Why I Left The Instrumental
Church Of Christ
The Instrumental Church is so bent on getting larger
numbers that they have run contests, held
entertainment and anything else to that end.
First, let me say that I appreciate the fact that the
instrumental Church of Christ taught me to study the Bible and to
do just what God tells me to do in His Word. Because of their
teaching, I left the Baptist church (of which I was a member for
ten years) and was baptized into Christ for the remission of my
sins. When I left the Baptist church, I left because they were
teaching false doctrines made by man and claiming they were in the
word of God. I just wanted to be a Christian and do the will of God
as commanded by Christ my Savior. Even if I did not believe what
the Baptist Church taught, I was condoning what they taught just by
being a member. It was the same with the instrumental Church of
Christ. I do not accept the man-made doctrines they are teaching,
therefore I could no longer be a member of their congregations.
The first reason for leaving the instrumental church
of Christ is that their members, preachers and Bible College
professors have a lack of reverence and respect for the authority
of Gods word. There are those who teach the Bible (Gods
holy word) has doctrinal errors. It is also taught and believed
that you can be a member of the Lords body regardless of why
you were immersed, that preachers rule the congregation and not the
elders and that it is all right to have women preachers, elders and
deacons. To refute this, see I Timothy 3:1-13 and I Peter 5:1-4.
The concept of premillennialism is taught even though the Bible
teaches that the Lords church is his kingdom (see Dan. 2:44;
Luke 1:32-33, 10:9, 24:49; Mark 9:1).
There are some teaching that the Gospel (recorded in
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is not binding on us as Christians
because Jesus taught during the Mosaic dispensation. They say this
nullified what Jesus taught concerning marriage in Matthew 5:32 and
19:9. However, the Gospel is binding on us today. How would we (the
church) settle personal grievances if the Gospel is not binding
(Matt. 18:15-18)? Isnt the golden rule found in
Matthew 7:12 binding? Dont we baptize in the name of the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19-20?
When major decisions were to be made, they were made
by majority vote (the Baptists do it that way). Yet, according to
the Bible, the elders make these decisions.
It seems like in every Christian Church (Church of
Christ Instrumental) congregation that I ever preached, the
organist, choir director, choir, etc. caused trouble, division and
craved the praise and glory instead of giving it to God. Ephesians
5:19 tells us that all Christians are to sing and give God praise
and glory. There is no record of the church at Jerusalem or Ephesus
having choirs or an organist.
Christmas and Easter as well as other national holidays
were and are celebrated as religious festivals. Galatians 4:10
forbids such as a religious practice.
We were taught that we were to be separated from
religious error and yet we were encouraged to participate in
ministerial alliances, etc.
As far as mechanical musical instrumentation in worship
is concerned, there is no authority for it. There is no record of
it ever being in a worship service in the first century church. It
was brought into the church in the last half of the 1800s and
caused division in the Lords church because it was not
authorized in Gods Word. The Bible teaches that we are to have
nothing to do with anything or anyone that causes division in the
Lords church. Christians are only commanded to sing in the
But I say once again, the main reason for leaving the
Christian Church (Instrumental Church of Christ) is their
disrespect and loose attitude toward the authority of Gods
Word. The Instrumental Church is so bent on getting larger numbers
that they have run contests, held entertainment and anything else
to that end. They have gone so far that preachers are afraid to
preach the truth boldly like the apostle Paul condemning sin, and
the congregations are afraid to hear the truth because it may step
on their toes.
My prayer is that my erring friends will see their
mistakes before it is everlastingly too late.
This article was written from my own personal
experience as well as information from an article written by
Clarence Lavender and a tape of a message presented at the Fourth
Annual Virginia Bible lectures by Timothy Nichols. Im very
thankful for these two men and many more like them who have left
the Christian Church (Church of Christ Instrumental) to become
ministers of the truth that is contained in Gods Word.
417 Lawrence St.
Etowah, TN 37331
Table of Contents
Denying Baptism in the
Lords Plan of Salvation
Garland M. Robinson
Denominationalism denys water baptism with a vengeance. In
their minds, one thing is certain, water baptism has absolutely NO
connection with forgiveness of sins and consequently, salvation.
