Luke begins his Gospel account by referring to those
things which are most surely believed among us (Luke 1:1).
Of those things believed by Gods people today, one
is that churches of Christ believe we must have biblical
authority for what we do and say in worship (cf. Col. 3:17,
i.e., we must have book, chapter and verse). For example, the Bible
authorizes the weekly observance of the Lords Supper
along with the Giving of our financial means every first day
of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2). Another example of worship
that is biblically authorized is when Scripture directs us in
speaking one to another by singing and
making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19). Here,
the Bible authorizes congregational singing within the
weekly worship assemblies. How else could the entire church
speak one to another in song? Another consideration is
that the Bible authorizes a cappella singing. This means
singing without the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of
music such as a piano or guitar. The Bible authorizes the
instrument to be used when inspiration tells us to make
melody with your heart. Notice that the music is to come
from the inner, spiritual part of an individual and not from a man-
The practical application of this Biblical principle is that
churches of Christ do not employ mechanical instruments of music in
worship. This is a matter of Biblical authority. It is taught in
the Scriptures; and, therefore commonly believed among us that it
is sinful to deviate from what God instructs his church to do. We
believe worship must be in truth or it is
unacceptable to God (John 4:24). God said to sing and
make melody with the instrument of the heart
and that is exactly what the faithful in the Lords church do.
Many who fail to appreciate this principle of authority will
reply that the Bible nowhere explicitly prohibits mechanical
instruments in worship. In other words, the Bible never says
you shall not use a piano in worship. But this line of
argumentation misses the significance of HOW the Bible
authorizes. God does not have to explicitly forbid something
for it to be wrong. The fact that he does not authorize a
particular act is enough. For example, God nowhere specifically
condemns Pepsi and Pizza for the Lords Supper, but such would
be a presumptuous addition to his word and therefore sinful. Why?
Because the only elements authorized for Communion is
unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (Matt.
26:26-29; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-29). Churches of Christ apply
this same reasoning to music in worship. God said to make melody
with your heart by speaking and singing in
worship to the Lord. This is what the Bible authorizes. Any kind of
music in worship other than a cappella is without
Churches of Christ believe God speaks to mankind today
throughout the inspired Scriptures. There is no other way in which
he relates his will except through this written medium. Therefore,
churches of Christ are very biblically oriented. We believe God
offers divine direction by what he revealed and wrote down through
his apostles and prophets. God left nothing out of the Bible that
we need to believe or obey today in order to become and remain a
faithful Christian. All the information one needs pertaining to
life and godliness is contained within Scripture (1 Peter 1:3).
There are no exceptions. The entirety of Gods revelation has
already been revealed. This is what is commonly called the all
sufficiency of the Scriptures. This concept is based on
passages like 2 Timothy 3:16-17 where we learn that the inspired
Scriptures are able to render one complete in the sight of
Consequently, churches of Christ today do not claim to have
any inspired apostles or prophets among us. There are no
miraculously endowed preachers as there were in the first century
church during the time in which God was revealing his truth to
Divine inspiration in men and miracle working preachers no
longer exists among Gods people. Furthermore, we believe that
those who make the modern claim to be inspired prophets or miracle
workers are fakes who are practicing deception. We do not
believe they can substantiate their claims by working a genuine
miracle like the apostles in the first century did. Our conviction
in this regard is based on such passages as 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
where Paul speaks of the time when miraculous activity would cease.
The cessation of this miraculous phenomenon would happen
when that which is perfect is come. The
perfect or complete in this passage refers to the
completed revelation of Gods word. When God revealed the
entirety of his revelation, all miracles would cease. This took
place sometime by the end of the first century. With the entirety
of Gods will revealed and committed to written form, there is
no longer any need for miraculous inspiration to be in men.
Therefore, if any religious practice is without biblical
authority, such as the use of mechanical instruments of music,
their employment in worship is sinful.
105 East Planters
San Augustine, TX 75972
Table of Contents
DESPISE YE THE CHURCH OF GOD?
Garland M. Robinson
Despite the belief of many, the church is not outdated. It never
has been nor ever will be. The church of Christ is the beautiful
bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2; Eph. 5:22-32). It is the pillar and
ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). The Lords church is the
body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Our beloved Savior, Jesus
the Christ, is the owner and head of the church (Matt. 16:18-19).
