Gods Message To The PREACHERS Of His Sheep
The Gospel preacher has a clearly charged duty: I
charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who
shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his
kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For
the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the
truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all
things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full
proof of thy ministry (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
A Gospel preacher must always preach the truth all the
time and at every place. This includes both saints (the church and
its shepherds) and sinners. Sometimes, he is asked to leave. In
this case he must shake the dust from his feet, and move
on. Notice in the last verse of the charge that Paul urges Timothy:
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the
work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
So, according to this passage, the evangelist also has a duty (the
same as shepherds) to watch out for the welfare of the
flock. Not only will God require the flock at the hands of the
shepherds, but He will also expect the evangelist to give an
account of his ministry, as he will each of us for our service.
To Titus, Paul penned: These things speak, and
exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee
(Titus 2:15). The evangelist has the same authority for his
duties as the shepherds have for theirs. Though some of the duties
differ, they also overlap some. Here we see the authority to
preach, which includes exhortation (to call or invite by
exhortation, beseech) and rebuke (a stronger word --
admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, reprove). Where there
are no shepherds over the flock, it is especially important that
the evangelist be mature, sound, faithful and fearless. The success
and future faithfulness of the congregation will often fall largely
on him. However, even with shepherds, the same is usually true,
because shepherds sometimes hire an evangelist and act more like a
board of directors than shepherds.
The evangelist must not love anything more than he loves
the Truth of the Gospel. He must not go into the pulpit worrying
about the big house he may have to move out of, or the good salary
and fringe benefits, or the praise he may love from the shepherds
and members alike. Although first an apostle, Paul was a powerful,
faithful and fearless preacher. Though not always popular, and
sometimes standing alone, he preached the truth, even to the point
of making enemies among his audiences. In Galatia, Paul stood alone
against Peter because Peter was wrong, and he also made others his
enemy there by telling them the truth (2:11; 4:16). We learn that
not only must elders require the truth be taught to them, even to
the point of rebuking if necessary (1 Tim. 5:17-20), but an apostle
who was wrong had to be confronted and rebuked. Of course, we have
no living apostles today; but, we do have shepherds, some who
clearly need to be rebuked, due to their leading congregations into
error in the work and worship of the church.
The question is: Who will do it? Who will lay their job
on the line and speak forth the truth of the Gospel regardless of
the consequences? Before preachers refrain from preaching the truth
in season and out of season, he better consider what the
consequences will be IF he does not! Paul told the church at
Colosse: For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,
whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel
(Col. 1:5). The only way one learns the truth about heaven is
through the Truth of the Gospel.
Most who know anything about modern religion also know
that millions of people in the USA know as much about the Truth of
the Gospel as I do about piloting an airplane. False teachers are
busily converting biblically ignorant people to their own plans.
They make it as simple to be saved as acknowledging that they
believe Jesus is the Son of God. If that is true, then every demon
in hell, and the Devil himself will be saved. Matthew records:
And, behold, they [the devils or demons] cried out,
saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art
thou come hither to torment us before the time (Matt.
8:29)? The Devil talked to Jesus face to face in Matthew 4. He
never denied who He was, but tried to tempt the Lord to sin. So, if
believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is all that is
required, then who could even estimate how many would be saved?
Yet, anyone who has any knowledge of the New Testament knows this
is just a plan devised by men who are servants of Satan, to dupe
other men to follow them. But, to follow them where? Brethren, it
is the same place that all too many SHEPHERDS (and one group is too
many) are leading men and women who profess to be Christians, into
I say it with much sadness; but, it must be said! What
can a religious teacher mix with the Gospel of salvation and still
have the Truth? NOTHING. Anything plus the Gospel is too much!
Anything less than the Gospel is not enough! Why are some men and
women not satisfied with that which is perfect? James speaks of the
perfect law of liberty (James 1:25). Of what
does he speak? Surely no one can successfully argue that he writes
of anything other than the doctrine of Jesus Christ! It is that
which Jesus said will judge in the last day (John 12:48).
1927 Washington St.
Paducah, KY 42003
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ARE YOU A LIBERAL?
Since the church of Christ today is being rent asunder
by what is labeled as liberalism, it is not uncommon to
hear a brother or sister referred to as a liberal.#&148 It is
often used to describe preachers, but is not limited to them. What
is meant by the term liberal? Are you one? How would you
or any one else know? Lets think about this.
