WHY I CHANGED CHURCHES
Paul D. Murphy (deceased)
I left the Baptist Church to become a
Christian only and a member of the Lords
church. The more I studied and learned, the
more I became dissatisfied with the Baptist
Church and convinced they were in error on
many vital points.
In 1 Peter 3:16 it is written, But sanctify the Lord God
in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man
that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness
Pursuant to the demands of this text and in compliance with
the requests of my friends, I desire to set before you some
scriptural, well-grounded, and well-founded reasons as to why I
left the Baptist Church to become a Christian only and a member of
the Lords church.
I grew up in a community where there were only two churches,
one a Methodist and the other a Baptist. As long as
I can remember, I have always been interested in Bible subjects and
Bible things. When just a small child, I used to come home from the
Baptist or Methodist revivals and tell my good mother the
preachers text (that was about all the Bible they preached in
those days) and much of the preachers sermon. The preachers
would tell us that we ought to get saved and join the church of our
choice. They would tell us that we didnt have to be a member
of the church to be saved, but just to accept Jesus Christ as our
Saviour by faith only and then join the church of our
choice. In my case that meant either the Baptist Church or the
Methodist Church since there were only the two churches in our
While I knew very little about the Bible, it always seemed
to me that the Bible was a common sense book and that the preachers
ought to be telling sinners what the Bible said rather than telling
death-bed, blood-curdling, hair-raising stories and plum-thicket
experiences calculated to scare the sinner into coming to the
mourners bench to pray through to victory. It just never did seem
reasonable to me that one would have to go to the mourners bench
(this was the common practice in those days) and make a fool of
himself to be saved; consequently, I never went to the mourners
bench in my life, nor asked anyone else to do so.
When I was sixteen years old, I became deeply concerned
about my soul and began to pray and study diligently to learn what
a sinner must do to be saved. At that time the Baptists were having
their annual revival, and it just so happened that they had brought
in a shrewd Baptist preacher to do the preaching. He preached more
Bible than any man I had ever heard up to that time. Since I
believed that that was what a preacher ought to preach, I became
deeply interested in his preaching and listened with rapt attention
to his sermons. After hearing him a few days and nights in the
meeting, I went forward one evening and joined the Baptist Church
along with twenty-five others. The night I went forward the pastor
of the church asked me if I had a Christian experience to relate.
I told him that I wasnt a Christian, had never been, and
therefore could not possibly have had a Christian experience. I
explained that my reason for coming forward was to become a
Christian. He then asked me if I believed that God had for
Christs sake pardoned my sins. Even though I had certain
convictions in my heart about baptism and its connection with
salvation, I knew what I was supposed to say and said,
yes. You see, I had read the Bible enough to know that
baptism had something to do with the salvation of ones soul.
I had listened carefully to a sermon the preacher had preached on
baptism and instead of saying that baptism was not essential to
salvation as the other preachers had always done, he would say,
now baptism is a command and ought to be obeyed, but it
isnt compulsory. Well, it had always seemed to me that
anything that was commanded was essential to ones salvation,
but when this preacher said it was a command of God but wasnt
compulsory, I thought he meant that God Almighty didnt compel
one to be baptized: that we could accept it and be saved, or reject
it and be lost just like faith or any other command that was given
us. I later realized that he was saying the same thing that they
had always said but just using a different word. He was just being
subtle about it and didnt believe that baptism was, in any
sense of the word, essential to salvation. Thus being deceived like
many other honest people, I had believed a lie instead of the truth
and was thus being damned instead of being saved (II Thess.
2:10-12). Anyway, I had now gone forward, had given the preacher my
hand, and confessed that I believed that God for Christs sake
had forgiven my sins. Then the preacher stated that Paul Murphy had
come forward desiring to be received as a candidate for baptism and
after baptism as a member of the Baptist Church at that place. They
took a vote and I was accepted as a candidate for baptism. Then
they gave me the right hand of Christian fellowship, and one month
later I was baptized into the Baptist Church.