The church of Christ was purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28).
It is the eternal kingdom of God (Matt. 16:18-19; cf. Eph. 3:10-
It is through the church of Christ that God has chosen to
make known his manifold (multiplied) wisdom (Eph. 3:10). What a
blessing it is to be a member of Gods eternal kingdom, the
church. Countless numbers of people have enjoyed the blessings of
being in Christ (Eph. 1:3). That same number know what it
is to be made free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). Those
under the altar cried out with a loud voice, saying, How
long, O Lord, holy and true, doest thou not judge and avenge our
blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Rev. 6:10).
These are but a few verses that could be cited to point
toward the church of our Lord. However, there are those in every
generation who care little to nothing about the body of Christ. It
was no different in the first century. There were those who refused
to listen to the Gospel, thinking it was foolishness to speak of
the resurrection of one from the dead (Acts 17:32). John 12:42-43
records that among the chief rulers also many believed on
him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess [him], lest
they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise
of men more than the praise of God. There were even many
of the Lords disciples who went back, and walked no
more with him (John 6:66).
Our purpose and goal is to not be among the number who
reject Jesus the Christ, the Lord and Savior. We must not cause
hurt and trouble in the body of Christ. However, in I
Corinthians 11:22, we read about how even brethren can do so.
The church at Corinth was struggling with a number of problems, one
of which was their abuse of the Lords supper by turning it
into a common meal and not allowing the participation of all the
brethren. As a result, we read verse 22, What? have ye not
houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of
God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you?
shall I praise you in this? I praise [you] not.
What a terrible thing of which to be guilty
despising the church of God (1 Cor. 1:2; the
church of Christ, Rom. 16:16)! The Greek word translated
despise (kataphroneo) appears nine times in the
New Testament. Thayer says it means to contempt, despise,
disdain, think little or nothing of (p.338). Vine says,
to think down upon or against anyone, hence, signifies to
think slightly of (p.301). Strongs says, to think
Jesus used the word in Matthew 6:24 when he said,
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one,
and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and
despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. A
parallel account of this verse is found in Luke 16:13.
It is used in Matthew 18:10 where Jesus said,
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones;
for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold
the face of my Father which is in heaven. The little
ones no doubt refers to anyone who has become a child of God.
We must never look down upon an individual who is obedient to
the faith. Through the ages, racism has been a problem in
some areas. This should never be! Peter revealed to Cornelius that
God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that
feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with
him (Acts 10:34-35).
In Romans 2:4 we read, Or despisest thou
the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not
knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
In 2 Peter 3:15 we are to account that the longsuffering of
our Lord is salvation.... Every day that God delays his
coming in judgment is another day that the ungodly have to repent
and obey the Gospel. We surely must not despise Gods goodness.
First Timothy 4:12 says, Let no man
despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers,
in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in
purity. I have been so treated in times past and personally
know of others that have as well. Truth is truth, whether it comes
from the mouth of babes or from a wise old soldier of the cross.
Some try to belittle any statement from the young saying they
are not old enough or you will learn better when you get
older. The false teachers and ungodly members of the church do
this when they are confronted with the truth. They always try to
find some way to circumvent the right way.
First Timothy 6:2, And they that have believing
masters, let them not despise [them], because they are
brethren; but rather do [them] service, because they are faithful
and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and
exhort. Servants (slaves) were commanded to not despise their
masters because they are fellow servants (slaves) of God.
Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and
finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at
the right hand of the throne of God. The world counts many
things as shameful, but to the child of God, we are happy to endure
suffering and ridicule for the cause of Christ. We feel sorry for
the worldly who dont know the truth in Christ Jesus. We must
be more concerned about what the Lord thinks than what the world
Second Peter 2:10, But chiefly them that walk
after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise
government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not
afraid to speak evil of dignities. Christians are commanded to
respect government and authority, not look down on it. The
powers that be are ordained of God (Rom. 13:1). The law
enforcement agencies are for our protection. He is a
minister of God to thee for good...a revenger to execute wrath upon
him that doeth evil (Rom. 13:4). We must never despise
authority or those in authority.
Lets think of some who despised the church in
the first century.
