WHAT IF JESUS WERE ON FACEBOOK?
When I woke up this morning, I grabbed my iPhone, turned off
the beeping alarm, and immediately updated my Facebook status. On
the way to school I scrolled through my friends status
updates, and again updated mine with the song that was playing on
my iPod. At lunch, I took a picture of me and my friends and
uploaded it via the Facebook utility that I downloaded from the
app store. Im lying in bed now with my laptop and chatting
with my BFF (best friend forever) in Tennessee. Status update:
Good night all. Ill text you in the morning. Such
is the day of a typical American young person.
Facebook has taken the cyber world by storm and our
social lives forever in a different direction. Compete.com ranked
Facebook as the most used social network in the world. According
to Facebooks own stats page, there are currently more than
350 million active users and 65 million people are accessing
Facebook through their phones/mobile devices. They say the
average user has 130 Facebook friends and spends more than 55
minutes a day on their site.
Facebook has opened doors of communication that
didnt exist in the past. It has united old friends, helped
to keep families connected, and openly provided opportunities to
teach the Gospel. Unfortunately, however, not everything that
Facebook has brought us is good. In many ways Facebook is
like a window into ones soul. It allows others to see his
hobbies and habits. They can see everything from pictures of his
vacation to his favorite songs and websites. Truly, Facebook
reveals more about us than we might at first realize. Sadly, the
Facebook pages of some Christians bring shame on themselves and
the Lords church.
Are there Biblical principles that should govern our
use of Facebook and similar sites? Certainly! In Titus 2:3, Paul
tells us that the way Christian women behave themselves could
result in the Word of God being blasphemed. In First Timothy 6:1,
he says that the way Christian servants behave toward their
masters could result in people blaspheming the name of God. These
and other passages teach us the way we conduct ourselves in our
daily social affairs could result in reproach being brought upon
the body of Christ. So what does this have to do with Facebook?
Facebook is a social tool, and the way I conduct myself
on that particular forum could help or hurt the cause of Christ.
What if Jesus were on Facebook? I want you to use your
imagination and pretend that you log on to Facebook one day, and
Jesus has sent you a friend request. We know that such is not
possible, but for the sake of illustration, pretend. What would
you do? Would you have to stop and think before you accepted it?
Would you have to look through your pictures to be sure you
dont have any immodest pictures of yourself or anything
tasteless? Would you need to make sure you dont have any
pictures taken in inappropriate places? Would you go back over
your postings to be sure you havent said anything crude or
inappropriate? Would you scan through your list of favorite
movies and music, and perhaps delete a few of them before you let
Jesus on your site? What about the games you play? Quizzes you
take? Is there anything there that would make you stop and say to
yourself, I think Ill delete that before I let Jesus on
my site? If the answer is Yes to any of those questions,
then why not go ahead and take it off now? The fact of the matter
is, the Lord does look at our Facebook pages! He sees everything
we post on Facebook (and everywhere else for that matter).
Proverbs 15:3 says, The eyes of the Lord are in every
place keeping watch on the evil and the good” (NKJV).
Theres another part of this, even beyond the fact
that God is watching me on Facebook, and that is that other
people are watching me. Why does that matter? It matters because
what they see on my Facebook site affects what they think about
me, the church and Christianity. What if I have my religious
preference listed as church of Christ, and then I
have pictures posted of me at a nightclub or dancing or at the
beach or some other place dressed immodestly or with an alcoholic
beverage? What if my status update has the lyrics to the latest
Lady Gaga song? Or maybe Im venting and running someone else
down with a generally ugly demeanor? We could give dozens of
examples, but the question is, What effect is it going to
have on my non-Christian friend (or Christian for that matter)
who looks at my site? He might say to himself, I do
better than that and I dont even pretend to be a
Christian! Or he might just think, What a
hypocrite! Please dont misunderstand our point.
Were not suggesting that you simply need to take these
inappropriate things off Facebook. Were not suggesting that
you need to hide them better. We are not suggesting that you go
to nightclubs (or anything else you say or do), but do a better
job of keeping it a secret. Posting these things on Facebook for
all the world to see makes it worse, because when a Christian
advertises immorality, he hurts the church. What were
suggesting is that you root these things out of your life and
heart altogether (cf. Matt. 5:8; Phil. 4:8; 2 Tim. 2:22).
