I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE
JESUS IN PREACHING AND TEACHING #2
Thomas F. Eaves, Sr., Deceased
JESUS CONDEMNED ERROR
In Gods word a premium is placed on truth. The Psalmist
stated, Through thy precepts I get understanding:
therefore I hate every false way (Psalm 119:104). The
wise man admonished, Buy the truth, and sell it not; yea,
wisdom, and instruction, and understanding (Prov.
23:23). Our Lord said, Ye shall know the truth, and the
truth shall make you free (John 8:32). On one occasion
Jesus warned his disciples about false teachers and their false
doctrines (Matt. 16:6-12; Luke 12:1). On other occasions the Master
withstood and rebuked false teachers. Perhaps no clearer example,
and no stronger rebuke is recorded than that which is found in
Matthews gospel, Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one
proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son
of Hell than yourselves (Matt. 23:15). Many today would
declare that Jesus did not love these because he rebuked them, but
we know that Jesus loved them because he died for them (Rom.
5:8,9). It is possible to love the souls of men and women while
standing against their false doctrines and/or ungodly ways.
JESUS WAS LOVING
Telling people they are wrong in matters of religion is
not in vogue today, but our Lord did not allow error to go
unchallenged or unchecked. In conversation with Jesus at
Jacobs well near Sychar, a Samaritan woman asked a question
concerning the proper place of worship, Our Fathers
worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the
place where men ought to worship (John 4:20). Contrary
to the philosophy of many today, only one answer would be correct
since only one place of worship was acceptable to God. It was Mount
Gerizim OR Jerusalem, not Mount Gerizim AND Jerusalem. Jesus (I am
confident He acted out of love and with tenderness) told the woman,
Ye worship that which ye know not; we worship that which
we know; for salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22).
Jesus simply told the Samaritan woman that she was wrong, he did
not allow error to exist along side of truth. If we are going to be
more like Jesus in teaching and preaching, then we must stand
It is sad today that error has free course in many
congregations, and few, it seems, are interested in challenging the
uncertain sounds. In many areas some are maintaining that
it is not possible to know the truth, i.e., one cannot read the
Bible and know what God requires of His creatures. Lynn Mitchell,
elder of the Bering Drive Church of Christ, Houston, Texas, stated
in the Freed-Hardeman University Preachers and Church Workers
Forum, 1990, I approach this subject with at least two basic
presuppositions which you should know. The first is that the Bible
does not provide enough information and none of us is infallible
enough to ascertain with absolute or even reasonable certainty as
to the meaning of some of the texts we will be discussing
today. In the Spiritual Sword (July 1980), brother
Thomas Warren wrote of an editor who maintained that one could not
be certain of his conclusions in regard to Bible teachings so as to
be able to identify the true faithful church of Christ. The word of
God was given to enable man to be complete and furnish him
completely unto every good work (II Tim. 3:16,17), yet some teach
that man cannot know it. The apostle Peter wrote, seeing
that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain
unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called
us by his own glory and virtue (II Peter 1:3). Still,
some teach that man cannot know Gods Word. What does the Bible
say? God declares to us that His word is truth (John 17:17), truth
which can be known (John 8:32), obeyed (Rom. 6:17,18), lived (II
John 4), and defended (Jude 3). How would this be possible if you
cannot know truth. Brethren, it is possible to know something
without knowing everything. If it is not possible to know the
truth, then men will do that which is right in their own eyes.
Another subject which is generating a lot of attention
and much discussion is the work/role of women in the church. Robert
Randolph, one of the preachers of the Brookline, Massachusetts
church of Christ during the Freed-Hardeman University Preachers and
Church Workers Forum, 1990, spoke of the activities of women in the
congregation where he preaches. Eventually women, as we
studied these issues, came to take part in all portions of our
worship service. Now they lead worship, pray in public, and preach
if they have a word to offer the church and the gifts to be
effective in offering that word. From what I have read and
heard, several congregations are following this course of action,
and others are defending the rights of congregations to make this
decision, and the right of women to so participate. There are many
things that our sisters in Christ can do in the Kingdom of God, but
Gods word still teaches that in her activity she cannot have
dominion over man. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor
to have dominion over man, but to be in quietness (I
Tim. 2:12). The reason for this is explained in the scriptures
(Gen. 3:16; I Tim. 2:13,14).
Several years ago someone asked me what I thought would
be the next issue the church would face. My reply was,
instrumental music in worship unto God. Time has proven
this to be true. Statements similar to the one made by Larry James,
while preaching for the Richardson East Church of Christ in
Richardson, Texas, are being heard throughout our brotherhood.