Demas left the church having loved this
present world (2 Tim. 4:10). All today who forsake the
Lords church likewise despise, hold in low esteem, the
precious body of Christ. ...It had been better for them not to
have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known
[it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them (2
There were those such as Hymenaeus and
Alexander who blasphemed the precious name wherein they were
called (1 Tim. 1:20). There were others who taught false doctrine
(just like many today) such as Hymenaeus and
Philetus: who concerning the truth have erred,
saying that the resurrection is past already... (2 Tim.
2:17-18). We must not forget Diotrephes who was represented
as being resentful of inspirations authority and as
loving to have the preeminence (3 John 9-10).
There are many who think of themselves as somewhat (Gal.
2:6). The good book condemns those who think they are above others
There were scores of others who cared little or nothing
about the church of our Lord. There was the man who had his
fathers wife (1 Cor. 5). Fortunately, after being
disciplined, he repented and was restored to fellowship (2 Cor. 2).
There was Simon who tried to buy the power of laying on of
hands to impart spiritual gifts (Acts. 8:18-19). Even the apostle
Peter at one time sinned in refusing to eat (fellowship)
with the Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-14). Ananias and Sapphira
despised the church when they lied about their giving in Acts 5:1-
All of the above were members of the church. Opposition from
without is understandable, but from within, it is reprehensible and
intolerable! We are never to despise that which God has given. When
we do, we stand against Him. We bring reproach upon the church and
count as nothing that holy calling wherein we were called (2 Tim.
1:9). Woe unto the individual that despises the church of God!
Table of Contents
I never cease to be amazed how easily, and under what
circumstances, depression sets in upon the child of God. Elijah
experienced depression shortly after his victory over the 450
prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). One would think that following such
a wonderful high he would have been able to dwell on the
mountain for the foreseeable future. But such was not the case.
Once upon a time there was a man who felt hed reached
the end of his rope. It seemed that all interest had vanished from
his life. His old friend, the family doctor, saw his depression and
said, Alright, you must do exactly as I tell you. I want you
to find a lonely stretch of beach and spend all day at the shore.
Take nothing to read. Im going to give you four prescriptions.
Take the first one at nine, the second one at twelve, the third at
three, and the last at six. Dont look at them now. Wait until
you arrive at the shore. Arriving a little before nine, he
parked his car on a lonely stretch of beach, walked to a sand dune
and sat down. He opened prescription number one and read it. It
said, Listen. And so for three hours thats all he
did. He listened to the song of the buffeting wind and the lonely
cries of the gulls. At noon he read the second prescription. It
said, Reach back. And so for the next three hours he let
his mind go back as far as it could, and thought of all the
incidents of his life the happy times, good times, struggles,
and successes. At three oclock he tore open the third
prescription. It read, Re-examine your motives. He
thought through his reasons for living, clarifying and stating his
goals. Finally, at six oclock, under a grey, darkening sky and
with a taste of salt in the wind, he read the fourth and final
prescription. It read, Write your worries in the sand.
And so he did. Within a short period of time he watched as those
worries were washed away by the tide. The young man turned homeward
with a renewed attitude.
I wonder how often we allow the circumstances around us to
chip away at our faith and lead us down the path into depression.
If you are suffering from depression, may I make a couple of
suggestions? Unplug your TV for 30 days. Dwell on things that are
good, things that are of good report, and things that will restore
your confidence in God and His providential watch care over us.
Focus on that wonderful promise in Hebrews 13:5: [Let your]
conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such
things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor
forsake thee. There are no less than four keys contained
within that passage for defeating depression. First, Be free
from the love of money. Mammon is not your master; Christ is!
Second, be content with such things as ye have. The mad race for
things has destroyed the faith of many a man and plunged him into
despair and destruction. Third, remember that God will not fail
thee. This speaks of our Fathers power and ability to care for
us. Finally, remember that God will not forsake you. This speaks of
His will to care for you.
If you are depressed, discouraged, disappointed, or simply
down and out, take some time to mediate on the word of God. Therein
lies the power for overcoming depression.
