THE BEGINNING OF A NEW SCHOOL YEAR
Roger D. Campbell
Some of us old-timers remember when the academic year in public
schools began the day after Labor Day (the first Monday in
September). Today, many schools in our area start the first part of
August. It seems as though the opening day for classes keeps
getting earlier and earlier. While the dates for the beginning and
ending of a school year may fluctuate, there are some things that
should never change in the lives of students who are Christians.
Parents and grandparents, may I make a special request of
you? Please sit down with your children and/or grandchildren and
read this brief article together, then discuss it with them. Doing
so just might help them stay out of the pits of sin and help keep
them on the course that eventually leads to heaven. While the
remarks in this article are directed particularly to our young
people who are still students, many of the principles contained
herein would apply to Christians of all ages, regardless of the
environment in which they live.
To my young brothers and sisters in the Lord that are
students in some type of school (and to those who are quite young,
but will, Lord willing, one day obey the Gospel), I ask you to
consider these appeals as you conduct your affairs this school
1. Guard your heart will all diligence (Prov. 4:23).
It is true that many things will be said and done at school that
you will have no control over. Other matters, however, are under
your control. As much as possible, protect your eyes and ears from
trash. Nothing is more important than keeping a pure heart (James
2. Do your best in your studies and school activities
(Col. 3:23). The work ethic you demonstrate (or fail to
demonstrate) helps other people form an opinion about you that
becomes your reputation. How you conduct yourself at school not
only determines your own personal reputation, it also causes others
to form an opinion about your family and the church. Reputations
count (Prov. 22:1). It is hard to clean up a tarnished
3. Refuse to partake of any substance that harms the body
and/or affects the mind. Your body is the temple of the Holy
Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19,20). A person is foolish to dabble with booze,
drugs, and tobacco (Prov. 20:1).
4. Put on the whole armor of God and be ready to resist
the temptations of Satan that will surely come your way (Eph.
6:10-17). Do not fall into the trap of blaming others or saying
that the devil is just too powerful or too crafty. Instead, be
ready to do what the Bibles says to do: Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
5. Be respectful to others. You will not be a close
friend of every person, and you may not care for some of your
teachers, but you must treat all humans beings with respect (Phil.
2:3-4). Be courteous at all times, even to those who are not kind
(1 Peter 3:8). God wants His children to respect those in positions
of authority, including school administrators, teachers, and
6. Have a good time in the lawful and appropriate
activities you enjoy, but at the same time, do not allow them to
interfere with your responsibilities as a Christian. Enjoy
yourself, but always put God first (Matt. 6:33), keeping your heart
focused on getting to heaven as your number one priority in life
(Col. 3:1-2). It should be Christ over club activities,
God over games, and worship over weekend
outings. If your parents are not yet as strong in this area as they
need to be, then help them out by your good example.
7. Be careful in choosing your friends. The Bible
says it so clearly: Be not deceived: Evil companionships
corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33, ASV). Many have
learned this lesson the hard way. Dont become another casualty
to the Masters Cause, but instead, come out from them and be
separate (2 Cor. 6:17).
8. Remember to make/save time. You will be so busy
with school stuff that you may at times feel like your
head is spinning. Remember to save time for your family, prayer,
personal Bible study, and getting together with other young members
of the church. When you have a thirst for righteousness and
spiritual things, God will see to it that you are filled (Matt.
9. Take advantage of every opportunity to teach the
Gospel to others. As a young person, you know a lot of other
young people. Some of the most influential members of the church
are still students in school. Use your influence to encourage
others to attend Bible class with you, or make arrangements for a
personal Bible study that you or someone else can teach. Teach,
teach, teach (Matt. 28:19).
Young people, we love you, and we want you to go to heaven.
We will not lie to you and tell you that we somehow passed through
our younger years without making mistakes. God knows, we know, and
you know, that just didnt happen. We readily confess that we
are far from perfect. We also admit that we want to help you in
every way we possibly can. In good times and bad, in moments of
sadness and joy, remember to trust in the Lord with all of your
heart, dont just depend on your own thinking (Prov. 3:5).
