IS THERE SALVATION OUTSIDE
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?
The question posed in our title has been the source of
many a conflict among those espousing to be Christians.
Furthermore, the teaching of the New Testament on this theme has
led many to make the wild and disdainful charge, You think
that your group is the only one that is going to be saved. In
the past, members of the Lords body had no difficulty
accepting and propagating the Bible position on this subject.
Rather, the opposition was originated by those outside that
marvelous spiritual body. However, in more recent times, members of
the churches of Christ have begun to wane on this topic, following
a similar line of reasoning as those within the denominational
realm, namely, that the churches of Christ are simply one small
religious fellowship amongst all other religious fellowships that,
as a whole, comprise the spiritual body of Christ, the church. In
this manner, many of those within the church have come to accept
the idea that the church of Christ is a non-essential entity and
that one church is as good as another, implying the tired
and misguided maxim that we are all headed to the same place
but only taking different paths to get there. However, if we
are to be Gods people and practice and uphold that which is
revealed in His holy word, we must take all that the Bible teaches
on a given subject with an obedient heart of faith, nothing
doubting (James 1:6). So it is with these thoughts that we
briefly examine the nature of the church of Christ and the
implications of spiritual life without it.
First, Jesus Christ is said to be the savior of
the body (Eph. 5:23). That the body has reference to the
church, there is no doubt whatsoever for Paul writes, and he
put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be
head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness
of him that filleth all in all (Eph. 1:22-23). Again he
writes, And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might
have the pre-eminence (Col. 1:18). Hence, if Christ is
savior of the body, and the church is the body, it
necessarily follows that He is savior of the church. No other body,
whether described within the New Testament or without, is said to
be the beneficiary of Christs salvation other than the church.
Second, the church described in the oracles of God is
said to belong to Christ. The most quoted passage along this line
is found within the context of Matthew 16, during which our Lord
questions the disciples regarding whom people believe him to be. He
receives several answers, to which He then pointedly asks, But
whom say ye that I am (Matt. 16:15)? Peter replies with that
immortal confession, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
living God (Matt. 16:16). With reference to Peters
response, the Lord declares, ...upon this rock I will build my
church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it
(Matt. 16:18). We therefore understand that the church was to be
built by Christ our Lord and that it would belong to Him.
Third, we find that not only was the church to be
built and established by Christ Himself, but that He also was the
purchaser of it. Paul, in bidding farewell to the Ephesian elders,
gave this instruction, Take heed therefore unto yourselves,
and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you
overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with
his own blood (Acts 20:28). We find this theme echoed
elsewhere in the sacred writings. In condemning fornication amongst
the Corinthian church, Paul writes: What? know ye not that
your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which
ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a
price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are Gods (1 Cor. 6:19-20). He reminds them: Ye
are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men (1 Cor.
7:23). John says: ...Thou art worthy to take the book, and to
open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people,
and nation (Rev. 5:9). Peter writes that we have been redeemed
with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without
blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). Thus we understand
that the church of Christ was purchased by His blood. However,
these texts plainly teach that those who had been saved, bought,
and redeemed had become such by His blood. Hence, unless one
affirms the absurd proposition that Christ reserved a portion of
His blood to save those outside His church and kept back yet
another portion of His blood to save those within His church, it
necessarily follows that those who have been purchased, bought, or
redeemed by His blood are those within the church which He built
Finally, we note that reconciliation unto God is
obtained in the one body which is the church of Christ. Paul
affirms, For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath
broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; Having
abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments
[contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new
man, [so] making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God
in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Eph
2:14-16). Paul teaches that reconciliation unto God, for both Jew
and Gentile alike, is found in the one body through the
accomplishments of Christ on the cross. Reconciliation is simply
the restoration to favor that which was formerly lost, such as a
union or friendship after estrangement. Estrangement from God takes
place when sin comes between man and Creator: but your
iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins
have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Isa. 59:2).
Thus, reconciliation to God implies the removal of that thing which
caused the initial separation, namely, sin. But what does this
describe other than salvation itself? Hence, Paul speaks of the
ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18), which is but
the ministry of the Gospel, and the word of
reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19), which is but the word of the
Gospel. So it is that we find reconciliation unto God located in
the body, which is the church of Christ.
