PROVE ALL THINGS
The Christian is commanded to
repeatedly keep on testing
religious messages while constantly
holding fast only to those which
Paul articulates a succinct statement of only six words in
the Greek New Testament. The statement encapsulates a divine
mandate which twenty-first century churches of Christ would do
well to heed. Read it: prove all things; hold fast that
which is good (1 Thess. 5:21).
ALL THINGS/THE GOOD
This directive was written to the church at
Thessalonica. Paul arrived in this city on his second missionary
journey where he established the cause of Christ by proclaiming
the Gospel (Acts 17:1-4). Later, he penned two epistles to this
congregation which have been preserved in the New Testament as 1
and 2 Thessalonians. From these letters one learns the apostle
was concerned about false teachers leading the brethren astray,
especially as it pertained to the time of the second coming of
Christ (1 Thess. 5:1-3). He specifically told the brethren that
they were not to allow anyone to beguile them in this
matter (2 Thess. 2:1-3).
The term beguile translates a word used to
describe the deception utilized by Satan in the Garden of Eden (2
Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14). Paul employs the same word to depict the
mode of operation by false teachers when using smooth and
fair speech in order to beguile the hearts of
the innocent (Rom. 16:17-18). Occurring only six times in
the New Testament, the term always conveys the concept of causing
someone to accept false ideas or erroneous views concerning the
truth, to deceive or cheat (BDAG, 345; Louw/Nida,
From this it seems clear the apostle was concerned over
whether his converts at Thessalonica would remain true to the
Gospel in view of the deceptive errors being propagated in their
community. It was therefore necessary for Paul to direct the
brethren to scrutinize doctrines in the sermons they heard in
order to be able to discriminate between truth and error. Only by
evaluating the teaching presented to them could they know what to
embrace as Gods word and what to reject as false. Thus, the
divine mandate is pronounced prove all things; hold
fast that which is good.
Contextually, all things and the good
should be understood as doctrines in light of the prophetic
revelations just mentioned in the preceding verse (despise
not prophesyings). These prophetic utterances were the
inspired teachings revealed through the miraculous gifts which
the early church was endowed with in order for the totality of
Gods word to be progressively revealed within the first
century. Paul urges the brethren to evaluate all the teaching
they hear and to only embrace that which is in harmony with
Gods inspired revelation. It was necessary to do this in
view of the fact that there was a proliferation of
false (pseudo) prophets and apostles during this time
period who were claiming to speak by inspiration of the Spirit on
Gods behalf (Matt. 7:15; 2 Cor. 11:12-15). The parallel
today is that many Pentecostal and Charismatic preachers falsely
claim to preach under the direct impulse of the Spirit.
These instructions from Paul were probably initially
given for those in possession of the spiritual gift called the
discerning of spirits (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:29;
MacKnight on the Epistles, 420). This gift miraculously
allowed the true prophet to discriminate between the bogus and
genuine. Only authentic truth was to be embraced. This gift was
essential during the time before the New Testament was written
down in completed and permanent form. Prophecies and teachings
were not to be blindly accepted as infallible revelation from
God, but to be tested to see if valid and in harmony with the
truth. Discrimination was to be used in regard to any doctrine
Miraculous gifts have now ceased and are no longer in
the church (1 Cor. 13:8-10). We possess the completed New
Testament scriptures by which we are to continue to evaluate all
religious teaching and practice (John 16:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). If
a doctrine is not substantiated by the Bible then it should not
be accepted as being from God. What was accomplished in the first
century when inspiration resided in men, is now accomplished by
our adequate and proficient use of the inspired scriptures, the
Bible (Acts 17:11). The principle of determining whether a
doctrine is true or false is the same, though the result is
arrived at in a different way.
Everything pertaining to religious doctrine is to be
critically examined. If a particular teaching is not in harmony
with the good it is to be repudiated as erroneous (note
that the article precedes the adjective good making it
substantival; cf. the good doctrine, 1 Tim. 4:6).
Today, we properly speak of religious doctrines as being
biblical, scriptural, or sound (2 Tim. 4:3), in
contrast to error, or that which is unscriptural and unbiblical.
