WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A MAN AND AN ANIMAL?
Roderick L. Ross
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons
of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that
they themselves are beasts. 19For that which befalleth the
sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the
one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so
that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all [is] vanity.
20All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn
to dust again. 21Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth
upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the
earth? 22Wherefore I perceive that [there is] nothing
better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that
[is] his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be
after him? (Eccl. 3:18-22)
We live in a society in the United States which increasingly
personifies and anthromorphizes animals. Increasingly we speak of
animals rights and other characteristics and
privileges of man, as belonging to animals. As my brother says,
Animals do not have rights; men have rights. Men have
responsibilities to take care of animals.
The best example I know of that illustrates what our society
is increasingly imposing upon us is an exchange between a reporter
who was championing animal rights and a prosecuting
attorney who was prosecuting an animal abuse case. Trying to
explain the difference between humans and animals to the reporter,
the prosecutor asked, If your daughter and your dog were both
trapped in a burning house, which one would you save? The
reporter answered, Whichever one I came to first.
I love my dogs. My brother and I used to cry because we were
homesick for our dog when we went away to visit our grandparents
when we were kids. I have cried when my dogs died. But, my dogs
will become crispy critters if it is a choice between my
dogs, my children, my grandchildren, or any other person. When all
is said and done, a dog is a dog.
There are some people in this world who fail to live up to
the difference between man and animal. The difference between man
and animal is their response to natural instinct (the lusts of the
flesh). Man has the ability to act contrary to natural instinct and
the lusts of the flesh; whereas animals do not. Notice, I said
the ability to act, not that man always acts that way.
Moral decency is acting contrary to the lusts or desires of the
flesh. When men live immoral lives they are living like beasts.
That is clearly made known by Gods word.
Part of the propaganda of the personalization of pets is the
concept of evolutions origins as taught in our schools. Man is
considered nothing more than an animal. The problem of Nazi Germany
was their de-personalization of people. Rather than raising animals
to the position of people, they demoted certain people to the level
of animals. No matter which direction you go, it is wrong to place
animals and humans on the same level.
There are some ways that men and animals are the same. Both
are flesh and blood. Both were created by God out of the dust, and
the body which they are given here on this earth will die and
return to the dust of the ground. The bodies of both man and beast
will decay and return to the dust.
At times, it is difficult to tell the difference between a
man and a beast. When they both die and are lying on the ground,
who can tell the difference? Who can know that man has a spirit
that ascends back to God who gave it but an animal does not have a
spirit, its body simply decays and goes back into the earth? The
answer is, God. God knows. And since God knows, he can and has
revealed it to us in his word (cf. Eccl. 12:7; 3:21). Man has a
body, soul (life) and immortal spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Animals have
a body and life, but no spirit created in the image of God.
Only man was made a living soul. Only man was made in the
image and in the likeness of God. Genesis 1 and 2 shows that God is
spirit. Man, therefore, is not only a physical being; but, a
spiritual being as well. Man is not in the image of God because he
has two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth. He is made in the
image and likeness of God because he, too, is a spiritual being in
addition to being a physical being. That is why there is a
sacredness to the life of man that is not associated with the life
of animals. Man, as the culmination of the Creation of God, holds
a special place.
Only man goes to the hadean world at death. See Luke
16:19-31 and the account of Lazarus and the rich man. Man alone in
Creation will face the judgment of God (2 Cor. 5:10). Dogs, cats,
parakeets, cows, horses, rabbits, chickens, etc. do not have a soul
and the capacity to face judgment. All Dogs Go to Heaven
may be an entertaining animated movie, but it is not a scriptural
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the
word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you
an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Acts
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MORE ABOUT DEATH
Garland M. Robinson
DEATH ESCORTS ONE TO JUDGMENT
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after
this the judgment (Heb. 9:27). For God shall bring
every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be
good, or whether it be evil (Eccl. 12:14). Only one
thought will be in our mind at death the verdict. What will it
be? What will we hear? There will be no concern with what our
friends think. What weve hoped and dreamed for in life will
not come to mind. How well we did in business will not matter. The
over-riding thought will be, What will the Lord say?