Once again use your imagination. Imagine that you are
surfing Facebook and you see that Jesus has his own site. You are
excited so you send him a friend request. Would he accept it?
Most of us, when we receive a friend request, have some sort of
criteria before we indiscriminately accept someone as our friend.
We want to know if we know the person. We glance at his
information, his friend list, where he lives, etc. But what about
Jesus? Does he have criteria for friend requests? Sure he does!
He said, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command
you” (John 15:14). Therefore, to be a friend of Jesus,
you have to obey him. In light of this, ask yourself, Would
Jesus accept my friend request? Before you answer the
question, consider your faithfulness in attending worship, your
Bible study habits, your efforts to teach others, your giving,
the way you treat other people, etc. Now, with your answers in
mind, Would Jesus accept your friend request?
Sometimes Christians ask, What do I do if I see
another Christian posting something inappropriate on
Facebook? Perhaps I have seen a brother or sister in Christ
use foul language in his/her status update, or maybe he has
posted a picture of himself downing a Budweiser. What do I do?
Jesus told his disciples to be wise as serpents and harmless
as doves. In other words, use wisdom and be kind. Second,
the same Bible principles that apply elsewhere apply here.
Galatians 6:1 discusses the fact that those who are spiritual
should assist a brother who is overtaken in a sin. There may come
a time, when out of love for my brother and concern for the
church, I may need to address something a fellow Christian has
posted on Facebook. Maybe I need to call him on the phone, or
send him a private message. Facebook does not exempt us from our
What if we spent as much time each day in Bible study
as we do on Facebook? The average person spends 55 minutes a day
(nearly an hour) on Facebook. For some, its obviously a lot
more. What would your spiritual life be like if you spent that
much time in Bible study and prayer?
Heres a question? Are you a daily user of Facebook
but youve told yourself youre too busy to study your
Bible every day? The answer may make you stop and think about
your priorities. Jesus said, but seek ye first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
Before I went to bed tonight I decided to spend one
minute on Facebook. Status update: Reading my Bible. No more
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Table of Contents
BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD #1
Garland M. Robinson
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus
Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us
through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of
God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath
given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and
virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your
faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge
temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience
godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly
kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they
make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in
the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1-8).
The qualities mentioned in verses five through seven
are often called Christian graces. Those who become
Christians are compelled to add the attributes of faith,
virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly
kindness and charity to their lives. A failure to do
so causes one to be as it were, blind, spiritually
near-sighted, having forgotten the happiest day of their lives
the day their sins were washed away in the precious blood
of the lamb (cf. Acts 22:16; Eph. 1:7). But to warmly embrace and
cultivate the Will of the Lord by developing and strengthening
these attributes, makes one profitable in the kingdom and useful
in Gods service.
The very act of developing the qualities mentioned in
verses five through seven shows that we are not barren we
are not unfruitful. These things must be in us and they must
abound. They must become the pattern and standard of our lives.
The world must see these things in us.
As we begin to look at verse five, lets notice the
word diligence. The Holy Spirit says, giving all
diligence. Diligence means earnestness, eagerness,
carefulness, zeal, haste, speed. One does not naturally or
accidently incorporate the graces in verses five through seven in
their lives. It takes determination and deliberate action to do
so. It takes effort and resolve. There is a conviction down deep
in our soul that we must do these things. It compels us to make
every effort to do the Lords Will. That is the whole point
of becoming a Christian is it not? Its not only to have
forgiveness of sins that we might be saved, but to grow in
Christ, to become more like him with every passing day. We start
as babes in Christ, then we grow, we mature, we increase. We mold
our mind and life to imitate His. He is our perfect example (cf.
1 Peter 2:21).
Lets also examine the word add in verse
five giving all diligence, add. It has to
do with furnishing, nourishing, contributing. It means to amply
or abundantly supply. We are not to incorporate these things in
our Christian life in a meagerly, paltry, scantly, skimpy amount.
