TRUTH, DOES IT MATTER?
Does truth matter? Only a fool would say it does not.
I hasten to say that Truth Does Matter! Yet we live in a time
where multitudes say, as did Pontus Pilate, What is truth
(John 18:37-38)? Standing before Pilate when he ask this question
was the embodiment of truth, the Lord himself. Jesus had stated
that He had come to this world to bear witness unto the truth.
What, in fact, did Jesus bear witness to? Among many other things,
he was witness to the fact that God is: 1) God is the God
of the living and the dead, 2) God has power over death and can
raise the dead, 3) God has made salvation available to all mankind
for those who will believe on Him and obey Him, 4) There will be a
day when the place of our eternal existence will be determined.
Yes, truth matters!
A WORLD OF EDUCATED FOOLS
Is it the case that men do not believe there is such a thing
as truth absolute truth? Men do believe in truth when it suits
them. Did men send some men to the moon and back to earth safely?
Did such an undertaking require the employment of a multiplicity of
facts (truth) to accomplish such a task? Were all of the components
carefully tested and tried beforehand? Did such require a belief in
that which is true?
Men design sky scrapers and build bridges over long spans to
support huge amounts of weight. Do they not first determine, by
mathematical truth, if their design will work? Yet some of these
same people glibly deny that moral and spiritual truth are
absolutes. We have a society that actively promotes the foolish
notion that anything and everything believed is of equal value. The
fact is, they have no respect for God or His Holy word. Anyone who
has eyes to see should understand that such a concept as
unity-in-diversity is a way to discount God altogether.
Many Christians today have a go along to get along
attitude toward truth a just leave it up to God and
dont get involved attitude. The fact is, we cannot all
simply go along to get along any more than God and Satan
can do so. Sin is like a giant octopus whose tentacles wrap around
ones heart and squeezes out ones life. God, by means of
His universal truth, has provided a way of escape from the deadly
octopus of sin. Sin is seductive because it tells people what they
want to hear. The taste of sin is sweet but its results are bitter
indeed. Think of the words of judgment, depart from me, all
ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:27). Bitter fruit indeed!
W. P. Strictland, in an introduction of a book written by A.
Wilford Hall entitled Universalism Against Itself, wrote
these very truthful words. Whenever the heart pleads the
cause, the understanding is a very lenient and partial judge. That
which men wish to be true, they require but little evidence to
convince them of its truth and on the other hand, what they do not
wish to be true, scarcely any amount of evidence will convince them
of its truth.
Is it not the case that far too many who claim to be
servants of the Master are content to live in their world of
complacency with a do not disturb sign about themselves? How many
Christians today are engaged in the battle for the hearts of men
and women and against the powers of evil? Dont make waves,
dont get involved, just leave everything up to God. We sing,
do we not, Who is on the Lords side, who will make reply,
I am on the Lords side, Master here am I. God has always
required man to do his part. Yes, he delivered the children of
Israel out of bondage and to the promise land, but those who
entered the promise land had to do their part. As we well know, few
of them entered the promised land.
Paul was inspired to write to Timothy these words, Ever
learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the
truth (2 Tim. 3:7). A great example of these words of
truth may be observed when Paul arrived in Athens, Greece. He was
greatly disturbed because he no doubt expected something better
than what he found there the city wholly given to
idolatry (Acts 17:15-17). This city, which in that day was
known around the world for intellectual accomplishment, was in
spiritual darkness. It was the Silicon Valley of its day. Paul
bluntly declared their idolatry to be based upon ignorance and
superstition. Superstition is defined as belief in supernatural
things; reverence based upon fear. Fear of their self created gods.
The word ignorance means a lack of knowledge.
WHERE SHOULD WE LOOK FOR THE TRUTH?