Therefore, they reject it and make bold claims that it is one of
the most damnable doctrines the Devil ever conceived.
The Lords people on the other hand, simply accept
what the Bible says on the subject (and all other subjects) whether
we like the results or not. We strive hard to not glorify one
subject more than another. We believe in rightly dividing the
word (II Tim. 2:15); i.e., accepting all that the Bible says
and recognizing the harmony between all subjects. There is NO WAY
to deny what the Bible teaches about water baptism and still be
right with God.
Notice these plain, simple and understandable verses.
Mark 16:16, He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved.
Acts 2:38, Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
Acts 3:19, Repent ye therefore, and be
converted, that your sins may be blotted out.
Acts 22:16, And now why tarriest thou? arise,
and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the
Romans 6:3-6, 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.
Romans 6:17, 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. The doctrine they
obeyed was baptism (vs.3-6).
I Corinthians 12:13, For by one Spirit are
we all baptized into one body.
Colossians 2:12, Buried with him in baptism,
wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the
operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
I Peter 3:21, The like figure whereunto even
baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of
the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said that those who do not obey Him do not go to
heaven (Matt. 7:21). He also said, Why call ye me Lord,
Lord and do not the things which I say (Luke 6:46). John
15:14 makes clear that a friend of Jesus will keep His
Water baptism is FOR the remission of sins
(Acts 2:38). The word for means in order to,
in order to receive. However, many in denominationalism
say the word for means because of. They say one
is baptized because of the remission of sins. A parallel
to the phrase, for the remission of sins in Acts 2:38 is
found in Matthew 26:28 where it is said that Jesus shed his blood
for the remission of sins. That is, Jesus died in order
for men to receive remission of sins. He did not die because men
have already received remission of sins. The clear and obvious
conclusion is this, if baptism is because of remission of
sins in Acts 2:38, then Jesus shed his blood because of
remission of sins in Matthew 26:28! The two phrases are identical
in both English and Greek. A person needs help to misunderstand
these verses! And, sadly, there are many to provide such help
because they hate what the Bible says about baptism with a
vengeance. Their minds are made up and nothing on earth or in
heaven will convince them otherwise.
Without the remission (forgiveness) of sins, there is
no salvation because it is ones sins that causes a person to
be lost (cf. Isa. 59:1-2; Eph. 2:1-2). Whatever the Bible says is
FOR the remission of sins, is essential to salvation. Jesus shed
his blood for the remission of sins; therefore, the blood of Jesus
is essential for salvation. Water baptism is for the remission of
sins; therefore, water baptism is essential for salvation. Without
it, there is no salvation.
John the Immerser preached baptism for the remission
of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). Jesus, likewise, preached the same
and actually baptized more disciples than John (John 4:1). Jesus
commanded the apostles to go into all the world and baptize those
who believed (Mark 16:16; Matt. 28:19-20). This is exactly what
they did, beginning on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38,41,47) and
continuing throughout their life. They taught all other disciples
to do the same (Matt. 28:20). Therefore, the same practice, for the
same purpose, continues to this day.
Salvation is IN Christ (II Tim. 2:10). Since salvation
is IN Christ, an obvious question is this, HOW does one get into
Christ? Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27 give the answer. Baptism is
both HOW and WHEN one gets into Christ. No other verses give us
this information. Faith alone does not put one INTO Christ.
EVERY TIME you find baptism and anything said about
salvation, salvation ALWAYS follows baptism. Salvation never comes
before water baptism!
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized IN
ORDER TO flee from the wrath to come (Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7).
Johns baptism was FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS (Mark
1:4; Luke 3:3).
Jesus said he that believeth AND is baptized SHALL
BE SAVED (Mark 16:16).
In Acts 2:38, we read of baptism, and when it is done,
one receives the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
In Acts 2:41, we read of baptism, and then by that act,
one is added to the church. The church is the saved (Eph. 5:23).
In Acts 8:36-39, we read of baptism, and then
afterwards, one rejoices at being saved.
In Acts 22:16, we read of baptism, and at that moment,
ones sins are washed away.
In Romans 6:3, we read of baptism and through that act,
one is put INTO Christ (where salvation is).