The terms liberal, liberally, and liberality are used
in the scriptures nine times, five times in the Old Testament and
four times in the New Testament. In all of these usages the term
refers to something desirable and good. Liberal and liberalism, as
those terms are used today, generally are not references to
something good and desirable. They usually refer to an attitude and
philosophy in religion which is in conflict with the Word of God.
Thus we turn to the dictionary to see what the word
liberal means and then apply that meaning to see if we
Websters New World Dictionary of the American
Language, College Edition (1960) defines liberal as
follows: (1) originally, suitable for a free man; not
restricted; (2) giving freely, generous; (3) large and plentiful,
ample, abundant; (4) not restricted to the literal meaning; (5)
tolerant of views differing from ones own, broadminded. SYN.
Liberal implies tolerance of others views as well as
open-mindedness to ideas that challenge tradition, established
Now, lets apply that definition to ones
religious views and practices.
1) NOT RESTRICTED. Liberals do not like to be
restricted by anyone, God included. Their language will be filled
with expressions that show their dislike for restrictions. They
will talk about not being under law, but grace, or of God
not having a list of shall nots, etc. They
dont want to tell anyone they are wrong about anything (except
about them). Nor do they want anyone trying to restrict what they
say or do. The desire for freedom from such restrictions is the
heart of liberalism.
2) GIVING FREELY, GENEROUS. I would hope that every
Christian would be liberal in this sense. Sadly however, this is
not the case. Many who need to be liberal in their giving of time,
energy and money to the Lord are not so. God bless those who are
liberal in this manner. Just as some in the first century were
commended for their liberality (2 Cor. 8:1-8), we need to commend
some brethren today for being liberal in their giving.
Unfortunately, it seems those who are liberal in their teaching and
practice are also more liberal in their giving. I have noted that
liberal churches often have higher contributions and pay their
preachers more than conservative churches of the same
size. However, you cannot atone for a liberal spirit in doctrine
and practice with liberal giving.
3) LARGE AND PLENTIFUL, AMPLE, ABUNDANT. With a smile
on my lips, I say that we have a great many brethren who are
liberal in this sense, preaching brethren like myself included. Too
many of us eat too much, exercise too little, and become
liberal in this sense.
4) NOT RESTRICTED TO THE LITERAL MEANING. One of the
marks of a liberal is to criticize the literal interpretation of
the Scriptures and make passages which restrict them to
be figurative or to give words a different meaning than their usual
and common one. A good example of this is found in 2 John 9-11. The
term doctrine of Christ obviously refers to the doctrine
taught by Christ, either in person or through the apostles who were
guided by the Holy Spirit. That entire body of doctrine is the New
Testament and by its precepts and teachings each of us will one day
be judged (John 12:48). However, since this passage teaches there
must be unity based upon the common truth of that body of doctrine,
and that any one who will not abide in that doctrine does not have
God and must not be fellowshipped by faithful brethren, the
liberals advance the idea that all that is meant by the expression
doctrine of Christ is the acknowledgment of the deity and
person of Christ. Looking for an alternate meaning, or one that is
figurative rather than literal, when the passage is clearly
literal, is a sure identifying mark of a liberal.
5) TOLERANT OF VIEWS DIFFERING FROM ONES OWN,
BROADMINDED. The predominant movement in religion in general is
broadmindedness. Our liberal brethren feel right at home
among the denominationalists of our day. They do not criticize the
denominational person nor tell him he is wrong, and the
denominational person loves him for that and does not tell the
liberal member of the church of Christ that he is wrong either.