The term translated prove involves two things:
first, there is the testing or critical evaluation of the thing
in order to determine its authenticity; second, there is the
approval or acceptance of that which passes the test (BDAG, 255).
Another apostle uses the term in a context where he directs
Christians to critically examine false teachers and their
doctrine for the purpose of determining whether or not their
teaching originates with God or from a man-made source
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (prove)
the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets
are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
The instruction entails not believing everything one
hears from a person who claims to be a preacher. At least not
until the message he proclaims is evaluated under the light of
divine revelation. Once the teaching is examined and it passes
the test of being scriptural then, and only then, should it
receive approbation as truth from God. The Lord does not want his
people to be naive. He does not want us to accept religious
teaching just because it comes from someone who claims to speak
for God. The first century had a proliferation of false teachers
circulating about disseminating their errors. It is no different
today in the twenty-first century. Every sermon heard no matter
who preaches it ought to be received and appreciated only after
it passes the test of biblical soundness.
This does not mean one is to be a skeptic or doubter.
Nor does it mean one violates other divine directives where
judgment is prohibited [e.g., judge not that ye be not
judged (Matt. 7:1-5) where the kind of judgment forbidden is
hypocritical judgment; God demands that we exercise
righteous/honest judgment when using discrimination whereby
decisions must be made (John 7:24); the fact is that we could not
even function responsibly as Christians without using some
judicious discrimination toward people and things]. Rather, it
means the Christian is responsible for evaluating religious
teachings. God does not want us to be gullible by blindly
accepting anything with a religious tint. Discretion is to be
employed in a healthy way that we might not accept those
doctrines which are bogus. We are to be the type of people
interested in embracing the genuine and authentic while
repudiating error and avoiding the wrong. Counterfeit prophets
must be detected and exposed. God says so.
The end result of testing is now stated both positively and
negatively hold fast the good and abstain
from every form of evil (v.22). Doctrines are to be accepted
wholeheartedly or rejected decisively as a result of the test.
The words hold fast translate a single term in the
original language. It means to adhere firmly to ones beliefs
in the sense of retaining them faithfully in ones memory
with the implication of compliance and continued practice of
those convictions (BDAG, 533; Louw/Nida, 372). Paul uses the term
elsewhere when commending the Corinthian congregation for
holding fast the traditions (teachings) and
holding fast the word which the apostle had
initially delivered and preached to them when
in Corinth (1 Cor. 11:2; 15:2). The language in these contexts
set forth the responsibility of every Christian to hold
fast the truth of God in belief, teaching, and practice.
It is not enough merely to apply the test and offer
approval of doctrinal truth. But once they are approved, the
truth God has revealed must be maintained through obedience and
continued practice. Like the early church was commended for
continuing steadfastly in the apostles doctrine,
so the same must be done by the Lords church today in order
to receive Gods approval (Acts 2:42). One must faithfully
persist within the perimeters of the doctrine of Christ
through loyal adherence and practice to the truth of the Gospel.
Failure to do so will result in one severing their relationship
with the Father and the Son becoming an apostate in the
process (2 John 9).
The preceding is in direct opposition to the mentality
which often permeates our society, and even our brotherhood,
where way too many suppose it really does not matter what one
believes or even if they faithfully adhere to a set body of
doctrinal truth. Way too many think that as long as they are
sincere in their religious opinions, God is bound and determined
to accept their aberrant views. One will have to search elsewhere
than the scriptures, however, to find any semblance of legitimate
support for such a mentality.
It is also taught here that those doctrines which, when
tested and found in noncompliance with Gods truth, cannot be
approved. Rather, they must be rejected as false (abstain
from every form of evil, v.22). Keep in mind that within the
context of that which we here speak, a false doctrine is nothing
more or less than a religious message which the Bible does not
authorize. For example, the bodily assumption of Mary, while
believed and taught by millions of Catholics universally, is
false by virtue of the fact that it was never a part of all
truth into which the apostles were guided by the Holy
Spirit; and which truth we have embodied in written form on the
pages of the New Testament (John 16:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Concerning the two terms just discussed above, there are a
couple of significant matters from a grammatical viewpoint which
are worth mentioning.