In Romans 6:4, we read of baptism and through that act,
one is put INTO the death of Christ.
In Romans 6:4, we read of baptism and at that moment,
one begins to walk (live) a new life.
In Romans 6:6, we read of baptism and at that moment,
ones sins are destroyed.
In Romans 6:6, we read of baptism and afterwards, one
no longer serves sin.
In Romans 6:7,11, we read of baptism and through that
act, one becomes dead to sins.
In Romans 6:8,11, we read of baptism, and through that
act, one becomes a servant of Jesus.
In Romans 6:13, we read of baptism, and at that moment,
one is made alive from spiritual death. Those once dead in sins are
now alive unto the Lord.
In Romans 6:14, we read of baptism, and afterwards, one
no longer allows sin to have dominion over them.
In Romans 6:17-18, we read of baptism, and at that
moment, one is made free from their sins.
In Galatians 3:27, we read of baptism, and through that
act, one puts on Christ (where salvation is).
In Colossians 2:12, we read of baptism, and at that
moment, God performs an operation to remove ones sins.
In Colossians 2:12-13, we read of baptism, and at that
moment, one receives the forgiveness of all their trespasses
In I Peter 3:21, we read of baptism, and through that
act, one is saved.
To deny baptism is to reject its teaching, purpose and
design. To deny baptism is to reject the counsel of God (Luke
7:30). Will you be like those in John 12:42-43 who reject the
command of God?
Are we over emphasizing baptism? No. Do we put our
trust in baptism? No. Our trust is in the Lord AND what he teaches
us. We discuss the subject so much because men deny its purpose in
Gods plan of salvation. It is not more important than the rest
of the plan of salvation, nor is it any less important. It is not
more important than faith, nor is it any less important than faith.
It just happens to be the exact moment one is transformed from
being lost to being saved.
Table of Contents
The Demands Go With The Bible
Marvin L. Weir
Many homes have yet to give up the Bible. It has its place
on a certain table or shelf, and it is in no danger of being carted
off to the half-price bookstore. The Bible will survive in a
multitude of homes and perhaps even be passed down from generation
Now, the demands the Bible makes are a different
matter! Many folks buried the demands of the Bible long ago, and
they have no intention of resurrecting them. When one gives serious
thought to the matter it doesnt make much sense. What does one
have left when all the demands have been stripped from the
The demands go with the Bible. Removing the demands from
the Bible is reminiscent of those who sought to separate Christ
from His church. One does not have the option of Christ without the
church or the Bible without its demands.
One demand the Bible makes that is so frequently
ignored is that it be believed. A geometry book or a grammar
book is designed to be believed. These books are worthless to the
unbeliever. One reads these books in vain unless he chooses to put
into practice the examples and instructions that lie therein.
Paul reminds the Roman brethren, So then faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom.
10:17). The Bible is of no value to one who does not believe it is
Gods divine pattern for man. Will a person trust his feelings
or will he believe the Bible? A person may say, I just feel
that I am saved and that I will go to Heaven when I die. This
person has not been baptized for the remission of
sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Gal. 3:27; I Cor. 12:12),
but he feels that he is saved. He reads his Bible but he
does not believe it. If he did, he would yield to the Bibles
demand to be immersed for the remission of his sins.
The Bible reveals the attitude one should possess toward
the Scriptures: 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 (Rom.
1:16). The writer of Hebrews says, For unto us was the
gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did
not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard
it (Heb. 4:2).
Another demand the Bible makes is that it be obeyed!
If a student does not believe the geometry book he probably
will fail the course. A failure to obey the geometry books
instructions will not help his GPA, but it will not cost him his
soul. A failure to obey the Bible will doom one to eternal torment.
However, the Bible is of no value to one who chooses to disobey its
Multitudes claim to love the Lord while adamantly
refusing to obey the teaching of the Bible. Such actions caused
Jesus to say, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord,
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the
will of my Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21). Peter
makes it clear that we purify our souls in obeying the
truth (I Peter 1:22). The admonition from James is to
be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving
your own selves (James 1:22).