We are to abound and flourish in these things. A failure to
diligently add these qualities in our life indicates we have
forgotten we have been purged from our sins (v.9). Oh what a
tragedy that would be. Contemplating such, Peter writes,
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the
world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is
worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for
them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they
have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto
them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb,
The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was
washed to her wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:20-22).
Each one of these graces is to work in harmony with the
others. Each one adds to and compliments the others. Each one
will temper and make the others perfect. Lets examine each
of these qualities (Christian graces) in 1 Peter 1:5-8.
Faith is conviction, confidence, trust, reliance upon,
fidelity, strong assurance.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb.
11:6). Without faith, nothing else we do is of any value. It
would be useless to seek and develop virtue or
knowledge or temperance or patience or
godliness or brotherly kindness or charity
if we do not have faith. Faith is the foundation upon which all
else is built. It is that which motivates and inspires action
that pleases God. Every act of obedience and service to Christ is
based in faith and its based on faith. It is
not acceptable to be guided by opinion. Opinions are not law.
Everybody has one and they differ one from another. We are
governed by the faith of Christ, not our opinion.
It was by and through faith that the ancient worthies
...subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained
promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of
fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made
strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of
the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and
others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might
obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel
mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were
slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and
goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the
world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in
mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all,
having obtained a good report through faith, received not the
promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they
without us should not be made perfect (Heb. 11:33-40).
Mans heart is cleansed, purified, by faith.
Concerning the Gentiles Peter said that God had ...put no
difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by
faith (Acts 15:9).
Man is justified by faith. Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ (Rom. 5:1).
Faith must precede water baptism. He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth
not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).
We live and act every day by faith, not by what we
think is right. For we walk by faith, not by
sight (2 Cor. 5:7). We live by faith according
to the faith that was once delivered to the saints
The Christian life is lived in faith. 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).
Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. ...He that
doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for
whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23).
Faith comes to rational people through rational means:
John 20:31, But these are written, that ye might
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that
believing ye might have life through his name. Romans
10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God. Acts 15:7, And when
there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them,
Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made
choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the
word of the gospel, and believe. Acts 18:8,
And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed
on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians
hearing believed, and were baptized. Luke 8:12,
Those by the way side are they that hear; then
cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their
hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Virtue is manliness, valor, moral excellence, courage,
rigor, energy, praise, goodness. It is the determination to do
that which is right that which is according to what is
right with God. It is to be sought after, nurtured and attained.
It adds to our spiritual growth. It seeks maturity toward the
In 1 Peter 1:6, the Holy Spirit through Peter wished
Christians ...to evince whatever firmness or courage might
be necessary in maintaining the principles of their religion, and
in enduring the trials to which their faith might be subjected.
True virtue is not a tame and passive thing. It requires great
energy and boldness, for its very essence is firmness, manliness,
and independence. (Barnes Commentary on 1 Peter 1:6)
Part 1 of 3
Table of Contents
IGNORANCE AND APATHY DESTROY
A troubled church asked its members to identify the problems
they faced. The survey had only one question: In your
opinion, what are the two biggest problems this congregation must
solve? One man wrote, I dont know and I dont
care. How right he was! Ignorance and apathy
keep people enslaved to the devil and his ways.
The devil would like people to remain ignorant
of the Bible because they would then have no power to overcome
him. Thomas Gray (1716-1771) wrote poetic words that have been
quoted out of context and misused for years. Many have heard the
catchy phrase ignorance is bliss. Gray said that in
this life, sorrow is an all too familiar reality and happiness
swiftly flies away. Focusing on troubles only serves to destroy
any chance for contentment. As such he wrote, where
ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise. However, this
should not be taken as a blanket endorsement of ignorance!
Another familiar clich‚ is What you dont know
cant hurt you. Oh, but it can! This is especially true
in spiritual matters. In fact, when people do not know
God in the sense of understanding His nature and obeying His
commandments, they will be destroyed. The Lord said, My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast
rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee (Hosea 4:6).