And so I would conclude that to praise God from the heart with
an instrument of music is not wrong, it is not sinful nor will it
result in anyone being lost, and to condemn someone who uses such
an approach, I think is a tragic mistake. Consider this
statement in light of Gods revelation (Rom. 15:9; I Cor.
14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; 13:15; James 5:13). If we
are to be like Jesus in teaching and preaching, we must stand
against error and present the truth so that men might come to a
knowledge of Gods will for him. The apostle John warned about
false teachers and admonishes Christians to prove the spirits,
whether they are of God (I John 4:1). The apostle Paul
expresses his amazement that the Galatians had departed from the
Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and admonishes the Ephesians, and
have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11). Truth and error can not
stand together. May we confront error, and uphold the truth at
every opportunity even as Jesus did.
Of the many characteristics of Gods son, perhaps the
most outstanding is his love for all humanity. John said,
having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them
unto the end (John 13:1). Jesus loved his friends, Mary,
Martha and Lazarus (John 11:5), and when he wept at Lazarus
grave the Jews said, Behold how he loved him (John
11:36). The Lord loved his associates (John 13:23), those who came
to him seeking abundant life (Mark 10:21), and wept over those who
were lost and would not turn to him (Matt. 23:37). Without a doubt
the greatest evidence of Jesus love for mankind is his death
on the cross (John 15:13). Writing to the seven churches of Asia
John declared, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful
witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the
kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our
sins in his own blood (Rev. 1:5). It is through the
death of Christ that sinners can become children of God. To be like
Jesus we must be loving, and as Paul wrote, we must speak the truth
in love (Eph. 4:15). Yes, we must act out of love, but the
TRUTH must be spoken!
GO PREACH THE WORD
If we are to be like Jesus in teaching and preaching, we
must be active. As Jesus came into the world to do the will of his
Father (John 6:38), he expects us to obey the will of our Father
(Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16). As we strive to be more like Jesus
in teaching and preaching, may we so live and teach that the world
will take knowledge that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
MORE LIKE JESUS
I want to be more like Jesus,
And follow him day by day;
I want to be true and faithful,
And every command obey.
I want to be kind and
To those who are in distress;
To comfort the broken hearted
With sweet words of tenderness.
I want to be meek and
Like Jesus our Friend and King;
I want to be strong and earnest,
And souls to the Savior bring.
More and more like Jesus,
I would ever be;
More and more like Jesus,
My Savior who died for me.
J. W. Stillman
Table of Contents
Preaching the Gospel of Christ is the means chosen by God to save
the world. He did not chose angels or miracles or the direct
operation of the Holy Spirit. He chose human beings to preach the
simple message of the cross. Men think its foolish, but I
Corinthians 1:18,21 reads, For the preaching of the cross is
to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is
the power of God. ...It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching
to save them that believe. God did not say foolish
preaching theres plenty of that and it will not
save. God chose preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Table of Contents
A Letter About Instrumental Music
Paul & Shirley Matthews of Glasgow, KY writes...
First of all, my wife and I are Christian
believers, and love the Lord above all else! We try our best to
live according to the New Testament, but like so many others, we
fall short on occasion. I just have some comments on your mailing
that you send monthly. Please remove our name from your mailing
list we do not know who put us on it, but would prefer that
we be contacted before being added to any mail list. We belong to
an independent Christian church in this area, and we
certainly enjoy the musical instruments that accompany all our
praise and worship singing. I think you are missing so much
and it comes down to how you interpret the written word! I
dont think it actually states anywhere in the bible that we
are NOT to use musical instruments. Likewise, it does not state
that we are not to build church buildings, or Sunday School rooms,
or fellowship halls, yet we do this, and sometimes in magnificent
fashion! We also do believe that the Lords supper should be
available to anyone (who has been saved) that requests it, whether
a member of a particular church or not! We strive to please and
honor the Lord every day, for it is His command that we love
one another. We need to keep God above everything else in our
lives. Thank you for your time and understanding.
In answer to your letter, we have removed you from our
mailing list as per your request. However, some of the comments you
make in your letter must be answered according to the Scriptures.
You say you love the Lord. I do not question your
sincerity in that statement, but according to John 14:15, those who
love the Lord are those who keep his commandments. Just saying we
love the Lord is not the proof of genuine love. Obeying the Lord
(doing his will, keeping his commandments) is the real proof of
loving Him. I once heard a man say that what really counts is to
know the Lord in a personal, intimate relationship with
Him. That caused me to remember I John 2:3 that says, And
hereby we do KNOW that we KNOW him, if we KEEP HIS
COMMANDMENTS. I can claim to really know and love the
Lord with all my heart and actually feel as though I do, but that
does not mean it is so. The evidence or proof of loving Him and
knowing Him is KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS.