PO Box 8733
Ft. Worth, TX 76124
Table of Contents
RESTORATION IS POSSIBLE
Victor M. Eskew
By inspiration, the apostle Paul prophesied that the church (as
it was in the first century) would fall away from the truth. To the
elders of Ephesus, he spoke these words: For I know this,
that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,
not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise,
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after
them (Acts 20:29-30). This same church was again warned of
a falling away in Pauls first letter to Timothy. Now
the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1). The church in
Thessalonica had also been warned of a great falling away.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin
be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth
himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so
that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that
he is God (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
A study of church history reveals that the departure did
come. The writings of the church fathers in the second
and third centuries reveal some strange teachings that began to
surface within the body of Christ. Many of the things did not
reflect the teachings of the New Testament at all. The culmination
of the apostasy was the formation of the Roman Catholic
Church. This church was both a religious group and a political
establishment. The Catholic Church established itself both by
teaching and by force throughout the world.
After some 1,100 years of tyranny and oppression in the
religious world, men began to see that the Catholic Church and the
New Testament did not harmonize. At first, there was a call for
reformation. Eventually, it was seen that a
restoration was needed. Many desired to restore the church
of the Bible to its original condition. It was believed that if the
New Testament were closely followed, the church of the first
century could be reproduced.
There are some who are skeptical about restoration. They are
not certain that the restoration of the early church is really
possible. We want to show that restoration of the first century
church is possible today. Our study is going to take us back into
the Old Testament. We will examine something that happened during
the reign of one of the kings of Judah, King Josiah.
The days of the kings were not the glory days of Israel. The
northern kingdom had no righteous kings to reign over them. The
southern kingdom only had a handful of kings that served God. Most
of the time, the Law of Moses was set aside and the worship of
false gods was promoted. The temple in Jerusalem stood, but it was
in need of major repairs. Worship was perverted. The sacrifices
were perverted. The Feast Days were ignored. The priesthood was
corrupted. There was hardly any part of the Law of Moses that was
carried out during the times of apostasy.
When Josiah took his position as king at the age of eight
years old (2 Kings 22:1), he gave orders for repairs to be made to
the temple (2 Kings 22:4-6). During this time, Hilkiah the high
priest found the book of the law in the house of God (2 Kings
22:8). It had been some fifty-seven years since a righteous king
had reigned in Israel. The practice of the Law of Moses had been
completely set aside. If Gods law was going to be followed,
there would have to be a restoration in Judah.
Hilkiah gave the book of the law to Shaphan the scribe. He,
in turn, took it, and read it unto king Josiah. And it came
to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law,
that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the
priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of
Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the
kings, saying, Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the
people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that
is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled
against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words
of this book, to do according unto all that which is written
concerning us (2 Kings 22:11-13).
In these words to his advisors, Josiah sets forth the simple
principles of restoration: HEED and DO the words of the book of the
law. In chapter 23 of II Kings, the restoration process is carried
out. All that was corrupt and vile and sinful was destroyed. The
evil was replaced with the things found in the law of God.
Josiahs efforts at restoration are concluded with these words:
...that he might perform the word of the law which were
written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of
the Lord (2 Kings 22:24b). Josiah performed the word of
the law. When this happens, restoration takes place.
Is restoration in any generation possible? Yes. The reign of
King Josiah in Judah is proof that it can be done. Had Moses been
resurrected from the grave in the days of Josiah, he would have
recognized, appreciated, and commended the efforts of this
righteous king. He would have been proud that the temple was
restored, the priesthood was reestablished, the Passover was
implemented, and all the elements of the law were being practiced.
Moses would have told Josiah: You have truly restored the
In the late 1,700s and early 1,800s, a restoration movement
began to arise in the religious world. The men who headed this
movement knew that the Law of Christ had been set aside for many
many years. Men had given ear to the Pope of Rome and to the creed
books of denominations. These men, like Josiah, understood the need
to go back to the original document, the Law of God, the Bible. One
of their cries was: Back to the Bible! Another motto was:
Where the Bible speaks, we will speak; where the Bible is
silent, we are silent. They were convinced that if they
heard and obeyed the words of the New Testament, the
original church of the first century would be restored. They, like
Josiah, labored diligently to do this. Thankfully, the church found
in the pages of Gods Word can be easily found today. That
church, dear reader, is the church of Christ.
Let us close this article with two verses from Gods
Word. One is from the Old Testament. The other is from the New
Testament. Both of these verses set forth the concepts needed for
restoration. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in
them (Isa. 8:20). And again: If any man speak, let
him speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).