They have swallowed the error of thinking they can agree to
disagree, ignore doctrinal differences as long as there is a
common acceptance of Christ as the Son of God, and have unity
in diversity. The only one with which the liberal will not be
tolerant and open-minded is the one who disagrees with him, whether
it be a denominational person or a brother in Christ. The liberal
loves to fellowship denominational people and other liberal
brethren, and has only good things to say about and to them, but
from his mouth comes the most scathing denunciations of those who
dare to criticize what they teach and practice. Yet they claim to
be the ones who really know what love is and to practice it toward
6) SYN. LIBERAL IMPLIES TOLERANCE OF OTHERS
VIEWS as well as open-mindedness to ideas that challenge tradition,
established institutions, etc. Have you not listened to nor read
what the liberals are saying about our traditions? You
would think the church of Christ is just a group of people who
practice their religion because of tradition rather than having a
God-given basis founded upon the solid rock of biblical truth. Such
issues as instrumental music in worship, congregational singing,
refusing women the role of leadership in the church, and a host of
other such things are scoffed at as being only matters of tradition
and not matters of faith. The church as Jesus designed it and as
the apostles organized it, and as it has existed for centuries is
not good enough for them. It is too out-dated for the modern
baby-boomers who do not like its
traditionalism, so they are determined to change it and
alter it to the extent that it no longer resembles the church you
read about in the Bible. What do they use as an excuse for doing
so? They claim the scriptures do not contain a plan, a pattern, or
a blue-print for the church and its worship. Thus we can change it
to suit our whims and fancies and God will accept us and our
Brethren, these are all marks of a liberal, but they
are not the only ones. I hope that as you read these things and
examine your own attitudes and life, that you discover you are
liberal in the good sense, i.e., with your time, money, etc., but
that you are not a liberal in doctrine and practice. Furthermore,
considering what these brethren are doing to the Cause of Christ,
I hope you not only resolve never to become a liberal yourself, but
also not to lend them any encouragement or support in their
pernicious ways lest you become a partaker of their sins (2 John
Let us all, rather than simply abstaining and remaining
silent, stand up and speak out and earnestly contend for the faith
(Jude 3). To do less is to fail our Lord.
7725 State Route 121 N
Murray, KY 42071
Table of Contents
Blinded To The Truth
Marvin L. Weir
The apostle Paul stated that the god of this world
hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, lest the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not
dawn upon them (2 Cor. 4:4). So many in this world
profess to believe in God, but their actions belie their
profession. How can people claim to be obedient to the Lord and
then pick and choose only those commands they desire to
obey? It is because they have allowed themselves to be blinded to
Most denominations teach that baptism (immersion) is
not necessary for salvation. There are even those who claim to
be members of the Lords church who espouse that baptism is not
essential for salvation. What is the truth regarding this
matter? The Bible declares the Word of God to be true (John 17:17).
In fact, the apostle Paul admonished, let God be found
true, but every man a liar (Rom. 3:4). Unless one has
been blinded to the truth, he will always accept Gods Word
over mans word.
Billy Graham, champion of Baptist doctrine for years,
calls on people to repent to be saved, but denies they
must be baptized to be saved. Is Billy Graham correct or
is God correct? They both cannot be correct because they differ
with one another on the question of what one must do to be saved.
The apostle Peter rightly accuses the Jews of crucifying
the Christ (Acts 2:36). Divine inspiration then records,
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart,
and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what
shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift
of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38, emph. MLW).
Billy Graham and those of his persuasion are right
when they say people must repent of their sins but, they are
wrong when they say baptism is not necessary for
forgiveness of sins. The conjunction and clearly shows
that remission of sins is reserved for those who repent
and are baptized. One cannot be baptized without
repentance or repent without being baptized and expect to be saved.
God has spoken regarding the matter, and His Word takes precedence
over the word of any man.
Those not blinded to the truth of Gods Word will
desire to submit to what the Scriptures teach regarding salvation.
Please note the following Scriptures and examples that prove
baptism is essential for salvation.
First, the apostle Peter states that baptism
saves a person (1 Peter 3:21). How can what Peter declares be true
if baptism is not necessary for salvation?
Second, baptism is the act that puts one into
Christ Jesus. Paul says, For as many of you as were
baptized into Christ did put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). If
baptism puts one into Christ as Gods Word teaches,
how can one be saved without being baptized (outside of Christ)?
Third, baptism is a burial (not a sprinkling)
and those who are baptized should then walk in newness of life
(Rom. 6:4). False teachers declare that men are saved and have
newness of life before they are baptized, but the Word of God
truthfully teaches that newness of life follows ones baptism.
Those not blinded to the truth will accept the Word of God instead
of the word of men.
Fourth, the great commission states,
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned
(Mark 16:15-16, emph. MLW). To repent of ones
sins is to believe and obey the Lords command, and to
be baptized is to believe and obey the Lords
command! In the latter part of verse 16 it is not necessary to say
he that disbelieveth [and is not baptized] shall be
condemned because one who does not believe will not obey the
Lords commands. Thus, one who refuses to be baptized to be
saved does so because he does not believe baptism is necessary for
salvation. It is simply a lack of faith -- a failure to believe the
Word of God.
Fifth, some 3,000 on Pentecost repented
and were baptized in order to be saved (Acts 2:37-41).
Sixth, those in Samaria who believed
the preaching of Philip were baptized (Acts 8:12).