Can one be saved outside the church of Christ? If so,
one can be saved without being reconciled unto God, for
reconciliation takes place in the body of Christ, the church of
Christ (Eph. 2:16). If salvation can be found outside of the
spiritual body/church of Christ, one can be saved without being
purchased or bought by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor.
6:19-20; Rev. 5:9). If one can be saved without the church of
Christ, they can do so without that institution which Christ came
to establish and build (Matt. 16:18). Finally, if salvation can be
obtained outside the church of Christ, one can be saved without
Christ as their savior, for He is savior of the body which is his
church (Eph. 5:23; 1:22-23).
Can it honestly and sincerely be stated that these
are non-essential matters? If not, let us resolve to be the
body of Christ, and members in particular (1 Cor. 12:27).
118 Apple Drive
Auburn, KY 42206
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CAN A CHILD OF GOD BE LOST? #4
Garland M. Robinson
WHAT DO WE DO?
If a Christian cant be lost, what do we do with the
passages that tell us of those who actually fell away and were
lost? Not only do we have multiplied warnings against falling away,
but we have example after example of some who did fall away.
Acts 1:25, That he may take part of this
ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell,
that he might go to his own place.
Judas Iscariot fell. He was chosen by our Lord to be
one of the twelve apostles. He lived and listened to Jesus for
three years. But this verse says he FELL. Do we expect to see him
in heaven some day? I dont think so.
Acts 5:1-10 tells us about Ananias and Sapphira.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold
a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being
privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the
apostles feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled
thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the
price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and
after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou
conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men,
but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave
up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these
things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out,
and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after,
when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter
answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?
And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it
that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?
behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the
door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at
his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and
found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her
Here was a Christian couple who conspired together to
lie about their giving. They were punished with immediate death.
They fell away from the Lord. The punishment brought upon them
caused great fear to come upon the whole church. It is a grievous
error to lie to God. Lying brings eternal destruction to ones
soul (Rev. 21:8).
Acts 8:18-24, And when Simon saw that through
laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he
offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on
whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter
said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast
thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast
neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in
the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray
God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the
bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the
Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come
Simon had become a Christian at Samaria (Acts
8:12-13). Not long afterwards, he fell back into the lusts of his
old trade. Peter told him his heart was not right in the sight of
God and that he needed to repent of his wickedness. Fortunately, he
did so and was forgiven. But, what if he had not repented? The
point is, his heart would have continued not being right in the
sight of God and he would have been lost.
2 Timothy 4:10, For Demas hath forsaken me,
having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;
Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Demas, a traveling companion of Paul, abandoned him
because he loved this present evil world. Does that sound like he
was still going to be saved? No, he chose to be lost.
1 Timothy 1:19-20, Holding faith, and a good
conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made
shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have
delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Hymenaeus and Alexander were Christians who had
become unfaithful. They had put away the faith. Their
departure from faithfulness to the Lord is described as a
shipwreck. They were lost. How could it possibly be
1 Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is the
root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred
from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many
sorrows. Notice the word from. They had erred
from the faith. If one cant be lost, then he
cant err from it. Yet some had actually done so. Verse 21 says
the same thing. Which some professing have erred concerning
2 Timothy 2:18, Who concerning the truth have
erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow
the faith of some. Should we suppose that to err from the
truth and have your faith overthrown doesnt actually mean you
will be lost? Even a child can understand this verse. Therefore,
James 1:16 warns, Do not err, my beloved brethren.
If a Christian cant turn away from the Lord and be
lost, then how can it be said that those who have escaped
...the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein,
and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of
righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the
holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them
according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit
again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the
mire (2 Peter 2:20-22).
If we cant fall away and be lost, then we
dont have to pray for the Lord to lead us not into temptation
(Matt. 6:13). We dont have to watch and pray (Matt.
26:41). We dont have to put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
(Eph. 6:11). We dont have to worry about Satan taking
advantage of us and dont have to worry about being ignorant of
his devices (II Cor. 2:11).