Righteousness with the Lord is not a better felt
than told emotion. It is a deep seated devotion to His will
and word by doing (obeying) what He tells us to do. Remember, Jesus
is the author of salvation to those who OBEY Him (Heb. 5:9).
According to Matthew 7:21-23, there will be countless numbers of
people who say Lord, Lord (and actually mean it), but who will be
turned away from heaven because they did not OBEY the Lord.
Obedience to the Lord is not determined by what we feel, enjoy,
think or believe. It is determined by keeping His commandments.
Faithful Christians are not missing anything by doing what Jesus
tells us to do. Men may derive great satisfaction out of doing what
they feel is good, but again, that is the wrong standard. Being
right with the Lord is not based on feelings and satisfaction. It
is rooted in faith and obedience to Gods commands. It
doesnt matter what we feel or what we think. Were not the
ones to be pleased. Our work is to please the Lord. When we please
the Lord, then were pleased because weve done His will.
Where does the Bible actually tell us NOT to use
mechanical instruments of music in worship? The answer is,
every single page of the Bible that does NOT authorize their
use. God is not please with those who high-handedly take it
upon themselves to act and move ahead without His sanction.
Colossians 3:17 makes it plain that whatever we DO or whatever we
SAY, we must be able to turn to a passage and show a thus
saith the Lord concerning it. So, the proper question is,
where is the passage that authorizes mechanical instrumental
music to be used in worship in the church? You can have all
the space you need and all the time you want to find just one
passage that gives authority for their use. But, Ill tell you
now, you wont find it because its not there. The New Testament
authorizes singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), but it does
not authorize playing (???). It doesnt matter how
much people like it or what enjoyment they get from it. To use them
is simply ignoring Gods will and saying in your heart, I
dont care what God tells me to do, Im going to use them
anyway oh, it sounds so good and feels so right.
Remember what the prophet Samuel told king Saul when he
brought back king Agag and all those sheep and oxen to use in
worship? In I Samuel 15:22-23 we read, And Samuel said,
Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey
is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as
iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the
LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. These
are mighty stern words from the Lord. Sauls refusal to do what
he was told to do by the Lord was counted as rebellion against God.
His stubbornness in rejecting Gods commandment was counted as
iniquity (evil) and idolatry. It did not matter what good he
intended. His actions were sinful and caused him to be rejected by
People today are no different than Saul when they
introduce mechanical instruments of music into their worship. There
is no excuse for it. Its no trouble at all to do what the Lord
commands. We just have to believe what He said and obey what He
In regards to accepting everyone who claims to be a
believer and partaking of the Lords supper with them,
Ephesians 5:11 says, And have no fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Instead of welcoming and fellowshipping those who have never obeyed
the Gospel, this verse tells us to not fellowship them and also to
show them their error. The Lords supper is for Christians,
those who have obeyed the Gospel. People in denominations are not
brethren. Their worship is in error. We cannot accept them.
Table of Contents
Some Of Gods Admonitions For Preachers
1. Dont tickle peoples ears by telling them what
they want to hear. Instead, prick (cut) their hearts by telling
them what God wants them to hear (Acts 2:37-38; II Tim. 4:2-4).
This is the only thing that will save their souls.
2. Dont preach to please men. Instead, strive to
please God (Gal. 1:10). This is done by preaching the whole counsel
of God His Word (Acts 20:20,26-27; II Tim. 4:2).
3. Dont worry what men are saying about you or to
you. Instead, be concerned what God will say to you in the judgment
(James 3:1; Matt. 25:41,47).
4. Dont worry about your reputation. Instead, start
becoming fools for Christ one thought of as a
spectacle and off-scouring of the world (I Cor. 4:9-13). This is
well pleasing unto God.
5. Dont condone sin in congregations. Instead, start
condemning sin in both congregations and individuals (I Cor.
1:10-13; 3:1-4; Gal. 2:11-14; I Tim. 5:20).
6. Dont love the praises of men more than the
praises of God (John 12:42-43). Instead, be willing to be hated,
persecuted and to suffer for preaching the truth (John 15:18-20;
Matt. 5:10-12; II Tim. 3:10-14).
7. Dont preach only the pleasant things of the
Bible. Instead, preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:20,26-27),
which includes the hard sayings as well (John 6:60-66; Matt. 19:9).