13695 Covington Creek Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Table of Contents
WHAT KIND OF CHURCH ATTENDER ARE YOU?
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and
to good works; Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much
the more, as ye see the day approaching (Heb. 10:24-25).
There are some in the church who believe it is not important
to attend worship services. For them, attending church services are
good if there is not anything else to do or someplace else to visit
or some other activity to engage in. With some, as long as they
show up occasionally or especially on Sunday morning, that is all
that really counts.
Let us realize that even when we attend as we should, we
must do so with the right purpose, motive and attitude. You see, if
our motive and attitude are not right, then it matters not how many
worship services we may attend.
It is evident that our attitude toward God, His Word and
Worship itself will determine the kind of attender
well be. What kind of attender are you? Are you a...
1) Special occasion attender? Some believe that
whenever there is a special occasion, a holiday, etc., thats
the time to be in attendance. To them, other regular times for
worship services are not important.
2) Seasonal attender? This attitude toward attendance
is that it depends on the season of the year. If it is camping
season, deer-hunting season, baseball
season, football season, etc., then being in
attendance for the services is not as important. These so-called
seasons should never hinder us from being faithful to the
Lord, including the attendance of the services.
3) Spasmodic attender? Some come for a while, then
miss for a while. With them, this becomes a way of life. You can
never rely or depend upon them to take an active part in the work
of the church.
4) Suit-your-self attender? These attend only when it
suits them and it does not interfere with doing something
else they want to do. To them, attending the services is not a
5) Sunday morning only attender? These do not see the
need for Sunday night or Wednesday night services; and, most of the
time, Sunday morning Bible class either. They think like the old
Brylcream commercial, a little dab will do you. They are
the ones who are always asking, How many services do I have to
attend? Their attitude of mind is how little can I do and
get by with it?
6) Seeking-a-companion attender? These only attend
services seeking someone they can date and perhaps eventually
marry. So, when they visit a congregation and no one is available,
then they will move on to another congregation. They are not
seeking the Truth and the Lord, neither are they looking for a
place where they can worship scripturally and be blessed
spiritually, but theyre just looking for a companion. That is
their only motive for attending services.
7) Sleeping attender? These use the worship services
as a time to catch up on their sleep that they didnt get the
night before. They did not use that time to prepare themselves to
worship God acceptably on Sunday morning. To them, worship services
are not valuable and vital to their spiritual well-being.
8) Sorehead attender? These enter the church building
mad and upset and are just waiting for someone
to say or do something they can attack and then they are ready to
give them a piece of their mind. They dont want to
participate in worship nor anything else that might help them
spiritually. They are in the kick-a-tive mood. They feel
compelled to try to stir-up trouble.
Do you see yourself among any of these groups? If so, change
your attitude and action, Repent! Yes, it is sinful to
willfully forsake the services of the church (Heb. 10:24-25); and,
it is sinful to not have the proper motive and attitude (John
When our actions and attitudes toward church attendance are
not right, we demonstrate a lack of love for God, for the Word of
God, for the church, for ourselves and others (John 14:15; Heb.
10:24-26; Col. 3:1-3; Rev. 22:14; 2 Peter 3:18).
Let us develop an attitude of mind as David, when he said,
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house
of the Lord (Psa. 122:1).
PO Box 1385
St. Peters, MO 63376
Table of Contents
PAULS PREACHING IN THESSALONICA
Roger D. Campbell
Probably a little less than twenty years after the Lord
established His church on Pentecost, the apostle Paul, accompanied
by other disciples, went to the European city of Thessalonica and
preached the Gospel. The history of their work there is recorded in
the early portion of Acts 17. Hear the message of the first six
verses: Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and
Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the
Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three
sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and
alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again
from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is
Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and
Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief
women not a few. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy,
took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered
a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the
house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And
when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto
the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world
upside down are come hither also.