If we cant fall away and be lost, we dont
have to worry about being beguiled by Satan through his subtilty
and our minds being corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ
(II Cor. 11:3). We dont have to worry about Satan transforming
himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14). We dont have
to worry about not giving place to the devil (Eph. 4:27). We
dont have to worry about being tempted of the tempter and our
labor being in vain (I Thess. 3:5). We dont have to worry
about the snare of the devil or being taken captive by him at his
will (II Tim. 2:26).
If Christians cant fall away and be lost, we
dont have to be concerned about the great dragon, that old
serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole
world (Rev. 12:9).
FRIEND, you had better be concerned. Heed the
warnings of God in His Word. Dont follow the examples of those
who fell away. Dont listen to the devil when he says you
cant fall away. Instead, believe Jesus who says, he that
endureth to the end shall be saved (Matt. 10:22).
To begin your walk with the Lord, you must: believe
in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of your sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30),
confess faith in Jesus (Rom. 8:37) and be baptized into water for
the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21).
Having obeyed the Gospel, you must live faithful unto
Christ the rest of your life. Only if were faithful unto death
will we receive the crown of life that fadeth not away.
Part 4 of 4
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THERES A BETTER WAY
TO SAY IT
Roger D. Campbell
Its so easy to slip into the habit of saying things
like folks around us say them. It is not necessarily bad to imitate
the words and expressions of others. It depends on what they say.
Most of us learned to talk from our parents and others that were
close to us. We may even catch ourselves saying some of those old
phrases that sounded so corny when our parents used to
In our religious terminology we are also sometimes
influenced by those around us. In our discussion of spiritual
affairs we need to try and speak with clarity, as well as speaking
according to the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11). There are some
inappropriate phrases or expressions that we might use from time to
time. I am convinced that we use them with genuine sincerity and
innocence, perhaps without even considering what we are saying, but
really there are better ways to say what we are trying to express.
For example, in reference to a deceased family member that was also
a member of the Lords church, one might say, She was
church of Christ. We understand completely the intent of the
speaker, however it would be better to say, She was a member
of the church of Christ (1 Cor. 12:20).
Another common expression is, Hes a church
of Christ preacher. Once again, we understand what is being
said, but we suggest that it would be better to speak of one as
a Gospel preacher, or to state that he preaches for the
church. In a similar matter, while some have the habit of saying,
The church of Christ teaches, it would be better to say,
The Bible teaches (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Members of the
church, being human beings, might say any number of things, some of
which would be right, while some would be wrong. If what we teach
is the Bibles message, and it is, then lets tell folks
that we accept what the Bible says, and so that is what we teach.
But, it is not church of Christ doctrine, rather it is
the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9).
The point we are trying to drive home is this: in our
speech, lets not denominationalize the church. To say, It
is church of Christ _____, or He is church of Christ
makes the church sound like a denomination, which it is not.
Lets strive to use the expression church of Christ
or church of God in the manner that these terms are used
in the New Testament.
When speaking about the church of our Lord in
contrast to the denominations, we ought not say, Other
denominations do such and such, but the church of Christ....
The key word to avoid here is other. We should leave off
the word other, and just say denominations...
and it will be correct. You see, if we are contrasting Jesus
body with man-made denominations, then for us to say other
denominations makes it sound like we are saying that the
church of Christ is also a denomination, i.e., such speech makes
the church sound like one of the denominations. Jesus did
not build a denomination (Matt. 16:18), did not purchase a
denomination (Acts 20:28), and is not the head of a denomination
(Eph. 5:23). Lets be sure that we do not say anything that
would cause others to think that we consider the church to be just
one of the many denominations that exists it IS NOT!
God being my witness, I have not written one word of
this article with any specific individual(s) in mind. The examples
that I used are things that for nearly twenty-five years I have
heard brothers and sisters say. Fact is, I used to use some of the
same language myself. Regardless of who uses the expressions that
we have noted, for each statement weve considered theres
a better way to say it.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
WHAT IS BINDING AND LOOSING?