8. Dont defend those in sin. Instead, rebuke those
in sin (I Tim. 5:20; Gal. 2:11-14; Rom. 16:17-18).
9. Dont condemn those who are rebuking others that
are in sin. Instead, defend those who are rebuking others in sin
(Prov. 17:15; Rom. 16:17-18).
10. Dont condone and sanction elders (or the men if
there are no elders) that will not watch for souls and will not
lead in church discipline. Instead, admonish them to repent and
obey the Lords commands (Heb. 13:17; II Thess. 3:6; I Cor.
11. Dont be fearful or afraid in your life and
preaching (Rev. 21:8). Instead, start being a courageous soldier of
Christ (II Tim. 2:3-4; I Tim. 6:12; II Tim. 4:7). Loving servants
are fighting soldiers!
12. Dont be a hireling and worried about your job.
Instead, start laying down your life for the cause of Christ (John
10:12; Acts 15:25-27; Isa. 56:10-11). Remember, you work for God,
not for elders, the church or the brethren!
13. Dont be passive in the proclamation and defense
of the Gospel. Instead, be aggressive by turning the world outside
down (Acts 17:6) in preaching and defending the Gospel (Phil.
1:7,17; Rom. 1:14-16).
14. Dont be spineless cowards. Instead, be willing
to be beaten and imprisoned for preaching the truth without
compromise, regardless what men shall say or do to you (Acts
15. Dont forget that Christ was crucified for you.
Instead, start taking up your cross daily and following Him
faithfully (Luke 9:23). Be willing to be crucified with Christ
(Gal. 2:20; 6:14).
16. Dont be like the world. Instead, be like Christ
by saying woe to elders, preachers and Christians that are
hypocrites and by so doing you will escape the damnation of hell
(Matt. 23:13-33; I John 2:15-16).
17. Dont worry about people calling the church a
sect that is everywhere spoken against (Acts 28:22). Instead,
preach like Paul and proclaim the ONE body, Spirit, hope, Lord,
faith, baptism and God (Eph. 4:4-6). The way of truth has always
been evil spoken of (II Peter 2:2).
18. Dont always preach in generalities. Instead,
make specific application to the church (Rev. 2-3) and individuals
(I Tim. 1:20; II Tim. 2:17).
19. Dont strive for numbers. Instead, strive to see
that souls are converted, indoctrinated and grounded in the most
holy faith (Matt. 7:13-14; Col. 1:23).
20. Dont preach to be seen and heard of men (Matt.
6:1,5). Instead, preach the truth in love and humility while giving
glory to God (Eph. 4:15; I Cor. 10:31).
21. Dont be a politician and pat people on the back.
Instead, be a Gospel preacher and rebuke sin in peoples lives
when needed (Eph. 5:11; I Tim. 1:20).
728 Chad Grace Rd.
Red Boiling Springs, TN 37150
Table of Contents
A New, Strange, Intriguing Teaching
Roger D. Campbell
When the apostle Paul was working to spread the Gospel in
the city of Athens, on a daily basis he reasoned with people in the
marketplace (Acts 17:17). Some of the philosophers who heard him
took him to a place known as Mars Hill or Areopagus. There they
expressed interest in hearing more about what Paul had been
In the eyes of those ancient Greek philosophers, what
kind of doctrine was Paul proclaiming? Hear what they said to Paul:
May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou
speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to
our ears: we would [want to] know therefore what these
things mean (Acts 17:19-20).
Paul was invited to speak to those who considered what
he had been saying as new, strange and intriguing. There are a lot
of people today who have the same reaction when they hear the truth
of God proclaimed, whether it be in public or private. To them, the
Gospel message is new, strange, intriguing, or perhaps all three.
But, is it really?
Is the Gospel NEW? Some of the Athenians thought
it was. Yet, at the time Paul went there to teach the Gospel, it
had already been some twenty years since Jesus had risen from the
dead and ascended back to the Father. Before His ascension, the
Christ charged His apostles to preach the Gospel in all the world
(Mark 16:15). That was about twenty years before Paul arrived in
Athens. In reality, the Gospel was not new at all. Yet,
to the people of Athens who had never heard it before, it was
Consider an example outside of the spiritual realm. I
well recall the year, it was 1984. We were living and working in
Taiwan at the time, and that is the year that McDonalds opened
its first restaurant on the island. I personally am not a huge
Mickey Ds fan, but the coming of this fast food giant was big
news in the Republic of China. At that point in time (1984), was
McDonalds a new restaurant chain? To the people of Taiwan who
had never heard of or eaten a Big Mac before, yes, it was new. In
reality, however, McDonalds had already been in existence for
decades before it opened its first restaurant in Taiwan.