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
MARRIAGE OR HEAVEN? YOU CANT HAVE BOTH
Garland M. Robinson
Mans opinion or interpretation does not matter.
What does God tell us in the Bible?
I suppose youve heard the expression, have your cake
and eat it too? The idea is that you can eat your favorite
cake and youll still have it when youre done you
never run out! But of course, thats not reality.
WHO CAN MARRY WITH GODS APPROVAL?
With this sentiment in mind, the world is filled with those
who suppose you can live like you want to, fulfilling every desire
of the flesh and of the mind (cf. Eph. 2:3), and you can still go
to heaven when you die. Perhaps theyre thinking that since
God is a loving God, he surely will not send anyone to
hell. If that thought were true, there would have been no reason
for Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, to come into the world and
die for the sins of man (John 3:16).
God is love (1 John 4:8). His love extends to all humanity
in that Jesus died for all (Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2). Because of love,
Jesus offered the sacrifice of himself (Heb. 9:24-28). Galatians
1:4 says of Jesus, Who gave himself for our sins, that he
might deliver us from this present evil world.... Notice
the phrase, that he might deliver us from this present evil
world. Though his love and grace is offered to all
humanity, it does not mean God will unconditionally
pardon all humanity. Second Peter 3:9 says God is ...not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance. Gods offer of forgiveness comes with
conditions to be met on mans part. Man accepts Gods offer
of salvation when he believes in Jesus (John 8:24),
repents of his sins (Acts 17:30), confesses that
Jesus is the Son of God (Rom. 10:9-10), and is immersed in
water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Being delivered
from the guilt and penalty of this evil world makes it essential
that we not go back into the world to live according to the lusts
of the world (1 John 2:15-17).
Being a Christian means we have a new master in our life
Jesus the Christ. We live according to a new standard
His will, the New Testament. Ephesians 5:2-12 describes this
very well: 2And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God
for a sweetsmelling savour. 3But fornication, and all
uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among
you, as becometh saints; 4Neither filthiness, nor foolish
talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving
of thanks. 5For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean
person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no man
deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh
the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7Be not
ye therefore partakers with them. 8For ye were sometimes
darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children
of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness
and righteousness and truth;) 10Proving what is acceptable unto the
Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove [them]. 12For it is a shame even
to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
The Scriptures remind us of the forgiveness weve
received from God and that we must not go back to living that
lifestyle. Galatians 5:16-21 says, [This] I say then, Walk
in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the
flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the
Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the
other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But
if ye be led of the Spirit (the teaching of the Spirit, the law
of Christ, the New Testament, gmr), ye are not under the law
(the law of Moses, the Old Testament, gmr). 19Now the works of
the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such
like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in
time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God. Faithful Christians will not fulfill
the lusts of the flesh. They can not and will
not do the things that those of the world do. Those of the
world follow the desires of the flesh. What are some of these
things? Notice the words of verse 19 above. Fornication is
defined as: illicit sexual intercourse, homosexuality, lesbianism,
sex with animals. Uncleanness is impurity of all kinds,
physically or morally, impurity of lustful living.
Lasciviousness is unbridled lust, wantonness, impure
handling and touching males and females.
Study the strong and sharp words of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11,
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the
kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor
abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor
covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall
inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but
ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the
name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Notice two words from verse 9. Effeminate: a boy kept for
homosexual relations with a man, of a male who submits his body to
unnatural lewdness, a male prostitute. Abusers of themselves
with mankind: a sodomite, one who lies with a male as with a
female, a homosexual.
Do we hear anything about sodomy anymore? Someone step
forward and describe the difference between sodomy and same sex
partners and/or marriage? Is it simply consent? Is it
love if both parties agree to it and sodomy if
one of the parties does not? Whats the difference between six
and a half dozen? Its the same thing, just expressed in
different terms! Call same sex marriage anything you want, but
its still sodomy.