I immediately became very active in the affairs of the
Church for I resolved if I were going to be a Baptist, I would be
the best Baptist in the community. The Sunday following my baptism,
I was given a Sunday school class. I wasnt even a good Sunday
school scholar, but I resolved that if I were going to be a Sunday
school teacher I would endeavor to be the best teacher in the
church: therefore I studied my lessons diligently both day and
night. A few weeks later, my grandfather, who had been the
superintendent of the Sunday school for many years died, and I was
elected to take his place. A few weeks later, I was called on to
preach and I was given a license to preach regularly in the Baptist
From the day I began to try to preach, I resolved in my
heart that God being my helper I would always preach what, and only
what, I believed the Bible taught on any subject without fear or
favor. To that resolution Ive always tried to be true. I
remember one evening I was to preach on the question, What
Must I Do To Be Saved? I told the pastor of the church, who
was sitting on the rostrum beside me, that I was just going to tell
the people what the Bible said on the subject even if it did
contradict Baptist doctrine. A member of the Primitive Baptist
Church was visiting in the community and was present that evening.
The next day I met him on the street. He told me that he was really
amused at those Missionary Baptists the night before when he heard
many of them bragging on the wonderful sermon I had preached. He
said that when one of them asked him what he thought of the sermon
he had replied, Why, that young fellow is preaching rank
campbellism and you folks dont have sense enough to realize
Another young man in the community started preaching for the
Methodist Church about the time I had begun to preach for the
Baptist Church. I persuaded him to join the Baptist Church so we
could preach and work together. This he did and we conducted a
number of revivals together.
For two years I preached for the Baptist Church, but I
always preached as best I could what the Book said. I studied my
Bible diligently by day and night. The more I studied and learned,
the more I became dissatisfied with the Baptist Church and
convinced that they were in error on many vital points. I had
resolved that I would follow wherever the Bible lead me, that right
was always right and wrong was always wrong, and that the very
moment that I learned what was right, Id do it regardless of
friend or foe. Even though the Baptist Church had promised to
educate me; and even though I could see no way of going to school
to further my education at the time; and even though there was no
New Testament church in our community, once I learned the truth I
hesitated not. For above all things, I wanted to be saved and I
knew I could not be saved and remain in error.
I learned of a Gospel preacher by the name of J. L. Rogers
and wrote him to come and baptize me into Christ just as Philip had
baptized the eunuch (Acts 8:26:40) and as Paul had baptized the
twelve who had been baptized with Johns baptism (Acts 19:1-6).
That grand old man caught a bus immediately and came a distance of
forty miles and baptized me into Christ. Since that hour I have
been telling the old old story to the best of my ability and
rejoice with exceeding great joy that I am affiliated with the
greatest institution on earth, the Lords church, and can
fearlessly preach all the counsel of God (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47).
Many of my good friends and relatives were amazed and
shocked when I left them and became a simple New Testament
Christian and have repeatedly asked me why. I have always tried to
answer this question plainly and kindly and give them scriptural
reasons for my decision with the prayer and hope that many of them
may be lead out of the darkness of religious error into the light
and liberty of the children of God. This, many of them have done.
Why then did I leave? As you can see from the foregoing
statements, it was not because I fell out with any of them in a
personal way. They were my dear friends and relatives whom I loved;
and, I had right and reason to believe they loved me. It was not
because I was not sincere when I joined them for I was just as
sincere the day I became a Baptist as I was the day I became a
Christian only, but just being sincere is not enough. We must be
sincerely right (Acts 23:1; Prov. 14:12). I did not leave them
because they do not believe in God Almighty, for they do. I did not
leave them because they do not believe the world is lost and that
Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, for they do. I did not
leave them because they do not believe in the inspiration of the
word of the Lord, for they do. I did not leave them because they do
not believe in morality, for they do. I did not leave them because
they do not believe in mission work, for they do. I did not leave
them because they do not believe in benevolent work, for they do.
(Incidentally, I have never known of them to fuss and divide over
how to do benevolent work as many of our brethren sometimes do.) I
did not leave them for social prestige, neither for financial
standing, nor because they would not help and encourage me, for
this they always did; and Ill ever be grateful for the same.
Why then did I leave?