What do you believe the apostle Paul would have to say today
about our places of higher learning? How many know the true and
living God? How many bow at the alter of evolution, secular
humanism, materialism and such like? Choosing what they want to
believe, they violate the very laws of nature. The law of
cause and effect states that for every effect there must
be a sufficient cause. This world marvelously made and all forms of
life are the effect of what? Men search for the answer in all the
wrong places. They grope in the darkness of their ignorance and
superstition. Yet before them exists the Bible, the Oracles of the
true and living God (cf. 1 Peter 4:11). The holy Bible is a
document that begins by revealing the origin of earth and all life
forms. This one of a kind document contains information
that far preceded human discovery and has been proven to be 100%
accurate. A document which has been examined, tested and has passed
every test. When men have disagreed with the Bible, it has without
exception been found that men were wrong and the Bible right. Time
and again archeological discoveries have confirmed the accuracy of
the Bible and left egg on the face of the doubters. Yet they are
ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
because they are looking in the wrong place for the truth. The
Bible is the only document in human existence that was authored by
the Creator of heaven and earth.
We are reminded of the fellow who had lost his wallet and was
looking for it under the street light. Someone asked him what he
had lost and could he help find it? His reply was that he had lost
his wallet with all his money and important papers. Is this where
you lost it, he was asked? No, but there is more light here.
It does not require an intellectual genius to conclude that
no matter how long or hard one looks, if you look in the wrong
place, you will never find what is lost. God will not be found in
human wisdom. God must reveal Himself to man and He has done so
through His word and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. The
place to look for God is in His Word. Man is lost without God (Eph.
2:1-10; Matt. 16:13-17). Men cannot know who Jesus is by human
wisdom. It had to be revealed by God the Father that Jesus is the
Christ the Son of the living God. Jesus prayed to God the Father,
Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth
Jesus was that truth in bodily form while here on earth. He
said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh
unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). And this
is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
evil (John 3:19).
Why do so many today wish to silence Gods word? It is
because they do not want their sins exposed, because they are in
the grasp of the octopus of sin. Yet we must keep the word of God
before them because it is their only hope. Truth matters!
Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom and instruction,
and understanding (Prov. 23:23).
Does truth matter? Only a fool would say that it does not.
Truth is eternal!
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Table of Contents
Garland M. Robinson
Gods forgiveness comes with conditions. Man has a part.
God gave man a conscience that either approves us or condemns
us. When we believe weve done well, our conscience is clear
we feel good. When we believe weve done wrong, our con-
science condemns us we feel bad, stressed, uncomfortable.
GODS PLAN FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT CHRISTIANS
While it is good that man has a conscience, it is not always
a safe guide. It is possible to have a clear conscience when in
fact weve done wrong. It is likewise possible for our
conscience to condemn us, when in fact weve done right. Our
conscience is determined by what we have learned or perceive to be
right or wrong. Therefore, we must educate our conscience. We must
make sure it is in harmony with Gods Word.
When we feel weve done wrong, our conscience pricks our
heart. We are miserable, troubled, afflicted, distressed. We
desperately desire for that feeling to go away. The desire to clear
our conscience motivates us to do right.
The need of forgiveness is strong within us. Just to know
weve been forgiven helps us. Forgiveness, therefore, is one of
the sweetest words known to man. Everyone is in desperate need of
forgiveness. To die unforgiven is the greatest of all the tragedies
man could ever face. How can we have forgiveness? What must be
God had a plan from the beginning for man to be forgiven.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God began unveiling that plan (Gen.
3:15). A blood sacrifice was required and we find Abel doing as God
commanded (Heb. 11:4). And Abel...brought of the firstlings
of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto
Abel and to his offering (Gen. 4:4). Through the
centuries, God required the blood of bulls and goats to be shed,
but even then, it was not the full and complete payment for sin.
Hebrews 10:4 says, ...it is not possible that the blood of
bulls and of goats should take away sins. The New
Testament reveals it would take the precious blood of Jesus the
Christ, the only begotten Son of God to atone for sin once and for
all (cf. Heb. 7:27; 9:12,28; 10:10).
The Bible makes clear that everyone sins none are
exempt. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth
good, and sinneth not (Eccl. 7:20). As it is
written, There is none righteous, no, not one. ... For all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:10,23).
Both sinners and saints stand in need of forgiveness.
Gods great love and mercy makes forgiveness possible. God is
willing to forgive. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to
forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon
thee (Psa. 86:5; cf. 103:8). Let the wicked
forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him
return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our
God, for he will abundantly pardon (Isa. 55:7).
Jesus came to die for sinful man. For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life (John 3:16). But God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us (Rom. 5:8).