Seventh, the eunuch believed the
teaching of Philip, made the good confession, was
baptized, and then went on his way rejoicing (Acts
Eighth, Cornelius believed and was
baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 10:43-48).
Ninth, the Philippian jailor believed
and was baptized; Lydia was also baptized (Acts
One is simply blinded to Gods truth who allows
himself to believe the false doctrine that the act of baptism has
nothing to do with his salvation. It does one absolutely no good to
claim to believe God but refuse to obey Him!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
WHAT IGNORANCE DOES TO THE CHURCH
No less than eight times in the New Testament, we find the
expression (or its equivalent), I would not have you to be
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO LOOK LIKE THE WORLD
IN THEIR IGNORANCE
Rom. 1:13, Now I would not have you ignorant,
Rom. 11:25, For I would not, brethren, that ye
should be ignorant of this mystery...
I Cor. 10:1, Moreover, brethren, I would not
that ye should be ignorant...
I Cor. 12:1, Now concerning spiritual gifts,
brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Cor. 1:8, For we would not, brethren, have
I Thess. 4:13, But I would not have you to be
2 Peter 3:8, But, beloved, be not ignorant of
this one thing...
We should not be like the fellow who prayed, Lord,
make me ignoranter and ignoranter. Many church members
dont really realize the high cost of ignorance. Either that,
or they just dont care. My friend, it was ignorance
that put Jesus on the cross. While suspended between heaven and
earth he said, they know not what they do
(Luke 23:34). Acts 3:17 says, And now, brethren, I wot
that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
It was ignorance that caused Saul to set out
to eradicate the Lords church. He said of himself before his
conversion, Who was before a blasphemer, and a
persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it
ignorantly in unbelief (I Tim. 1:13). He said in Acts
26:9, I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do
many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
It was ignorance that caused Israel and Judah
to go into captivity. Isaiah 5:13 says, Therefore my
people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and
their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up
with thirst. Jeremiah 4:22 says, For my people
is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and
they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do
good they have no knowledge. Hosea 4:6 says,
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge....
Have you ever thought about WHAT IGNORANCE DOES TO THE
CHURCH? Here are ten things:
The apostle Peter penned these words in I Peter 1:14,
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to
the former lusts in your ignorance. One who has obeyed
the Gospel has come out of the ignorance that is characteristic of
the world. Ignorance of Gods word should never be said of
Christians as it is of the world.
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO FORGET THE
FUNDAMENTALS OF CHRISTIANITY
Paul spoke of the ignorance that is characteristic of the
world in Eph. 4:17-18. He wrote to the church of Ephesus and said,
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their
mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the
life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the
blindness of their heart:
Paul told Titus to preach on a number of different subjects
(Titus 2-3). In Titus 3:8 he said, This is a faithful
saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that
they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good
works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Jude said, I will therefore put you in remembrance,
though ye once knew this... (Jude 5). In 2 Peter 1:13,
Peter declared, Wherefore I will not be negligent to put
you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and
be established in the present truth. As long as we live
we will always need to be reminded of the fundamentals of the
faith. These things must be constantly affirmed. Repetition,
repetition, repetition is the key to learning. So long as there are
new converts coming along, there will always be the need to inform
them of the fundamentals of the faith. So long as there are
unfaithful Christians who need to be restored, there will always be
the need to be reminded of the fundamentals of the faith. An
organization is only as strong as its foundation. The fundamentals
of the faith are the foundation of the church. When the
fundamentals are forgotten, the foundation is destroyed.
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO BE SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE
Sadly, many do not want to get past the bare basics of
Christianity. Hebrews 5:12-14 describes such people. However, the
Bible commands, Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). We are
to add to our faith the Christian virtues (2 Peter 1:5-13), one of
which is knowledge. Colossians 1:9 speaks of being
filled with the knowledge of his will. Philippians
1:9 speaks of our love abounding more and more in
knowledge. Listen to the sayings of Solomon.
How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the
scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge
(Prov. 1:22). Doesnt this describe some in the church?
It is sad indeed when some brethren hate knowledge. It is
apparent in their speech, actions and attitudes. We all need to
have the attitude of the truth set forth in Proverbs 2:10,
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is
pleasant unto thy soul. Is knowledge pleasant unto your
soul? Proverbs 10:14 says, Wise men lay up
knowledge.... Sadly, there are too many spiritual
misfits in the church who see no need to leave the principles of
the doctrine of Christ and go on unto perfection (Heb. 6:1).