I have had people say to me something like this: The
church of Christ, huh? I have never heard of it before. It must be
a new church. I then proceed to tell them that, no, the church
of the living God has been in existence for nearly 2000 years, and
you can read about it in the New Testament (Matt. 16:18; Acts
20:28). On a few occasions, if I have been discussing this question
with a person with whom I was more familiar, I have said,
Surely you have heard of the church of Christ. You have a
Bible, right? Its right there in your Bible your Bible
has churches of Christ in it (Rom. 16:16).
So, you are telling me that baptism is for the
remission of sins? Ive been told that that is a fairly recent
teaching that some man named Alexander Campbell came up with a
couple of hundred years ago. No, being baptized for the
remission of sins has been Bible doctrine since the first century
(Acts 2:38). There are a lot of other biblical matters that people
may consider as new, simply because they are unfamiliar
with them. The truth is, when people inquire about some teaching or
practice being new, that is an excellent opportunity for
us to open the Bible and show them that such a teaching or practice
has been in the Bible all along.
Is the Gospel STRANGE? Some of the folks that
heard Paul preach in Athens thought so. They told him,
For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears
(Acts 17:20). In many instances we use the word
strange to refer to matters, customs and habits that are
different from that to which we are accustomed. I think back to a
later incident which we observed in a McDonalds in Taiwan (I
know I said that I am not a McDonalds man, but when you have
three kids, well, you know who gets their way!). A man sitting at
the table next to us was eating a Big Mac. Part of the lettuce had
fallen out of his sandwich. So, what did he do? He grabbed two
straws, put them in his hand in the proper position, and used the
straws just like he would use chopsticks to pick up and eat the
lettuce. Now, some folks may count that as strange
because that is not the way they are used to doing it, but to him,
no doubt, it was as natural as it could be.
Americans find it strange that in foreign countries
people drive on the other side of the road. Guess what? More than
likely, they think that our system of driving on the right side of
the highway is strange. When it comes to humor, well, each culture
has its own, and those outside of a particular culture often find
it strange when people laugh at certain things that they do not
find funny at all. Again, in a lot of instances, we call a thing
strange when we mean, That is just not what I am
We encounter this frequently in modern religious
discussions. I remember the first time I ever attended a service of
the Lords church. I was raised in a Methodist background, so
you can understand why I considered some things that I observed
were strange, even weird. I mean, all of those people kept calling
one another brother or sister. We never did
that where I attended. I thought it was strange. And, the singing
was not bad, but where was the piano or organ? Who ever heard of
singing church songs without a musical instrument? Not
only that, they told me they take communion every Sunday. We did it
a few times a year where I came from. There is Bible authority or
foundation for the three items I just mentioned calling
fellow saints brother or sister (Gal. 1:2;
3:26), singing without adding a mechanical instrument (Col.
3:16-17), and taking the Lords supper each first day of the
week (Acts 20:7). But, because I was not well familiar with the
Bible, they seemed strange to me at the time.
Gods wisdom is above mans wisdom (Isa. 55:8,9).
Man sometimes looks at Gods plan or teaching and calls it
foolish (I Cor. 1:18,27). But, be assured that Gods
way is always the wisest, best, most beneficial teaching and course
of action. Thus, while people who are not used to speaking and
acting as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11) may call the
Gospels message strange, you and I know better. In
our dealings with others, it is important that we try to learn all
that we can about their religious background because this will help
us better understand where they are coming from. We need
to set forth plainly what the Bible teaches, but we need to be
patient and considerate of those who are struggling to get past
their initial reaction to the truth, which might be, A lot of
this is so strange to me.
Is the Gospel INTRIGUING? Some that heard
Pauls preaching were interested in hearing more about
this new doctrine. Of course, the Bible also tells us:
For all the Athenians and strangers which were there
spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear
some new thing (Acts 17:21).
People today may be interested in hearing what the Bible
says for a variety of reasons. Some may have a relative that is a
Christian, and they just wonder what Christianity is all about.
Some are raised in a different religious setting and are just
curious to see what differences there might be between what the
Bible teaches and what they have been taught. Others take an
interest in the Bible because they are hoping that it will say
something that supports an idea or practice which they already have
and do not want to abandon. There are also those hard core
blasphemers that take an interest in the Bible because they want to
find something in its pages they think they can somehow use to turn
peoples minds against it.
Thank God there are also those precious people who
sincerely hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6), and
they find the Bible more than intriguing; they find it fascinating,
eye-opening, and life-saving.