Lets notice some aspects of Pauls preaching in
1) Pauls message was out of the
scriptures (Acts 17:3). That is exactly what must be
demanded in every sermon today. We should not have it any other
way! What is it that God wants an evangelist to do? Preach the
word (2 Tim. 4:2) and speak as the oracles of God (1
Peter 4:11). You can attend some gatherings nowadays and hear a lot
of stories and nonsense, but not much Bible. We must always demand
book, chapter, and verse preaching. Folks may look at us as the old
out-of-touch, conservative country church, but preaching the
Scriptures is always in fashion with Jehovah, whether we are in the
farmland or in a heavily populated city.
2) Paul preached Jesus as the Christ (Acts 17:3).
Biblically speaking, to preach the Christ is the same as preaching
the Gospel (Acts 8:4,5,14,25,35). Preaching the Christ means
preaching what the Bible says about Him, but it also includes
preaching the message that comes from Him about what one must do in
order to become and remain a saved person. When you read the Book
of Acts, you never find the apostles preaching themselves. Here was
Pauls outlook: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ
Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus
sake (2 Cor. 4:5).
3) Some who heard Pauls preaching believed, while
others did not believe (Acts 17:4,5). Seldom is it the case
that all of those in a particular crowd that hear the word obey it.
The rule for peoples response to Gospel preaching is
summarized in Acts 28:24: And some believed the things which
were spoken, and some believed not. Yes, we are well aware
that not all hearers become obedient believers. Jesus parable
of the sower reminds us of this fact (Luke 8:4-15). Let us
remember, however, that we never know in advance which hearers will
receive the word of the Lord and which ones will not receive the
word of the Lord. Let us work diligently to get folks to hear
the words of eternal life (John 6:68). It will then be up
to them to become doers of the word and not hearers only (James
1:22). Let us not be guilty of prejudging peoples responses.
4) Pauls preaching caused an uproar (Acts 17:5).
This certainly does not mean he was in any way guilty of
wrongdoing. In fact, the Bible indicates that the uproar came about
because of the impure motive (called envy) of some of the
unbelieving Jews. Brethren, the preaching of the truth, combined
with clear words that show the contrast between light and darkness,
gets people fired up! It happened when Jesus taught, when the first
century disciples taught, and it happens today. The truth pricked
the hearts of the Jews assembled on the Day of Pentecost and led to
the obedience of about 3,000 souls that day (Acts 2:36-41).
However, when Stephen later preached the truth to his brethren
according to the flesh, they were cut to the heart and
killed him (Acts 7:51-60). Let us never apologize for the
soul-saving truth, even when people become angry at the message,
the messenger, or the Almighty source of the message.
Consider these points about preaching the Gospel causing an
uproar: Preaching one God stirs the idolater and atheist.
Preaching divine creation stirs the evolutionists. Preaching
immortality stirs the materialists. Preaching the
authority of Scriptures stirs the modernist. Preaching
one church stirs the denominationalists. Preaching on
love stirs those who hate. Preaching the headship of the
Christ stirs the Catholic. Preaching on liquor stirs the
drunkard/social drinker. Preaching on modesty stirs the
immodest. Preaching on work stirs the lazy. Preaching on
attendance stirs the neglectful. Preaching on proper
speech stirs the gossiper. Preaching on faithfulness
stirs the unfaithful. Preaching on dedication stirs the
uncommitted. Preaching on giving stirs the covetous.
Preaching on honesty stirs the hypocrite. Preaching on
morality stirs the immoral. [borrowed from Banner of
5) By preaching Gods truth, Paul and his
fellow-laborers were accused of turning the world upside down
(Acts 17:6). The exact accusation was, These that have turned
the world upside down are come hither also. There is no doubt
about it, preaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) can cause
division and bring about changes in peoples lives which others
adamantly oppose. Our intent in teaching the truth is not to cause
division, turmoil, or heartache. Yet, sometimes that is the
consequence of Gospel preaching. Remember, Pauls charge was to
preach the Gospel was for a purpose: To open their eyes, and
to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan
unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in
me (Acts 26:18). People sometimes react with animosity when
they see others enter the light of Gods Son.
There is, brethren, a good sense in which we need to be
turning the world upside down. We need to be so zealous in trying
to teach the Gospel to the lost that the community knows about us!
We need to be so uncompromising with immorality that the world
knows us! We need to be so strong in preaching repentance that the
darkness-loving rebels of society know us! We need to be so staunch
in our opposition to man-made religion that the denominationalists
know us! We are not out to make a name for ourselves, but when we
teach the truth without fear or apology, we will be noticed. Let us
be busy turning the world upside down.