When Jesus comes again he will be revealed from heaven with His
mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do
not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ. It has often been said that ignorance of the law is
no excuse. The Lord created within each person a drive to know
God (Acts 17:24-27); therefore, mankind is without excuse (Rom.
1:20). Ignorance is a curse from which each individual must free
himself to attain heaven.
Apathy is another one of Satans tools for
destroying souls and keeping them in his power. It is much like
inertia to the soul. Overcoming the initial resistance takes work
many are unwilling to put forth. Apathy has tragic consequences
though. Edmund Burke once said, The only thing necessary for
the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Do
nothing and you will lose your soul (Matt. 25:24-30).
There is a story about a new minister who was trying to
motivate the congregation to become more spiritually minded. He
wanted them to be better Christians who were busy doing the work
of the Lord. Thinking about how best to accomplish this task, he
preached sermons on the love of God and the sacrifice Jesus made
to save us from hell. People filed out of the building Sunday
after Sunday saying That was a good sermon. Still,
there appeared to be no change in the lives of the members.
Months passed and the preacher became a bit discouraged. Finally,
he decided to use a different approach to motivate and warn the
church. The following Sunday when he got into the pulpit he cried
out, Fire! The preachers expression was so
convincing that people jumped up and heads turned in fear but no
flames were seen. After a while people sat back down and a buzz
rippled through the auditorium. Questions abounded. One of the
older members asked the minister why he had pulled such a stunt
during a worship service. It seemed totally inappropriate he
said. The preacher sadly said, For months I have been
teaching all of you about the dangers of hell fire. I have been
preaching on the love of God and how He sent his Son Jesus to die
in your place. Yet, your lives have not changed. I was beginning
to wonder if any of you realized the danger you are in because of
apathy. Why is that when I yell, Fire! you take action
but when I preach on the reality of Judgment Day no one moves a
Brethren, let us never be guilty of spiritual lethargy
(Heb. 6:11-12). Knowing Gods word ought to motivate us to
love, serve and worship Him (1 Cor. 15:58).
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Table of Contents
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH
Roger D. Campbell
Two times in the New Testament we read about the
church of the Laodiceans (Col. 4:16; Rev. 3:14). Paul
also mentioned the brethren which are in
Laodicea (Col. 4:15). Laodicea was a city located in
Asia Minor. The congregation of the Lords church there was
included in the expression the seven churches which are
in Asia. They are the ones to whom the Book of
Revelation was addressed (Rev. 1:11).
What do we know about the church of the Laodiceans? It
existed when Paul wrote the Book of Colossians (A.D. 62/63). From
what Jesus said years later to the saints in that locale through
the apostle John, it is plain that something awful had taken
place in the church there. From a spiritual standpoint, the
church of the Laodiceans was a disaster at the time John penned
the Revelation of Jesus the Christ (Rev. 3:14-22). What went
Were the people who made up the church in Laodicea ever
really converted in the first place? Was it ever a true church of
the living God? Go back to the Book of Colossians. Again, Paul
referred to the members there as the brethren which are in
Laodicea (Col. 4:15). Yes, they were real brethren in the
Lord. What did Paul instruct the saints in Colosse to do with the
letter that he wrote to them (the Book of Colossians)? First,
they were to read it among themselves. Second, they were to make
sure that it was also read in the church of the Laodiceans (Col.
4:16). It is obvious that the Holy Spirit spoke of the church in
Laodicea as a real church.
But what happened to the church there? Know this: the
brethren there did not go astray because they lacked proper
instruction. There was an epistle that someone wrote to them
(Col. 4:16), they were to be given access to the epistle that
Paul wrote to the Colossians, and Jesus sent them a letter
through John (Rev. 3). That is at least three letters of
instruction to guide them.
Neither could anyone in the church at Laodicea
rightfully say that no one really cared about them. Jesus rebuked
them alright, but He explained why He did so: As many as
I love, I rebuke and chasten... (Rev. 3:19). Let us take
a deep breath right here and tell it like it is. No one, and I
mean no one, becomes unfaithful to the Lord because there is not
ample guidance available. Folks, every true child of God has the
Bible for divine guidance! Second, no one, and I mean no one,
wavers in his faith because no one cares about him. If every
other person in the church becomes a cold-hearted snob, this fact
remains: God cares for every one of His children (1 Peter 5:7).
