alive at that time will not pass through
physical death, but all will be changed (1 Cor. 15:51).
Death is a separation. It is a fact that the body
without the spirit is dead (James 2:26), so at death, the
spirit of a person is separated from (that is, no longer in) the
physical body. Thus, death is the closing chapter of one phase of
our existence the earthly stage. However, there is an eternal
aspect of our being, as each human has a spirit that will never
pass through death or go out of existence. Then the dust
will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to
God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7).
Some mistakenly assume that their death will come much
later rather than sooner. The young often give no thought to
death, or if death does enter their mind, they tell themselves that
they will not have to face such an unpleasant matter for many
years. The truth is, life is like a vapor that appears for a little
while then vanishes away (James 4:14). Many say, But I should
still have a lot of good years left. There is no guarantee of
that is there? Hear these sobering words: Boast not thyself
of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring
forth (Prov. 27:1). The undeniable truth is, none of us
knows how long we will live on the earth. Death sometimes comes to
the young as well as to the healthy, does it not?
We understand that on the human side of things, once death
has occurred, it is good for those who are grieving over a
persons passing to have what we call closure. After
Sarahs demise, Abraham declared a desire to bury my
dead out of my sight (Gen. 23:4). Many take great care to
have their funerals well planned. It is a serious folly, though,
for a person to give more thought in preparing for their
funeral/memorial service than for their death. Why is that? Because
after we die, we will face judgment (Heb. 9:27). Being in the right
relationship with the Lord so we will be ready for judgment is of
far greater importance than planning in advance for a wake or
Great multitudes of people are terrified by the thought of
dying. Why is that? For many, it is because they are unsure of what
lies on the other side of death. The Bible teaches that Jesus came
to release men from the bondage of fearing death (Heb. 2:14). The
great news is, by Gods grace Jesus tasted death for you, me,
and every other sinner (Heb. 2:9). Through Jesus death,
we can have life! Via the physical death of the Redeemer,
all can have spiritual life! For the saved, death is a passage into
a wonderful eternity. Praise God for it and pass on the good news!
Roger D. Campbell
120 Fawn Dr.
Chattanooga, TN 37412
Table of Contents
Postmodern Thinking #4
Victor M. Eskew
Tolerance (as is seen today) has eliminated all debate of
the issues. Everyone is supposed to go along to get along
without anything being said. However, the so-called
tolerant cannot tolerate the intolerant. They are
This series of articles is examining a system of thought that
has invaded the United States and the world. It is referred to as
postmodernism or postmodern thought. There are many elements of
this system of thought that have manifested themselves in our
society. Many people see things that are happening and are troubled
by them. This series is designed to give some understanding of what
is happening in our nation and in the church of our Lord Jesus
Postmodernism has five foundational elements. We have
examined two of them: Pluralism (February) and
Relativism (March). In this article, we will be looking at
the third pillar. It is called Tolerance. Tolerance is
defined as: an interest in and concern for ideas, opinions,
and practices that differ from ones own. Because we live
in a pluralistic society, some tolerance is needed by all. There is
a galaxy of ideas, opinions, and practices that differ widely from
person to person, culture to culture, and group to group in our
nation. If we did not have respect and tolerance for these
differing views, we would be at war constantly.
The idea of tolerance, however, has changed dramatically in
recent times. It used to be acceptable to converse and debate,
sometimes vigorously, about the differences that exist between
individuals. Each person could say what needed to be said about
anothers beliefs. Weaknesses could be exposed. Errors could be
pointed out. Contradictions could be documented. Once the debate
was over, both sides would still tolerate each other. But tolerance
(as is seen today) has eliminated all debate of the issues.
Everyone is supposed to go along to get along without anything
being said. We have opposing viewpoints, but we cannot discuss
them. If anyone speaks out against another, he is viewed as being
intolerant, mean, and unloving. He is viewed as a person who causes
division. It appears that some do not understand the definition of
unity. Unity comes through agreement and likemindedness. The
prophet of old asked: Can two walk together, except they be
agreed (Amos 3:3)? Just because people are not allowed to
discuss their differences does not mean that people are united.
Unity comes from having the same mind and the same
judgment (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10).
If a person believes the Word of God contains absolute
truth, he is put in a dilemma when things surface that oppose the
truth. The apostle Paul said that Gods children must be set
for the defense of the Gospel (Phil. 1:17). We
cannot allow error to prevail over truth. We cannot allow
immorality to triumph over holy living. Because truth exists,
Christians are obligated to oppose falsehood. The attitude of the
psalmist must permeate the attitude of Gods people today. He
wrote: Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore
I hate every false way (Psa. 119:104).
Under todays practice, any form of opposition to
another is believed to be intolerant, unloving, unkind, mean, and
divisive. Lets look at a couple of illustrations.
The Bible plainly condemns the LGTBQ lifestyles
(Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer). The actions of this
community involve fornication and uncleanness. Their
sexual acts are works of the flesh that will keep one out of the
kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21). Romans 1:26-27 shows that homosexual
acts involve vile affections and that they oppose the
natural use of both men and women. Christians cannot tolerate these
actions to the point of never saying anything. They must speak out
against them. If they do not, these actions will invade our society
like a cancer. But, when we do, we will be accused of being
intolerant. Condemnation is not tolerated in a tolerant society.
Note that! The tolerant cannot tolerate the intolerant.
Another example of something Christians cannot tolerate is
the religion of Islam. This religion is in direct opposition
to Christianity. It does not believe that Jesus is divine. It
denies the crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ. It does not
believe that Jesus is Gods final prophet to humanity. It does
not believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God. Thus,
Christians must stand in opposition to it. Again, when we do, our
tolerant society will label us as Islamophobics. They will call us
haters. Many in our society believe that Islam should be allowed to
exist without anyone saying anything in opposition to them.