6) Paul preached Jesus as King (Acts 17:7). The
unbelievers of Thessalonica declared that Paul and those with him
were saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
Because Jesus is King, He has a kingdom, which is His church
(Col. 1:13,14). Because Jesus is King, He has a law for
people to follow, which is His teaching or doctrine (2 John 9).
When one truly preaches the Christ, then his preaching includes
Gods message about the kingdom of the Christ. When Philip
preached in Samaria, he preached the Christ (8:5), and that
included preaching His kingdom (8:12).
The apostle Pauls part of preaching the Gospel in
Thessalonica was a success. Why? Because he did his part. He could
not control the response of those that heard the Gospel, but he did
what the Lord expected of him. Can the Lord count on us to do the
same? Lets pray for the spread of the Gospel. Lets invite
others to attend church services. Lets all support the
preaching of the truth.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
BE AS I AM
John D. Cotham
The apostle Paul introduced the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles
of the Roman province of Galatia, and as a result, there were
churches established throughout the region. They had their ups and
downs (Gal. 1:7), but part of Pauls instruction was to
encourage them. In Galatians 4:12 he exhorted, Brethren, I
beseech you, be as I am. Was this the statement of an
arrogant person? NO! It wasnt arrogance. Was it right for Paul
to make such a statement? YES! It had everything to do with that
which was right. Can you and I rightfully make such a statement to
others today? YES! You and I can make such a statement IF we mean
what Paul meant, and IF we are the example that Paul was.
Paul was simply pointing out that example is a
powerful way to teach and persuade others. Paul also used this
lesson in another incidence. To the Corinthians he said, Be
ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (1 Cor.
11:1). Here, he clarifies the statement with even as I also
am of Christ. The pattern of example (Christ) makes the
Certainly none of us should be so arrogant as to try to
influence anyone to follow our human ways. To the Philippians Paul
noted, Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them
which walk so as ye have us for an ensample (Phil. 3:17).
The word mark means to observe or look to. He is showing
that not only an apostle, but anyone who followed the same pattern
he followed would also be an example of Christian living.
Paul admonished the preacher Timothy to be an example,
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in
faith, in purity (1 Tim. 4:12). Elders, as well as every
Christian, are also to be good examples. Therefore it is not wrong
nor arrogant for one to say Follow me, as I follow
In many cases such an admonition is understood: And
ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the
word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost (1
Thess. 1:6). It is implied that the Christians at Thessalonica
began to watch and follow the example of Paul and those workers
traveling with him. Paul puts forth Christ as the prime example
when he says and of the Lord. Peter also held Christ up
as the ultimate example, For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye
should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21).
God would have us understand that we must be living
examples. We must practice what we preach. We cannot say that
we belong to Christ and live as if we belong to the Devil. When one
becomes a Christian, he is saying to God that he is willing to live
in a glass house. We should understand that the eyes of the world
will be upon us.
Christians must desire that others will become as they are,
lovers of God and followers of His will. This was Pauls wish
for King Agrippa, Paul said, I would to God, that not only
thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and
altogether such as I am, except these bonds (Acts 26:29).
Notice that Paul would not wish his chains upon anyone, but he
would hope that all could be saved in Christ as he was. We should
hope for the same.
First, we should be as confident in our salvation as Paul
was. Second, we should have the same love for the souls of others
as Paul did. In order to do so, we must live the life of Christ.
Brethren, let us live the proper example and then let us
encourage others to be as we are.
23466 Highway 49
Saucier, MS 39574
Table of Contents
Just a note to say God bless all of you working so hard on
STOP and always printing the Bible truth ...Name withheld
by request, Nampa, ID. Dear editor Robinson, your
publication, Seek The Old Paths is a very useful
Bible teaching aid. Please keep up the good work ...James
A. Hendrix, Arab, AL. I really enjoy your publication and
I pass it on to others. You are a true blessing and I appreciate
you so much. May God bless you in all your works ...Kay T.
White, White Oak, TX. Thank you for the wonderful work you
do for the Lord in STOP. I will appreciate your adding my daughters
to your mailing list. May God continue to bless your work for him.