So many today feel they do not have to obey
the teaching of the Bible if it contradicts their
man-made creeds. Millions become members of and attend the
church of their choice while refusing to obey the
Bible command to worship in spirit and in truth
(John 4:24). The truth of the matter is that the Bible
teaches that the Lord promised to build His church (Matt. 16:18),
and thus there is but one body (Eph. 4:4). The Bible does
not teach that one joins a church of his own choosing, but
the Bible does declare that the Lord adds those who obey
the Gospel to His church (Acts 2:47).
Faith without obedient action is dead (James 2:1-26). To
sing Give Me The Bible while refusing the demands of the
Bible is hypocrisy.
Friends and brethren, the demands come with the
Bible. Please consider this truth as you read from the Holy Book.
If you truly love the Lord and respect the Bible, you will gladly
submit to the demands contained in the inspired Scriptures.
815 42nd St. SW
Paris, TX 75460
Table of Contents
Zeal and Knowledge
Pauls words about his countrymen contain a sobering
warning about having a proper zeal based on the knowledge of
Gods will. Brethren, my hearts desire and
prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear
them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to
knowledge. For they being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and
going about to establish their own righteousness, have not
submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is
the end of the law for righteousness to every one that
believeth (Rom. 10:1-4).
In the previous chapter, Paul expressed great sorrow
that his fellow Jews were lost (Rom. 9:1-5). They once had been
Gods people and considered themselves right in His sight. John
wrote of Jesus that He came unto his own, and his own received
him not (John 1:11). Because they had rejected the Savior, God
had rejected them (Rom. 11:14,15). Thus Paul desired that they
might be saved.
Why were they lost? Was it because they did not believe
in God? Hardly. The apostle acknowledged their zeal but said it was
misdirected. Their problem was a failure to accept Gods will.
A study of the book of Acts and other New Testament epistles
reveals that many first century Jews wanted to hold on to the law
of Moses. Many thought that zealous adherence to the law would
guarantee a right standing with God.
Paul learned that nothing could be farther from the
truth. As he declared in the letter to the Galatians, for if
righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain
(Gal. 2:21). To be saved by observing the law, a person would have
to keep it perfectly. That is, he would have to do all that God had
commanded and refrain from everything that was prohibited. The only
man who did this was Jesus. Paul described the rest of humanity
when he wrote, For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Christs perfect life enabled
him to be the sin offering for everyone else. His sacrificial death
satisfied Gods justice. As a result, the Law of Moses was
nailed to the cross (Col. 2:13,14). The only way for a person to be
saved and thus be right in Gods sight is through faith in
Christs death (Rom. 9:30-33). Salvation cannot be obtained
through the old law. This is what the Jews had to accept. Some did
(Acts 6:7) while most did not (Acts 13:45-47).
What lessons can we learn from Romans 9 and 10? First,
zeal without knowledge will keep souls lost in sin. Zeal
is good as long as it is used to accomplish the right objective.
Scripture teaches us to be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).
Sadly, some folks are zealous for evil (Micah 2:1). False apostles
in Pauls day were fervently promoting a false Gospel (Gal.
1:6-9; II Cor. 11:13). Christians need to discern the Lords
will (Eph. 5:17) and then submit to it. Paul declared the Gospel to
the Jews of old but they refused to accept it. Read the words of
warning Paul uttered upon their stubborn refusal (Acts 28:24-27).
Second, knowledge without zeal will also leave
souls lost in sin. Knowledge is a good thing as long it is
put into practice. Gods blessing comes to those who hear
AND do the word (James 1:22-25). Sadly, some
Christians know the right doctrine but do little or nothing with
it. This is like the one talent man who buried the Lords money
in the ground (Matt. 25:24-27). This man was condemned because he
did not use for the Lord what had been given to him. Members of the
church are called to serve the Lord by teaching the Gospel to lost
souls. If they do not hear and obey it they will remain lost.
Some have no zeal about their religion. Others have
very little working of the Bible. These conditions put members of
the church in jeopardy of losing their souls. What is needed is
knowledge of Gods will coupled with zealous obedience.
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Table of Contents
Is God An Indian Giver?
Since obedience to God is mans responsibility (cf.
Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:12), it logically follows that if he fails to
continue to submit to Gods will, then by his own will he has
rejected God and forfeited the hope he once had (cf. Titus 1:2).