Jesus had to die in order to make it possible for man to
have forgiveness. He said, For this is my blood of the new
testament, which is shed for many for the remission of
sins (Matt. 26:28). Paul wrote, In whom we have
redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins
Jesus was willing to forgive. On the cross, he said
...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they
do (Luke 23:34). Though God is willing to forgive and
Jesus went to the cross in order that we might have forgiveness, it
is not automatic. Man has to obey the Lord. Forgiveness is
Forgiveness of sins depends upon ones relationship to
God. God has one plan for alien sinners and another plan for
Those who are not Christians (having never obeyed the
Gospel) must obey Gods will/word to become a child of God. A
sinner, therefore, is required to HEAR the Gospel.
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught
of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath
learned of the Father, cometh unto me (John 6:45).
Every person on the face of the earth must hear the blessed Gospel
of Jesus Christ. One of the last commands Jesus gave his disciples
was to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
creature (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Men and women everywhere
must hear what Gods will is for them.
GODS PLAN FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNFAITHFUL CHRISTIANS
A sinner is required to BELIEVE the Gospel and what
it says about Jesus the divine and only begotten Son of God. Jesus
said, I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your
sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your
sins (John 8:24). He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned (Mark 16:16). For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb.
A sinner is required to REPENT of their sins.
...Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
(Luke 13:3,5). ...Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...
(Acts 2:38). Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that
your sins may be blotted out... (Acts 3:19). God
...commandeth all men every where to repent (Acts
17:30). Repentance is a change of mind. When the mind
changes, it leads to a change of life and action. Without
this conversion, there is no forgiveness.
A sinner is required to CONFESS faith in Jesus
that he is the Son of God and Saviour of the world. Philip
told the man from Ethiopia that he had to believe in Jesus Christ
as the Son of God before he could be baptized to wash his sins
away. The man confessed saying, ...I believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37). Paul wrote,
...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and
shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto
salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). Nothing is said about confessing
your sins. For alien sinners, the confession made is that Jesus is
the divine Son of God.
A sinner is required to be BAPTIZED in water for the
forgiveness of sins. Peter told those on Pentecost,
...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins... (Acts 2:38).
Jesus said, He that believeth and is baptized shall be
saved... (Mark 16:16). Saul of Tarsus was told,
...arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling
on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). Just as Noah and his
family were saved by water, the inspired Peter wrote, the
like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save
us... (1 Peter 3:21).
Notice what happens when a penitent, confessing sinner is
baptized. Know ye not, that so many of us as were
baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like
as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been
planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in
the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin. ... But God be thanked,
that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart
that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made
free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness
Baptism is not sprinkling or pouring. It is an immersion in
water. Jesus told Nicodemus that one must be born again
(John 3:3-5). One is born into the family and household of God.
Those who have obeyed the Gospel as stated above, are
Christians. When Christians stop obeying God, they fall away. God
has a plan for them to be forgiven and restored to faithfulness.
FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER
Gods forgiveness offered to Christians who have
fallen away is tied to their repentance. God says, ...I
have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked
turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways;
for why will ye die, O house of Israel (Ezek. 33:11)?
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men
count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to repentance
(2 Peter 3:9). I came not to call the righteous, but
sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). I tell you,
Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
A Christian, therefore, must repent of their sin(s) and pray
for forgiveness. Peter told Simon, who had been converted from
sorcery but sinned when he wanted to buy the power to pass on
spiritual gifts, Repent therefore of this thy
wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine
heart may be forgiven thee. ... Then answered Simon, and said,
Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which
ye have spoken come upon me (Acts 8:20-24).
A Christian who sins publicly (a sin that is widely know by
others) must repent publicly. How else could brethren know such a
one has repented and desires to be counted among the faithful
unless it is publicly acknowledged?
A Christian who sins against another person (known only by
that person), must repent and ask forgiveness from that person.
There is no need for the knowledge of that sin to be made public
(cf. Matt. 18:15-17).
A Christian may even sin in their heart (cf. Matt. 5:28).
This would be known only to God and therefore must be repented of
to God (as all sins). Sins must be repented of as widely or
privately as they are known.