Kindly, may I tell you this: I left because of deep
convictions based on Gods word. As a Baptist I could
not preach the Gospel that Paul preached, and I knew Id be
eternally doomed and damned if I did not (Gal. 1:6-9). They
wanted me to tell my friends that a sinner was saved by faith
only, but the Bible says it is not by faith only
(James 2:24; Mark 16:16). They, therefore, wanted me to tell
sinners, as the preacher had told me, that baptism was not
compulsory even though the Bible says it is (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38;
22:16; I Peter 3:21). This I could not preach and be a loyal
Baptist. As a Baptist, I could not ask a sinner to make the
scriptural confession that he believed that Jesus Christ was the
Son of God, but rather that he believed that God had for
Christs sake forgiven his sins. Incidentally, how can any
right thinking person believe that his baptism is scriptural when
he confessed that he was already saved before his baptism? Read
Matthew 10:32, Acts 8:36-38, Romans 10:9-10.
As a Baptist I could not accept the Bible as my all
sufficient and alone sufficient rule of faith and practice.
This was one of the first things that opened my eyes to the fact
that I could not follow the Bible and be a loyal Baptist. For
instance, one evening when the invitation was extended, a fine old
man and his wife came forward desiring to transfer their letters
from the Methodist Church to the Baptist Church. The pastor told
them that that was contrary to the usage and practice of the
Baptist Church. They stated that they had been immersed in the
Methodist Church. He told them that they still couldnt take
them for they could only accept baptism that was performed by a
regularly ordained Missionary Baptist preacher. At first, they
demurred but finally consented to be baptized into the Baptist
Church. He then made this statement to the audience, Brother
and sister so and so have come forward desiring to unite with this
church. I have known them for many years and believe they are two
of the finest Christians I have ever known. When they came forward
tonight they thought they could transfer their letters from the
Methodist Church of which they have been faithful members for a
good many years to the Baptist Church, but after I had explained to
them that that was contrary to the usage and practice of the
Baptist Church, they graciously consented to be baptized. Then
he exploded a bomb that really shocked and stunned me. He said,
I personally believe that we have a great deal of red tape to
some of our rules, but we want to be loyal Baptists and therefore
do not wish to violate any of the rules. Well, I knew that the
Lord didnt have any red tape to any of his rules and according
to the preachers own admission, one could not be loyal to
Gods word and be a Baptist. The preacher had further stated
that the old couple were two of the finest Christians he had ever
known and that baptism was not essential to salvation, and yet he
would not accept them unless they were baptized! How on earth can
right thinking people support such a doctrine?
Not long after this incident, he took me aside one day and
said, Paul, I need to get you a Baptist Manual and want you to
study it for I can see that you dont understand our
doctrine. I said, Isnt our doctrine in the
Bible? Oh yes, he said, but you just dont
understand our doctrine. Well, I said, I am
trying to read and study the Bible, and if I can understand it,
then I can understand our doctrine if it is in the Bible for I
certainly dont intend to preach or practice anything but that
which is found in the Bible. He shook his head sadly and
walked away. I am happy therefore that I can be a member of the
church of our Lord where one is not tied to a human creed, but is
free to believe and practice anything and everything that is found
therein. I am happy that we can speak where the Bible speaks and be
silent where the Bible is silent. This is the only course we may
pursue and be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God (II Tim.
3:16-17; II John 9; Rev. 22:18-19).
Another thing that caused me to leave the Baptist Church
was her unscriptural teaching on the subject of baptism. The
preacher I previously referred to said it was not compulsory,
meaning, of course, that it was not essential to salvation right in
the face of Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, I Peter 3:21,
Galatians 3:26-27, etc.
And too, although I was in the Baptist Church for two
years, I never had the privilege of eating the Lords Supper
but twice, and then it was closed communion. I could read in
Acts 20:7 that the early Christians ate the Lords Supper each
and every Lords Day, and the act that brought them together
was for the purpose of eating the Lords Supper (I Cor. 11:33).
Also, in the Baptist Church in addition to vocal music,
we had mechanical instrumental music. I took my Bible in hand
and read and marked all the passages that authorized Christians to
offer praise unto God and found in every single instance that it
was to be done with our lips, and not by sawing it out of a fiddle,
beating it out of a drum, blowing it out of a horn, or pecking it
out of a piano (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26; Acts 16:25; Rom. 15:9: I
Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; Heb. 13:15; James
5:13). The person who does more than this does it at the peril of
his never dying soul (Rev. 22:18-19).