1) Both terms are in the imperative mood. There
are several reasons why a biblical author might use an
imperative. The primary reason to do so in the New Testament,
however, is to set forth a command. That is what Paul does
here. He gives two commands the first is to prove all
things and the second is to hold fast the good. He
is not making a mere suggestion. He is not offering brethren an
optional choice for them to decide whether or not they want to do
it. Far from it. The apostle is setting forth a divine mandate
that is just as much a command as the act of baptism is in
initial Gospel obedience (Acts 10:48). The point is this: in
order for Christians to obey God today we must be testing every
religious doctrine that comes our way while holding fast to that
which is true and rejecting what is found to be false. To fail in
this regard is to disobey the command of God.
2) Both terms are in the present tense. Not
always, but many times (when determined by the context) the
present tense relates that the action of the verb is progressive
and ongoing. It is this continuous aspect that is conveyed in the
passage under discussion. Technically, the use of the present
here is called the iterative present which conveys an
action repeatedly happening (Daniel Wallace, Greek
Grammar, 520). The idea is that there is a repetition of the
same verbal action over and over (Richard Young, Intermediate
NT Greek, 108). The Christian is commanded to repeatedly keep
on testing religious messages while constantly holding fast only
to those which receive approval. One must also keep on
repudiating those doctrines which do not pass the test of being
in compliance with the revealed word of God. Once again the point
seems clear enough: there will never be a time this side of the
judgment when God does not expect and demand Christians to always
be testing and examining religious doctrines in light of what the
Bible teaches. It is a continuous effort that will never end as
long as the Devil is allowed to influence others through false
Following is my own paraphrastic translation of 1
Thessalonians 5:21, which is intended to reflect the mood and
tense of the verbs in this passage: I command you to
continuously and repeatedly test everything which comes to you in
the form of religious teaching; and further, I command you to
continuously and constantly hold fast only to the good doctrine
which meets your approval as being in compliance with Gods
revealed word while repudiating that which is found to be
false. Brethren, may we be encouraged to be about
the task of proving all things and holding fast to the good as
the great God we serve expects and demands of us. The salvation
of our souls, as well as the souls of others, depends upon our
diligence in fulfilling this God-given responsibility.
105 East Planters
San Augustine, TX 75972
Table of Contents
WHAT MUST ONE UNDERSTAND IN ORDER
TO BECOME A CHILD OF GOD? #3
Garland M. Robinson
One must understand that BELIEF in Jesus is essential to
become a child of God. There are a number of things that one
must believe about Jesus.
One must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of God (John 20:31), Christ the
Lord (Luke 2:11), the Christ of God
(Luke 9:20), the Messias, which is...the Christ
(John 1:41), indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the
world (John 4:42), this is the Christ
(John 7:41), God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have
crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36), the
Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 11:17), Christ
Jesus (Acts 19:4), his son Jesus Christ our
Lord (Rom. 1:3).
One cannot be saved without faith in Jesus the Christ.
Jesus said, I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die
in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die
in your sins (John 8:24). I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by
me (John 14:6). He that believeth on
him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned
already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God (John 3:18). Neither is
there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under
heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts
4:12). It cant be any plainer than that! No salvation is
found in Mohammed, Buddha, Brahman, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker
Eddy, or any other.
Heaven says, But without faith it is
impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6). The jailor in Philippi
was told that if he wanted to be saved he had to believe in Jesus
Christ (Acts 16:31). Jesus said, He that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth
not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).
Belief (faith) in Jesus is essential in order to be
saved, but faith alone will not save. The one who tells
you it will is telling you a lie. James 2:17-26 disclaims this
fatal error. John 12:42 shows one can believe without enjoying
Gods pleasure. Theres far more to being saved than
believing in Jesus. Is your belief alive or dead? The difference
between the two is heaven or hell.
One must understand that REPENTANCE of sins is
essential to become a child of God. Without a person
repenting of their sins, there is no forgiveness of sins. Jesus
said, ...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish (Luke 13:3,5). It could not be any plainer! This
also shows the foolishness of the doctrine of faith
only. If faith only were true, then repentance
would be excluded. But, Jesus most assuredly included it in his
plan of salvation.