What did Jesus say to the church of the Laodiceans that
reveals what their spiritual status was in His sight? It is not a
pretty picture, but consider these facts (references are from
Revelation chapter 3).
1) The Laodiceans had become lukewarm (3:16).
They so disgusted the Christ that He was prepared to vomit them
out of His mouth! Could their condition be cured? Yes! By whom?
By them. How? By becoming zealous. That is exactly what the
Master told them to do: ...be zealous... (3:19).
2) They were proud and trusted in their own
self-sufficiency (3:17). They considered themselves as rich,
having need of nothing. Jesus, however, lets all men know:
...without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
3) They were spiritually poor, spiritually blind,
and spiritually naked (3:17). Jesus said so. He also said
they did not know such was the case. They either had become so
spiritually dull they did not recognize what they were truly
like, or else they refused to see themselves as they really were
4) They needed to repent. Jesus commanded them
to do just that (3:19). Their apostasy shows plainly that a child
of God can sin and stand in need of repentance. Jesus words
also show that it is possible for a child of God in sin to come
to his senses and make things right. His words further
let us know that a whole congregation can get to the point that
it needs to repent. He who thinks that every modern-day
congregation of the church of the Christ is doing just fine and
dandy is lacking proper spiritual discernment, just like the
brethren in Laodicea did.
5) The Laodiceans needed to come back to Jesus to be
blessed by Him (3:18,20). Our loving Lord has graciously
provided a way out of the muck of sin.
The Lords message to the spiritual train wreck
known as the church in Laodicea, is a reminder to every
congregation in the body of the Christ: what happened to them can
happen to one or all, so we had best beware and be on guard (1
Cor. 10:12). If I had to choose, I would rather hear about the
faithfulness of the ancient church in Philippi, but if I will
open my eyes, I can also learn valuable lessons from the church
of the Laodiceans.
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Table of Contents
PUT TO DEATH!
Colossians 3:5 tells us to mortify sin in our lives. To
mortify means to make dead, to put to death, slay. Five things
are specifically mentioned (a host of others are found throughout
the New Testament). The first item on the list is fornication.
It is defined as: illicit sexual intercourse. It includes men
with women, men with men, women with women and men/women with
animals. Its definition is very clear and understandable. First
Corinthians 6:13 says, the body is not for fornication. But by
observation, you would not know fornication is evil (immoral)
its on display all around us: movies, television, music videos,
songs, magazines, books. The thoughts and intents of peoples
heart is filled with wickedness continually (cf. Gen. 6:5). First
John 5:19 says, The whole world lieth in wickedness. However,
God tells us to flee fornication (1 Cor. 6:18) and put it to
death. When we obey the Gospel, we put away the old man of sin
and walk a newness of life (Rom. 6:1-18). How about you?
editor, Garland M. Robinson
Table of Contents
THE WORK OF DEACONS
Victor M. Eskew
A deacon is one who knows the Gospel, is
committed to the truth and is willing to faithfully
live out the truth in his life. He studies his Bible,
prays to God always, is faithful in his attendance of
the worship services and Bible class times and is
present when the church is engaged in her works. In
essence, he seeks first the kingdom of God and the
Lords righteousness (Matt. 6:33). This man is a
pristine example of Christian service to other members
of the body of Christ.
Members of the church, including preachers, often speak of
various offices that exist within the church. This is not
inappropriate because Paul referred to the office of a
bishop in 1 Timothy 3:1. It should be remembered, however,
that these offices are more than mere positions. These offices
involve very important works that need to be accomplished by those
who hold these offices. Lets hear Pauls complete
statement in 1 Timothy 3:1. This is a true saying, If a man
desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
The apostle states that the office of a bishop is a good
work. Bishops (elders) have duties. They have
responsibilities. They have obligations. The Chief Shepherd will
hold them accountable with regard to how they fulfill their tasks
(1 Peter 5:4).