In the Baptist Church I could not plead for Christian
unity on the basis of Gods word, but as a member of it I
was upholding, aiding and abetting religious division contrary to
our Lords prayer and the earnest pleading of the apostle Paul
(John 17:20-23; I Cor. 1:10-13; Eph. 4:1-6). In the Lords
church I can stand free and unfettered by the doctrines, names, and
commandments of men, and tell honest people that if they find us
doing anything not in the Bible to call our attention to it and
well drop it immediately. On the other hand, if they see us
leaving off anything that we ought to be practicing, please call
our attention to it and well incorporate it into our practice
immediately. I knew that if this were done in the Baptist Church it
would destroy it immediately. You just cant follow the Bible
only and be a member of the Baptist Church!
Furthermore, I could see while a member of the Baptist
Church that in order to be a Baptist one had to do more than the
Bible said to do; and that the Bible only made
Christians only; and that it took the Bible plus the
Baptist Manual to make Baptists even as it took the Bible plus the
Discipline to make Methodists. I could read in Acts 11:26 that the
disciples were called Christians (just Christians) and not some
peculiar brand of Christians. Ive never seen the day wherein
I wanted to be more than just a simple New Testament Christian.
Shouldnt that be good enough for all of us?
Now, basically, these are the reasons I left the Baptist
Church to become a Christian only, a member of the Lords
church only, without any denominational affiliation whatsoever.
Even though it meant the giving up of some of the dearest friends
I had ever known, the breaking of many fleshly ties, I did it
joyfully for the truth of the Gospel. For I knew that there was but
one person that I was to love more than father, mother, brother,
sister, wife or children, or even my own life, and that person was
the Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me on the old rugged
cross (Luke 14:26-33; Matt. 10:37).
Thus I plead with you, my friend, to believe on the
Lord with all your heart, to earnestly and sincerely repent
of every sin, confess your faith in Jesus Christ as
Gods Son, allow some servant of God to bury you in beautiful
baptism for the remission of your sins; thus to become a
member of the Lords church. Then stay in the Lords church
and stay out of everything else. Be a faithful, devoted,
consecrated member; die in the triumphs of a living faith; and then
go home to receive the Christians reward in that land of
eternal beauty where beyond these voices there is peace.
THIS IS THE WAY THAT IS RIGHT AND CANT BE WRONG!
This article by Paul D. Murphy was used by permission and is available in a
tract. It can be purchased from: M. Wayne Mitchell, KEMA
Printing Co., P.O. Box 70, Belmont, MS 38827. Single copies
are 75›. Contact brother Mitchell for bulk prices.
- He is the redeemer of sinful men (Eph. 1:7;
- He purchased the church with his blood (Acts 20:28).
- He will save only those in his body, the church
- He will send to hell those that do not obey him
(Matt. 7:21-23; Heb. 5:8-).
Table of Contents
SPEAKING IN TONGUES #2
Garland M. Robinson
WHO RECEIVED THE GIFT OF TONGUES?
Select individuals, not every Christian, are the only ones who
received the gift to speak in another language. The 12 apostles
(Acts 2:1-4), the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:11), the 12 men
at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7), some in the church at Corinth (1 Cor.
12-14), and undoubtedly many others of which we have no record. To
understand the purpose of the gift helps explain
who received it and why it was not for every
Christian (see purpose below).
THE MEANS OF OBTAINING THE GIFT
The Bible reveals there were only two means through which this
gift was received: the baptism of the Holy Spirit and laying on of
the apostles hands.
THE PURPOSE OF THE GIFT OF TONGUES
Acts 2:1-4 speaks of Holy Spirit baptism, And when
the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the 12 apostles,
Acts 1:26) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly
there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it
filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared
unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of
them. And they (the 12 aposltes) were all filled
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Laying on of the apostles hands is spoken of in
Acts 8:14-18 and 19:6, Now when the apostles which were at
Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they
sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were
come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they
(Peter and John) their hands on them, and they received
the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the
apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them
money. ... Now when Paul had laid his hands upon
them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with
tongues, and prophesied.
The gift of tongues was never received any other way!
However, people today claim they pray and wait for the Spirit to
move them. Claims are made that tongues are for
everyone! We read of nothing in the Bible like that!