IGNORANCE CAUSES FALSE DOCTRINE TO INVADE THE CHURCH MORE EASILY
Perhaps this is the greatest curse of ignorance in the
church today or in any day. The account given in Matthew 22:23-32
illustrates this truth vividly. The Sadducees were in error on the
resurrection. Jesus told them, Ye do err, not knowing the
scriptures, nor the power of God (Matt. 22:32).
IGNORANCE CAUSES IMMORALITY TO INVADE THE CHURCH MORE EASILY
Paul pointed out to the Athenians that they engaged in
ignorant worship (Acts 17:23). Many today engage in ignorant
worship because of their ignorance of Gods will concerning
what constitutes true worship (cf. John 4:23-24; Matt. 15:9).
Like the blind leading the blind, many are falling into
error because of their ignorance. In 2 Peter 3:3-10, some
scoffers were in error concerning the judgment of God.
Peter corrected their error. He noted in verse 5, For
this they willingly are ignorant of.... In verse 8, he
said, But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one
Ignorance of Gods will is wreaking havoc on the
Lords church. Ignorance is causing many, even whole
congregations, to be carried about with every wind of
doctrine (Eph. 4:12).
It is true that many do not care about morality, even after
having been taught correctly. However, there are many who are just
ignorant. Ignorance leads to immorality. Why do people, even in the
church, socially drink, smoke, dance, dress immodestly, curse,
gamble, etc.? In the context of Ephesians 4:17-25 it clearly
connects ignorance with immorality. Paul spoke of those in Romans
1:28, who did not like to retain God in their knowledge.
The result of such is spelled out in verses 28-32. People do some
of the most horrible and immoral things because of their ignorance
of Gods will.
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO NOT BE ABLE TO ANSWER
First Peter 2:15 tells us that we are to put to
silence the ignorance of foolish men, but many
Christians cannot do this because of their own ignorance. First
Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your
hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and
fear: First John 4:6 says, ...Hereby know we
the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Sadly,
many do not know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of
error. Some would not know error if it ran over them in the
road. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Paul wrote about the Christian
warfare. What are Christians to do in this spiritual war? Paul
declared in verse 5, Casting down imaginations, and every
high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Christ. The original language is very strong. It carries
the sense of utter devastation. Many do not like it, but the
Lords church, as the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim.
3:15), has the God-given responsibility to demolish and destroy
error. Anything that would exalt itself against the knowledge
of God should be cast down. But, many Christians havent
enough Bible knowledge to be able to do this. It is a shame when
the church cant give basic Bible answers to basic Bible
questions and be able to refute basic and common error!
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO NOT BE ABLE TO CARRY ON
It is very difficult to carry on a conversation with many
that is centered on/around the Word of God, because of their
ignorance of the Word of God. Paul spoke about this saying,
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you
with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear
it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas
there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not
carnal, and walk as men (I Cor. 3:1-3)? Have you ever
tried to carry on a spiritual conversation with a spiritual misfit?
It is practically impossible because of their utter and sheer
ignorance of the Word of God. Sad indeed!
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO BE INEFFECTIVE IN
You cant teach what you dont know! Jesus said in
Mark 16:15, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature. It is sad indeed when the church
cant teach the lost the ABCs of Christianity because of
their ignorance. God wants all men to come unto the knowledge
of the truth (I Tim. 2:4). A real obstacle to evangelism in
the church today is the ignorance that is characteristic of so many
members. We need to get back to the time when members of the
Lords church were known as Bible-Toting,
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO OFFER UNWARRANTED
In speaking of the Jews of his day, Jesus said,
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and
not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless
(Matt. 12:7). The people to whom Jesus spoke condemned the
guiltless. This happens all too often today. It is amazing how
many believe they are experts in every subject. They speak of those
things they know not. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:12, But
these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed,
speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall
utterly perish in their own corruption. People offer
unwarranted criticisms many times because of their ignorance. Just
as the Jews unjustly condemned and criticized some of their fellows
because of their ignorance, could it not be the case that we do the
same thing today because of our ignorance? Before Paul was
converted to Christ, he said he was a blasphemer. But, he
said he did it ignorantly in unbelief (I Tim. 1:13).