Another office within the church is the office of a
deacon (1 Tim. 3:10,13). The apostle Paul sets forth the
qualifications for this position immediately following
qualifications of an elder (See 1 Tim. 3:8-13). The position of a
deacon is restricted to men, married men, married men who have
children. It is not a position available to women. Certainly, women
can be servants of the church (Rom. 16:1-2), but they cannot hold
the office of a deacon.
In this article, we want to discuss the work of
a deacon. There are four distinct areas we want to examine. First,
the deacons work involves diligent service to the
church. This work is incorporated in the title of his office.
The Greek word is diakoneo. Strong defines this word as
an attendant. It involves one who waits upon another. It
is translated elsewhere in the New Testament as minister
(Matt. 20:26). One has said that the literal definition of the word
is to kick up the dust. The picture is that of a servant
in a first-century home with a dirt floor. As he busily performs
his duties, he kicks up the dirt on the floor.
After a man is appointed to the office of a deacon, he is
usually assigned an area of work (i.e., worship, benevolence,
youth, missions, building and grounds, education, etc.). This work
has certain responsibilities that are to be performed. Once he has
been assigned to a work, he should be given the freedom to perform
his duties. Four steps are required for him to do his job
effectively: 1) the development of a plan to accomplish the tasks
assigned; 2) the recruitment of members of the church to assist him
in carrying out the plan; 3) the execution of the plan, and 4)
being accountable to the elders for how well his duties have been
carried out. If a man is not willing to bear these
responsibilities, he should not be a deacon.
The other tasks required of a deacon revolve around his
qualifications. In 1 Timothy 3:9, one of the qualifications is for
the deacon to hold the mystery of the faith in a pure
conscience. The mystery of the faith involves all
that is found in the New Testament of Jesus Christ. A deacon is one
who knows the Gospel, is committed to the truth, and is willing to
faithfully live out the truth in his life. This man studies his
Bible. He prays to God always. He is faithful in his attendance of
the worship services and Bible class times. He is present when the
church is engaged in her works. In essence, he seeks first the
kingdom of God and the Lords righteousness (Matt. 6:33). This
man is a pristine example of Christian service to other members of
the body of Christ.
A third responsibility of a deacon is the constant
development of his Christian character. Likewise must the
deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not
greedy of filthy lucre (1 Tim. 3:8). A deacon should be a
person who is deeply concerned about his Christian character and
conduct. He rejects the world and transforms his mind by the will
of God (Rom. 12:1-2). He constantly seeks to conform himself into
the image of his Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29). He is an example
to the believers (1 Tim. 4:12). He lives his life in such a way
that he can say: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am
of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
A fourth obligation has to do with the maintenance of a
healthy, faithful family. A deacon is the husband of one wife and
the father of precious children (1 Tim. 3:12). His family unit is
to be one of his primary concerns. He needs to love his wife as
Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). He also must make certain that
his children are reared in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
(Eph. 6:4). His wife must maintain a high level of spirituality.
Within the qualifications of a deacon, it is said of his wife:
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober,
faithful in all things (1 Tim. 3:11). A deacon must keep
in mind that the quality of his family helped qualify him for his
work. In like manner, it could disqualify him if he is not diligent
to maintain it.
The position of a deacon is a valuable part of the work
of the local congregation. It could be said that they are the
backbone of the local congregation. Their efforts both coordinate
the activities of the members and accomplish the works of the local
church. The deacon who performs his role well also benefits.
For they that have used the office of a deacon well
purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the
faith which is in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 3:13).
Our prayer is that qualified men will arise to accept the
office and work of a deacon.
800 E Wood St.
Paris, TN 38242
Table of Contents
IS THE LORDS CHURCH ADRIFT?
Many have not or are not willing to admit that
the church of today is adrift.
The Hebrew writer presents a vivid picture of a ship drifting
past its harbor because the pilot has not paid attention to the
course. Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to
the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them
slip (drift away from them, ASV). How shall we
escape, if we neglect so great salvation... (Heb. 2:1,3a).