God draws men to Jesus through the message of the cross
(John 12:32-33; 6:44-45). You and I know that such a message is
Gods power to save (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 1:18). Intriguing?
Absolutely, it is, for those that have an honest and good heart
(Luke 8:15). Here is a marvelous message that shows us that Jesus
was our Creator, is our Savior, and will
be our Future Judge. And, though He does not sit on a
material, earthly throne (and never will), still He is King of
kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16). Fascinating!
Just like those whom the apostle Paul encountered in the
city of Athens, so today there are a lot of people who find the
message of the Gospel new, strange, and maybe even intriguing.
Regardless of peoples response, let us keep sowing the seed
and not grow wearing in so doing.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
James E. Rogers
Adversity seems to come to us all. When we try to please
God, sometimes, we are taken back when things do not go as we wish.
Somehow we convince ourselves that since we are doing right,
everything will go as we desire. The Bible shows that even good
people suffer (Job) when they are doing right. The challenge is to
use that suffering as an opportunity to let others see God.
We hear much about evangelism and much needs to be said.
God expects His people to take His message to the world (Mark
16:15). Some have introduced friend evangelism. Others
talk about canvass evangelism. I would like us to think
about adversity evangelism. What can I do, when faced
with adversity, to help others think more about God and the doing
of His will? Let us look at some Bible examples of adversity
Joseph is an example of adversity evangelism.
He was sold into slavery by his brothers (Gen. 37:25-36). However,
Jehovah was with Joseph (Gen. 39:2,3,21,23) in adversity and Joseph
used opportunities to tell people about his God.
Joseph told Mrs. Potiphar about God. When she tried to
seduce him, Joseph told her he could not do this great
wickedness and sin against God (Gen. 39:9).
Joseph told the butler and baker about God. When told
about their dreams, which they could not understand, Joseph asked:
Do not interpretations belong to God (Gen.
Joseph told Pharaoh about God. When called into Pha-
raohs presence to interpret a dream, Joseph answered,
It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer ... what God
is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh ... what God is about
to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh ... the thing is established by
God, and God will shortly bring it to pass (Gen.
41:16,25,28,32). Pharaoh was so impressed that he said:
Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of
God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed
thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou: thou
shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my
people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than
thou (Gen. 41:38-40).
Joseph told Asenath about God. When she bore his sons,
Joseph used names that told about his God. With Manasseh, Joseph
said, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my
fathers house (Gen. 41:51). With Ephraim, Joseph
said, God hath made me fruitful in the land of
affliction (Gen. 41:52).
Joseph told his brothers about God. In his dealings with
his brethren, Joseph referred to God (Gen. 42:18; 43:29 45:5-9).
Joseph could have done a lot of things in adversity, but
he chose to evangelize. We will have to get to heaven to know how
successful Joseph was in his efforts. It is, however, interesting
that it was Josephs steward who told Josephs brothers
that your God, and the God of your father, hath given you
treasure in your sacks (Gen. 43:23).
The little maiden is an example of adversity
evangelism. She was taken captive by the Syrians and waited on
Naamans wife (II Kings 5:1,2). She told Mrs. Naaman about
God and this evangelism resulted in Naamans conversion (II
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah
are examples of adversity evangelism. In Babylon as captives, they
told the rulers and others about their God. They told about God
when it came to their diet (Daniel 1). They told about God in the
matter of dreams (Daniel 2,4). They told about God when they needed
deliverance (Daniel 3). They told about God with their dedication
Paul and Silas are examples of
adversity evangelism. Having received many stripes, they
were delivered to the jailor who was charged to keep them
safely (Acts 16:23,24). In order to fully discharge his duty,
the jailor ...thrust them into the inner prison, and made
their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas
prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard
them (Acts 16:24-25). Such faith and evangelism resulted
in their teaching the jailor and his family and the conversion of
the same (Acts 16:26-34).
You and I can be examples of adversity
evangelism. We can use opportunities in adversity to glorify God
(Matt. 5:13-16). People are watching us. How we react to the
setbacks of life may very well open a door of opportunity to teach
about God. We meet people in adversity which we probably would not
meet otherwise. Let us talk to them about God.
As we take the great commission seriously and as talking
about God becomes a part of our nature, we will find that souls are
prepared for eternity as a result of our efforts. Adversity has a
way of causing us to become self-centered. Let us use it as an
avenue of helping others and thereby helping ourselves.
PO Box 2895
Cookeville, TN 38502
Table of Contents
Ashamed Of The Gospel? No Way!