Where will we be throughout eternity?
DEATH IS IMPARTIAL
We can so live NOW that we will inherit the eternal bliss of
heaven if we believe and obey. Jesus taught that men must:
BELIEVE, 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; cf. Heb. 11:6).
REPENT, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye
repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3,5;
cf. Acts 17:30). CONFESS, Whosoever therefore shall
confess me before men, him will I confess also before my
Father which is in heaven (Matt. 10:32; cf. Rom. 10:9-10).
BE BAPTIZED, He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned (Mark 16:16; cf. Acts 2:38).
Have YOU obeyed the Lord?
Death knocks at every door. It has no respect of the old over
the young. No one is immune to its coming. Obituaries are printed
with regularity every day. Death invades the nursing home and the
crib, the school room and the playpen, the factory and the home. It
comes to every door regardless of sex or race. Men place great
emphasis upon social status but death has no concern for such
trivial matters. Death has no feelings. Its end is to claim all who
DEATH IS A TRAGEDY FOR THOSE UNPREPARED
He died is a common expression in the Bible. In
Genesis five we read of Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Jared,
Methuselah, and Noah who all lived more than 900 years. But of each
it is said, and he died. By inspiration Paul
wrote, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that
all have sinned (Rom. 5:12). For we must needs
die... (2 Sam. 14:14).
While in this life, there is hope. There is hope that men will
learn the truth (John 6:45), believe the truth (John 8:24) and obey
the truth (1 Peter 1:22). While there is consciousness in the body,
there is hope. Before mens eyes stop seeing, their ears stop
hearing, their lungs stop breathing, their heart stops beating,
their mind stops thinking, there is hope. But once the bodys
functions cease and life on earth is no more, all chances and hope
of turning to God are gone. When your eyes open on the other side
of death, your destiny is sealed. There is no coming back.
Theres no second chance. Left Behind may have been
a popular movie of late, but there is absolutely NO Truth in it
whatsoever. The Lord comes one time and ALL will stand
before him in judgment. No one will be left behind.
DEATH IS A BLESSING FOR THE FAITHFUL
For the unprepared, the loss and anguish is indescribable!
The rich man in Luke 16:19-31 is a vivid picture of one who died
unprepared. 19There was a certain rich man, which
was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every
day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which
was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be
fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich mans table:
moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came
to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into
Abrahams bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,
and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And
he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send
Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool
my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But
Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime
receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but
now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And
beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf
fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot;
neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou
wouldest send him to my fathers house: 28For I have
five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come
into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They
have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he
said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead,
they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not
Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one
rose from the dead.
After death comes the resurrection of the dead and judgment.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this
the judgment (Heb. 9:27). For we must all appear
before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the
things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it
be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we
persuade men... (2 Cor. 5:10-11). So then every
one of us shall give account of himself to God (Rom.
The apostle John wrote, 11And I saw a great
white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and
the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and
the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the
book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which
were written in the books, according to their works. 13And
the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell
delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged
every man according to their works. 14And death and hell
were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
The prophet Ezekiel was told by God to speak unto the
people, Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I
have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked
turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil
ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel (Ezek.
Dont let death come while you are unprepared! Obey the
Gospel today (2 Thess. 1:7-9). Now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). God
is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should
perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter
Words cannot adequately describe the blessing that awaits those
who are prepared for death. No artist can capture it. No sculpture
can depict it. No brush can portray it. No canvas can represent it.
Death is the sunshine of eternity with God for the faithful, but
the darkness of eternity with Satan and his angels for the
The Bible provides a glimpse of the reward of heaven. The
apostle John said, And I heard a voice from heaven saying
unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from
henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their
labours; and their works do follow them (Rev. 14:13). Paul
said, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. For
I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be
with Christ; which is far better (Phil. 1:21,23).