While Jesus was on earth, He began delivering a new law,
the New Testament (Luke 16:16; Heb. 8:7). However, He only gave a
part of it and chose the twelve apostles to deliver the rest. To
the apostles he said, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall
be bound in heaven and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be
loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:19). This is simply stating that
the apostles would deliver the LORDS WILL in their teaching,
preaching and writing. It does not at all indicate they had the
freedom to bind (make laws) and loose (cancel laws) on earth and
the Lord would then bind and loose those same laws in heaven. Even
Jesus himself did not have that power! He did not speak of his own
will, He taught only the things the Father had commanded Him (John
12:49). The Holy Spirit also spake only what He was given from the
Father to speak (John 16:13; 14:26). They did not speak of their
own will; nor did the apostles speak of their own will. They spake
what the Father in heaven had given them to speak.
What does it mean that the apostles would
bind and loose? When inspired men delivered the
sacred Scriptures, they did not give their own interpretation or
opinion; rather, Holy men of God spake as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Paul said, which
things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth (1 Cor. 2:13).
...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 (2 Thess. 2:13). They spake the words (the commands) of
the Father in heaven, and they did so by the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
What the apostles bound on earth had
already been bound in heaven and what they loosed on
earth had already been loosed in heaven. The Greek text
bears this out plainly. The apostles and other inspired writers
were teaching those things that had already been determined and
settled in heaven as the Holy Spirit guided them! For ever, O
Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
No man or group of men living today can give further
revelation claiming to be from God. Inspiration has ceased (1 Cor.
13:8-10; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3)!
Editor, Garland M. Robinson
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CHALLENGES FACING THE CHURCH TODAY
THE CHALLENGE OF PURITY
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath
appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in
this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave
himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and
purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works
THE CHALLENGE OF SELF-CONTROL
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see
God (Matt. 5:8). Seeing ye have purified your souls in
obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the
brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart
fervently (1 Peter 1:22). I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is
that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also
suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his
steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who,
when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he
threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth
righteously (1 Peter 2:21-23).
THE CHALLENGE OF FAITHFULNESS
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your
mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may
minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of
God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all
bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for
Christs sake hath forgiven you (Eph. 4:29-32).
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things
honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth
in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not
yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written,
Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if
thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in
so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17-21).
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as
ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor.
15:58). Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:
behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may
be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this
is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (1
John 5:4). Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ
Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). Therefore I endure all things for
the elects sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation
which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2 Tim. 2:10).
THE CHALLENGE OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.
Amen (2 Peter 3:18). 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 and
fear (1 Peter 3:15). Study to shew thyself approved unto
God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,
do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled
with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual
understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all
pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the
knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his
glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with
joyfulness (Col. 1:9-11).
1804 Skyline Dr.
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Table of Contents
LESSONS FROM ABRAHAMS
SACRIFICE OF ISAAC
Marvin L. Weir
God spoke to Abraham, saying, ...Take now thy son,
thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land
of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the
mountains which I will tell thee of (Gen. 22:2).
In this chapter we see an outstanding example of
Abrahams great faith in God. We also see that Bible faith is
always faith in action. There is no such thing as faith
only in the Old or New Testaments! Let us learn (from the
sacrifice Abraham was willing to make) some great lessons regarding
Abraham did not reason with self or consult others to
try and avoid the command of God. There is no evidence that Abraham
stayed awake all night fretting over what God had told him to do.
The Scriptures declare, And Abraham rose early in the morning,
and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and
Isaac his son. And he clave the wood for the burnt offering, and
rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him
(Gen. 22:3). Isaac is the son of promise (Gen. 17:19), and now God
demands that Abraham offer him as a sacrifice. Human wisdom would
reason that God has Himself in a bind and needs human help to
extricate Himself from His problem. God does not need human
assistance to carry out His divine plan. He needs Abraham to trust
Abraham did not rationalize and try to justify
offering something to God other than Isaac. He did not check with
his friends and relatives to see what they thought about the
matter. Abraham took God at His word, trusted in Him to know best,
and went unto the place of which God had told him. It
would be wonderful if people who desired to be religious today
would imitate Abrahams great faith. There would be no more
arguing over which church to attend. No one would declare that one
church is as good as another. People would never say, Give me
Christ but not the church.