This is so because salvation is only extended to those who obey God
(Heb. 5:8,9), hence those who fail to obey God are lost. Despite
this fact, however, there is a strong denominational teaching known
as Perseverance of the Saints, otherwise called
Once Saved Always Saved. This Calvinistic teaching says that
the saved can never be lost because God is immutable (unchanging).
One writer has even said that the church of Christ teaches God to
be an Indian Giver. Since there are millions of adherents
to this doctrine, it has become worthy of our time and
In the first place, God is not an Indian
Giver. Man is the one who forfeits his contract with God.
Should a person purchase a car through the bank, then he is in a
contract with the bank to pay a certain amount each month back to
the bank in order to possess and in order to continue to possess,
the car. Now, the ownership of the car is, in reality, that of the
bank, not the person purchasing the car. Thus, the persons
ownership is only his in hope, until the final payment is
made. Now, should he break his contract by ceasing his payments,
the car will be taken by the bank (the rightful owner). Is the bank
an Indian Giver? Most certainly not, the person
purchasing the car has forfeited his right to the car when he
breached his contract. So it is with salvation.
The Bible teaches that man is saved by grace
through faith (Eph. 2:8), when he complies with Gods
terms of salvation (Heb. 5:9). These terms include believing
Jesus to be the Son of God (John 8:24), repenting
of past sins (Acts 17:30), confessing faith in Christ
(Rom. 10:10) and being baptized in water (Acts 2:38).
Once these things are done, the person who has complied has entered
into a covenant relationship with God, a covenant that has
conditions (I Cor. 15:58). Thus, the Bible says that man has the
hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2). Romans 8:24 explains
that hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth,
why doth he yet hope for? In other words: If I actually
have something in my hand, then I do not need to hope I have it,
for I see it -- I have it. Salvation is in hope -- not reality. The
reality will be the day in which the kingdom is handed to the
Father (I Cor. 15:24). Until then, we are saved by hope, thus the
ever-present possibility of forfeiture. For this cause Paul wrote,
If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the
dead. Not as though I had already attained...but I follow after, if
that I may apprehendžI count not myself to have
apprehended...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. 3:11-14). Paul realized that should
he fail to remain faithful to God, then he would forfeit the hope
of eternal life.
Indeed, God is immutable (unchanging). Malachi 3:6
says, For I am the Lord, I change not, and I
Corinthians 1:9 says, God is faithful. So, if
a person can be saved by God, then considered as lost by God, is
God really immutable? We say yes! This is why: God will absolutely
save the righteous (those who obey Him) and will absolutely condemn
the wicked (those who refuse to submit to His will). Now, once a
person becomes righteous, by rendering obedience to God, God saves
him. However, should that person cease to be righteous, then he has
returned to a state of wickedness, and will be condemned by God.
Who has changed? Has God changed? No, for God will always save the
righteous and will always condemn the wicked (cf. Nah. 1:3; II
Peter 2:9). Has man changed? Yes. God remains immutable. Read Jonah
Let us now note some specific passages which teach
mans salvation as conditional. The first to which we call
attention is Colossians 1:21 and 23, which says, yet now
hath he reconciled...if ye continue in the faith...and be not moved
away from the hope of the gospel.... Notice carefully
that those under consideration were once alienated and
enemies (v.21), yet have been reconciled. However,
their reconciliation was dependant on them continuing in the faith
and being not moved away from the hope of the gospel. The
force of this admonition is seen in the word if.
If is translated from a word which is a condition of the
first class. Thus remaining reconciled to God is conditional.
Now look at James 5:16-20. James, we know, was writing
to Christians, for he uses the term brethren fifteen
times in the book. In the text to which we call attention he wrote,
confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous
man availeth much...brethren, if any of you do err from the
truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which
converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall
save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of
sins. Does this not clearly teach the possibility of apostasy?
Indeed, it does. But wait", says the denominationalist, a
person who truly falls away was never truly saved to begin
with. Notice these terms: err from the truth (James
5:19), fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4), so soon
removed (Gal. 1:6). In order for one to err from,
fall(en) from, and be remove(ed) from, they
have to first be there, for it is impossible to remove from a place
where a person has never been. I cannot get out of my chair if I
was never seated in my chair to start with.