God utterly destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with
all their inhabitants from the face of the earth. Genesis 13:13
says the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the
LORD exceedingly. And the LORD said...the cry of Sodom
and Gomorrah is great, and...their sin is very grievous
(Gen. 18:20). Their depraved and deviant behavior is shown in
Genesis 19:5 when the residents of the city demanded the two men in
Lots house be brought out ...that we may know
them. They did not want to shake their hand and welcome
them to Sodom. They wanted to have sexual relations with them!
Verse 7 says their plans were wicked. These same-sex perverts were
outraged at what they considered Lots judgmental attitude
(does that sound familiar?) and said, now will we deal
worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the
man, [even] Lot, and came near to break the door (v.19).
Had they lived in our day, according to the laws of the land,
everything would have been fine. Their intent of same-sex relations
would have been upheld by the law. But remember, man is not the
judge, God is. Gods judgment is that man with man
and woman with woman is a perversion against nature, not
natural. We must recognize and respect Gods judgment in all
Now, lets go back to the title of this lesson:
Marriage Or Heaven? You Cant Have Both.
Whats the point? How could this possibly be true?
When God created man, he gave him the ability to choose
good or evil. Adam and Eve chose to eat of the
forbidden tree and brought sin and death into the world (Gen. 3).
All mankind has been sinning ever since. God gave Israel the choice
between good or evil as they entered the land of Canaan. If they
chose to do good, God would bless them. If they chose to do evil,
God would curse them. Behold, I set before you this day
a blessing and a curse; 27A blessing, if ye obey the
commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this
day: 28And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of
the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command
you this day... (Deut. 11:26-28). See, I have set
before thee this day life and good, and death and evil
The point is this, while we live in this world, God gives
all humanity the privilege to choose for themselves the course of
life they will follow, but that does not mean our choices are
acceptable with God. There is a pay day at the end.
Everyone will answer for what they have done in this life whether
it be good or evil (John 12:48; Rev. 20:12-13).
Gods law of marriage is clear and simple. Jesus gave
Gods will on the subject in Matthew 19:4-6,9 saying,
...he which made [them] at the beginning made them male
and female, 5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father
and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be
one flesh? 6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What
therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. ...
9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it
be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery:
and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit
The Bible reveals who has the right to marry; and at the
same time, shows that not everyone has that privilege. Some have
forfeited their right to marry.
Those who have a right to marry (with Gods approval) is
shown in three situations:
WHO CANNOT MARRY WITH GODS APPROVAL?
1) Those who have never been married. Hebrews 13:4
says, Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed
undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
This simple verse reveals that marriage is honorable esteemed
of God as precious. But, there are situations in which individuals
are seen by God as whoremongers and adulterers. Whether
single or married, these pervert the only rightful use of a sexual
relationship a God-ordained marriage.
2) Those who have been married but whose spouse has
died. Romans 7:2-3, For the woman which hath an husband
is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if
the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband.
3So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another
man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead,
she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she
be married to another man. Those whose spouse is not dead
and marry another are living in adultery. Committeth
adultery not a one-time act, but a continuous,
ongoing, process of adultery (Matt. 19:9). Living in a
constant state of adultery (Col. 3:5-7).
3) Those whose spouse has committed fornication and has
been put away because of their fornication. This is
implied in Matthew 19:9: ...Whosoever shall put away his
wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another,
committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth
In this situation, an additional condition is given
regarding those who are free to marry. Those who are
authorized by God to marry, must marry someone who is also
authorized by God to marry. Who are those who are not
authorized by God to marry? It is someone who has been put
away because of their fornication (v.9). According to the
Lord, when someone who is free to marry marries someone who is not
free to marry, they both are living in adultery. The word
committeth (v.9) is continuous action an
ongoing process. As long as you live together, you are living in
adultery. First Corinthians 6:9-11 tells of those who had repented
of living in adultery and had gotten out of that relationship
and such were some of you (v.11). Colossians 3:5-7 makes
clear that whatever sin one continues, is living in that sin.
All other individuals who do not fall into these three
categories do not have the Scriptural right to marry. Who are these
individuals? Remember, its not mans judgment, opinion or
interpretation we are talking about. It matters not what man says
or feels. The point is, what does God (the Bible) say?