Receiving forgiveness from God is also tied to our forgiveness
of one another. If I expect God to forgive me, then I must forgive
others. Notice these passages. And be ye kind one to
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for
Christs sake hath forgiven you (Eph. 4:32).
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any
man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also
do ye (Col. 3:13). Blessed are the merciful: for
they shall obtain mercy (Matt. 5:7). Then came
Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against
me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I
say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times
seven (Matt. 18:21-22). ...Forgive, and ye shall
be forgiven (Luke 6:37). And when ye stand
praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father
also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26But if
ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven
forgive your trespasses (Mark 11:25-26). And
forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. ... 14For if ye
forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither
will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matt. 6:12-15).
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against
thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4And if he
trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a
day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive
him (Luke 17:3-4). If a man say, I love God, and
hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his
brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not
seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth
God love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21). See also Matt.
Another point to be made is that we cannot forgive others
unless they repent and desire forgiveness God cant even
do that. Luke 17:3-4 says, if he repent, forgive
him. We must, however, be willing to forgive. We must be
eager and long for others to repent. Our desire is to extend
forgiveness and we are ready to do so when the Biblical conditions
have been met. On the cross, Jesus said, ...Father, forgive
them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). This
did not automatically forgive everyone involved. They had not met
the conditions of forgiveness that the Lord himself had given (cf.
Luke 13:3,5). Jesus was showing the willingness to forgive. He died
for every man, including those who crucified him (Heb. 2:9). Some
of these same people heard the Gospel preached on Pentecost (Acts
2:23). Those who repented and were baptized were forgiven (Acts
Are you forgiven? Have you forgiven others?
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DOES DRAMA CONSTITUTE WORSHIP?
Over the course of church history, man has often determined to
change the way he worships God. We must remember that God has set
the standard for worshipping Him. Jesus said, God is a
Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in
truth (John 4:24). It seems that drama-groups
have woven their way into the worship of many liberal
congregations. Many, who are not satisfied with Gods
instructions for worship, have taken it upon themselves to add
theatrics to the assembly. Those that promote such believe that
they are changing the worship services for the better. Are they
correct? Should we act out the Scriptures? What would be wrong with
First, there is no authority in the New Testament for drama
in the worship services, neither by example nor command. Whatever
is done must be done by the authority of Christ and the approval of
God (John 4:24; Col. 3:17). We read of Singing (Eph. 5:19),
Giving (1 Cor. 16:1,2), Praying (Acts 2:42),
Preaching (Acts 20:7), and the Communion/Lords
Supper (1 Cor. 11:20-29), but never drama-worship.
Did Peter, Paul or any of the other apostles act out the
crucifixion or ascension? We never read of them so doing!
Second, the purpose of worship is to bring glory to God and
not to self. Performing drama and play acting biblical accounts
leads to self-glorification. Men are praised for their acting
ability. Theatrical performances are done for self-praise and
self-glorification. On several occasions, Jesus condemned the works
of men that are done to be seen of men (Matt. 6:1; 23:5).
Third, God chose preaching to save the lost, and not play
acting. Paul wrote, For the preaching of the cross is to
them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the
power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). The church is told to
preach the word. Preaching is to be done for the purpose
of reproving, rebuking, exhorting, and convicting (2 Tim. 4:2; Heb.
Drama groups and worship-drama can only
provide entertainment and boost the ego of the performer.
It is obvious that the liberal element in the church is ignorant of
the Scriptures. Both Old and New Testament characters used visual
aids to make a point. But never did the primitive church use drama
productions to propagate the Gospel. The inventions of men never
have the approval of God (Matt. 15:7-9).
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LESS THAN 0.01% WILL KILL YOU
If you look at a box of rat poison you will find there are only
a few ingredients. A typical mix is mainly filler such as wheat
along with a little sucrose as a sweetener and propylene glycol as
a solvent. Less than 0.01% is poison. Rats like to eat the harmless
stuff. They will not eat the bait if the poison is too obvious.
They would be able to detect it in the taste and quit eating.
Though it may take several ingestions over a period of time, less
than 0.01% eventually gets the job done.
There are some obvious spiritual applications of this
principle. For example, how much spiritual poison does it take to
kill a soul? The devil knows just a little will get the job done.