IGNORANCE CAUSES THE CHURCH TO BE REJECTED BY GOD
Hosea 4:6 says, My people are destroyed for lack
of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also
reject thee.... Romans 1:28 says, And even as
they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them
over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not
convenient. Romans 10:3, For they being
ignorant of Gods righteousness, and going about to establish
their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the
righteous of God. Without submitting ourselves to the
righteousness of God, we cant be accepted of God (Acts
10:34-35). Ephesians 4:18 says, Having their
understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God
through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of
their heart: Indeed, the greatest tragedy of being
ignorant of Gods word is being eternally rejected by God.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to Gods will!
How sad it is when congregations seem content to remain in
ignorance of Gods word. Some congregations are like the church
of the Laodiceans, who were wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked (Rev. 3:17). We need to take
heed to the words of the apostle Paul, Awake to
righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame (1 Cor. 15:34). It is to our
shame if we do not have the knowledge of God.
Dont be like the fool of Proverbs 1:7 who
despise wisdom and instruction or like the one described
by Solomon in Proverbs 30:3, I neither learned wisdom, nor
have the knowledge of the holy. Some are perfectly content to
remain ignorant of Gods word. Many do not know any more 30
years after being baptized than the day they were baptized. So, as
Paul said, But if any man be ignorant, let him be
ignorant (I Cor. 14:38). There is not much one can do for the
person who willfully rejects Bible knowledge. People may not
realize it, but this is exactly what a person does when he chooses
to miss the services of the church, and when he chooses to neglect
personal Bible study. Those who choose to remain ignorant cannot
possibly enter heaven.
74 Driftwood Court
McMinnville, TN 37110
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NON-RESTRAINT IN CONDUCT
The effects of sin will do many things to a person. The
alcoholic slowly destroys his body and soul with every drink of an
alcoholic beverage. The person who becomes involved in pornography
slowly dulls his moral thinking until nothing is pure.
The people in Jeremiahs day reaped the effects of
sin, Were they ashamed when they had committed
abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they
blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time
that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord
(Jer. 6:15). God was not pleased with the people of that day
because of their idolatry and lascivious conduct. He is not pleased
with the same things in the perilous times in which we live.
In chapter five of the book of Galatians, Paul lists
works of the flesh. Lasciviousness is fourth in that list
of sins (Gal. 5:19). What is lasciviousness? It is defined as
absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness, indecent bodily
movements, unchaste handling of males and females. It is
shameless conduct or non-restraint in conduct.
In the pages of the Old Testament, there is an excellent
example of people who had an absence of restraint in their lives.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the
earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was
only evil continually (Gen. 6:5). Because of their
ungodly lives, God brought a flood upon the earth to destroy all
but eight people. God spared not the old world, but saved
Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in
the flood upon the world of the ungodly (2 Peter 2:5).
There are many ways lasciviousness can effect people. It
is seen in the absence of public decency. Immodesty and lewdness
are paraded on the streets, at ball games, on the beach and
sometimes at church. Lasciviousness is also seen in the lack of
respect for the rights and feelings of others. The dance floor is
overrun with the absence of restraint in conduct. There are
multitudes that have thrown off all restraint and have forgotten
how to blush.
God has a remedy for the sin of lasciviousness. It is
called the lake of fire. The fearful, and
unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers,
and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part
in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the
second death (Rev. 21:8).
God does not desire that anyone should end up in hell.
This is why He sent Jesus to die on the cross. But God
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). God demands obedience to
His Word. Love for Christ will keep us from the sin of
lasciviousness. For the love of Christ constraineth us;
because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all
dead (2 Cor. 5:14).
Do you love God enough to hold fast to His word and let
it restrain your conduct?
1415 Lincoln Rd.
Lewisport, KY 42351
Table of Contents
THERE WAS NO CHURCH BEFORE THE CROSS OF CHRIST
The church (or kingdom) and the Gospel system have, in a
sense, existed from the very beginning. They have existed in at
least five successive stages: first, in purpose, in the mind of
God; second, in promise; third, in prophecy; fourth, in preparation
during the life of John the Baptist and the earthly ministry of
Christ; and fifth, in perfection. Consequently, the church has
begun in several different senses.
BEFORE THE DEATH OF CHRIST:
Beginning is used in this article in reference
to the time the church, or kingdom of Christ began to exist in
perfection; as a fact or reality on earth.
It is affirmed by many that the church existed as a fact
in the garden of Eden. Others believe that the church had its
actual beginning in Judaism: that the church of Christ is just a
renovated Mosaic religion. Still others believe strongly that the
church was established in Galilee, called and named by His
apostles. But, there was no church before the cross!