1) Those who have been put away because of their
fornication (Matt. 19:9; 5:32). When they marry, they are
living in adultery as long as they are married. Not only getting
married (a one-time act) is sinful, but the marriage itself is
sinful. Those in error on this point attempt to explain it away by
saying that the act of getting married is what is sin,
not the marriage itself. Therefore, one can repent of divorcing and
marrying again and their one-time act of adultery is
forgiven so they can continue in their marriage. One preacher has
said this process can be repeated up to 80 times! The Lord said you
cant do it with Gods approval even one time.
2) Those who marry someone who has been put
away because of their fornication (Matt. 19:9; 5:32). When
they marry, they are living in adultery as long as they are
3) Men who marry men. Romans 1:26-27, For
this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their
women did change the natural use into that which is against
nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use
of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men
working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves
that recompence of their error which was meet (due). See
also 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled
that same-sex marriages are legal, that does not trump Gods
law. We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). God is the
Supreme Judge (Heb. 12:23; Acts 17:31), not the United States
4) Women who marry women (Rom. 1:26-27). Same as #3.
5) A man/woman who marries their dog. You may think
this is absurd and ridiculous, but in todays climate,
were only a step away from it. If a man/woman can marry
someone of the same sex and still go to heaven while living in that
relationship, why cant a man/woman marry an animal and still
go to heaven? The reason they cant is because God condemns it.
Fornication, effeminate, abusers of
themselves with mankind, are words that describe men with
men, women with women and men/women with animals.
All those in these five categories can choose to enter into
a marriage relationship (so-called), but they cannot go
to heaven while living in that relationship. Thats the point
of the title of this lesson. Everyone has a choice to make for
themselves. But, not every choice we make means we can still go to
heaven when we die.
Those who do not have authority from God (the Bible) to
marry, can make the choice to marry anyway, in spite of Gods
word; but, they cant go to heaven while living in that
marriage. They are faced with a choice between the two: marriage or
heaven, but they cant have both! They cant be married
(without Bible authority) and go to heaven too!
Those who do not have authority from God (the Bible) to
marry, can choose to go to heaven. Thats what God wants (2
Peter 3:9) and Jesus died so they could go to heaven. Such
individuals can repent, receive forgiveness of their sins,
including sodomy (same-sex marriage), and go to heaven. But, the
choice to go to heaven means they cannot marry; and, the choice to
marry means they cant go to heaven. There is no sin one can
continue to commit and still go to heaven.
It ought to go without saying, but it needs to be said
anyway because there are always those who let their imagination run
wild instead of learning and heeding the Scriptures. As long as
men/women have consciousness, they can obey the Gospel and have all
their past and alien sins washed away in the blood of the Lamb
(Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14). Any and every thing a person does can be
forgiven, including fornication/adultery; IF and WHEN it is
repented of in obedience to the Gospel. But, repentance means you
cant go back into the very sin you came out of. So many think
that repentance means you can repent and then turn around to
continue to DO the same thing for which you wanted forgiveness.
They expect to get forgiveness but not get out of the sinful
If I repent of stealing your watch can I keep the watch?
If I repent of idolatry can I keep the idols and bow down to
If I repent of homosexuality/lesbianism can I keep my
partner and continue the relationship?
If I repent of same-sex marriage, can I repent of it and
continue the marriage?
If I repent of fornication can I keep on fornicating?
If I repent of adultery can I continue in the adulterous
relationship? Not only is marrying someone who has no right to be
married sinful, but the relationship itself is sinful. How could it
possibly be a sin to commit adultery, but not a sin to continue
living in adultery? That doesnt make any sense. Repentance
means you change your mind (thinking, attitude) about sinful
activity in your life. How can one vow to stop the sin and not do
it anymore; but then go home and continue in the very thing for
which you repented? Wheres the change that follows
as a result of repentance? But, so many have convinced themselves
that they can have their cake and eat it too!
Table of Contents
THE LORDS SUPPER AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP
All of worship takes focus. It is a matter of complete
concentration that demands an attention span longer than that of a
gnat. It is a matter of serious contemplation, not selfish
In the first century, the Lords supper was partaken of
in a very specific way.