If there is too much obvious error in what is being taught, most
people would smell a rat and not partake.
However, Satan can introduce a little error here and there
and get souls accustomed to something that may be only 97% true.
Such a transformation may not happen quickly but that old serpent
(Rev. 20:2) knows how to wait. He has been injecting some into the
word of God since the Garden of Eden.
Think about what the tempter did with Eve. First, he asked
a seemingly innocent question, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall
not eat of every tree of the garden (Gen. 3:1)? Eve
correctly answered that God had forbidden eating the fruit of the
tree which is in the midst of the garden (Gen. 3:2-3). According to
Genesis 2:9, both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil were in the midst of the Garden of Eden. The Lord God
told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
What was Satans purpose in asking his first question?
It may have been intended to have Eve question the goodness of God.
After the serpents question she saw that the tree
[was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a
tree to be desired to make [one] wise (Gen. 3:6). So, what
could be so bad about eating fruit from that tree?
After Eve answered the question, the devil injected his
first dose of spiritual poison. He told her a lie by adding the
word not (just a three letter word). The devil said,
ye shall not surely die (Gen. 3:4). God had told
Adam, in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely
die (Gen. 2:17). What did Satan add to the truth to make
it a lie? Just three letters: N, O, T!
Remember, rat poison is mostly harmless filler. Some of what
the serpent said was true. Genesis 3:5 records Satans words,
God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your
eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and
evil. Sure enough, their eyes were opened (Gen. 3:7).
After eating the forbidden fruit God declared, Behold, the
man is become as one of us, to know good and evil... (Gen.
Additionally, there was an element of truth in the
serpents declaration that they would not die. Remember, the
Lord specified death would occur in the day that you eat of it. Did
they die physically that day? Obviously not, and yet God does not
lie (Titus 1:2).
However, they died spiritually that day. Spiritual death is
a separation from God because of sin (Eph. 2:1). Adam and Eve were
driven out of the Garden (Gen. 3:22-24). With access to the tree of
life cut off, physical death occurred hundreds of years later (Gen.
Please consider one of Satans biggest lies. The
inspired apostle Peter wrote, baptism doth also now save
us (1 Peter 3:21). Many are willing to change just one
letter, from a W to a T, making it a lie, baptism doth also
NOT save us.
It has been observed that if a lie is told often enough,
some (perhaps many) will eventually believe it is true. Many
religious beliefs are not based on the truth of Gods word but
simply what people have been told many times. While a tiny amount
of poison may not kill immediately, the cumulative effect is
How much poison are you willing to ingest? In physical
matters the answer is None! It should be the same for
spiritual matters. Believing a lie can condemn a soul eternally
(Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Thess. 2:10-12). Remember, by weight, less than
0.01% poison is enough to kill a rat.
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Table of Contents
BEING FRUITFUL IN THE LORDS SERVICE
Roger D. Campbell
Trees bear fruit. So do vines. In the spiritual realm, the Bible
teaches there is a sense in which the Gospel brings forth fruit
(Col. 1:5-6). Jesus spoke to His apostles about branches bearing
fruit (John 15:1-8). We further read in many of the New Testament
epistles that were written to individual saints or congregations of
Gods church, that the Holy Spirit speaks of Christians bearing
fruit or being fruitful in the Lords service. How fruitful are
you? How fruitful am I in the Masters service? Lets look
at some Bible principles and facts about children of God bearing
The Lord wants me to be fruitful. How does God get this
point across? First, the message of John 15:1-8 makes this clear.
Consider some excerpts from what Jesus said to His apostles in that
setting: I am the true vine, and my Father is the
husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh
away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it
may bring forth more fruit. ... Abide in me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no
more can ye, except ye abode in me. I am the vine, ye are the
branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth
forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide
not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men
gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. ...
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye
be my disciples.
Concerning the necessity of bearing fruit, from these verses
we learn that if branches (which represent disciples of Jesus), do
not bear fruit, they are cast away and eventually are burned
(15:2,6). God is glorified when Jesus disciples bear fruit
(15:8). And, true disciples will bear fruit (15:8).
