IS THE CHURCH LOSING HER IDENTITY?
Identity-theft is a growing problem in todays
society. When one becomes a victim of this form of theft, he
experiences a sense of worthlessness. Identity-theft costs American
taxpayers millions of dollars, to say nothing of the personal cost
incurred by the victim. Once one is a victim of this kind of theft,
he inevitably finds it difficult to reestablish his financial
credibility. However, there is a far more serious problem which the
Lords church is having to face.
Brethren, are we losing our identity as a people who
are unique in our approach to the Bible and our efforts to restore
New Testament Christianity? A review of our past and an honest
inquiry into our present condition as the Lords church will
answer our question of study.
In a bygone era, the Texas preacher, J. D. Tant often
said, Brethren, we are drifting. The drifting
to which brother Tant referred is now in full bloom. Brother Tant
was concerned about what he perceived as soft-pedaling
the truth when it came to exposing sin and in particular the sin of
Brethren, time was when we could turn on the radio
and hear a preacher and almost immediately one could tell if he was
a Gospel preacher. Today, in far too many places this is no longer
true. Lest we be misunderstood, we are not advocating an approach
in our preaching that is crude and sarcastic. We are advocating a
return to simple Gospel preaching that convicts the sinner of his
sin (cf. Acts 2:36-41). We are advocating a return to preaching
that exposes all kinds of sin and tells the people what they
need to hear, rather than what they may like to
hear. Instead of our preaching being an entertainment show, or
that which is based almost solely on emotionalism, we need a return
to ...sound speech that cannot be condemned (Titus 2:8).
In far too many places our preaching has become a
watered-down, dont offend anyone, make everyone feel good type
of preaching. As a result, our membership is no longer known as
a people of the book. Change-agents in the church,
whether in the pulpit or college classroom, are having a field day,
and meanwhile we are losing our identity as the church of our Lord.
In the past, when one visited the church of Christ, he
knew what to expect in the worship assembly, but this is no longer
true. Today, in many of our assemblies, it is out with the
traditional and in with the contemporary
worship that has become the status quo. Those individuals that
would restructure the church and make it into a denomination, know
very well how to change our worship so it is more seeker
friendly. Brethren, do not be deceived by such nonsense!
Threes nothing wrong with following the
traditional order in our worship, provided of course, the tradition
is not itself sinful. In fact, an argument can be made for
following the traditional form of our worship. First, it is
Scriptural. Each part of our worship is based upon the New
Testament pattern for worship. Second, since we are to worship God
in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), those of us who
worship accordingly know what to expect and when to expect it. Our
traditional way of worshiping tends to eliminate confusion in our
minds; thus our hearts are attuned to what we are doing.
The idea of being more seeker friendly in
our worship is but another effort to make the church appear like
the denominations around us. The so-called contemporary worship is
unscriptural in its nature, with everything from the use of
instrumental music, to the lifting up of hands and hand clapping in
the assembly. Brethren, we are losing our identity when it comes to
our form of worship.
At the conclusion of the sermon we normally extend an
invitation to those present who need to obey the Gospel, or who,
having repented, need to publicly confess they have sinned and
desire to be restored to fellowship. In extending the invitation,
it is not uncommon to hear the plea that we accept Jesus as
our personal savior. I realize there is a sense in which
Christ is our personal savior, in that he saves us personally, but
this is not what the denominational preacher means when he makes
the same plea.
Christ saves everyone in the same manner by
obedience to the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). Why must we use denominational
terminology? Why cant we simply tell the sinner what he must
do to be saved and invite him to respond? Telling the sinner to
accept Jesus as his personal savior is as unscriptural as
the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. There is no
record of any apostle of Christ every telling anyone to accept
Jesus as his personal savior. Here, again, we are losing our
identity as the church Christ promised to build (cf. Matt.
There are other areas that are of concern, but space will
not allow an in-depth discussion. Why cant we refer to the
communion as the Lords supper as the apostle Paul did (1 Cor.
11:20)? Today, it is often called the memorial feast.
While the Supper is a memorial to the death of Christ, it is no
where in the Scriptures referred to as a memorial feast.