WHAT? The emblems of the Lords supper are
unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (Luke 22:17-
20). Some depart from the pattern by partaking only of the
unleavened bread. Others take the Lords supper in conjunction
with a common meal. Some modern scholars claim this is the way it
was observed in the first century. This shows the bias of modern
scholarship. There is only one place in the New Testament where
eating the Lord supper is joined to a common meal (1 Corinthians
11) and Paul condemns the brethren for it. It is in this setting
that Paul reminds them that they have houses in which to eat and
drink (v.22). Pauls conclusion is not to partake of the
Lords supper to diminish physical hunger by eating it as a
meal. His command is, if any man hunger, let him eat at
home (1 Cor. 11:34). This does not teach it is wrong to
eat a meal in a public place or in someone elses home (1 Cor.
10:27), but it does clearly teach that it is wrong to turn the
Lords supper into a common meal.
WHEN? The day for partaking of the Lords supper
is determined by scripture the first day of the week
(Acts 20:7). Some have advocated taking the Lords supper on
any day of the week. That is not the pattern we find in Scripture.
We have no authority for eating the Lords supper on other days
of the week. Remember, we must have authority for all we do (Col.
WHERE? The Lords supper was partaken of in the
worship assembly (1 Cor. 11:17-34). In recent years, some in the
church have followed the denominations in partaking of the
Lords supper during wedding ceremonies and at other times.
This is also a departure from the New Testament pattern and is
sinful. In Scripture, the Lords supper is observed only in the
assembly. Nowhere in the New Testament do we have command, example,
or inference for partaking of it outside of the assembly. In 1
Corinthians 11, as he discusses the Lords supper, Paul
mentions coming together five times (vs.17,18,20,33,34).
HOW? The Lords supper is to be taken
thoughtfully, with a focus on the Lords death (Luke 22:17-20).
The Lords choice of emblems is obviously designed to focus our
minds on his suffering and death on the cross. And, it is possible
that this is the area of greatest failure in the observance of the
The proper focus is shown in First Corinthians 11:23-29.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered
unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was
betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it,
and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this
do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the
cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in
my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew
the Lords death till he come. 27Wherefore whosoever shall eat
this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be
guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine
himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh
damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body.
Remember Me. When Jesus instituted the Lords
supper, he commanded them to partake of both the bread and the cup,
the fruit of the vine (vs.24,25). The Catholic practice of
partaking of only the bread cannot be defended by Scripture.
Notice also that Jesus commanded them to partake of these
emblems in remembrance of me (vs.24,25). This
demands focus. We cant be remembering the Lord while we are
playing video games, texting, clipping our nails or balancing our
checkbooks. Our focus is drawn by these divinely chosen emblems to
the suffering of Jesus that his body was wounded, pierced,
misused, and that he shed his blood, the only power on earth that
can cleanse us from sin (Rev. 1:5).
The supper is not about us. It is not about our country. It
is not about Jesus birth, his miracles, or his resurrection.
While all of these things are connected, the supper is a special
focus on his death. This is where our minds should be centered.
Let A Man Examine Himself. The focus demanded in the
Lords supper is what is under consideration in 1 Cor. 11:28.
Paul does not command us to examine ourselves to see if we are
living worthy lives. He commands us to examine ourselves to see if
we are partaking in a worthy manner. To partake in an unworthy
manner is specifically defined for us in verse 29. If we fail to
discern the Lords body as we partake of the bread, and the
Lords blood as we take of the fruit of the vine, then we are
partaking in an unworthy manner.
Unfortunately, people have misused this passage over time to
cause us to lose focus of the very thing Paul was commanding here.
If we say that we should examine our lives to see if we are worthy
as we partake of the Lords supper, we have made the supper
about us, not about the Lord. This is not the time to catalogue our
sins and spiritual weaknesses. It is time to focus on our dying
Savior, his body, his blood, his sacrifice, his death.
We must examine our focus each time we partake. We must
truly learn to concentrate on the death of Jesus. Yes, this will
lead us to greater awareness of our own sins, greater gratitude and
devotion to his cause and to the church which he purchased with his
blood (Acts 20:28). But we must not turn the focus on us.