Faith like Abrahams faith would produce no
division in religious doctrine as all would be of the same mind and
judgment (1 Cor. 1:10). All people would attend the Lords
church that He promised to build (Matt. 16:18) and that wears His
name (Rom. 16:16). All people would believe that there is only
one body and one faith because Gods Word
says that such is true (Eph. 4:4-5). Everyone would agree that the
head (Christ) cannot be separated from the body (the church), and
that the church is His body (Eph. 1:22-23).
If faith like Abrahams existed, liberal members
of the body of Christ who desire to change almost everything about
the Lords church would all agree that whosoever goeth
onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not
God... (2 John 9). All members of the Lords church would
agree that to please God one must worship in spirit and in
truth (John 4:24). This would do away with gimmicks,
entertainment, drama, recreation, seminars, and the social gospel
being substituted for scriptural worship.
The faith of Abraham did not crumble under the
crushing weight of such a demand. Some people, when put to the
test, declare that it is not humanly possible to faithfully endure
such trial that has come their way. They reason that God expects
more of them than they can give. The Scriptures tell us, however,
that God will not allow man to be tempted (tested) beyond that
which he can bear (1 Cor. 1:13). He who does not have the faith to
renounce all that he hath cannot be the Lords
disciple (Luke 14:33). If we are to save our souls, nothing can
stand in the way of our full obedience to God.
Abrahams faith enabled him to be prompt in
obeying Gods command. He did not postpone what he knew was the
right thing for him to do. He rose early in the morning
and went unto the place of which God had told him (Gen.
22:3). God wants people to remember Him in their youth (Eccl.
12:1). Deathbed repentance is not authorized in the Scriptures.
Today is the day of salvation, not tomorrow (2 Cor. 6:2).
Abraham prepared to worship God. He carried with him
the wood that was necessary for the burnt
offering (Gen. 22:2-3). True worship does not occur
accidentally. We must plan and prepare if our worship is to be
accepted by God. Haphazard worship will not suffice! Abraham was
determined to please God. For whatever reason, he left his
young men behind (Gen. 22:5). Perhaps he thought they
might hinder him from carrying out Gods command. Abrahams
faith enabled him to be determined to worship God whatever
God required, He would do (Gen. 22:5-6). God spared Isaac, but not
because of Abrahams refusal to do His will.
Will your faith lead you to unquestionably obey God?
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DO YOU THANK GOD AT MEAL TIME?
Jesus often used common activities like eating a meal to
teach the will of God. On one occasion he noticed how guests chose
the best seats for themselves at a feast. This led to the parable
found in Luke 14:7-11 warning against the sin of pride. In modern
times, meals have also provided the setting for teaching disciples
A well known preacher once related an incident that
involved a group of Christians at a restaurant. As soon as the food
was placed before them some of the brethren began eating without
even pausing a second to offer thanks for the food. The preacher
remarked that such behavior was appropriate for brute beasts
because they do not know any better. However, for one made in the
image of God, it is the height of ingratitude not to thank the
giver of every good and perfect gift.
God blesses mankind with food to eat and enjoy. As
Solomon said, it is the gift of God (Eccl. 3:13). Since He created
man with a physical body, he certainly knows man needs nourishment
to sustain life. He has promised to give man what is necessary
(Matt. 6:31,32). Is it possible some forget Gods steady
provision is a gift? Man ought to remember a few basic facts on
First, God owns everything. As Creator of everything,
it all belongs to Him. Long ago the inspired penman Asaph declared,
The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken... every beast of
the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know
all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field
are mine (Psalm 50:1,10,11). Remember what is written in
Nehemiah 9:6, Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made
heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and
all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is
therein. On Gods behalf, Asaph makes another interesting
point when he says, If I were hungry, I would not tell thee:
for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof (Psalm 50:12).
Second, God is willing to share with man what
rightfully belongs to Him. However, He wants us to give thanks.