Our Gospel meetings are now, in many places, being
called revivals. After all, the denominations have had their
revivals for many years. Advocates of such practice claim we
dont want to offend our denominational friends. Offensive or
not (I highly doubt that anyone is offended by our using the term
Gospel meeting), I see nothing wrong with calling a thing what it
Brethren, are we losing our identity as the
Lords church? Think about it.
1336 Spring Lake Road
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Table of Contents
PRO-CHOICE IS PRO-DEATH
Pro-Life defends the unborn. Pro-Life says that
an unborn child has every right to live. An unborn child is a human
being, an individual and is protected by the law of God and the
constitution of the United States.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
Pro-Choice, on the other hand, supports and
defends a mothers right to kill her unborn children. The term
pro-choice sugar-coats the reality of murder. Pro-Death
sounds too gruesome, too hard-hitting, too much to the
point. So the term pro-choice is an attempt to
soften the blow soften the impact of the innocent unborn
being put to death.
Have you noticed that for many years now you never
hear about going to a grave yard? That terminology is not
politically correct. It sounds bad. Grave yards are now called
memorial gardens. But, they are still the same thing.
Theyre just called by a different name.
Pro-Choice is a disguise, a deception, a pretense to
cover up what is really under consideration. Many who claim they
are pro-choice say they would not kill their own
children. But, by being pro-choice, they defend the right
for others to do so. By supporting the politically
correct view of being pro-choice, they stand beside
millions of expecting mothers and willingly and deliberately watch
them kill their unborn children. Such a view is defending,
supporting, upholding, and exonerating the slaughter of millions of
Americans yet unborn. Yet, on the other hand, some of these
innocent little babies have been born alive (in a botched abortion
attempt) and are left to die of neglect.
What kind of sin-sick society do we live in when a
mother is charged with murder if she puts her baby in a
dumpster and yet a doctor is defended and even paid for
his services when he does the same thing? Someone please explain to
me the difference. Such rancor, inhumane, ruthless, merciless
behavior has no defense!
No matter how you look at it, Pro-choice is
Pro-abortion Pro-death! It is everyones
God-given responsibility to oppose those who kill their unborn
children. It is everyones God-given responsibility to oppose
those who support and endorse a mothers right to kill her
unborn baby. Pro-Choice says I believe that every mother has
the right to kill her unborn baby if she wants to. Is this
what you believe? Didnt God give people a brain that is
capable of reason, logic and making sound moral decisions? How in
the world can people support and endorse the killing of innocent
unborn babies? Should we not get on our knees and pray to God for
forgiveness of this holocaust?
Some will fuss and whine about abortion being a
political issue. The subject of abortion has nothing to do with
politics. It is not even a 32nd cousin to politics. It is a MORAL
issue. I dont care about mens politics, but I do care
about the Bible issue of morality. Calling abortion politics does
not make it politics any more than calling a dogs tail a leg
makes it a leg. Is murder, stealing or sodomy (gay) political
issues or moral issues? They are moral issues just like abortion is
a moral issue. It is a Bible subject and every Christian is
duty-bound to support and defend what the Bible teaches (cf. Jude
The Lords church has no place (Bible authority)
being involved in politics and therefore neither supports or
opposes candidates based on the grounds of their political views.
It has no position on the economy, national security, immigration,
illegal aliens, foreign affairs, etc. because all of these are
social issues they have no connection with the Bible (which
is Gods law). As a Christian, I can have convictions on each
of these issues and you can have opposite convictions. I can
support one position while you support another. And, we both can be
faithful and go to heaven because these positions have nothing to
do with righteousness. However, moral issues such as murder (which
includes abortion), sodomy (homosexuality, gay) and stealing have
to do with right and wrong, righteousness and sinfulness, heaven
and hell. We cannot hold opposite positions on what God legislates
and both of us be right and faithful in Gods eyes. No one can
oppose God and His righteousness and expect to go to heaven. Some
say you cant legislate morality. Of course you can.
Every society from the beginning of time has recognized that murder
and stealing are wrong, illegal and demands punishment.
The Declaration of Independence stated in part:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness. This is a noble statement upon
which the United States was founded. Every person, every human
being, has the right to LIFE! However...