Following, are a few Scriptural observations that make
the beginning of the church before the death of Christ impossible;
particularly, during His earthly life. On the other hand, the same
observations will reveal that the Pentecost of Acts 2 affords a
Scriptural setting for all Gods requirements regarding the
beginning or establishing of the church.
Check for yourself, and see how the references that are
given converge in the teaching of Acts 2.
1. The New Testament was not in force (Heb. 9:16,17).
2. Christ was not the head of the church (Eph. 1:19-23).
Who was the head of the church while Christ was in the grave?
3. The Apostles were not set in the church (1 Cor. 12:28;
4. The church had no Spirit in it (John 7:39).
5. Christ was not yet glorified (John 7:39; 1 Peter 1:11;
6. The apostles were not filled with the power of the
Spirit (John 14:16,17).
7. The church had no blood in it (Heb. 10:1-4; 9:22,23).
8. People of God were under the law of Moses (Matt. 23:3;
Rom. 7:1-4). If the church were in existence, God caused spiritual
adultery or obedience to two spiritual laws at the same time.
9. The church would have been without atonement (Matt.
20:28; Heb. 9:12-15).
10. Christ had not become our High Priest (Heb. 7:28;
8:4). Church members would not, therefore, have been able to
approach the Father.
11. The Gospel in fact could not be preached
(1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8,9).
12. The church would have no cross in it (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
13. Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, waited
for kingdom (Mark 15:43).
14. The cornerstone had not been rejected.
a. The church could not be built till the cornerstone
b. The cornerstone could not be laid till it was
rejected (Psalm 118:22; Acts 4:11).
c. The rejection of Christ was consummated in His
death at Jewish hands (Mark 8:31).
d. Therefore, the church could not have been built
before His Death; hence, not during the personal ministry of Jesus.
15. The church was not purchased (1 Cor. 6:20; Acts
20:28). A thing is not bought until the price is accepted.
16. Many Scriptures indicate the church was yet future
(Matt. 4:17; 6:10; 10:7; 16:18; Mark 1:15; Luke 10:9; 22:18,29;
23:42; Acts 1:6).
17. Daniels prophecy would have been contradicted
a. Christ came to (not from) the Ancient of days
b. He was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom.
c. Christ went from earth to the Father when He
ascended (Acts 1:9,10).
d. Therefore, Christ received His kingdom when He
went to the Father; hence, He did not and could not receive it
while on earth.
Conclusion: The church was not established before the
cross of Christ.
29511 Bock St.
Garden City, MI 48135
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I preach at the Chipman Rd church of Christ in Lees
Summit MO. Our legal name is The Church of Christ of Lees
Summit, but we call ourselves Chipman Rd. It would be great if you
could make that distinction ...Bill Goring, Lees
Summit, MO. (NOTE: Brother Goring refers to an article on page
28 of the April-May 2004 issue of Seek The Old Paths
where we reviewed an ad for a church fund raiser
conducted by the Lees Summit Church of Christ.
Since that is the name they used, that was how we identified them.
However, we are happy to let our readers know that it was not the
Chipman Road congregation that was engaged in this unscriptural
activity. We believe the Chipman Road church to be a faithful and
sound congregation and invite our readers to visit them whenever
youre in the area. --editor) I just received the
April/May issue of Seek The Old Paths. On page 28 you
have an article about a Church Fund Raiser. In the
article you write of the church in Lees Summit, Missouri
having a fund raiser for their youth. You should know there are 3
different churches in Lees Summit and you leave no distinction
between them. The Chipman Rd. Church of Christ in that city is a
very faithful congregation of the Lords people. To those that
do not know about there being 3 churches there, this would possibly
leave people thinking they are the ones doing the fund raising. I
believe that you should make the distinction in the next issue of
the paper. I really enjoy the paper and have been using articles
from the paper on our web page here in Mexico, MO for some
time ...Wesley Snyder, Mexico, MO. Chuck and
Nancy Verkist in Ellensburg, Washington would love to locate sound
faithful brethren with which to fellowship and worship in their
area of eastern Washington state. Their address is: 906 E. 2nd Ave,
Ellensburg, WA 98926. They would love for a sound preacher to come
into their area and help them establish a church there. If you know
of someone who might be interested, pass the word along. They are
a fine Christian couple ...Editor. Thanks so
much for your paper. Keep up the good work. May God bless you
...Tennie Hunter, Gainesboro, TN. I sure enjoy the
paper as much or more than any I get and I get lots from different
places. Id like to say keep up the good work that you do so
well in choosing material for the paper and it sure is circulated
well. I cant believe anyone would have the nerve to write in
and say take my name off the mailing list ...Addie Long,
Harrisburg, AR. Please remove me from your mailing list.