There is no sorrow in death for the faithful. Paul wrote,
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as
others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring
with him...Wherefore comfort one another with these words
(1 Thess. 4:13-14,18).
Our labor is not in vain when we live faithful.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, 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).
Everlasting life is awarded to the faithful. Be not
deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the
flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of
the Spirit reap life everlasting (Gal. 6:7-8).
A crown awaits the faithful. Nearing the end of Pauls
life he wrote, I have fought a good fight, I have finished
my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for
me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,
shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them
also that love his appearing (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
God remembers faithfulness. For God is not unrigh-
teous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed
toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do
minister (Heb. 6:9).
Job asked, If a man die, shall he live again? all the
days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come
(Job 14:14). Job knew the answer. He would live again. He knew the
truth that would be written centuries later by inspiration:
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we
die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we
are the Lords (Rom. 14:8).
Jesus made it plain that to receive an eternal reward, we
must first die. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a
corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but
if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). We
must first die to sin and live unto righteousness. But finally, we
must die physically to awaken on the other side to die no more.
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except
it die (1 Cor. 15:36).
Are you prepared to die? Great ready NOW. Amos said,
prepare to meet thy God (Amos 4:12).
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COMPARISONS MADE BY GOD
Our society is accustomed to all kinds of comparisons being
made. One says Ford is better than Chevrolet. Another says this
doctor is a better than that doctor. One says Bayer is better than
Motrin. These comparisons may or may not be true. However, God has
made some comparisons that are eternal in nature. Let us observe:
It is better to obey than to make a sacrifice. As the
children of Israel came out of Egypt, Amalek fought against them
(Exod. 17:8). God said to Moses, Write this [for] a
memorial in a book, and rehearse [it] in the ears of Joshua: for I
will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under
heaven (Exod. 17:14). The time came for God to keep this
promise. His command to King Saul was simple, Go and smite
Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not;
but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep,
camel and ass (1 Sam. 15:3). For some unknown reason Saul
disobeyed. He blamed the people (1 Sam. 15:9-15). God spoke to Saul
through Samuel with one of the great Bible statements,
Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to
hearken than the fat of rams (1 Sam. 15:22). Even as
important as scarifies are, they are not to be allowed to interfere
with obedience to the commands of God.
Some advice is better than other advice. Counsel or
advice comes from many directions. Some counsel, Go out and
have fun while you are young. There is plenty of time for God
later. Some advise, Leave that husband/wife if you do not
love them anymore. I do not think God intended you to be
miserable. Religious counselors say, Find a church which
suites you and join it. Let us remember, some counsel is
better than other counsel. In fact, some counsel is right and some
is wrong. Second Samuel 17:14 tells of two counselors, Hushai and
Ahithophel. Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The
counsel of Hushai the Archite [is] better than the counsel of
Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel
of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon
Absalom. Not all counselors give good advice! Some is good
counsel or advice and some is bad. Athithophels counsel would
have been good for Absalom, but bad for God. A lot of counsel is
the same way today; it is bad for our relationship with God.
Some men are better than others. Through Solomon, God
compared Joab to Abner and Amasa. And it was told king
Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and,
behold, [he is] by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of
Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. 30And Benaiah came to
the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king,
Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah
brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he
answered me. 31And the king said unto him, Do as he hath
said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away
the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of
my father. 32And the LORD shall return his blood upon his
own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he,
and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing [thereof,
to wit], Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and
Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah (1
Kings 2:29-32). Abner and Amasa were more righteous and
better than Joab. God reminds us that some men are better than
others by saying, The righteous [is] more excellent than
his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them
(Prov. 12:26). Do not be deceived, it is still true that evil
companions corrupt good habits (1 Cor. 15:33).
