Saturday, July 23, 2005

Some Things I Know the Bible Teaches

No human being knows absolutely everything there is to know. Thus, infinite (unlimited) knowledge is possessed by no one person. However, to say that no one person is omniscient (all-knowing) is not to say that a person cannot know at least some things. The Bible teaches that there are some things that a person absolutely must know and do to live in harmony with God's will (Matt. 7:21-23; John 3:1-7; 4:24; 8:31-32).

It is neither arrogant nor conceited to teach from the Bible what one knows to be true. As a Christian, I am obligated — as is every Christian — to teach in a very kind, loving, and courteous way, yet clearly, firmly, and truthfully, the truths imparted from God's word. Following are at least some truths I know the Bible teaches.

I know the Bible teaches that there is but one, and only one, God, the Father, Who created all things, Who loves every human being, and Who wishes every person to be saved (Eph. 4:6; Acts 17:24-25; 1 Tim. 2:3-4).

I know the Bible teaches that this same loving God is a "great and terrible" God and that He will punish the majority of the human race eternally in hell for their disobedience to His will (Deut. 10:17; Neh. 1:5; Matt. 7:13-14; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).

I know the Bible teaches that there is one, and only one, New Testament church, and that every person who obeys the gospel is added to that one church by God so that every Christian is a member of the church of Christ for which He (Christ) died (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; Acts 2:37-47; 20:28).

I know the Bible teaches that denominationalism is sinful, that it is a hindrance to world evangelism and thus contributes to infidelity, that it is in direct opposition to Christ's prayer for unity, the apostles' plea for unity, and God's eternal plan for every Christian to be united into one body (John 17:20-23; 1 Cor. 1:10-11; Eph. 2:14-18; 3:9-11; 4:3-6).

I know the Bible teaches that it (the Bible) is the all-sufficient and verbally inspired revelation from God to man, and that additions to, subtractions from, or substitutions for, on the part of man are presumptuous, foolish, and seriously sinful (1 Cor. 2:12-13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Rev. 22:18-19).

I know the Bible teaches that Jesus never authorized, the Holy Spirit never revealed, the apostles never approbated, and the first century New Testament church never employed the use of mechanical instruments of music in Christian worship to God. Furthermore, I know that the introduction of all such man-made innovations in Christian worship is an addition to God's word, and therefore must be regarded as sinful (John 16:13; Eph. 5:19; Rev. 22:18-19).

I know the Bible teaches that Christians are saved by the mercy and grace of God and not of one's own works of human merit, while simultaneously teaching that unless (except) every accountable person complies with the gospel terms of obedience (faith, repentance, confession, and immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins), one will lose his soul and suffer eternal punishment in hell (Titus 3:4-7; John 3:1-7; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).

I know the Bible teaches that the terms "gospel" and "doctrine" are but two different words to designate the same message to be preached or taught, and not two separate and distinct messages, one for alien sinners and the other for the saved. No such distinction is in harmony with the Bible (Rom. 1:15-17; 2 Thess 1:8; Acts 13:12).

I know the Bible teaches that it is sinful for one to be so radical as to make laws forbidding or condemning what God allows. Furthermore I know that it is sinful for one to be "liberal" so as to go beyond God's written word and uphold or practice that which the Bible does not authorize (1 Tim. 4:1-3; Acts 15:1-29; 2 John 9).

I know the Bible teaches that, even though many hated Him and eventually killed Him for it, Jesus told people the truth because He loved people and wanted them to be saved (Luke 6:11; John 7:7; Mark 14:60-65).

These Biblical truths are here stated in love for God, His Son, His Word, His church, and for every person who has never obeyed the gospel. May we realize there is no possible way we can truly love people while withholding the truth from them.

Written by Stephen Wiggins

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Preacher, the Pewster, and Sound Doctrine

Preachers have never been a popular people, at least not if they are the kind who preach what is needed instead of what is wanted by the pewsters. As churches grow larger and larger, and gradually become more interested in numbers than in truth, pressure is applied to preach what the people want to hear.

The problem is not a new one. Some 650 years before Christ, Jeremiah moaned: "The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so..." (Jeremiah 5:31). Earlier it was a rebelious people who would not hear the law of the Lord that begged the prophets: "Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits." (Isaiah 30:10). Can you imagine such a request? "We do not want to hear the truth -- prophesy falsely."