Since January 22, 1973 (bloody Monday, the darkest
day in American history), when the supreme court
legalized abortion (killing unborn babies), there have
been more than 48,589,993. That is forty eight million, five
hundred eighty nine thousand, nine hundred ninety three babies
slaughtered (in America alone) on the altars of greed, convenience
and selfishness. As a matter of fact, since 1973, the average
number of American lives lost (destroyed, killed, murdered) in one
year by abortion (1,388,285) is greater than the total number of
lives lost in all of the wars fought by America in its 230+ year
history! Can you believe it? Look at the figures: Revolutionary War
25,324, Civil War 498,332, World War I 116,708, World War II
407,316, Korea 54,246, Vietnam 58,655. These figures come to a
total of 1,160,581 (one million, one hundred sixty thousand, five
hundred eighty one).
More than 20 million babies were ripped from their
mothers wombs between 1973 and 1987! These helpless little
babies were murdered. Yes, murdered! Some have been literally
torn-a-part limb from limb by a very strong
suction. Others have been burned alive in a
salt-bath that eats away their tender skin and poisons their lungs
and bodies. How would you like to have salt poured in an open
wound? Still, others are cut-to-pieces by a very sharp knife. Is
abortion evil? YES!!
In the year 2000, there were 306 children killed by
abortion for every 1,000 who were born alive! Pharaohs
extermination of the infant Hebrews was but a ripple compared to
modern day abortion statistics. Herods massacre of the babes
of Bethlehem would not equal one modern abortion clinics daily
quota. Hitlers slaughter of nearly six million Jews in the 30s
and 40s was but a drop in the bucket. I certainly do not
wish to minimize any of these historic atrocities, but at the same
time, I wish to magnify what our country and many of its elected
and appointed officials are doing in comparison.
Theres an outrageous inconsistency in our land
when campaigns have been raised to save the spotted owl, the snail
darter and animals and birds of all kinds (even while they are yet
unborn or not yet hatched) while the human species are being
systematically exterminated! What about the baby humans? Who will
champion their cause? Who will rise up and protect them? If
its not God-fearing people across this land, then who will?
Are unborn babies people? The Dred Scott
decision in 1857 ruled that black people were not persons
in the eyes of the constitution. Therefore, slave owners could
do-as-they-pleased with their property. Slaves could be
bought, sold, abused and even killed. In 1868, the Dred Scott
decision was overturned by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States
decreed that unborn babies are not persons and may be
legally aborted (slaughtered) all the way through the ninth month
of pregnancy. It is argued by some that the unborn child does not
have the right to life as declared at the founding of
this nation. That is, they are not persons. Let us ask a
Is an unborn child an animal or human? Obviously, it
is human. Is the child alive or dead? It certainly is alive. Is the
child innocent or guilty? All have to conclude innocent. Well, if
the child is human, alive and innocent is it not an innocent
human life? Is it wrong (sinful) to take an innocent human life?
Both nature and the Bible tell us it is!
Both science and reason tell us that life begins at
conception. This new life is totally different from either the
father or mother. It has a different genetic make-up. This new
beginning of life only needs time to grow and mature to be able to
take care of him/her self. Everyone of us continues the growing
process throughout life. When our body ceases to grow and produce
new cells to replace the dead and worn-out cells, death occurs.
When the babe in the womb is three weeks
old, he/she is only one-tenth of an inch long. He already has eyes,
spinal cord, nervous system, lungs and intestines. The heart began
beating on the 18th day which supplies blood totally separate from
the mothers and often of a different blood-type. At six
weeks, movement begins and brain activity can be recorded on
the electroencephalogram. Mouth, lips and fingernails are present
and movement can be detected. By the end of seven weeks
he/she has fingers, knees, ankles and toes. In eight weeks
the infant will grab an instrument placed in his palm. An
electrocardiogram can be done. The baby begins to hear. In just
eleven weeks all organs are present and functioning. By
eighteen weeks the baby, still not much larger than your hand,
is active and energetic, flexing muscles, punching and
kicking. At twenty weeks the baby can recognize the
mothers voice. He/she only needs time to grow and develop. All
these facts prove that life begins at conception. The infant,
though yet unborn, can feel pain and experience horror. A video
known as The Silent Scream shows clearly the atrocity and
terror of an abortion.