Some rivers are better than others. Naaman was a
great man in Syria but he was troubled with leprosy. Through a
series of events he was directed to Elisha, the prophet of God.
Naaman was told to dip in Jordan seven times to be cleansed.
Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come
again to thee, and thou shalt be clean (2 Kings 5:10).
Naaman was furious. He said, [Are] not Abana and Pharpar,
rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not
wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a
rage (2 Kings 5:12). The Abanah and Pharpar are larger,
more beautiful rivers than the Jordan, but not better. The Jordan
was better because it was specified by God. When Naaman obeyed he
was cleansed. Then went he down, and dipped himself seven
times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his
flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was
clean (2 Kings 5:14). We are also freed or cleansed from
sin when we obey our Lord in baptism (Acts 2:36-41).
A righteous mans little, is better than great riches
of the wicked. The Bible says, A little that a
righteous man hath [is] better than the riches of many
wicked (Psalm 37:16) His little is better because: a) He
obtained it honestly, b) He will use it properly, and c) He will
appreciate what he has more. Solomon, said, Better [is]
little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble
therewith (Prov. 15:16). The righteous find joy in many
things which would seem dull to the rich. Better [is] a
little with righteousness than great revenues without
right (Prov. 16:8).
It is better to dwell in the corner of a housetop, than
in a house shared with a contentious woman. Solomon had about
1,000 women. Some of them must have been contentious. [It
is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a
brawling woman in a wide house (Prov. 21:9; 25:24). This
is not a blanket condemnation of the attitude of woman as a whole,
but why are so many American women so unhappy when we are truly a
blessed people? Solomon said, Better [is] a dinner of herbs
where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith
(Prov. 15:17). He said, [It is] better to dwell in the
wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman
A poor man is better than a liar. Solomon said,
The desire of a man [is] his kindness: and a poor man [is]
better than a liar (Prov. 19:22). Kindness is a very
desirable quality Christians should offer to others. And be
ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even
as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you (Eph.
4:32). A poor man who is kind is better than one who is wealthy but
untruthful. Better [is] the poor that walketh in his
uprightness, than [he that is] perverse [in his] ways, though he
[be] rich (Prov. 28:6).
There are many things that are better. Mary chose
the good part (Luke 10:42). Let us do the same.
To become a Christian: Hear the word (Rom. 10:17),
Believe in Jesus (John 8:24), Repent of sins (Acts
17:30-31), Confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10) and be
Baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). For a day in
thy courts [is] better than a thousand. I had rather be a
doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of
wickedness (Psa. 84:10).
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A LITTLE GRATITUDE, PLEASE
(GIVING IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP)
One of the questions lately raised about giving is whether or
not giving is an act of worship.
AN EXPLANATION OF WORSHIP
This question must be answered in the affirmative
without doubt, and without apology. That giving is worship can
be proved easily by a simple, straightforward understanding of the
word worship and a clear explanation of the concept of
As we have already seen, worship is paying homage or showing
adoration toward deity; it is to praise and glorify. Give
unto the Lord the glory due unto his name... (Psa. 29:2).
Worship may be described as an expression of awe, devotion,
and love from man, the creature, to his Creator (Wayne
Jackson). Another important fact necessary in order to distinguish
between what worship is and what is not, is this: Worship is
prescribed by God that is, he has given directions to man,
showing him how we can pay homage, show adoration, praise him, and
glorify him (John 4:24). The actions that God has prescribed as a
way of showing homage to him, are worship.
AN EXPLANATION OF GIVING
1) The giving commanded in the New Testament is a prescribed
action (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
GIVING AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP
2) Giving was to be done when the saints assembled on the
1st day of the week. If it was not done during a time when
the church came together, the money would not have been collected
in one place. Pauls stated purpose in making the command is so
the money would already be gathered when he arrived at Corinth (1
3) New Testament Christians were commanded to give as
God has prospered him (1 Cor. 16:2). This literally means
as God has helped him on the road (Strongs).