How else does the Lord make it known that He wants
Christians to bear fruit? In contrast to the works of the
flesh, which prevent people from inheriting the kingdom of God
(Gal. 5:19-21), the Bible sets forth the fruit of the
Spirit, which includes joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22,23). Indeed,
this is fruit that the Lord wants each member of the church to bear
or demonstrate in his/her life.
In addition, God lets us know that He expects us to bear
fruit by telling us not to be unfruitful. The opposite of being
unfruitful, of course, is to be fruitful. For instance, in Titus
3:14 it is written, And let ours also learn to maintain
good works for necessary uses, that they be not
unfruitful. Also, Christians are exhorted to add to their
faith virtue, followed by knowledge, self-control, patience,
godliness, brotherly love, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Those who do
such are neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of
our Lord Jesus Christ (1:8). By possessing such qualities
(faith, knowledge, self-control...) in our lives, and in the
process avoiding being unfruitful, we will be blessed with an
entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ (1:11). In short, this passage makes
it clear that going to heaven is conditional upon our maintaining
a pattern of being fruitful! Yes, the Lord wants me to be fruitful.
The Lord wants me to be fruitful in the right things. It is
not enough just to bring forth fruit or to produce something. No,
the Lord wants each of us to be fruitful in the right things. What
might that be? Paul prayed for the saints in Philippi to be filled
with the fruits of righteousness (Phil. 1:11). He also
prayed that the Christians in Colosse would be fruitful in
every good work (Col. 1:10). As we noticed earlier, being
unfruitful is put in contrast to maintaining good works in Titus
3:14. So what do we see in these verses? The Lord wants us to be
fruitful in the ways of righteousness or good works. That means to
be participants in what the Bible portrays as proper and good
activities. That would surely include those items contained in
the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
The Lord wants me to be fruitful for His glory. What is it
that brings glory to the Father? Jesus said, Herein is my
Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit... (John 15:8).
I should not be interested in doing things in order to bring
attention to myself. My motive in bearing fruit ought not be to
have others praise me. The Master said that our good works should
be seen by others alright, but our goal must be for those that see
our good works/fruits to glorify our heavenly Father (Matt. 5:16).
In showing the Christians relationship to Jesus, as
well as to the Law of Moses, the apostle Paul wrote,
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law
by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even
to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth
fruit unto God (Rom. 7:4). From this verse we learn that:
1) Christians are dead to the old law, that is, it is no longer
binding on us; 2) We are married to the Christ; 3) We
should bring forth fruit unto God. Again, note that the fruit is
not for ourselves, but for God, Who by His mercy allows us to
escape the horrors of hell, and Who by His grace allows us to enjoy
all spiritual blessing in His Son and to receive the ultimate joy
of everlasting life in heaven. Yes, the Lord wants me to be
fruitful for His glory.
The Lord understands that His children will be fruitful at
different levels. In His great Parable of the Sower, Jesus
identified the good ground as representing a person that possesses
an honest and good heart (Luke 8:15). Such a
person hears the Gospel and receives it, then, following
conversion, keeps on bearing fruit. How much fruit do such faithful
fruit bearers bring forth? ...Some an hundredfold, some
sixty, some thirty (Matt. 13:23). Is the one that brings
forth fruit at the 𣺜 level more faithful to God and of
greater value in His sight than the one who brings forth at the level? Not at all. God forbid.
Remember Jesus Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30)?
It contains a similar principle: regardless of what the Lord has
placed into our hands, we should diligently use it in His service
for His glory. If I am a one-talent person, I can still
be faithful and go to heaven. Yea, the Lord expects me to be
faithful and bear fruit, regardless of my abilities. We are not, I
repeat, we are not, in competition with other disciples of the
Christ. My faithfulness to God has nothing to do with what others
can or cannot do in His service. I am responsible for one thing: to
bring forth fruit in my life, to bring forth the right kind of
fruit, and to do it for Gods glory.
The Lord wants me to work diligently to bear fruit.