Amos was told by Amaziah. "Go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there..." (Amos 7:12). Why must Amos leave Israel? The land was not able to bear his words (7:10), or, put another way, to face the truth! Since Amos did not preach what the people wanted to hear, he was told to get out!

John the Baptizer spoke to Herod about his adulterous relationship with Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; and for all of his concern, he was rewarded by being thrown into prison (Matthew 14:3-4).

Preachers must resist the temptation to conform and give the people what they want by preaching smooth things, even though the people would love to have it so, and even though it may mean the preacher will have to go elsewhere if he is to preach the truth! Paul said that men-pleasers cannot be Christ pleasers (Galatians 1:10). He charged Timothy to "Preach the word" and then warned that the "time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:1-4). Needless to mention the obvious, but that "time" has long since arrived!

Written by Wayne Price

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


The Biblical view of morality is under severe attack by the left wing extremists here in America. Hollywood in all of its glamour, desensetizes us at a rapid pace, through and by her vile and perverse influences on and off the big screen ! What can we do, as strong Bible believing people, to counter act this polluted agenda of sin? First, we must begin by teaching that truth is absolute, and is found within the pages of the Bible (John 8:32, John14:6, John 17:17). Only the Sacred Writings are "given by the inspiration of God" (2 Tim 3:16), and we must guide people to the Divine source of authority and help. As of recent, the United Church of Christ (which is not affiliated with *the* church of Christ) has openly declared the acceptance of permitting their "clergy" to perform homosexual marriages with the approval of the church (if you can call it a church) ?!? Friends, this is the most blatant and direct rejection of truth, in regards to morality, that we have seen as of yet! Even Jesus Himself said, "Have ye not read, that he that made them from the beginning made them male and female" (read Matt 19:1-9)? Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18), and He declared, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Paul said, "The things I write unto you are as of the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor 14:37). Paul, by the Holy Spirit, called homosexuality a sin (1 Cor 6:9) and those who persist in it, without repenting (Luke 13:3), and obeying the gospel (2 Thess. 1:8 ), cannot "enter the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:11).

Paul made known that homosexuality is "against nature" and is "unseemly" (Read Romans 1), and closed his remarks in that chapter by saying that they which practice such are "worthy of death" (a reference to spiritual death). Let us remember the words of Jesus, "Fear not Him who destroys the body, but fear Him who will destroy both body and soul in hell" (Matt 10:28). If we "fear God and keep His commandments" (Eccl 12:13), we will never be guilty of supporting the perverse, vile, and wicked lifestyle of homosexuality. While this message may be unpopular she is true and much needed! Let the Bible speak (1 Pet 4:11).

Written by Brant Stubblefield

Salvation and the Church

Most churches built by men teach that membership in the church is not necessary to salvation. Their mantra is that, "The church doesn't save" and is therefore unnecessary to salvation. In one sense they are right. Christ is the Saviour, but they refuse to understand that it is the church which constitutes the saved. "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (Eph. 5:23). The church is that which Christ saves and one cannot be saved outside of it. One may as well argue that Noah could have been saved outside the ark as to say one can be saved without being in the church. On the other hand, if their meaning is that one can be saved without being in a denomination, they are entirely correct. Denominations are not the church, nor a part of it and when one is saved through obedience to Christ he is not added to a denomination by the Lord.

The general order for salvation and "church membership" among denominations is for one to "get saved" in whatever way the denomination prescribes, then "join a church." Those who so teach will say salvation is not dependent upon one being in a "church" — that one can "get saved" and go to heaven without church membership. But the apostle Paul said that the church is the "fulness" of Christ (Eph. 1:23).

"The idea that one is first saved by some mystical or mystified, unintelligible or intangible process, and afterwards 'joins some church', is a common religious delusion. Yet there is no truth more plainly emphasized in the Bible than the fact that the process of being saved is the process of entering the church (Acts 2:47). First, it is affirmed in Acts 4:12 that salvation is in Christ. Then, to have salvation, one must get into Christ. But Paul, by analogy, in Ephesians 5:30, teaches that as husband and wife are one, so Christ and the church are one. 'I speak concerning Christ and the church,' he said. Christ and the church being one, how can one be in Christ and out of the church? Second, Paul makes the fact that Christ is 'the Saviour of the body,' (Eph. 5:23) the ground of his exhortation to the Ephesians concerning the church as the bride of Christ (verse 25). He washed it and sanctified it; cleansed it and saved it; purchased it with His blood and redeemed it; reconciles us to God in it and adds all the saved to it. Therefore, out of the church there is no cleansing, no blood, no redemption, no reconciliation to God, no salvation. Third, the relation between Christ and the church is the same as that which exists between God and Christ. Christ is the 'fulness' of God (Col. 1:9), and the church is the 'fulness' of Christ (Eph. 1:23). Therefore, no man can come to Christ and ignore the church for the same reason that no man can come to God and ignore Christ" (Wallace, Foy E., Jr., "Christ And The Church," The Present Truth, Foy E. Wallace, Jr. Publications, Ft. Worth, 1977, pp. 26-27).