As we study the Bible (Gods holy inspired word), do we
see a Christ who was tolerant of anything and everything?
Absolutely not! In John four, Jesus came into contact with a woman
of Samaria. Their conversation involved several topics. As they
spoke, the woman was convinced that Jesus was a prophet. This led
her to bring up a very controversial topic of that time.
The woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive thou art a
prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that
in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship (John
4:19-20). The woman brought up two conflicting views about the
place of worship. She wanted to know what Jesus thoughts were
on the subject. If Jesus had been tolerant, He would have said:
Both groups believe in God. Both groups are sincere. Both are
trying to worship the same God. Both have some similarities. Thus,
we need to be tolerant and accept both. Or, He could have
said: I have my beliefs and you have your beliefs. Lets
not argue about them. Lets just tolerate and love each
other. This, however, was not the response of our Lord.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh,
when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem,
worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we
worship: for salvation is of the Jews (John 4:21-22). The
Samaritans were worshipping incorrectly and Jesus told the woman
that. He plainly declared that salvation is of the Jews. Friends,
Jesus was not tolerant when it came to the defense of the truth. If
Jesus were living today, He would be accused of being intolerant,
unloving, and very mean.
Tolerance is a foundational element of our society. It has
caused us to be very weak. It has enabled all kinds of evil
ideologies and behaviors to leaven our society. It has filled the
hearts of Gods people with fear. It has brought persecution to
those who refuse to tolerate false doctrine and ungodly living.
Our tolerant society will tolerate anything and everyone
except those who do not believe as they do. They are not tolerant
of those who differ with them those whom they think are
intolerant. They are not tolerant of the creators one and only
absolute and infallible standard of authority, Gods holy Word,
the Bible. Remember, only the absolute truth can make you free
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Table of Contents
THE JUDGMENT DAY
Johnny Ramsey (Deceased)
When we stand before God, the judge of all (Heb. 12:23), what
will our sentence be? When lifes journey shall have ended,
will we regret our poor decisions that caused us to be lost (Gal.
6:7)? Or, shall we rejoice to know that our sojourn was meaningful
(1 John 4:17)? Only one life, it will soon be past. Only what
is done for Christ will last. How very true those sentiments!
When the clock of life no longer ticks because eternity has been
ushered in, what will our destiny hold? What kind of day will
It Will Be A Day Of Reckoning. Will it be reward or
remorse when we stand before our Maker? Will there be a handwriting
on the wall of our record that proclaims our doom (Daniel 5)? Shall
we reap the whirlwind of shameful activity (Hosea 8:7) or the joy
of our salvation? When Gods book of remembrance is
opened (Malachi 3), what will be the contents? Can we say what
Nehemiah did? Remember me, O my God, for good
It Will Be A Day Of Rest. Yes, rest from a wicked
world and a sinful environment awaits the faithful child of God
(Heb. 4:9). In Revelation 21:3-5 we see the fruition of godliness
in a realm that knows no sickness, sadness nor separation. Earthly
corruption never enters, and the toils of life are gone (2 Cor.
5:1). Fleshly lusts are forsaken (1 Peter 2:11), and even death
shall have been turned into victory! We will be glad we obeyed
Redeeming the time because the days are evil
It Will Be A Day Of Reunion. Christ will take us to
be with him (John 14:3). According to Matthew 8, Abraham and Isaac
and Jacob will be there. David spoke of his dead son in 2 Samuel
12:23, I shall go to him. Loved ones will be together
again! I believe Hebrews 12:23 gives us a hint of the same. What
joy it will be to see the redeemed of all the ages. There has never
been a family reunion like that one will be!
It Will Be A Day Of Revelation. The one who knows us
as we really are, and not as we pretend to be, will reveal our
eternal destiny (Rom. 2:16). The sins we were forgiven of by the
Redeemer shall not be remembered (Heb. 8:12; Psa. 32:1; 1 John
1:7), for which we should praise God. But, hypocrisies and
insincerities we tried to hide will be exposed, and those things we
knew we should have done will haunt us To him that
knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin
We are given this life to prepare for eternity, but many
pervert this purpose and waste their moments upon earth. On that
notable day, the infidel will confess the Lord (Phil. 2:9-11), and
the disobedient will try to hide from the wrath of the Almighty
(Rev. 6:12). May we be wise enough now to search our ways and
return to the Lord (Lamentations 3:40).
Let us use our days wisely: So teach us to number
our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (Psa.
90:12). And let us never follow a multitude to do
evil (Exodus 23:2). Heaven is too precious to miss!
Table of Contents
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[EDITORS NOTE: While denominations have various and
sundry teachings, the church of Christ does not have any such
thing. We do not teach church of Christ doctrine because
no such thing exists. Members of the church of Christ teach the
Holy Scriptures the Bible. It is not accurate to say the
church of Christ teaches.... The church of Christ does not
teach its own set of rules and dogmas. It has none that have been
decided upon by man. Man did not institute the church, the Lord
did. No man or group of men decided to believe this or
that and/or not to believe this or that. We simply
teach what the Bible teaches without adding anything to it nor
subtracting anything from it. Second Timothy 2:15 calls it
rightly dividing the word. We do not teach Church of Christ doctrine. We teach Bible doctrine. The Bible alone
governs the divine institution known as the church of Christ. As a
result, we are not Church of Christers. We are simply
members of the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). We have no creed but
the Bible. We follow no man from the past or present. Every
congregation of the church of Christ is autonomous and answers only
the Lord God in heaven above. Our headquarters is in heaven (Phil.
3:20), not on earth.]
Table of Contents
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