In the observance of the Lords supper, ye do
shew the Lords death till he come (1 Cor. 11:26).
1495 E Empire Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Table of Contents
JESUS IS THE CHRIST
The evidence that Jesus is the Christ is documented in Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John. We often read these books for moral lessons
and doctrinal teaching, and that is a good way to read them, but
that is not the primary purpose for which they were written. These
four men are telling why they believe Jesus is the Christ. They
want you to believe also, so they give us reasons to believe. They
present the evidence as given by the inspiration of the Holy
Matthew begins with the proposition that Jesus is the
Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham
(Matt. 1:1). He wrote as though he desired to convince the
Mark is even more direct and written for the Roman
reader: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the
son of God (Mark 1:1).
Luke is as a lawyer making his case before the
most excellent Theophilus. He writes to the Greeks
compiling the testimony of eyewitnesses who had given
perfect understanding of all things from the very
first and therefore he is writing That thou
mightiest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast
been instructed (Luke 1:1-4).
John (in his old age) told the next generation things
he knew first hand from his youth. He calls his evidence for his
faith signs and says, Many other signs
truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not
written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing ye
might have life through his name (John 20:30-31).
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all wrote by the inspiration
(guidance) of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
which makes their testimony infallible.
Jesus did not come boldly proclaiming he was the Christ. He
provided evidence and then he acknowledged the confessions of those
convinced. In the years that followed, these witnesses testified of
what they had seen and heard. Their spoken testimony was received,
considered, evaluated, and believed. They documented their
testimony in these four narratives that have been carefully
preserved through the ages by the providence of God, and they are
now presented for us to receive, consider, evaluate and believe
just as they were when originally spoken and written. From their
beginning they have been overwhelmingly convincing to honest
seekers of truth.
In the early years of the 1800s, the voice of Walter Scott
rang out across the American frontier declaring what he called the
Golden Oracle, which he defined as the simple
confession of faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. I
have in my library a copy of a colloquy (a serious
discussion) Scott wrote for publication in July of 1833. In his
paper he said of the records of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:
These form the ground-work of our faith in Christianity; they
contain the immediate evidences of its divine origin... I am not
ashamed to acknowledge that twice a week for 22 weeks I have
discoursed on the Evangelist Matthew alone. It is by these divine
narratives the Christian religion is to spread, because by them
alone can the world be assured that Jesus is the Messiah... If any
man would work faith in his audience, let him give his days and
nights and weeks and years to the study of the Evangelists.
Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as books of evidence. Take
them at face value. Think as you read. Their astounding case is
made with overwhelming evidence and no proposition in history so
thoroughly authenticated. The moral lessons and doctrinal teachings
are there, but first let them lay the foundation for your faith,
that ye might have life through his name (John
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THE TRUTH ABOUT WORSHIP
Marvin L. Weir
Far too many people today have convinced themselves that the
Lord gave no instructions or pattern for worship, or that what He
said does not matter. Either view deludes folks to think they can
worship God acceptably according to their own whims and wishes. It
has long been my belief that the greatest problem in religion is
recognizing and submitting to the authority of Christ. So many do
not have a clue as to how the Bible authorizes.
Is what man believes more important than what God said
regarding worship? Does the created have more authority than the
Creator? Is the Word of God true? The Holy Scriptures answer the
last two questions in the affirmative (John 17:17). The Lord
clearly taught, All power (authority) has been given
unto me in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18). Such being
true, the Master taught an eternal principle in declining the
Devils proposition by saying, Get thee hence, Satan:
for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him
only shalt thou serve (Matt. 4:10). Let us learn the truth
Jesus taught about:
The Proper Object Of Worship! Satan takes the Lord to
an exceeding high mountain and shows Him
all the kingdoms of the world (Matt. 4:8). Satan
then tells Christ He can have those kingdoms if He will but
fall down and worship him. One must grasp the much overlooked fact
that the proper object of worship is involved in this temptation.