Let us now look to II Peter 2:20-22. Here we read of
some escaping the pollutions of the world. These are then
described as being again entangled therein and overcome.
They are again entangled because they left it, but have returned to
it. Peter illustrates their condition with this proverb: the
dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed
to her wallowing in the mire. The dog was cleansed of that
which made him sick by vomiting it out of his system, yet returned
again to that which made him sick in the beginning. The sow was
cleansed by being removed from the filth and washed, yet has gone
back to being filthy. This illustrates Christians who have been
cleansed from the sickening filth of the world, but who have
returned to it again, the latter end is worse with them than
There is an even an example of such taking place in
Scripture. In Acts 8:5 we are told, Philip went to Samaria and
preached Christ unto them. In verse 12 it is recorded that the
people to whom he preached believed and were
baptized. Verse 13 says Simon himself believed also,
and he was baptized. Because the gift of the Spirit could
only be given by the laying on of the apostles hands, Peter
and John went to Samaria to impart spiritual gifts (vs.14-18).
When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles
hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money (v.18).
This, we learn from Peters response, was sin (v.20). Peter
then called on Simon to 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 (vs.22,23). Now, no
doubt he was saved, for he had complied with Gods terms of
salvation. Yet now, because of his iniquity, he is lost. Thus we
have an actual biblical example of one falling away. (One should
also read Revelation 2:4,5, 14-16, 20-23; 3:3, 15-19).
Sin is a transgression of the law (I John 3:4). Even
the Christian can, and often does, sin (I John 1:8-10). The wages
of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). The only conclusion that can be
logically drawn is that when a Christian sins he is worthy of
death, unless he repents.
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Table of Contents
Dont Believe Everything You Hear!
Roger D. Campbell
Satan spoke a lie when he told Eve, Ye shall
not surely die (if you eat of the tree of knowledge of
good and evil, rdc; Gen. 3:4). Not everything that even the first
human couple heard was on the up and up. They should have learned
at an early time in their existence that, no, not everything you
hear in this world is true. We all are aware of this fact, yet for
whatever reasons, sometimes we gullibly swallow untruths that
others present to us. In some areas of life this may not bring
about monumental consequences, but being deceived in the spiritual
or moral realm is devastating.
Does not the New Testament repeatedly tell Christians,
Be not deceived, or something very similar? Indeed, it
does (I Cor. 3:18; 6:9; 15:33; Gal. 6:7; James 1:16,22,26). Two
truths stand out in such a statement of warning from God. First, it
is possible to be deceived. Second, each one of us is personally
responsible for seeing to it that we are not deceived. What that
means is, if we are deceived, though those that deceive us must
also give account of their wrongdoing, we are ultimately the ones
at fault for allowing ourselves to be deceived. Remember, it is
Gods direct command: Be not deceived.
Dont believe everything you hear in the
religious realm. In all seriousness, when it comes to
religious teaching, we would be foolish if we believed every
religious message that we ever heard. For a moment, let us step
outside of the arena of religion. Is three plus four equal to six?
If one math teacher says, Yes, but a second one says,
No, would you believe both answers are correct? Of course
not. If we refuse to accept absurdities in secular matters, why do
so many people accept obviously contradictory answers in the realm
of spiritual affairs?
You can turn on the TV and listen to three consecutive
religious broadcasts that give three totally different answers to
the question, What must I do to be saved? You can listen
to two consecutive programs on the radio that give the exact
opposite answer to the question, Is it scriptural for women to
preach to an audience that includes men? A person could get on
the internet and view two web sites that give the exact opposite
answer to the question, Is it scriptural to worship Mary, the
mother of Jesus?
False prophets and false teachers abound. Jesus said,
Beware of false prophets, did He not (Matt. 7:15)?
Indeed, He did. So do not believe everything you hear in the
religious realm. Come to think of it, did not God say something
about that? Listen to I John 4:1: Beloved, believe not
every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because
many false prophets are gone out into the world. Bottom
line: dont believe everything you hear in religion.
Dont believe everything you hear on the news.
Not long after Ronald Reagan became president, he was shot.
Some news agencies reported that he had been killed by the shot.