Some abortions are performed by cesarean
section, especially later in the pregnancy. Just think, the
only difference between a premature baby taken by c-section and one
aborted by the same method, is that after the cord is cut, one is
taken to the newborn intensive care nursery where everything
is done to care for him and the other is dropped in a canister
or left on a table to die of neglect. At this age, babies move,
breathe, feel pain and even cry! It has been reported at times that
doctors have held their hand over the childs mouth and nose to
stop their breathing and hasten death.
Perhaps the most heinous and horrifying methods of
abortion is called partial birth abortion. Its
performed in later months where the doctor actually pulls the baby
out feet first while still alive. The entire body of the baby is
exposed outside the womb with the exception of the head which is
deliberately kept inside. Scissors are then shoved into the back of
the babys skull and its brains are sucked out through a tube.
The childs head can now be delivered and its entire body
thrown in the trash. If this sounds gruesome to you, then wont
you try to do something about it?
These methods, and many others, are all in a
days work for multitudes of doctors, nurses and clinics all
across America and around the world. From an economic standpoint,
its big business. It fuels the economy. It provides jobs. But
on the moral and spiritual platform, its sick, sin sick,
morally despicable and eternally damning to the soul!
What does the Bible say concerning the unborn? Note these
scriptures well. In Psalm 139:13-16, David speaks of the time when
he was in his mothers womb. For thou didst form my
inward parts; Thou didst cover me in my mothers womb. I will
give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. My
frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And
curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did
see my unformed substance: And in thy book they were written. Even
the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was none of
them (ASV). David was not just a growth in his
mothers body, he was alive, he had a soul, his name was David!
Job, Isaiah and Paul give witness that God forms the
babe in the womb. Thou hast clothed me with skin and
flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews (Job
10:11). Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed
thee from the womb.... And now saith the Lord that formed me from
the womb... (Isa. 44:2; 49:5). But when it
pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb, and called
me by his grace... (Gal. 1:15).
It is said that Mary was found with
child of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 1:18). What if Mary
had gotten an abortion? When she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth
to reveal unto her the good news, ...it came to pass,
that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe
leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41). It was not just a
growth or tumor that leaped in her womb. It was a living, vibrant,
God uses the same Greek word to describe a child
whether in the womb or out of the womb. The word brephos
is found eight times in the New Testament. Thayer defines it as:
as unborn child, embryo, fetus: a new-born child, an infant,
a babe. In Luke 1:41,44, ...the babe leaped
in her womb.... In the next chapter of Luke (2:12,16) we
read, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes, lying in a manger. In Luke 18:15 it is
translated infants, in Acts 7:19 young
children, in II Timothy 3:15 child,
and in I Peter 2:2 babes.
Thou shalt not kill has been a principle
of every age. It has never been right for any people in any age to
murder. We are told in Proverbs 6:17 that God hates hands
that shed innocent blood. Certainly, the unborn are
What are we doing about this insidious evil? Many,
it seems, are unconcerned. Are you? Pray and work that laws may be
enacted to protect the unborn and stop murdering innocent little
Be aware that millions of Americans
support and endorse a mothers right to kill her unborn
children. Are YOU among that number? Will you endorse and support
those who kill their children?
Table of Contents
WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES
STAND ON ABORTION?
Abortion on Demand
|* Voted to oppose Roe v. Wade, the
Supreme Court decision that allows abortion for any reason.
* I have
stated time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I
support...the rights of the unborn. I have fought for human rights and
human dignity throughout my entire political career. To me it is an issue
of human rights and human dignity.
|* Co-sponsor of the Freedom of
Choice Act, (S.1173) which would make partial-birth abortion legal
again, require taxpayer funding of abortion, and invalidate virtually all
state and federal limitations on abortion, such as parental notification
* I have consistently advocated for reproductive choice and
will make preserving women's right under Roe v. Wade a priority as
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
The partial-birth abortion procedure used from the
fifth month on involves pulling a living baby feet-first out of the
womb, except for the head, puncturing the skull and suctioning out the
brain. The great majority of partial-birth abortions are performed on
healthy babies of healthy mothers.
|* Voted for legislation that provides
care and protection for babies who are born alive after an abortion.
||* Did not vote for the Illinois
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act when it came before the Illinois State
|* Voted for legislation that provides
care and protection for babies who are born alive after an abortion.
||* Voted four times against legislation in the Illinois State
Senate that would have provided care and protection for babies who are
born alive after an abortion.