4) Even the attitudes and motives behind giving are dictated
by God. We give for the purpose of: glorifying God (2 Cor.
9:11-13), showing our love to him (2 Cor. 8:8-9), meeting certain
needs for others (Rom. 15:26). In addition, we must not give
grudgingly or of necessity, but with cheerful
hearts (2 Cor. 9:7).
5) Giving was also commanded in a discussion of the worship
assembly of the saints (1 Cor. 11:17-16:2). Chapter 11 and verse 17
begins a discussion of the worship assembly the time when the
church came together into one place. The Lords supper is
discussed (11:17-ff). Chapter 14 shows how preaching and teaching,
prayer, and singing fit into our public assemblies. Chapter 16 give
us the prescription for how to give during the time we come
together for worship.
Worship has often included the giving of gifts.
1) In Numbers 18:11, the heave offering brought for
sacrifice was called a gift.
2) One of the tithes given by the Israelites was
specifically associated with a feast they ate before God as worship
3) Hebrews 5:1, For every high priest taken from
among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he
may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
4) The wise men who came from the east to worship Jesus
brought gifts (Matt 2:2,11).
5) The gift sent to Paul from the Philippian church was
called an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable,
wellpleasing to God (Phil. 4:18).
6) Hebrews 13:16, But to do good and to communicate
(share, be generous) forget not: for with such sacrifices
God is well pleased.
Once we understand what worship is and we understand what
giving is, it seems a little silly to ask if giving is worship. A
much better question might well be this: How could giving to God,
as a demonstration of our love, in the prescribed place and time
(the worship assembly), for the purpose of carrying out the mission
of the church be considered anything other than worship?
Giving is an act of gratitude. For ye know the grace
of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your
sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be
rich (2 Cor. 8:9). This verse occurs within a discussion
of giving. In fact, 1 Corinthians chapters 8-9 make up the longest
discussion of giving anywhere in scripture.
Since giving is a response to what Jesus has done for us. It
stands as an act of gratitude. Those who do not want to give, those
who are stingy or grudging about giving, those who get upset every
time the preacher mentions giving, either do not understand or they
are seriously lacking in gratitude.
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WHO IS TEACHING BIBLE CLASS?
THE WOLVES ARE COMING
R. L. Burgess
From the days of the first century, the Lords church has
been plagued with those who have apostized from the Faith. The
apostle Paul warned the Ephesian elders of this fact. In Acts
20:29, Paul said, For I know this, that after my departing
shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the
flock. The wolves Paul is talking about are false
teachers. Some of these false teachers would arise from among the
eldership itself. In 1 John 4:1 we read, Beloved, believe
not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Today, people are leaving the Lords church, sometimes
in large numbers, to go back into the world and practice
denominationalism, or no religion at all. Paul experienced the same
problem in many of the churches during his ministry. Some among the
churches of Galatia were trying to be justified by going back to
the Mosaic covenant. To these he wrote, ye are fallen from
grace (Gal. 5:4). In Romans 6:14 he explained to the
brethren at Rome that we are not under the law but under
I have asked many today why they left the Lords church
to practice denominationalism. The reasons given were many and
probably the same as those used by members of the churches of
Galatia and any other church. Those who decide they do not want to
do things as God has instructed but believe they know a better way
is the only excuse anyone could offer for leaving the Lords
church. The same that was true then is true today, they have fallen
You may ask, what difference does it make just as long as
one is sincere and happy? As always, I like to let the Bible speak
about Bible things. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says: For
by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God: not of works, least any man should
boast. We know this is an obedient faith by reading
Hebrews 11. Therefore, when we exhibit an obedient faith and submit
ourselves to Gods way, His grace is provided for our
salvation. And, according to Jesus in John 14:1-6, Matthew 7:21-23,
Luke 6:46, Heb. 5:8-9, faith and obedience is the only way we can
accept Gods grace. All other ways are vain (Matt. 15:8-9). Of
course we know that anything that is vain is void and empty of any
good thing. The Bible calls this disobedience or sin.