The report, as it turns out, was false. Just because a professional
reporter tells it to millions of viewers or readers, that does not
guarantee that in every instance it will be 100% true.
In many cases news agencies just pass along the
information they receive. Some time ago it was reported on the
national radio news that a former employee of a TV network had sued
someone because she had been forced to sit through some planning
sessions in which vulgar language was frequently used. Some court
shot down her case, saying that in some situations it is necessary
to use foul language! Necessary to use vulgarity to
express ourselves? That is what the court ruled, and the news
reported it. The courts statement was ludicrous! The Lord God
said, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your
mouth (Eph. 4:29). So many people have become so
hardened to sin that using the language of the gutter does not
cause them any sense of shame (Jer. 6:15). We must not waver in our
commitment to speak and uphold only wholesome language! Others may
try to portray us as having a hangup, but we must keep
our speech pure and encourage others to accept Gods revelation
about how to use the tongue.
Young people, dont believe everything you
hear in the classroom at school. Yes, be respectful to your
teachers and to their right to express their views, but do not
swallow everything they say just because they earned a college
degree. So-called science textbooks are filled with references to
evolution being a proven fact. No, no, no, evolution is not a fact,
but rather an unproven and unprovable t-h-e-o-r-y. It contradicts
the fact that living things come only from living things. It
contradicts the fact that living things can only produce living
things of the same nature as themselves (and not some different
kind of critter). And, it contradicts the fact that the Lord God
created this world in six days (Exodus 20:11; Gen. 1:1).
Dont believe everything you hear in a
gathering of friends. Some friends are as honest and
trustworthy as your own grandma, while others will sell you down
the river without batting an eye, just like Judas betrayed our Lord
(Psalm 41:9). Some friends probably do not mean any harm by it, but
they just seem to be very skilled at blowing things all out of
proportion and spreading false rumors. All of us need to check
things out carefully before we begin spreading to others
information that has been passed to us. Better to hear the whole
matter before we rush to conclusions and participate in telling
things that are not true (Prov. 18:13). Reputations, reliability,
and trustworthiness are at stake, both for ourselves and for
Dont believe everything you hear via e-mail
or on the internet. Many kids growing up today never lived in
the B.E. days -- Before E-mail days. The use of computers to search
out information and send letters is still mind boggling to those of
us from the old school. The internet and e-mail are simply tools.
In and of themselves, they are neither righteous nor evil. It all
depends on how we use them. Deceptive advertisements about various
products abound on the internet. As far as e-mail goes, there
always seems to be a huge amount of scams that make the rounds.
Before hitting the Forward button to send messages on to
others, we would be advised to first check them out. I can think of
a couple of cases where great harm was done by sincere people
failing to investigate a matter before broadcasting it far and wide
as if it were a fact. Consider the Golden Rule (Matt.
7:12) before sending out false and/or potentially harmful
Dont believe everything you hear about sister
congregations. Tragically, some of the most ridiculous things
that are spoken are told by members of the church about other local
churches. I dont know if its true or not, but I
heard that over at congregation X they have kind of gotten out in
left field and are having women lead prayers now. Upon further
investigation ["investigation, that is a key word here!], you
might find out that, yes, in their ladies Bible classes a sister
leads prayer every time. That certainly does not violate the
instruction for males to lead prayers (I Tim. 2:8). At one time a
rumor was going around that at the congregation where I have been
a member for nearly the past seven years, the elders stand at the
door to prevent any females from entering the building if they are
wearing pants. It simply is not true. When rumors swirl about
sister churches in the Lord, do not believe everything you hear.
Accept only that which can be put to the test and proven.
Each of us needs to use common sense when we consider
what others have to say. We need to seriously analyze what is said
before we accept it as being truthful. In the spiritual realm, let
us all strive to be like the Bereans of old who received
the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures
daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).
Dont believe everything you hear.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
ONE OF LIBERALISMS CONTRADICTIONS
If there is one thing I could convince
the world of,
its that they need Jesus.
The above sounds like a pretty good statement. But the
same man who made that statement, in a Sunday morning Bible class,
stated later in the same lesson, I dont condemn
JESUS CONDEMNED PEOPLE
At this point I felt compelled, by the interests of
truth, to raise my hand. My question for him? If you dont
condemn people, how do you convince them they need Jesus?