Recognizing there are different levels of fruit bearing ability
does not mean, however, that a child of God has the right to goof
off in the work of the Kingdom. In fact, our goal should be to bear
much fruit. Thats what Jesus expected of His apostles (John
15:8). When a branch in the Christ bears fruit, what does God do
with such a branch? He purges or prunes it so it will bring
forth more fruit (John 15:3). From these statements of the
Master, I cannot get around two facts: 1) My Lord wants me to bear
much fruit, and, 2) He wants me to keep on growing
spiritually in order that I can bring forth more fruit.
While the masses of this world set their sights on storing up
material treasures and enjoying the pleasures of life on earth, the
faithful child of God focuses his attention on a personal matter
that he knows is the difference between eternal joy and eternal
perdition. Gods faithful child strives to be counted by God as
an M & M man: one that seeks to bring forth
much fruit and more fruit doing it all for
the Lords glory.
Some who read this may be confused. They may have
anticipated that I would come right out of the gate
talking about evangelism and teaching the Gospel to lost people as
the way that God wants us to bear fruit, and yet, to this point I
have not even mentioned such a concept. The truth is, in the great
majority of cases where the concept of bearing fruit is noted in
the New Testament, the context is not speaking about teaching
others the Gospel in order to bring forth the fruit of saved souls.
Jesus did say, Pray ye therefore the Lord of the
harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his
harvest (Matt. 9:38). This is talking about a harvest of
souls, and so in this case there would be a need for disciples to
reap the harvest. In another instance, just before a
number of Samaritans came forth and believed on Jesus, He told His
apostles, Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then
cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Life up your eyes, and look
on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that
reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal:
that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice
together (John 4:35-36). Again, in this case, Jesus speaks
of the role that His followers play in sowing and reaping. This
refers to the saving of souls and it involves the need for His
servants to teach the Gospel.
Yet in the New Testament, being fruitful normally
has reference to a Christian being faithful to Him and
demonstrating in his/her life those qualities that God seeks to see
in a person. That would be the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.
5:22,23), the fruits of righteousness (Phil. 1:11), those
qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7, and similar matters.
Jesus said that trees are known by their fruits (Matt.
7:16-20). What kind of tree are you and I showing to the
world by the lives we live? Let each of us make the commitment to
do our best to be fruitful in the Masters service. The
fruit of the righteous is a tree of life (Prov. 11:30).
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
DUST IN THE WIND...
Is that all we are? There was an old rock band way back in the
70s that thought that was all we were: Same old song, just a
drop of water in an endless sea. All we do crumbles to the ground,
though we refuse to see. Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in
the wind. They were right about one thing; we are dust.
Have you ever heard the expression, Ashes to ashes;
dust to dust? It is not in the Bible, but the idea is there.
Genesis 2:7 says, The Lord God formed man out of the dust
of the ground. After Adam sinned God said, dust
thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Gen. 3:19). In
Genesis 18:27 Abraham said, I have taken upon me to speak
unto the LORD, who am but dust and ashes. Elihu scolded,
All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again
unto dust (Job 34:15). The preacher in Ecclesiastes 12:7
preached, the dust shall return to the earth as it
was. The Psalmist sang, he returneth to his
earth (Psalm 146:4), and in another place, He
remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as
a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over
it, and it is gone (Psalm 103:14-16). So we are dust in
the wind, but that is not ALL we are. Paul said in 1 Corinthians
15:19, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are
of all men most miserable.
When the Lord God made man of the dust of the earth he
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man
became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). The preacher that said
the dust shall return to the earth as it was, also
said, the spirit shall return to God who gave it
(Eccl. 12:7). And Paul went on to write, But now is Christ
risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that
slept...even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor.
Here is a song I love to sing: A charge to keep I have,
a God to glorify, A never dying soul to save, and fit it for the
sky. That is a lot better than, Dust in the
Wind. Peter said the material heavens, the physical earth,
and all the elements of which they are composed, shall be
dissolved (2 Peter 3:11); and the preacher of Ecclesiastes
said that seeking fulfillment in things of this passing world was
chasing after the wind (Eccl. 1:14, Which is
another way to translate, All is vanity and vexation of
spirit. John said, The world passeth away, and the
lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth
forever (1 John 2:17).
Yet though we know these things, it is easy to become
distracted by the dust. The Psalmist confessed this when he sang,
My soul cleaveth unto the dust... but he quickly
followed, ...quicken thou me according to thy word
(Psalm 119:25). Peter knew where spiritual life was found; he said
to Jesus, Thou hast the words of eternal life
I think we have room for one more song; Sing them
over again to me, wonderful words of life....