Why would the Holy Spirit have Paul to use the word
wolves (Acts 20:29) to describe false teachers that would
arise and cause apostasy in the church? Doing some research on
wolves using National Geographic, we learn that wolves are some of
the most cunning and efficient hunters on the face of the planet.
Wolves are so good at what they do its prey can almost be consumed
before its dead. It is said that if they are left unchecked
they could decimate a whole flock of sheep. Cattlemen have lost a
great deal of money because of wolves. In many places, the only way
to keep wolves in check was to put a bounty on them so hunters
would find and kill them. Paul was very accurate in describing
false teachers as wolves. Another point we learn about wolves is
the fact that they always pick out the sickly or injured of the
flock because its an easy kill. This is what false teachers do
in the Lords church. Depending on how skilled they are and how
much support they have in the leadership, its not uncommon for
a false teacher to consume and lead away Gods children from
the truth in large numbers, including all the members and all of
the assets of the congregation. The liberal movement that started
in the 70s has been responsible for a great deal of this and
continues to do so even until this very day.
In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave a very ominous
warning, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening
wolves (Matt. 7:15). Jesus goes on through verse 20 to say
that it would be by the fruits they bear that would distinguish
them as false prophets. Paul was staying on the same page as Jesus
when he identified false prophets as wolves. This is exactly what
we all should try to do. Therefore, when you call something exactly
what it is because you are saying the same thing Jesus and the
Bible says, then you can know youre his disciple. After all,
a disciple mimics what the Master says and does.
Teachers who have their own agenda that does not include the
Gospel, comes in all shapes, forms, and fashions. They can appear
as preachers, elders, or just good old boys in the
congregation. But now, I would like to make a personal observation.
For many years I have seen apostasy in the Lords church. And
yes, in many cases the preacher or an elder was at the forefront.
But I believe that false teachers usually always begin in the Bible
class. Many false teachers have never been in a position of
preacher or elder. The Bible class is the weak link in any
congregation. Many unqualified people who have been asked to teach
Bible class can get apostasy started. After the doors of apostasy
have been opened, it becomes very difficult to close them without
any damage being done.
I could give many examples but I believe one will make my
point. I was teaching in the Bible department of a congregation
when a preacher from another congregation called one day. He asked
if he could come down and talk to me. I said he could and at the
appointed time he arrived and sat down in my living room. He began
by stating that he needed help where he was preaching. He asked if
I would be able to come and help them out. He said the elders had
sent him to get me to come and preach when he had to be gone and to
also help in their personal evangelism program. After talking to
the family the next day I called him and told him I would. We
arrived the next Sunday and went to one of the adult Bible classes.
There was quite a room full of people, including elders. As the
class began, the teacher stood up and to my great surprise began to
teach theistic evolution. No one in the class said a
word. When I could not stand it anymore I began to question his
position with Bible verses. Of course he had no answer to any of my
objections to his position. After class I ask one of the elders did
he not recognize that the man was teaching theistic evolution? He
said he did not know anything about that kind of thing and would I
go and talk to the man who had been teaching the class. I told him
I would if he was not allowed to teach anymore. After two Bible
studies I found out that the man had been married three times and
his wife had been married five. After two very long Bible studies,
the man informed me that he would never change his position on
evolution. I went back and informed the elders of his position.
Im thankful to say that he was no longer used in any capacity
in that congregation. After a while he and his wife left and went
to the Baptist Church.
Brethren, I write unto you today to beseech any and all of
you who may be in charge of Bible classes where you worship. When
you assign teachers to classes, please check and make sure they are
qualified. The reason for this plea is because of the fact that the
wolves are not coming, they are already here!
I love you and may our God bless and keep you always. Amen.