The glaring truth is this: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy
God, and him only shalt thou serve (Matt. 4:10). The only
acceptable and worthy object of worship is Deity (Godhead). This
disqualifies Mary the mother of Jesus, the Pope, or any other
person or thing in the world. Worship also has a beginning and an
ending (2 Sam. 12:20). Abraham, as did David, also realized this
One cannot help but notice that worship and
service are used in the above verse. Obviously, these words
have different meanings, and it is false doctrine that declares all
of life to be worship. Service is a much broader term than worship.
It can be stated that all worship is service, but not all service
is worship! How terrible it is that even some of our brethren teach
that all of life is worship. People do many things in this
life that are necessary and decent when done properly, but these
mundane matters do not qualify as worship.
The Tragedy Of Vain Worship! Much of the religious
world is convinced that any type of worship that pleases
them is acceptable to God. Jesus disagrees in saying,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and
honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But
in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the
commandments of men (Matt. 15:8-9). One may give of his
time, be sincere, and put a great deal of effort into vain worship.
When the precepts of God do not dictate what we do in
worship, the effort is futile and worthless.
Drama presentations loaded with embellishment and designed
to entertain may please men, but these presentations do not please
God. Special singing groups (choirs, solos, praise teams), the
clapping of hands, rocking to and fro, and waving ones hands
overhead, magic and clown tricks, and gymnastics to the glory
of God may be called worship by many people today, but not by
God! The clapping of hands is obviously done in appreciation for
man, not God.
Worshipping In Spirit And In Truth! One may consider
a certain place to be sacred and the only proper location for
worship. The Samaritans believed Mt. Gerizim to be sacred as it was
the mountain where Abraham was willing to offer Isaac as a
sacrifice. The Jews considered Jerusalem to be the sacred place of
worship because they were following the law of Moses. Under the New
Covenant, however, there is no sacred or appointed place where
worship is to be offered unto God.
The Lord taught the Samaritan woman, saying, the
hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at
Jerusalem, worship the Father (John 4:21). Under the New
Covenant, the place of worship does not matter and neither
is it sacred. Worship is what is sacred and this is the reason the
emphasis is on how one worships instead of where one
One must not offer something to God which He has not
authorized. Jesus said, God is a Spirit: and they that
worship him must worship in spirit and in truth (John
4:24). This is not as many seemingly believe a suggestion or
recommendation! If one is to worship God, he is obligated to
worship in spirit and in truth. It is impossible
to overlook the imperative must which demands that
one is obligated to worship in the way God has demanded.
Coffman comments on John 4:24 as follows: This speaks
thunderously of the fact that the worship of God must be done
properly, the two requirements being that it must be engaged in
with utmost sincerity and as directed by the word of God. God has
revealed the manner in which he should be worshipped, and those who
hope to have their worship accepted should heed the restrictions.
Worship is as old as the human race, but in the long history of
mortal events only two ways to worship God have ever been
discovered. These are: Gods revealed way, and any other way
that man might have devised him-self.
Defining Truth! One might ask, Just what is
truth regarding religious matters, and how can one be certain of
such? The answer is simple. First, ...it is impossible
for God to lie... (Heb. 6:18). Second, the Lord, speaking
of the Father, affirmed, ...thy word is truth
(John 17:17). Third, the Holy Scriptures declare, And
whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
(Col. 3:17). To do something in ones name is to do it by his
Acceptable worship is not doing anything that pleases
us and calling it worship. God has defined how we must
worship if He is going to accept our worship. A lack of respect,
awe, and reverence for God and His Word will always lead to vain,
empty, and futile worship.
The lighthearted and casual way most people approach worship
today is not good. Acceptable worship is not designed to entertain
and please man. We are to worship God, not one another! Let us give
Him the glory and not take from or add to what He has
authorized (Rev. 22:18-19).
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Table of Contents
We love the STOP Gospel paper. Looking forward to the North
West Florida School of Biblical Studies lectureship next year
on February 21-25, 2016 ...James W. Berry, Montgomery,
AL. I am responding to Marvin Weirs article in the
June/15 issue of STOP. He hit the nail on the head. In the
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