The word repent means to think differently or
afterwards, i.e., reconsider, to change ones mind, to change
ones mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence
of ones past sins. Repentance is in the mind. It
involves a change of mind. When one changes their mind,
it shows itself in a change of action or life.
To simply change ones action is not repentance.
For example, a thief may be placed behind bars which obviously
means his action has changed (he no longer steals). But, when
released, he continues stealing. However, if a thief changes his
mind toward stealing, he will not steal, whether he is placed
behind bars or not.
The message of John, Jesus and the apostles was one of
repentance. In those days came John the Baptist,
preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent
ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3:1-2).
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
(Matt. 4:17). ...I am... come to call...sinners to
repentance (Matt. 9:13). And they went
out, and preached that men should repent (Mark
6:12). I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of
the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth
(Luke 15:10). Then Peter said unto them, Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins... (Acts 2:38).
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your
sins may be blotted out... (Acts 3:19).
God...commandeth all men every where to
repent (Acts 17:30). ...The goodness of
God leadeth thee to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
Unless a person humbles himself before God and repents
of every sin in his life, he cannot be forgiven of his sins.
Repentance, like water baptism, always comes before forgiveness
of sins. Acts 2:38 is so plain that a child can understand it. As
a matter of fact, men need help to misunderstand it! And, there
are plenty false teachers that offer their help.
One must understand that CONFESSION of faith in
Jesus as the Christ, the savior of the world, the Son of God, is
essential to become a child of God. There is no salvation in
any other name. Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus plainly
said, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before
men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in
heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also
deny before my Father which is in heaven (Matt.
10:32-33). For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord,
every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess
to God (Rom. 14:11).
The apostle Paul reminded the brethren in Rome
that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man
believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is
made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever
believeth on him shall not be ashamed (Rom. 10:9-11).
The man from Ethiopia understood the teaching about
forgiveness of sins and asked Philip if he could be baptized to
receive forgiveness. And Philip said, If thou believest
with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts
8:37). He immediately was then baptized.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son
of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God (1 John
4:15). For many deceivers are entered into the world, who
confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a
deceiver and an antichrist (2 John 1:7).
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on
him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest
they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the
praise of men more than the praise of God (John
Though confession of faith in Christ is essential, it
is not all that is required. Unless it is preceded by
faith and repentance and followed by water
Baptism, it is simply words in the air. Do you
believe? Will you publicly confess Christ?
One must understand that WATER BAPTISM is
essential in order to become a child of God.
Baptism is immersion in water. That is what the word
baptism means. Bible baptism is a burial, a
planting (Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:4,5). Sprinkling and
pouring are not baptism. Sprinkling and pouring are from the mind
of men, not God. Men have always substituted their own plan in
place of Gods plan. Have you or your church substituted
sprinkling for baptism?
Baptism puts one INTO Christ. For as many of
you as have been baptized INTO Christ have put on
Christ (Gal. 3:27). Salvation is found IN Christ (2 Tim.
2:10), not OUT of Christ. Therefore, if you are not IN Christ,
you are lost in your sins.
Baptism puts one INTO the death of Christ where contact
is made with His saving blood. Know ye not, that so many
of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized
into his death (Rom. 6:3)? We have redemption
through His blood (Eph. 1:7).
Baptism is for the REMISSION (forgiveness) of sins.
This is made clear in Acts 2:38, Then Peter said unto
them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins....
Ones sins are destroyed in baptism (Rom. 6:6). We are made
free from sins in baptism (Rom. 6:18). This is in perfect accord
with the whole New Testament. The baptism performed by John the
Immerser was for the remission of sins (Mark
1:4). Whenever one was questioned regarding salvation, baptism
was always the point referred to. This is true in Romans 6:1-18
and Acts 19:1-5. So many do not like Gods plan and go to
great lengths to circumvent it. Nonetheless, what Jesus said one
had to do to be saved in Mark 16:16 remains the same, He
that believeth and is baptized shall be
saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Its amazing how many people, and especially preachers, think
they know better than the Lord!
Baptism puts one INTO the body of the saved the
Lords church. The Lord adds those who are baptized to the
church (Acts 2:41,47). It is this Body He is going to save (Eph.
5:23). Those outside the church/body will not be saved. Will you
believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16)?