Paul began his lengthy treatise on justification by faith
with this bold affirmation: For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to
every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to
faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith
(Rom. 1:16,17). When there is only one way to be forgiven, and thus
justified before God, it would be quite foolish to downplay its
importance. Each Christian must be committed to upholding and
defending this great message from God (Jude 3).
This commitment will bring the righteous in conflict with
the ungodly of the world. This can tempt some to compromise their
convictions. Whether the pressure to yield comes from persecution
(as it did with first century Christians) or simply the desire to
fit in with the world (Rom. 12:1,2), followers of Christ need to
recall the words of the Master. Jesus warned His disciples,
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him
shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own
glory, and in his Fathers, and of the holy angels
Some early Christians apparently were tempted to avoid
controversy as touching the Gospel. Paul told Timothy, Be
not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me
his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel
according to the power of God (II Tim. 1:8).
What are some ways people show they are ashamed of the
Gospel? Perhaps the most obvious is silence about religious
matters. In some circumstances, silence may indeed be golden
but when it comes to Gods Word, silence probably shows one is
yellow. That is, he is a chicken, afraid of engaging in a
discussion about the Gospel. Recall that Jesus said,
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I
confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever
shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father
which is in heaven (Matt. 10:32,33). Occasionally,
however, silence is the wisest course of action. Jesus showed this
during His sham trial (Mark 14:57-61; 15:3-5).
Why might some members of the church not wish to talk
about what ought to be the heart and center of their lives? Perhaps
they think by not bringing it up they can still be faithful and
avoid upsetting non-Christians. Taking this thinking to the extreme
means one would never attempt to teach even one soul, contrary to
the command Jesus gave (Matt. 28:18-20). Would this be counted as
being faithful to the Lord and His will? Obviously not. The devil
knows very well how to shut the mouths of weak members.
Another way people show they are ashamed of the Gospel
is in failing to stand for the truth (Gal. 2:5).
Apparently some do not believe in the uniqueness of the Lords
church, do not have strong convictions about it or are unwilling to
defend it (Phil. 1:7). The Gospel is a very narrow way which
obviously excludes many (Matt. 7:13,14; Acts 4:12).
Some disciples feel so uncomfortable with this message
that they may compromise the message. However, by so doing, they
have denied their Lord and His church. Others show their discomfort
with being identified as Christians in not praying at public places
(e.g., restaurants). Still others fail to openly carry a Bible lest
they are taunted. In an increasingly anti-Christian society, such
wishy-washy followers will probably soon fall away (Luke 8:13).
Paul wasnt ashamed of the Gospel because he knew it
was the only way for man to be saved. How about you? Are you
ashamed of the Gospel? Hopefully, you will be able to say with
confidence, No way! Only then will Jesus claim you as one
of His (Heb. 2:11; 11:16).
PO Box 12
Flat Rock, MI 48134
Table of Contents
The Louisville church of Christ in Louisville, Mississippi, is
looking for a sound preacher to work with them. If interested,
contact William Johnson, 116 Miller Ave., Louisville, MS 39339, ph.
(662) 773-5820. I so greatly enjoy STOP and the articles
by all the talented writers. Its a fine publication from cover
to cover. I pray Gods blessings on each of you and the success
of our tremendous undertaking. Keep up the good work
...Murriel Windham, Las Vegas, NV. Someone sent to me the
STOP. I would like for some of my family to receive this paper. God
bless you in your work ...Wilma Hendrick, Allen, TX.
Please take my name off the mailing list ...Kimberly
Pearce, Amory, MS. I enjoy STOP very much and I know that
it will be a help to our members at Mt. Pleasant church of Christ.
Thank You ...Dennis Ballard, Westmoreland, TN.
Thank you ...Sharon Higginson, Dixon, KY.
Thank you so much for your stand for the Truth
...Annette Butler, Gadsden, AL. We love you and the work
you are doing ...Marion Palmer, Avilla, IN.
Thank you ...Terry Morris. I would like to
receive the paper of the inaccuracies of the NIV (New
International Version) of the Bible. The dates were Dec/94 and
Jan/95. I enjoy the paper very much and I pass it on! Thank you for
the truth ...Wilma Donaldson, Dickson, TN. [NOTE: This
material can be seen online at
www.seektheoldpaths.com/pdf/stop/niv.pdf] Please take
Elizabeth Goff off the mailing list ...Anonymous.
Thank you ...Billy White, Tuscaloosa, AL.
We appreciate your continued stand for the truth and your
commitment to the church and our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward
to each issue of STOP. Thank you and may God bless you and your
efforts for the cause of Christ ...Johnny & Mindy Arnold,
Omaha, AR. Thank you ...Timothy Wallace,
Mountain City, TN. My wife and I are members of the
Jackson Street church of Christ in Monroe, LA. We would like to
have a monthly copy of Seek The Old Paths
publication ...David & Avanell Linzay, Monroe, LA.