Here is one of the major contradictions of the liberal
viewpoint. Point people to Jesus. Convince them they need
his love and mercy. But dont tell them they are sinners,
condemned by Gods law. This leads to discussions of
felt needs and advice on how Jesus can help us with
lifes difficulties (He can). But these discussions take place
with a determined effort not to make people feel bad by mentioning
sin or hell.
1) The woman at the well.
WHY DO PEOPLE NEED JESUS?
When Jesus talked with the woman at the well, He
recognized she would ask for living water if she only
knew who she was talking to (John 4:10). To convince her of his
power, He talked to her of things He could not have known by
natural means. But what He brought up was her sin: John 4:16-18,
Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come
hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said
unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had
five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in
that saidst thou truly.
Without knowing her history, it is remotely possible
that she could have had five husbands without sinning in so doing.
It is possible she had terrible tragedies and was widowed five
times. But even if that is the case, she was now living with
someone who was not her husband. This was clearly a sin.
Why would Jesus bring this up in his first
conversation with her? Why would He condemn this woman with the
heart of a seeker (John 4:10)? Because in her sin, she needed a
savior -- she needed the Savior.
2) The apostle Peter.
One day Peter rebuked Jesus. Jesus had just explained
to his followers about his upcoming death. Peter didnt
understand. He did not have the benefit of our hindsight, and he
did not see how the plan of God would unfold.
Jesus condemned Peter. He called him Satan. He accused
him of being an offence to Him. He declared that Peter was not a
spiritual person, but one who cared more about the things of men
than the things of God.
3) Religious leaders.
One of the most pointed and harsh sounding passages
of scripture contains the statements of Jesus regarding the
religious leaders of his day (Matt. 23). He not only calls them
hypocrites, repeatedly. He spells out their hypocrisy in detail.
The need for Jesus is more than some felt need
for connection with deity or with eternity. We need Jesus because
we have sinned. We have violated his law (I John 3:4).
SIN AND THE SALVATION OF MENS SOULS
Jesus didnt shed His blood because of some vague
feeling of anxiety or lack of fulfillment in the heart of man.
Isaiah 53:5-6 says, ...he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement
of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All
we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The cross was not about making us feel good in our sin. It
was about condemning and punishing sin.
We may get people to attend our services by leaving
out sin and condemnation and addressing their felt needs,
but we will not convert them to Jesus.
Even the concept of salvation loses its meaning
if we are unwilling to tell people they are lost and bound for
hell. The plan of salvation is founded on the idea that we are lost
1) Faith and confession
The heart of the Gospel is that Jesus died FOR OUR
SINS according to the scripture (I Cor. 15:1-4). Therefore, our
faith in Christ and our confession of his Lordship rests on an
understanding of our sins. How can anyone have this faith or make
this confession who hasnt been led to see that he stands
condemned before God?
The first Gospel sermon was not as enlightened as
modern sermons. Peter didnt know he was supposed to avoid
condemning people. His statement was plain & pointed. Acts 2:36,
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both
Lord and Christ. It was based on this condemnation that
he then commanded them to repent -- turn from their sin
All men must repent (Acts 17:30-31). What must we
repent of? How can we possibly repent if no one will tell us that
our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2)?
Baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) --
no matter who or how many may say otherwise. Baptism is the point
at which sins are washed away (Acts 22:16). How can we bring people
to Bible baptism who feel no condemnation, no conviction about sin?
The tragic thing is that so many buy into this
self-contradictory concept. We must convince the world they
need Jesus, but we must not condemn them or make them feel
So many, like the man who made these statements, emit
an aura of moral superiority because they do not condemn others.
They have found a platform that they seem to think elevates them
above Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the Word of God, because we are
so compassionate we dont condemn others.
Let all those who have sound minds and who truly love
and respect Jesus simply follow his lead in the matter. Let us not
condemn anyone based on our opinions and ideas. But let us tell the
truth, the truth that is profitable for men (Acts 20:20; II Tim.
3:16-17), so that if they stand condemned by that word, they can
obey it and escape that condemnation.
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Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Table of Contents
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