Denominational thinking can be illustrated by drawing two circles, one inside the other. According to denominational doctrine, the outer circle represents salvation in Christ. Having entered that circle, man must then enter the inner circle which represents the church. But Paul said the church is the fulness of Christ. One cannot be saved in Christ without being saved in the church of Christ. The Bible knows only one circle and to be saved is to be in the body of Christ, for it is His fulness.

Written by Jerry Brewer

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Keep Your Focus

Oftentimes, the fast-paced world in which we live, distracts us from those things that really matter. Afterall, we are merely "strangers and pilgrims on earth" (Heb 11:13), passing through this temporary habitat on our way to a "better country" (Heb 11:16). This supreme destination is not received without much dedication, knowledge, and zeal. Along this "narrow road that leadeth unto life" (Matt 7:14), Satan continually hurls "fiery darts" (Eph 6:16) at each Christian, in hopes that we might surrender our souls to an eternal devil's hell. No wonder the loyal apostle Paul declared, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection : lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Cor 9:27). This humble expression of gratitude recognizes both the willingness and responsibility that Paul felt in saturating his life with the "power of the gospel" (Rom 1:16). A true understanding of Biblical grace will move us to "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:14). Eversince the inception of the church Satan has swallowed whole thousands upon thousands of individuals with lies. On one occasion Paul uttered these sad words, "For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears (Acts 20:29-31). Brethren, may I humbly yet boldly, warn all of us to keep our eyes on the goal and our hearts in tune with the "doctrine of Christ" (2 John 9-11). Sometimes it is easy to be discouraged, because of the current apostasy within the church! Nevertheless, we must not give in to the pressures abroad but with a genuine love for truth expose error on every hand, while exalting the royal banner of truth! Someday in the future, after this "earth is burned up" (2 Pet 3:10), we can approach the throne of Judgment knowing we defended and taught the truth in love (Phil 1:7, Eph 4:15). A terrible and bone chilling day of horror it will be for those false teachers, and even more so, for those who taught the *truth*, yet never wanted to expose error! The eternal doom of cowardice, lukewarmness, and complacency will be a shock to those who were simply along for the ride and prestige of being a social pillar within the community and not a gospel preacher! "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor 5 :10). Let us think on these things.

Written by Brant Stubblefield

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Alone Again But Not For Long

She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways
by William Wordsworth

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star-- when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

There are few things in life that cut so deep as the passing of a loved one. While I cannot speak from experience, and I pray that I may not taste of such for many years if the Lord delays, the passing of one’s spouse is truly heart wrenching. I cannot imagine life without Robyn. As the poet wrote so well, though one may be unknown and obscure to the world, his or her passing makes all the difference in the world to the spouse.

At the passing of a friend, one whom Jesus knew would be raised from the dead, Jesus wept (John 11:35). How much more sorrow is felt when that person that makes us complete is taken from us? Yet, we who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and who have obeyed the gospel obtaining life in His name do not sorrow like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We have faith in Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).

We look forward to the joyful reunion when this world has come to an end. Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ shall rise. We long for the moment when those faithful Christians who have passed from this life are raised from the dead, including our dear loved ones. Those faithful Christians who are alive at Jesus’ coming will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Paul was right in saying that we should comfort one another with these words. It is a comfort to know that we can spend eternity with the Godhead who loved us, created the world, gave us life, gave us relationships, and gave us hope of eternal life.

While we understand that there will be no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:28-30), it is a great comfort to know that a marriage formed according to God’s will (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:3-9), a marriage that continues in God’s will for the home (Ephesians 5:22-33; 6:1-4; 1 Peter 3:1-7), and a marriage where both parties remain faithful until death (2 Timothy 4:6-8), will pave the way for these two souls to spend eternity together with all the saints in heaven. Brethren, that makes a difference to me!

Written by Denny Wilson

Read Denny's first post on this subject entitled "alone"