One must understand that living a FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN
LIFE is essential for those who desire to be saved. Jesus
said, ...No man, having put his hand to the plough, and
looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).
Surely, no one would be so naive as to think that once
you become a Christian you do not have to live the Christian
life. Repentance, which precedes forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38),
means to turn away from wickedness and do what is right.
Repentance demands a changed life a life lived for God in
Before one becomes a Christian he should count the
cost of whats involved in being a faithful Christian.
Jesus said, If any man come to me, and hate not his
father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and
sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot
be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower,
sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he
have sufficient to finish it? ... Or what king, going to make war
against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth
whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh
against him with twenty thousand. ... So likewise, whosoever he
be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my
disciple (Luke 14:26-28,31,32).
Living a faithful Christian life is so serious, Jesus
used the figure of cutting off your hand or foot or plucking out
your eye in order to spare the soul from eternal damnation (Matt.
18:8-9). When anyone or anything interferes with us living a
faithful Christian life and we yield to temptation and become
unfaithful, our spiritual condition is then worse than it was
before we became a Christian. ...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... (2 Peter
The exhortation of heaven is, ...be ye
stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the
Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). That demands faithfulness. Nothing
short of it will do.
Are you ready to believe, repent, confess and be
baptized in order to be saved from your sins? Why not today?
Table of Contents
The Plan of Salvation
|Hear the Gospel
Rom. 10:14-17; John 6:44-45
|Believe in Jesus the Christ
John 3:16; 8:24; Heb. 11:6
|Repent of Sins
Acts 2:38; 17:30
|Confess Faith in Christ
Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9-10; Matt. 10:32-33
|Be Baptized for the Forgiveness of
Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21
|Be Faithful unto Death
Rev. 2:10; 1 Cor. 15:58; Matt. 10:22
Table of Contents
THE PURE IN HEART
J. C. Watkins
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see
God (Matt. 5:8). The Psalmist declared, Lord,
who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy
hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and
speaketh the truth in his heart (Psalm 15:1,2).
Scripture teaches, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for
out of it are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23). Gods
inspired word tells us, For as he thinketh in his heart,
so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not
with thee (Prov. 23:7).
There are two who want to control the hearts of
mankind, one for their good and one for their condemnation. The
two are God and Satan! God is the Creator of mankind. All God has
ever done was for the benefit of mankind. Satan is Gods
adversary and he is the adversary of mankind (1 Peter 5:8,9).
Even though man has been influenced by Satan to sin, God still
loves His creation. He has proven that love by sending His only
begotten Son to this earth as a human being to die on the cross
for the benefit of mankind! Man must decide who will control his
heart! Will it be God or will it be Satan? Christ told Peter that
Satan desired to have him (Luke 22:31). Satan filled the heart of
Ananias to lie to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:3). He wants to fill the
heart of every soul to reject the love of God and be lost
It is the heart of man which controls our actions. God
teaches us to think on that which is true, honest, just, pure,
and lovely (Phil. 4:8), to keep our heart pure. It is simply a
matter of whom we let control our heart! If we give our heart to
God and let Him control it through His inspired word, we will be
pure in heart. Remember, Christ taught that only the pure in
heart will see God. Satan will lie, deceive, and do anything he
can to keep you from seeing God. Ephesians 6:10-18 teaches us to
stand against the wiles of the devil. Be pure in heart! [White
Oak Transmitter, 11/13/05]
Table of Contents
GOD, SPORTS AND WORLDLINESS
IN THE CHURCH
I enjoy sports as well as anyone, especially hunting, and of
course, football! 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 heavenly 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 gospel
preacher (now deceased), 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. The reducing of 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 due Him! Furthermore, such blasphemous statements are
an attack upon the very nature of God! The fact is, God could
care less about sports! The Bible teaches that God is not
interested in sporting activities of any kind. 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! Paul made
reference to various sporting activities, such as running a race
and receiving a prize (1 Cor. 9:24-26), bodily exercise (1 Tim.
4:8), or fighting a good fight (2 Tim. 4:7). But it was always in
reference to spiritual matters, not mans trivial pastime!