The purpose of speaking in tongues is well defined in
the scriptures. It was one of nine spiritual/miraculous gifts
mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10. Concerning these gifts, we read
in Mark 16:17-18,20, And these signs shall follow
them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they
shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and
if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall
lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. ... And they went
forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
As the apostles were preaching a new doctrine
never before heard, God enabled them to confirm their
preaching, i.e., make it firm, convincing, irrefutable. This new
teaching was from God, not man. For this cause also thank
we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God
which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but
as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh
also in you that believe (1 Thess. 2:13). If we reject
Gods word, how then shall we escape, if we neglect so
great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,
and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God
also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with
divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his
own will (Heb. 2:3-4). God bore witness to their
preaching, and did so with miracles!
Performing miracles confirmed the words of the inspired
preachers. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria,
and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave
heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing
the miracles which he did (Acts 8:5-6). This was
acknowledged by Nicodemus who ...came to Jesus by night,
and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come
from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except
God be with him (John 3:1-2). Peter preached on
Pentecost, Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of
Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and
wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as
ye yourselves also know (Acts 2:22).
Whether it be speaking in tongues or any of the other gifts,
such miracles were not to accommodate the speaker or even the one
being acted upon (such as healing). The miracles purpose was
to show unbelievers that what was being taught was from God.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that
believe, but to them that believe not (1 Cor. 14:22). This
was the effect upon those in Samaria in Acts 8:5-6 as noted above!
Such miracles even caused some at Lystra to think Paul and Barnabas
were gods (Acts 14:8-12). The object of miracles was to prove to
those who observed them that the preaching and teaching of the
Gospel was indeed from God.
Tongues were for the purpose of bridging the language
barrier and to authenticate the preaching of the Gospel. Non-
believers could hear the Gospel in their native tongue and marvel
that those speaking were unlearned and ignorant men just
as we read in Acts 4:13, Now when they saw the boldness of
Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant
men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had
been with Jesus.
While the church was young and the books of the New
Testament incomplete, there was a need for the people of each
congregation to be taught the Word of God. This was done by the use
of several miraculous gifts. The exercise thereof would prove the
things said and done to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Gods
choice was to have it proven by miracles such as
healing the sick, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues,
inspired prophecy (teaching), discerning of spirits, etc. (1 Cor.
12:7-10). Without the Gospel being written on paper so it could be
distributed, they needed a means to convince their hearers it
was a sign to unbelievers (1 Cor. 14:22). During the
early days of the church, God chose that through this means his
word might be quickly dispensed into all nations of men. However,
as we will see later (in part three of this series), once the Word
of God was established and recorded for all to read, the need for
speaking in tongues ceased.
If speaking in tongues and performing other
miracles is being done today, then we do not have the completed
revelation of Gods word. If they have ceased as the Scriptures
confirm, then the New Testament is complete. To claim miracles
exist today attacks the very inspiration of the Scriptures.
Table of Contents
DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHAT
RELIGION YOU PRACTICE?
Only the right authority gives the right answer. The authority
is not man (Jer. 10:23) nor what seems right to man (Prov. 14:12).
Its not feelings, conscience or creed books. The only right
answer is Gods Word (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3). The
question is not what matters to man, but rather, what matters
to God. If it does not matter to God, then why did God demand
religious people to obey the Gospel (Acts 2, 8, 10, 16, 22)? If it
does not matter to God, then there are no false religions,
doctrines and teachers. But the Bible reveals that such do exist
(Matt. 7:15,21-23; Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Pet. 2:1-2; 1 John 4:1).
When one reads the charge of the Great Commission (Matt.
28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16), does not that show the Lord is not just
interested in one practicing religion, but it is His Word
that determines what we are to believe, obey and practice (Col.
3:17)? It matters to God what we believe in, belong
to and how we live and worship. It is His Way and
only His Way that leads to Heaven.
Table of Contents
ADVANTAGES FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS ENJOY
In the end, faithful Christians are the recipients of an eternal
inheritance because we are Gods chosen people (1 Peter 1:3-9;
2:9). Christians sing Count your many blessings, name them one
by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done.
Its more than a beautiful hymn, its good advice.