I recently was given one of your publications by a friend. I
appreciate the content very much. I would like to receive it each
month if that is possible. I want to thank you for your work of the
church to educate Christians ...Guy Kuhn, Lorain, OH.
I have recently received, read and enjoyed issues of your
publication; and shared them as well ...Connie Harris,
Sparta, TN. Thanks for your time. Keep up your good
works ...Tim Hale, Ellettsville, IN. I would
like to re-subscribe to your wonderful and informative paper. My
family will be living at this address for a good while, and I hate
to miss any more of your issues. Thank you again for your great
effort for the kingdom, and may God bless you and all who endeavor
in this great work ...Bill Sirdofsky, Idaho Falls, ID.
Thank you very much ...Robert Patterson, Mabank,
TX. My wife and I receive the STOP publication and it is
wonderful and full of sound teachings on Bible doctrine. We cannot
say enough good for the efforts of the East End Church of Christ.
The congregation that we have attended for a good number of years
is headed in the wrong direction. We would love for every member at
this congregation to receive a subscription of STOP. We feel that
in reading the facts in your publication that our brothers and
sisters will see what is taking place here. We know where things
are headed if something isnt done for the congregation to have
their eyes opened. We have tried but dont seem to get
anywhere. I personally was a member in a congregation in West
Tennessee where this same movement got started and do know how they
work to take over our Lords church. Is there a way that we can
subscribe for each of the members at this congregation here without
them knowing that I subscribed for them? I surely dont want to
be labeled a trouble maker but something has to be done to open
their eyes before this movement goes any further. I do have a phone
directory of the membership and can provide the addresses and
names. There are about 90 or so regular members. Please let me know
if this is possible and any costs associated with the
subscriptions. We will be glad to send you a check for whatever it
takes. Thank you in advance ...name withheld. [NOTE:
Just send the names and addresses and we will be glad to add them
to the mailing list. There is no charge for the paper. It is
supported by free-will offerings of brethren and churches. Thank
you very much for your good comments and interest in the Lords
church. --Editor]. Please remove us from your mailing
list ...Mary Sue Scott, Tyler, TX. I appreciate
the good work you continue to do ...Michael White, Moore,
SC. Just wanted you to know Im still enjoying
reading the paper. Im sending a small check to help with
printing. May God bless you all for teaching the truth you are in
my prayers ...Lorene Wilson. I receive this
publication and would appreciate you mailing my brother a copy each
month ...Betty. Your publication is one of the
best if not THE best I have had the privilege to obtain. Whenever
I visit the Webberville church of Christ in Michigan, I pick up a
few issues. Thank you ever so much and God bless you and your
work ...Bea Vajgart, Owosso, MI. Someone sent me
a copy of STOP. I would like for some of my family to receive this
paper. God bless you in your work. Thank you ...Wilma
Hendrick, Allen, TX. Please put me on your mailing list
for Seek The Old Paths. I enjoy it very much. A friend at church
shared his with me. Thanks ...James Taylor, Knoxville, AR.
Thank you and keep up the good work. God bless
...Chris M. Nelson, Tulsa, OK. Keep up the wonderful
work ...Glen and Betty Strickland, Moultrie, GA.
Thank you ...Henry Smith, Detroit, MI.
Thank you ...Shirley Barnett, Waterford, MI.
Keep the good work coming ...Claude Brazzell,
Franklin, KY. I was fortunate to be invited to a ladies
day of devotion and praise to our Lord, at the church of Christ in
Norwalk, California. What a beautiful day. While there, I
discovered your newsletter, Seek The Old Paths. I
appreciate your sound Biblical articles and appreciate your candor
in speaking the truth on all matters relating to false doctrine
creeping into the body of the church. I would love to be put on
your mailing list to start receiving your publication on a regular
basis. Please find enclosed a donation to cover any costs for
mailing and postage for future issues. God bless you all for your
work and courage in printing the truth with wisdom and
understanding ...Carole Smiley, Whittier, CA.
Thank you ...Victor Harper, Lorena, TX.
Please use the attached funds for the publication, Seek The
Old Paths. Because of excessive medical expense, my wife and I are
unable to give more toward this worthy project. We plan to give
more in the future!! In Christian love ...David & Avanell
Linzay, Monroe, LA.
Table of Contents
Bound Volumes can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
Seek The Old Paths |
East End Church of Christ