This text reveals at least four points: 1) The urgency of
the situation give the more earnest heed. 2) The
urgency of recalling what you have been taught to the
things which we have heard. 3) The urgency of keeping focused
on Christ Lest at any time we should let them slip
(or drift). 4) The consequences How shall we
While these verses have direct application to individual
Christians, the same can be applied to congregations. That being
the case, if a casual, flippant attitude can cause an individual to
leave the faith, then can such an attitude cause a congregation to
drift and leave the faith? If it is imperative for
individuals to pay attention to what they have been taught, then
what about congregations? If an individual can slip or
drift away from Christ, can a congregation do the same?
The answer to these questions is very self-evident (rhetorical) in
nature. Still, many have not or are not willing to admit that the
church of today is adrift. That is, the church of today has
developed a soft, compromising attitude toward the doctrine of
Christ! This philosophy or mind-set has been developed through a
steady, slow drift so much so that many have simply adjusted to the
Several years ago, brother Ralph T. Henley spoke on the
3rd Annual Spiritual Sword Lectureship on the subject, Is a
Denomination Emerging from the Church of Christ? His third
point, There are some indications that the church is moving
towards Denominationalism, has direct bearing on the
discussion at hand. As you read his points that were made in
October of 1978, think of where we are today, 32 years later!
Brethren, if you think this has not happened, then let
every preacher and elder that reads this publication, print this
article and preach a lesson on these points and see what happens!
A Development of a Professional Clergy.
A Tendency to Make Doctrinal Compromise with
A Copying Of Denominational Concepts.
Spending More and More Church Money on Social Functions.
Orienting the Church Along Recreational Lines.
Mission Work At Home And Abroad Is Not Foremost In Our
Brotherhood Journals, For The Most Part, Are Pedantic And
The Church Is Provincial, Middle-class, And Mostly White.
A Growing Acceptance of Instrumental Music As Being An
A General Rationalization That People In Denominations
Are Not Going To Be Lost. They May Have A Little Error Here and
There, But Not Lost.
The Church Is Polarizing Around A Few Colleges, a Few
Journals, A Few Schools of Preaching, And A Few Leaders.
There Is A Movement, Perhaps Larger Than We Wish To
Admit, To Deny Pattern Authority And Are Advocating Unity In
A Sizable Group Of Preachers And Church Leaders Are
Advocating A New Hermeneutic an Acceptance As Binding Only
That For Which We Have A Direct Command.
Church Historians Already Consider The Church of Christ
As An American Denomination....
Worldliness And Secularism Have Pervaded Our
We Have Lost Sight Of The Church As Gods Means Of
Saving A Lost World. (God Demands Doctrinal Preaching,
Without question, in my humble estimation, the church is
truly adrift, and the only way of turning her around is clearly and
forcefully set forth by the apostle Paul, Preach the word;
be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke , exhort with
all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim.4:2)!
The question especially for every elder and preacher is:
Can the Lord count on you?
PO Box 975
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
The power of God unto salvation is channeled to the lost
through the preaching [teaching] of the Gospel. Not every Gospel
sermon in the New Testament had the desired result because many of
them were interrupted. Stephens great sermon in Acts seven was
cut short by the angry members of the Sanhedrin Court. Pauls
marvelous discourse on Mars Hill in Athens was interrupted just as
he began to give expression to the vital truth of the resurrection
from the dead and the final Judgment. The lesson Paul was
delivering before Festus was cut short. Festus could scarcely
refrain himself from exclaiming that Pauls much learning had
made him mad (insane). Sermons today can be interrupted or
disrupted by unthoughtful brethren who watch the clock, who play
with children, or who drum their fingers to show their impatience,
or in some other way to show their boredom. How rude, how shallow,
and how indifferent to the message of the saving gospel such
actions are. The attitude we have toward Gods word is the
attitude we have toward God himself ...Bob Winton,
Manchester, TN. My wife and I have been enjoying STOP for
about fifteen years. We attend services with a sister in Christ who
would like to receive it also ...Flint, MI. I
just learned of your monthly publication. Can you put me on your
mailing list and my dad also ...Sharon Johnson, Newport,
AR. I pray Gods blessings on your work for the Lord.