Taxpayer Funding of
|* Voted in favor of the Hyde Amendment,
which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicaid.
consistently against federal funding of abortion.
|* Voted against legislation in the
Illinois State Senate that prohibited taxpayer dollars from being used to
pay for abortion.
* His campaign has stated that he does not
support the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of
abortion through Medicaid.
|* Voted to support a bill that would have
required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an
abortion on a minor girl from another state.
||* Voted to block a bill that would have
required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an
abortion on a minor girl from another state.
|* Opposes abortion and believes unborn
children should be protected. As Governor of Alaska, supported pro-life
* ...I am pro-life and have never wavered in my belief
in the sanctity of every human life.
|* Voted to endorse Roe v.
Supreme Court decision that allows abortion for any reason.
strongly support Roe v. Wade.... That's why I led the fight to defeat
Bork. Thank God he is not in the Court or Roe v. Wade would be gone by
|NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE, 512 10th St. NW, Washington, DC
||Please copy and distribute freely
or download a copy at www.nrlc.org
Table of Contents
PRIDE, THE ORIGINAL SIN
Pride goeth before destruction, and an
haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18). Clearly,
pride is a very bad thing to possess even in a small quantity. The
problem with pride is that it often grows into a full grown monster
that consumes one in its evil grip.
The expression original sin is
usually associated with the Calvinistic doctrine of inherited sin.
Mankind does not inherit sin, even Adams, because sin is the
transgression of Gods law. Sin is something one commits (John
8:34). The word original means belonging or
pertaining to the origin or beginning of something, or to a thing
at its beginning. What was the original (i.e., first) sin and
who committed it? Many would probably answer it was when Eve and/or
Adam ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6). However, there was a sin
that must have preceded this one. First John 3:8 tells us,
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth
from the beginning.... Satan is known as the tempter
(Matt. 4:3,10). For the devil to tempt mankind he must have already
experienced sin himself (James 1:14,15). No holy creature would
entice another to commit sin (James 1:13). So, the devil was guilty
of sin when he first approached Eve in the garden.
The devil was guilty of pride. This is implied
in 1 Timothy 3:6 which says an elder must not be ...a
novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the
condemnation of the devil.
What is pride? There are only three verses in
the New Testament that use it. Each verse uses a different Greek
word. The word in Mark 7:22 means haughtiness. First
Timothy 3:6 uses a word meaning high-minded or inflated
with self-conceit. First John 2:16 employs one that means
self-confidence or boasting. The related word, proud,
appears in only six New Testament verses. In Luke 1:51 it
conveys the idea of appearing above others. Clearly, the
proud soul thinks he is better than others.
Men and angels are subject to this temptation.
Romans 12:3 says, For I say, through the grace given unto
me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more
highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as
God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Man
showed this vice when tempted in the Garden of Eden. Satan
cunningly used the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the
pride of life to entice them to sin (Gen. 3:1-6; cf. I John 2:16).
Man has often thought he knew better than God.
Some angels fared no better. Jude 6 tells how
the angels...kept not their first estate, but left their
own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under
darkness unto the judgment of the great day. When God
says this far and no farther, He means it.
Pride causes one to commit presumptuous sins.
Jesus attitude is the polar opposite of
pride. He showed humility (Phil. 2:5-8). His is the perfect example
for mankind to imitate even though ours will always fall short of
the divine ideal. First John 2:6 reminds us that He that
saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he
Failing to conquer pride leads to terrible
consequences. The book of Proverbs has much to say about the sin of
pride. Proverbs 11:2 states, When pride cometh, then
cometh shame. Proverbs 13:10 declares by pride
cometh contention. Among the things God hates is a
proud look (Prov. 6:17). That is joined by a lying
tongue and hands that shed innocent blood. While man
may think pride is not that bad, God considers it an evil that
compares with things man also views as really bad.
One guilty of pride can be forgiven. It takes
repentance and a desire for the reformation of ones life. It
can and must be done if one wishes to enter heaven one day.