Paul gave the general command in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, In
every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning you. The apostle taught the Corinthian
brethren to give thanks for their food. He showed that they could
eat meat sold in the market even if it had been offered to an idol
since the earth is the Lords, and the fulness
thereof (1 Cor. 10:26). Pauls point was that God had
created the food to be eaten and so it could lawfully be used for
that purpose. Notice though the gratitude Paul expressed for what
many consider to be their birthright: For if I by grace be a
partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give
thanks (1 Cor. 10:30)? This great man of faith considered it
only natural to thank his Lord for the grace bestowed. He also told
the Corinthians to follow his actions. Paul later told his son in
the faith that food is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (1
Tim. 4:4,5; 6:17). Timothy was to teach this principle to the
brethren at Ephesus.
Third, Christians should imitate Pauls example
to the degree he followed Christ. Did Jesus ever give thanks at
meal times? Certainly he did (Matt. 15:35). What about you? Do you
thank God with at least a silent prayer?
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ANTIPAS...MY FAITHFUL MARTYR
...and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my
faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful
martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
In the last book of the Bible, mention is made of
Antipas, a faithful child of God and martyr for his unwavering
faith and loving devotion. At first glance, his brief mention might
seem impersonal and unrevealing. Yet he has been immortalized in
Gods Holy Book. The simple mention of his name has lived
through the centuries as a reminder of those who (like him, though
unseen and unknown by man) have walked the way of duty and had
their names written in the Lambs book of life.
Even though very few words are used to describe
Antipas, they present a meaningful message for all Christians as
they strive to live a life of servitude and devotion for the great
and mighty Jehovah. So, what might we learn (and apply to our
lives) about the character of Antipas from this short, but
It should be evident that Antipas believed in God,
His Son and in the Christian religion. He did not simply believe
something about Christianity he lived the religion of Christ
with a faith so great and sure, that he died for it.
Antipas also put the kingdom of God first. This
should be a lasting lesson for those today who profess to be
followers of Christ. We should continually set our minds on the
fact that faith in God and His promises must be held high above
everything else. The whole tenor of our lives and our path to
salvation is shaped by the things we put first.
A careful consideration of Antipas will reveal that
he loved not the world; otherwise, the Saviour would not have
described him as He did. In setting our course to a heavenly
hereafter, we must never lose sight of this Christian
characteristic, set forth as a command in 1 John 2:15: Love
not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man
love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Antipas was a soul winner. This is the duty of every
Christian. As a loving mother would never keep life-saving medicine
from her children, we must never be found guilty of withholding the
remedy for curing sin-sick souls. We must never fail to teach and
preach Gods saving Word from those who so desperately need it.
It may also be said of Antipas that he never missed
a Lords Day worship. He would not have been considered a
faithful martyr had he done so. Hebrews 10:25-27 says,
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the
manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we
have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more
sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment
and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Christ praised the faithful in Pergamos by stating
that they were holding fast his name and had not denied the faith
(Rev. 2:13). Antipas was among the number at Pergamos. Every
congregation is sorely in need of such men today. Very few have
manifested any greater faith than that exhibited by Antipas.
Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among
you, where Satan dwelleth. Here is a divine recognition of his
service unknown to man. But in the world beyond, every Antipas will
hear his name read aloud and know that his humble service was not
forgotten. And, so it will be for all faithful followers in reward
for their service while walking with the Master...possibly unseen
by men, but lovingly recognized by our Heavenly Father.
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I have traveled around the world pretty much. In March of 1944 I
boarded the ship Dorothea L Dix in New York and we went out to sea
arriving at Belfast Ireland April 3rd. Then we spent some time in
Glasgow Scotland, Gourock, Grennuck, Portland, but we didnt
forget to hit the Omaha Beach at Normandy June 6th at break of day.
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Panama. The war was over and I got home on April 12, 1946. This
might be a birds eye view of what went on out there
in the world during World War II. I would be first to say God
looked after me in lots of cases out there in this big old world.
Now, the first time I came home, I met Lucille, she became my wife
in Nov. 1945. We will soon have our 64 years in, with only 16 more
to go and well have our 80 years in!! Over the years I have
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