647 Finger Bluff Road
Morrison, TN 37357
Table of Contents
Im writing about congregations who are looking for a
preacher and what they pay those who come and try
out. I find that often there is not enough pay to even cover
the expenses of the men who come to check on the work. Please
brethren, when you invite a preacher to come for an interview and
talk about the work, please make it worth his while to come. He
often comes from several hundred miles away. Dont expect him
to pay his own expenses for motel, gasoline and food. These items
can add up to a considerable amount and often he and his family
cant afford it. Many times he is in-between congregations and
has no salary at all to live on. He either has to borrow money or
dip into his lifes savings to make the trip. The Lord tells us
the laborer is worthy of his hire (Luke 10:7), so support the
Lords work by supporting this good man. If youre far
enough along in the interview process to invite him, dont make
him come crawling on his hands and knees begging for a few morsels
from your table. The many families in the congregation
can bare the expenses far better than this one humble
family can. Consider this plea and help the Lords cause
by helping his servants who preach the unsearchable riches of
Christ ...Palacios, TX. We attended worship on
August 23rd in Unity City, TN and picked up one of your Seek
The Old Paths. It was well written and very interesting.
Would you please put us on your mailing list. Thank you very
much ...Udale & Ginny Ware, Dinuba, CA. Please
remove my name from your mailing list. I can get one from the
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work. May the Lord bless your efforts ...Robert Grove,
Leesburg, FL. I am a long time reader of STOP and I have
learned a lot from it. I share my copies. Thank you
...Bettye Haynes, Murfreesboro, TN. Thank you for your
faithful work with this paper. It has been profitable to me. I can
read it online. May our God continue to bless this effort
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Seek The Old Paths. Thank you ...William
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Charleston, S.C. I really enjoy my copy of STOP and wish
you would sent it to a friend. I appreciate the work the church
does there. Keep up the good work. Thanks so much ...Vivian
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Seek the Old Paths publication. Thank you
in advance ...Rudy and Susan Coats, Burlison, TN.
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Keep the good work up. God is our refuge and strength. A very
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Baxter, TN. Keep up the good work ...Sue
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others ...Patricia Baugus, Columbia, TN. Thanks
very much for printing STOP publication. It is such a great work in
the spreading of Gods precious word ...John Stevens,
Corinth, MS. I have been receiving Seek The Old
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much ...Garland & Myra Barnwell, Bradford, AR. I
have appreciated STOP for several years. Thank you for standing for
the truth. May God bless you ...Franklin, KY.
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Thanks for providing this truth filled publication. The
articles are relevant and informative. God bless you all
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lovely family on your mailing list. Thank you ...W. M.
Hickson, Hapeville, GA. Great article on Marriage
or Heaven, You Cant Have Both. I will come visit you
in jail for sure! Good job! What a wicked world we live in.
Cant help but be afraid for my grandchildren. We need to be
braced for the onslaught by the homosexuals; and, in todays
world, they will win. I may be in the jail with you as well. I love
it that your articles go all over the world and reach people
youll never know about. Just great! ...Pat Gauger,
McMinnville, TN. Thank you so much. Enjoy your publication
and would like to give it to everyone! ...Mickey Brooks,
Wichita Falls, TX. Thelma Clark has passed away
...Pascagoula, MS. Dear in Christ, Loving greetings.
Can U plz send me any one of your publications or in soft copy for
Bible studies? ...Ms. Prashana Francis, Department of
Electronics & Communication Engineering, University Institute of
Technology, Bhopal Madhya Pradesh, India. Please take me
off your mailing list since I can read this publication on line.
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list. Thank You ...Steve Garner, Athens, AL.
Please remove my name and address from everything. Thank
You ...Keith Allison, Cassville MO. Barbara
Blevins has passed away ...Shady Valley, TN. I
have been a member of the Lords church since I was nine years
old and Im now 88. I look forward to my copy every month. A
brother at church likes to read my copy but I want them back.
Please put him on the list ...Jack Sellars, Belen, NM.
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