The way to overcome pride is found (at least in
part) in James 4:6-8. This passage informs man that ...God
resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. ... Resist
the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will
draw nigh to you.
24735 Huron River Dr.
Rockwood, MI 48173
Table of Contents
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG GOSPEL PREACHERS?
Roger D. Campbell
The Psalmist wrote, I have been young, and
now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his
seed begging bread (Psalm 37:25). I can nod my head and
say, Yes, I used to be young, too, but not any more.
There was a time when I was one of the young evangelists on the
receiving end of advice. I still get and appreciate good advice
from my fellow preachers who have been at it just as long or longer
than I have, but I am also at a stage in life where I have so much
gray hair that I am often asked questions by young preachers.
When it comes to a young man who is already
preaching, or a young brother who is contemplating becoming a
Gospel preacher, any advice that I might offer is surely in the
category of you get what you pay for. My free advice may
not be worth much, but here goes.
Young preacher, know what your work is.
The work of an evangelist is to preach the word of
God (II Tim. 4:5,2). Like all Christians, you will want to serve
others and be involved in a number of aspects of the churchs
activities, but these are not inherent in the role of a Gospel
preacher. If you wish for other members of the church to understand
the role of an evangelist, then you yourself must make certain that
your own concepts of the work of a Gospel preacher are based on the
teaching of the Bible. Like Timothy, you are to command and
teach the message of the Lord (I Tim. 4:11).
Young brother, take heed to your
Outlook/Attitude. Many young preachers that are skilled
communicators have made a mess of things by showing a bad
disposition. You need to stay humble and teachable. Regardless of
what abilities you might have, you are not Gods greatest gift
or an irreplaceable brotherhood brain. The church did well before
you came along, and it will do just fine after your passing, so do
not think too highly of yourself (Rom. 12:3). If you have not yet
realized it, Lord willing, you soon will: there is no perfect
congregation on the earth. If you could ever find one, you would
not fit in well there, because you are not perfect. There is a time
to offer constructive suggestions to others about how they and the
local work can make strides in the right direction, but preachers
of all ages need to avoid becoming sour, incessantly negative,
always complaining, and constantly with an unhappy, disgusted look
on their face.
Young preacher, take heed to your own
Personal Conduct. Take heed unto thyself, and unto
the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both
save thyself and them that hear thee (I Tim. 4:16). The
Pharisees said some good things, but they did not back it up with
the right action so the Master rebuked them for their hypocrisy
(Matt. 23:2ff). Your effectiveness ends when your behavior goes
amiss. By all means, be considerate of others (Matt. 7:12). Such is
so fundamental and goes without saying, but more than a
few preachers have never really matured in this area.
By all means, watch yourself in how you
deal with women (I Tim. 5:2). But whoso committeth
adultery with a woman lacketh understanding; he that doeth it
destroyeth his own soul (Prov. 6:32). We have many fallen
soldiers who crossed the line long before any physical relations
developed. Make it a rule never to visit a non-relative female
without taking another person along. Thinking and planning ahead
can help you avoid disaster.
In an unrelated matter, try to avoid
becoming cliquish with the local saints. Because you are a
human, it is only natural that you (or you and your wife together)
will become closer to some members than others. Still, try to stay
away from being in only with certain elements of the
Young brother, take heed to your Own
Spiritual Growth. Like the Lord, you want each person to be
saved (I Tim. 2:4). But, in the process of trying to teach and help
others be where they need to be in their spiritual lives, you must
not fall into the trap of neglecting your own spiritual
development. Like all other saints, you need to grow (II Peter
3:18). You need to make time for your own prayer life, personal
Bible study, association with faithful brethren, and opportunities
to hear the word preached and be edified. Your spiritual growth is
a blessing to others because the benefits of your development
trickle down to them through your teaching, exhortation, and
Young brother, take heed to your Work
Ethic. You, as an evangelist, do not work for men, but rather
you work for the Master. Such an endeavor deserves the very best
that you have (Col. 3:23). In your teaching, you will surely
admonish others to work diligently for the Lord (I Cor. 15:58).