2024 Cowan Circle
Guntersville, AL 35976
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YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE THE ONLY
GOING TO HEAVEN?
Marvin L. Weir
The words in the title are often hurled at members of the church
of Christ who are striving to live the Christian life and teach
others about Gospel obedience and Christian worship. The religious
world at large cannot fathom the concept of there being just one
Biblically authorized church. If a person mentions that there is
only one church that a person can be a member of and be saved, it
will cause immediate indignation and disbelief among most hearers.
Anyone who has been a faithful member of the church of
Christ for a good long while has likely heard some or all of the
following remarks several times. Can you believe that he and
his little group believe they have a monopoly on worship and
heaven? The audacity of them to believe they are the only
ones who are right (religiously speaking). Who do these
people think they are to pass judgment on other religious
groups? Dont they know that Christ died for all
people and not just for them (members of the church of
Christ)? How self-righteous they are in believing that
only their little group will be saved?
Most people today study their Bible very little (2 Tim.
2:15). Some read from the Scriptures every day but because of bias,
preconceived ideas, personal feelings, or trusting in what someone
else has said, they never discover the truth revealed in the Sacred
Word. Just believing in God and acknowledging Jesus as Lord will
not save ones soul (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46)!
The Old Testament scriptures were written for our learning
(Rom. 15:4). They illustrate very well that salvation never occurs
without obedience. Noah preached the righteousness of Gods
word for a hundred years (2 Peter 2:5; Gen. 5:32; 7:6). He
proclaimed Gods truth to a corrupt, violent, and unbelieving
world (Gen. 6:11). Genesis 6:8 says he found favor in the eyes of
God. Why? Verse 22 of Genesis 6 reveals the answer: Thus
did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did
he. Are we today willing to do all that God has commanded
us to do to be saved?
Lets return to the reactions of those who cannot bear
to believe that there is only one church the Lord will save (Eph.
First, the terminology he and his little group is
inappropriate. It is not my group (however large or little). It is
the Lords. It belongs to no man!
Second, a child of God does have an exclusive privilege and
right (monopoly) to the blessings of New Testament Christianity.
Such a right and privilege is available to all who will obey the
Lords will (Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21).
Third, it is the Lord and Savior, not I, that has passed
judgment on all man-made religious groups. The Lord said,
Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted,
shall be rooted up (Matt. 15:13). To churches everywhere
Paul admonished, Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing,
and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye
be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in
the same judgment. ... Now this I say, that every one of you
saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of
Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul (1 Cor. 1:10, 12-13)?
Fourth, Yes, Christ did die for the entire world (Heb. 2:9),
but he only promised to save His body his church (Eph. 5:23;
1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Theres only one (Eph. 4:4).
Fifth, one is not guilty of self-righteousness who
faithfully does what the Lord says to do to be saved! The Lord
What does the Bible say regarding those who will go to
Heaven? In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says, Enter ye in at the
strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way,
that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the
way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find
Now, let us apply the principle and truth the Lord just
stated. Christ said He would build His church, not a man-made
church (Matt. 16:18). Is that strait and narrow or broad and wide?
Paul taught there is only one body (Eph. 4:4) which is clearly
described as being the church (Eph. 1:22-23). Is this one
body strait and narrow or broad and wide? Did Christ purchase
only His church with His blood as Acts 20:28 declares, or did He
purchase everyone elses church (churches built by man) with
His blood? Was this purchase strait and narrow or broad
and wide? Christ surely did not die for and purchase with His own
blood a church that does not even wear His name! How do the names
Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and all
other such names honor and glorify the Christ? They do not. They do
not reveal who owns the church! What is wrong with the designation
church of Christ? Absolutely nothing! Its a Bible
name (Rom. 16:16). It shows to whom the church belongs.
The only ones going to Heaven are those who obey the Gospel
plan of salvation, worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24), and
live faithfully until death (Rev. 2:10)!
484 CR 44700
Blossom, TX 75416
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