LET US COUNT SOME OF OUR BLESSINGS AS CHRISTIANS
We should not focus exclusively on the turmoil, sin and
chaos of the world in which we live. Christian values may cause us
to wonder about the corruption around us as we hear the news and
observe society continuing on its downward path of self
destruction. Can things get any worse? As the light of the world
and the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13-16), we seek to rescue the
perishing with the Gospel. We must not allow Satan to discourage
Christians understand that this world and this life are but
temporary and if it were not so, then death and the grave would be
the victors. But God has revealed to all who will hear, that we
have within us an immortal spirit and that death and the grave can
not claim the victory over us. O death, where [is] thy
sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is]
sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God,
which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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. 15:55-58).
1. We know there is an all wise, all powerful, ever present,
loving and merciful Creator, because God has revealed this to us
through His Holy Oracles, the Bible.
2. We know God calls us, speaks to us and guides us through
His holy word and by His providence (Matt. 11:28-30; 2 Tim.
3. We know we may call upon God at any time and that He will
hear and give answer to our petitions. Now we know that God
heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and
doeth his will, him he heareth (John 9:31).
Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for
another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
4. We know Jesus loves us because the Bible tells us so.
This may be the most profound thought that man may possess.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue
ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my
love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide
in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might
remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. This is my
commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command
you (John 15:9-14).
5. We know the Lord will provide for us because He has
promised that he will do so. Therefore I say unto you, Take
no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall
drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life
more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the
air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than
they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his
stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies
of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of
the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,
[shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What
shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all
these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father
knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first
the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:25-33).
6. We know the Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want
7. We know God created this world and that at a time he
chooses he will bring it to an end (Gen. 1:1; 2 Peter 3:9-12).
Christians need not worry about the earths destruction by the
hysterical ranting of global warming charlatans or sky gazers who
fear some space object will bring an end. The end of the world is
in the hands of the Creator of the world and He alone knows when
such will happen (Matt. 24:36).
8. We know the Lord has prepared a place for those who are
prepared for heaven. Let not your heart be troubled: ye
believe in God, believe also in me. In my Fathers house are
many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go
to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I
am, [there] ye may be also (John 14:1-3).
The Christian has many, many advantages for a productive and
prosperous life in this world, and after this brief life is over,
joy eternal. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, O what a
foretaste of glory divine. All things are ready, come to the
Is your heart right with God? Today is the day of salvation.
Make your calling and election sure. Believe in Christ, obey His
commands and enjoy the peace that exceeds our understanding.
1186 Martha Leeville Rd.
Lebanon, TN 37090
Table of Contents
HOW CAN WE GET MORE PEOPLE
TO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES?
Roger D. Campbell
There may be a few isolated cases and congregations in which the
number who attend Bible classes matches the number who attend
worship services, but unfortunately, those would be exceptions,
rather than the standard practice.
This concern is legitimate. Every local church of which I
have ever had knowledge has had members who did not regularly
attend Sunday and/or mid-week Bible classes. Spiritually-minded
saints and congregational leaders are always wondering what, if
anything, can be done to increase the attendance of Bible classes.
Let me offer a few suggestions for us all to consider.
1. Make Bible class attendance a priority
something we look at as being extremely important. Advertise the
classes. Make it known to the whole church that our goal is to have
100% attendance of our members coming to every Bible class. We
recognize that sometimes things happen that are totally out of
members control and legitimately prevent them from attending
Bible classes, but we are talking about all of our folks having a
desire and making an effort to be at such classes.
I personally am befuddled by the mindset that presents the
goal for Bible class attendance as a lower figure from the number
who attend worship on the Lords day. What kind of message does
it send when we tell members that our goal for Sunday worship is
100, but our goal for Bible classes on Sunday is 75 and our goal
for mid-week Bible classes is 40?! Why not make the goal 100%?!
2. Educate all members about the need for and benefits of
Bible study. God wants us to grow in knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).
He wants us to desire the word so we can grow by it (1 Peter 2:2).
One of our greatest joys as a Christian is being able to teach
others the Bible. We all recognize the truth that each of us is
capable of teaching only those things we have learned (2 Tim. 2:2).