Guess who needs to be a pacesetter in that regard? That is correct,
you do. Lazy preachers are a disgrace and are no better in the
sight of the Lord than the lazy gluttons on Crete whom Titus was
told to rebuke (Titus 1:12,13). The church has no need for
do-as-little-as-possible preachers that clock out after
they have put in their time. The work of an evangelist,
if it is to be done well, requires time and much diligent effort.
If you do not have the necessary self-discipline to control your
activities and how you use your time, then you either need to (1)
begin immediately to develop self-discipline or (2) pursue some
other line of work. By the way, a real Gospel preacher does not
preach in order to live; rather, he lives in order to preach!
Young preacher, take heed to your actual
Preaching and Teaching. Experience will be as big a help to
you as anything, but because you are still young, experience is not
your strong suit. One of the major keys to effectively presenting
a lesson is to be well prepared. From time to time things happen,
totally out of your control, that limit your preparation time. For
the most part, though, if you are not well prepared for a lesson,
you are at fault, and not being well prepared is a sin against the
Lord for Whom you preach and the people to whom you deliver a
lesson. You will have umpteen things to do in a normal
week, but you must (and here comes the need for self-discipline
again) make time to study and prepare adequately. The following
suggestion may not work for everyone, but I recommend that you have
a specific day of the week that you set as a deadline when your
lessons for the coming Sunday must be finished on paper. For me,
Tuesday at bedtime is the hour/deadline for which I shoot.
Preparation early in the week helps you avoid last-minute panic
when unforeseen things come up later in the week. Working late on
Saturday night to come up with something to preach is a
sorry, pitiful approach to your work. The Lord and His people
I have two small pieces of advice for you in
your lesson delivery. First, do not try to imitate other preachers.
Have your own style. Believe me, natural is better than imitation.
Second, in your lessons you would do well not to constantly refer
to or quote from your former teachers or those preachers whom you
respect. Most people will not know those men, or if they do, they
do not really care what they had to say. Preach the Book. Quote its
Young brother, take heed to your Family.
Do you have a wife? If so, she needs you to be a husband to
her, just like every other married sister in the church needs her
husband to do the same. Do you have kids? Do not neglect them. They
will grow up so quickly that your head will swim. See to your own
familys spiritual training, but not only that, see to it that
their educational, material, health, and social needs are met. It
is wonderful when preachers put forth a strong effort to help
people get ready for the Day of Judgment. It is great when
preachers can help others obey the Gospel or be restored. It is a
tragedy, though, when an evangelist spends so much time and energy
out of his home that he has little left to give to those who ought
to be the dearest ones on earth to him. By all means, require that
your family members walk the line and be a good example. After all,
the brethren are watching, and one slip up by a child or your wife
could make it necessary for you to call or make a trip to U-Haul.
Yet, you must not be overly demanding on your family. They are not
some type of Supermen or Superwomen, and it is not fair for you to
expect them to be.
Young brother, take heed to your Finances.
Pay your bills, live within your means, set some money aside
for retirement, and, when you need it, ask for a raise. Learn all
you can about taxes. Learn your obligations as well as your
opportunities under the law to save money.
Young preacher, take heed to your
Commitment. People will disappoint us from time to time, just
as we, for sure, will disappoint them. You may become frustrated by
the lack of numerical and spiritual growth, and you may wonder if
what you are trying to do is really worth it. It is! Remember the
power of the Gospel and Who it is that gives the increase. You must
not become weary in well doing (Gal. 6:9). You enlisted as a
life-time soldier in the Lords army, so remember your
commitment to Him (Luke 9:23; 14:33).
Young preacher, take heed to your
Evangelistic Spirit. Oh, how we need a revival of
preachers love for teaching the lost. Yes, we need Gospel
preachers throwing it down in the pulpit and in the classroom, but
few churches make strides in numerical growth without their
evangelists being active on the front lines of the warfare of
My ramblings must cease with three final
appeals. First, visit in the homes of the members not to be
a pastor, but to get to know people. This will pay huge benefits
for you and help you know peoples thoughts, desires and needs.
Second, do not compare yourselves with other preachers. It is an
unhealthy practice. Finally, keep studying. Study, study, study. We
need a generation of preachers who know the Book. Without men of
knowledge instructing us, we will not go far.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
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