Someone added me to the list without checking with me. Thanks for
your help ...David Rogers, Fort Worth, TX. Thank
you for the Seek the Old Paths hard copy. I also refer
to your web site quite frequently. We appreciate your steadfast
stand for Gods truth ...Virgil Poe, Kay, TX.
Enjoy STOP each month. Thank you for bringing to
our attention problems that are occurring in many congregations of
the church. Keep up the good work. There are still many of us who
take the Lords words as our only guide ...Carl D.
Thomsen, Texarkana, TX. I sincerely wish to write to
thank you for maintaining my name on your mailing list. I use the
materials in my bible class lessons, sermon, mens training
classes and radio ministry. Thank you. May God bless you for the
noble work you are doing ...Ken Dadzie, Ghana, West
Africa. While at work, someone left a copy of one of your
issues in the break room. I read it and shared it with another
sister in Christ. We both were up lifted and delighted from reading
it. Vol. 14, No. 9, Sept. 2003. After trying to find the address,
being that we could only obtain a portion of the articles I thought
I might ask you to please include us on your mailing list. Thanks
in advance ...Clifton C. Green, Shelbyville, TN.
We would like to be added to your mailing list to receive
Seek the Old Paths. Our friends mailed us a copy that we
enjoyed very much. Thank you ...Orville Garroutte, Ponca
City, OK. Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
our Savior. Members of the church of Christ in the Philippines were
so glad and happy when they received your publication which I sent
for their readings and knowledge. Always include me in your
mailbag. Continue sending me the STOP. May God bless you
all who make this publication possible. Thanks God also for
spreading the GOSPEL of God to the entire world. Keep up the good
work. God bless us all ...Corazon G. Santiago, Van Nuys,
CA. May the Lord continue to bless you in your wonderful
work of carrying the old Jerusalem Gospel to the world. Ive
received STOP for several years. I enjoy it so much. I
only request it be sent to people I know will treasure it as I do
and I appreciate you honoring my request to send it to them. I
enjoy so much reading the mailbag. There are so many people who
never hear the whole word of God ...Name Withheld, Pecos,
TX. I really do enjoy STOP. After I read it I
pass it to someone else to read. Keep up the good work. It is
needed so much ...Name Withheld, TX. You are
doing a great job writing Seek the Old Paths. Keep up
your good work and continue to rightly divide the word of God. It
takes persistence, stamina, knowledge and wisdom. God bless you in
this great work! I deeply appreciate what you write. It makes my
faith strong ... Reba Miller, Plumerville, AR.
Recently I requested 25 copies of STOP for our
small congregation of the Lords church. My husband and I have
been receiving it for a long time and feel it is a very worthwhile
and much needed publication. We pray that the good work you do may
continue and that error in the church can be brought to light and
extinguished. May God bless you in your efforts to contend for the
truth ...Name Withheld, AR. I just read
STOP, November 2003 and always enjoy it knowing Gods
word is always printed from the Bible. The article Church
Colleges and Universities was written by a member of
Livingston church of Christ, Ernest N. Stacey, Jr. My husband and
I are also members. Ernest is a blessing to know and study with. We
are a small group of about 40 but with Gods help we will grow
not only in number but in Spirit and Truth trusting God in all
things. May God bless you in the good work you are doing
...Linda Goins, Walled Lake, MI. I am very pleased to
read your paper full of scriptural truths which we all need to
know. Thank you for a great paper ...Dorothy Chism,
Plumerville, AR. We continue to enjoy Seek the Old
Paths. Keep up the good work. Hope all is well with you and
your family and that you will have a great New Year in our
Lords Service ...Joe Britt, Baxter, TN. We
wish to continue receiving STOP. In these troubled times
it is good to know that we have a good Gospel publication to keep
us informed. God bless you in your good work ...Floyd &
Phyllis Roe, Cushing, OK. I am sending a donation to
STOP so they can continue to send your paper and spread the
Gospel. I enjoy your paper very much and would like to help others
get it ...Name Withheld, TN. Thanks for your
good work ...Claud Estep, Carlsbad, NM. May God
bless all of you who write for STOP ...M/M Rube
Wilson, Jr., Binger, OK.
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