The craze for worldly activities brought about
gymnasiums in the Lords church. Exercise rooms and other
worldly activities are offered to meet the needs of the
whole man. So in tune are many to the world that they will
move the evening service to accommodate a Super Bowl party! That
which is conspicuously absent by proponents of such activities is
biblical authority (cf. Col. 3:17)! Brethren need to be reminded
that recreation and entertainment are not works of the church.
They are works of the home.
While it is not considered a sport, winners
of the Miss America contest are paraded as role models
in many publications. Last year The Christian Chronicle,
which is a vehicle promoting the ungodly unity in
diversity movement, featured on the front page a member of
the Lords church that won the Miss America
contest. A brochure sent out last year by Arms of Hope
showed a picture of Miss America visiting some young
ladies at Boles Home. Not one word was written condemning
immodesty (cf. 1 Tim. 2:9)! So in tune are many members of the
church with the world that one congregation, several years ago,
had a crowning of the King and Queen at their home coming!
Brethren, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (1
In light of these and other occurrences in the
Lords church, how can any deny that worldliness within the
Lords church is plunging many down the path to eternal
damnation! The Bible plainly declares: Be not conformed
to this world, but be ye transformed... (Rom. 12:2).
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 (Eph.
Love for the world and the things of the world have
always been one of Satans greatest 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, extinguished!
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 (cf. 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. 2-3)! Remember them?
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, 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 20:26).
5604 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Some church members allow their children (yea, many times
encourage them) to participate in activities in school and
elsewhere that are detrimental to their spiritual growth and
welfare. Many times they are allowed to dress with practically
nothing on even though such is condemned by God (1 Tim. 2:9-10).
They wiggle, stretch, bend, twist, flip (dance if you please) in
front of crowds and the gazing eyes of boys and girls, men and
women. Ive attended ball games where I had to turn my head
and look the other way during certain performances of
young people displaying their routines of
lasciviousness, more commonly called cheers. This
likewise is condemned by God as a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19).
Does such activities promote pure, wholesome, thoughts in the
minds of those present? Some even forsake the assembling of the
church for the opportunity to excite onlookers with gawking eyes.
Instead of encouraging and promoting their
childrens spiritual demise, parents need to encourage and
promote godliness, purity, morality, chastity, virtue,
righteousness and the love of God, his word, his church, his way.
Things of the world lead away from God. Things of holiness lead
toward God. The two are worlds apart.
Where will you be found in eternity?
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WHO IS CALLING?
When hunting for turkeys in the spring of the year, the
proficient hunter is one who can recognize and reproduce the
sounds of a wild turkey hen. The intent of the calling is to coax
a large male turkey into shotgun range and then to the dinner
Decision time for the turkey male is when he hears the
calling but cannot see the source of it. If it sounds enough like
a turkey hen, he may elect to investigate, but he may [as is
typical in the South] hang up 60 yards away and wait for the
hen to come to him. He simply has one [life or death]
question: Whos calling?
Likewise, humans must be wary in answering the calls
that surround us. The world has many voices that call, while
truth has but one.
The world calls to our ambition, and causes us
to believe that we are doing the acceptable thing in the pursuit
of power, wealth and fame. But John said, 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 (1 John 2:15,16).
The world calls to our desire to accumulate
possessions and causes us to believe it leads to happiness.
But Jesus said, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a
mans life consisteth not in the abundance of the things
which he possesseth (Luke 12:15). God calls us through His
word (the Bible), especially from the New Testament (Heb. 1:1,2),
by the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:14), and by those who spread the good
news of the Gospel (Mark 16:15,16).
The religions of men call to humanity in direct
competition of the truth, causing earths inhabitants to
believe that one religion is as good as another, if people are
sincere. Yet, the New Testament mentions nothing of a
multiplicity of religions from God. Rather, we see that the New
Testament informs of only one church, one faith and one Gospel.
The Bible is the single source of all-sufficient truth.
Therefore, it alone should be our authority in determining
whether the calling we hear is heavenly or worldly.
God calls from heaven with the words of life, while
Satan calls from the world with words of deception. God provides
evidence and testimony to confirm the truth, while Satan uses
lies and counterfeits to distract and condemn. You have but one
answer to give; therefore, consider, Whos calling?
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[NOTE: After the postage of about $1,600 is paid for mailing this
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