In order to know the Book, we have to study it. Personal Bible
study in the privacy of our residence is wonderful, but organized
public classes can also be extremely helpful. Jesus said that those
who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled (Matt.
5:6). When folks are hungry enough for the word and see its power
to transform their lives, they will make an effort to attend Bible
3. For those members who have children or grandchildren,
appeal to them to think about the spiritual welfare of their
offspring. Being in Bible classes (temporarily at least) keeps
kids out of trouble and away from the corruption of the
entertainment industry, but more than that, it allows them to learn
Gods story of salvation. Can you think of a better use of a
childs time? Timothy was blessed because someone took the time
to see to it that he was taught Gods word (2 Tim. 3:15).
Children need to be in class learning the way of the Lord! Surely
every conscientious parent or grandparent would agree. Teaching
children the truth of Jehovah helps lay the foundation for the rest
of their lives. Parents, get your kids to Bible class every
time, and on time. It just might make the difference in where they
(and you!) will be in eternity.
4. Make every effort to make the Bible classes appealing
and beneficial. That begins with having the best teachers
possible doing the teaching. Unprepared teachers, incapable
teachers, those whose spiritual maturity is below the level of
those whom they teach; and, teachers who seem to have an agenda or
hobby [for instance, in 3 out of every 4 classes they teach, they
seem compelled to bring up dancing (which needs to be taught) or
the origin of Satan] such teachers will prevent Bible classes
from reaching their potential. We need dedicated, mature-but-still
growing teachers in our classrooms teaching the truth of God with
a kind disposition. My life has been richly blessed by sitting at
the feet of such teachers.
A second key element in making classes attractive is the
atmosphere of the teaching. Does in-depth Bible study go on in the
class, or is the class merely a forum for pooling ignorant comments
about matters that are far removed from the Bible? Do those who
regularly attend Bible classes speak courteously to one another and
to the teacher, even when they do not see eye to eye, or do they
sound as if they would be more than happy to take it outside
and settle it with their fists? Do some of the students
constantly bring up irrelevant topics that ruin the flow of the
study? Do a couple of people hog the floor with
excessively long comments? Or, do people do their best to make
their comments brief, stay on subject, and let the teacher do
his/her job, which is to be the teacher, leader, and guide of the
5. Finally, it would be great if those saints who come to
every Bible class would encourage the non-attenders to come and be
a part of the classes. Those who already receive benefit from
the classes they attend should be a special advertisement for Bible
classes. Talk up the classes. Talk up the benefits of attending.
Exhort others to come and share in the spiritual nutrition and
uplifting spirit that good Bible classes provide.
No, I do not believe that a single article on Bible class
attendance will change the minds of the majority of those children
of God who have not yet been convinced to attend Bible classes.
But, hopefully I have presented some ideas that will help stimulate
further serious thought on the subject.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
I wish to thank the congregation at Leoni (Woodbury,
Tennessee) for assuming the oversight of Seek The Old
Paths. This publication has meant so much to so many to
strengthen and reassure their faith. I thank God that there are yet
many who put their trust in Gods word and not in the schemes
of men. Even to an old preacher like me, my faith is reassured
through the many Biblical articles produced in this publication. I
marveled at the recent series of articles WHY I AM NO LONGER A
PENTECOSTAL (June, July, August, 2013). I thank God that
William Davis had the integrity to acknowledge his former mistaken
belief, for in so doing he has confirmed everything I have taught
concerning the nature and fallacy of this man-made doctrine. As you
may know, there have been attempts to bring this false doctrine
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Boone was deceived by this doctrine of emotionalism and how his
book A NEW SONG was stacked up in our Christian Book
Stores to make a few dollars? I personally knew Pats
father, Arch Boone, and at one time served with Arch Boone on a
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The May/13 issue of STOP was outstanding in every particular;
especially your Editorial, The Bible On Booze. As I have
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Lords cause ...Jeff Grimes, Sasser Church of Christ,
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service to the Lord Jesus Christ ...Gene & Audrey Pegg,
McMinnville, TN. I really enjoyed reading the piece on
Whatever Happened to Sin. Society and the world calls it
everything but sin by changing the language and the church is
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coming ...Mary Childs, Pine Bluff, AR. Thank you
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Table of Contents
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