Its so much needed. Im sending more seed
(money) to bear fruit. Id like to have extra copies of some
back issues. Thank you ...name withheld by request, OH.
I so look forward to receiving your monthly publication of
STOP. It is wonderful to read after men who are adhering faithfully
to Gods Word. I am sending a small amount to help with the
postage. Please add this name to your mailing list. Thanks. I would
like to remain anonymous please. Keep up the good work. May God
bless you in your efforts ...name withheld, Lascassas,
TN. Please remove my name from your mailing list of
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...Harold Denney, Atlanta, GA. Thank you. We enjoy
Seek The Old Paths ...Conna Lee Blevins, Shady
Valley, TN. May God bless your work. The Word must be
sown. Heres a bit more help. No name please ...OH.
I have received your paper for several years and it has been
very helpful. I really do enjoy it. Please add this name to your
mailing list ...Johnnie Vickers, Fairhope, AL.
Revelation 3:14-17, And unto the angel of the church of
the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and
true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy
works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold
or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor
hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am
rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and
knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind, and naked. John, directed by the Holy Spirit to write
this letter to first century churches, showed they had problems.
But, unlike Laodicea, he was able to say something complimentary to
many of them. The letters to the seven churches in Asia symbolizes
the church in our day. I believe we are in the Laodicean age. With
the creation of many denominational churches, many so-called
believers are smug and satisfied with the writings and traditions
of men ž thinking they are in truth, but are actually in error.
Oftentimes the writings of such individuals as Joseph Smith, Mary
Baker Eddy and Ellen G. White, are esteemed above Gods written
Word as he inspired it to patriarchs, prophets and apostles. False
worship has been a problem through the ages. Examples are
Cains refusal to offer the appropriate sacrifice, Nadab and
Abihu using strange fire for worship, the Judaizers in Galatia, and
even today the errors of celebacy, purgatory, sinners prayer
and eternal security are and have led many into perdition. The
Lords church needs to stand for the type of worship authorized
in the Scriptures and speak the truth in love in regards to
popular, but false doctrines. Stand for the Truth ...Leslie
Putman, El Dorado, AR. I would like the monthly STOP sent
to me. Thank you ...Carollyn Dunn, Cedar Hill, TX.
Thank you for your good work ...James R. Wells,
Ravenden, AR. Would you please send STOP to my cousin.
Thanks ...Name Withheld. Thank you
...Anothy Grigsby, Huber Heights, OH. I have been
receiving your publication for some time, however since November,
I have not. Please start sending it to me again. If possible, could
you send me the ones starting in November. I so enjoy your paper
and dont want to miss any of them. May God continue to bless
this good work ...Oleta Trigg, Big Sandy, TX. My
husband and I enjoy receiving and reading your publication. Please
send STOP to the following people and accept the enclosed donation
to defer maiing costs. Thank you for your efforts to proclaim the
truth from Gods Word. May God continue to bless your
efforts ...Rhonda Brown, Maysville, OK.
HE BREATHES WITH HIS FEET
What breathes with its feet, has thousands of jaws but no
mouth, has up to fifty arms, and an eye on the end of each arm? No,
its not a new creature for the next Star Wars movie. Its
the starfish. When God designed the starfish, it almost seems as if
He tried to see how differently He could make this creature from
all the others. Depending upon the species, the starfish can have
from three to fifty arms while there is an eye on the end of each
one. The rough skin of the starfish is covered with tiny jaws to
keep parasites from attaching themselves to the starfish. Even more
amazing is the fact that each of these thousands of jaws works
independently of the rest. To get its oxygen, the starfish takes
water in through tubes in its feet, each containing a tiny pump and
a pipe system linking it to the other feet. The starfish presents
us with the lesson that our Creator did not have to make the
creation in any specific way. This is referred to by theologians as
voluntary creation. If God had chosen to, humans might be
breathing through our feet! But the biblical truth of the voluntary
creation was one of the crucial ideas that provided the basis for
the modern scientific method.
From CREATION MOMENTS, INC.
Table of Contents
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