Thank you ...Lyla M. King, Manassas, VA. The great
articles in Seek The Old Paths are greatly
appreciated and needed. Please use the enclosed check as needed. Do
not print my name ...Trenton, GA. Always great
sermon materials. Keep up the good work ...Freddie Clayton,
Dunlap, TN. Return to sender. No longer need! Please
remove name from list ...Grover Maherg, Ladson, SC.
Please keep preaching the truth. STOP keeps me strengthened in
the faith. God bless you all ...Lorene Wilson, Binger,
OK. To assist with expenses of the publication: Seek
The Old Paths. Thanks ...Donald Austin, Fort Worth,
TX. Enclosed is my donation in support of Seek The
Old Paths periodical ...Jamie Hampton, Phoenix,
AZ. We enjoy reading your publication STOP. Keep up the
good work of spreading the true word ...Royce & Sandra
Ingram, Crane, MO. Im so glad you finely got some of
your equipment you needed to get Gods word out. Its so
needed. So many are not preaching all the truth so Christians
dont really know how to live any more. Satan is having a
hayday of joy. Its sad. Here is some of Gods money. Of
course all is his anyway. Use it where you need it the most. No
name place. Ill keep praying ...Gallipolis, OH.
Enclosed you will find a check to help with the printer. It is
in memory of Jerry Koontz ...Oscar & Sara Koontz,
Mocksville, NC. Thank you for continuing to preach through
the printed material in STOP. We would like to make a donation
in memory of James Mann ...J. R. Yvonne Butler,
Windom, TX. If at all possible, send these addresses the
back issues of June and July 2013 and continue each month. Thank
you ...Joe C. Turbeville, Dresden, TN. Our
congregation, the Kansas Church of Christ, receives your monthly
publication. I very much enjoy reading every article. I am sending
a check in memory of my wife, Veda Porter and my son Kenneth
Porter, to help with your expenses. Thank you and may God bless
your work ...Ardell Porter, Kansas, OK. We LOVE
all you people and the great work you do in presenting Gods
salvation ...Everett Poteet, Imboden, AR. Many
thanks to ALL who write the articles for STOP. I am enclosing a
check to assist in the publication and mailing ...Janet
Bullard, St. Elmo, IL. Thank you very much
...Sharon Higginson, Dixon, KY. Ive enjoyed your
publication and would like to receive or renew for this year and
next year. Any money left over please apply to the great work you
are doing in the kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I
have also included our new address. Thank you ...Randall &
Reny Gruenewald, Chico, CA. Please find a contribution to
help with the work you are doing. Use it where ever you feel would
work best. Enjoy looking forward to receiving the paper every
month. Keep up the great work ...Lewis W. Cantril, Salida,
CO. I have been reading Seek The Old Paths
for about 15 years and have enjoyed the articles and the privilege
of keeping up with the area churches and reading about the good and
bad times of churches throughout the area here. Please find
enclosed a contribution to help with the expenses you have. I hope
to do better with contributions in the future ...name
withheld by request, Lindsay, OK. Words will not express
how much we thank you for the good things you write. It is hard to
find a sound congregation. Too many of them let anything go on,
like marriage and divorce, wearing shorts, missing services,
teaching out of every kind of version and the list goes on and on.
This is a gradual thing that has happened over the last 60 yrs and
it will get worse. I think our elders in most congregations are
responsible for most of the things that happen. To many unqualified
elders. To many ear tickling preachers. I also think youth
ministers have done some damage. It should be older men and women
in a congregation to teach the youth. I was raised in the 30s and
40s, so you can say I can know about the changes. I pray you will
keep up the good work. Thanks ...James R. Smith, Hornbeak,
TN. Im enclosing a check to be used in the printing
of the paper. I have been receiving it for a number of years and
look forward to each issue. Best wishes as you continue to print
the wonderful paper. Thanks ...Name withheld by request,
Oxford, MS. I continue to enjoy reading STOP after many
years ...Wayne Lankford, Murfreesboro, TN. We have
moved back to Oklahoma where we were raised up from childhood and
would like to request you to please keep sending Seek The Old
Paths. We enjoy so much reading it. God bless you all
...Howard & Lillie Jackson, Marlow, OK. Refused. Return
to sender ...William Bryant Seamons, Cookeville, TN.
I would like to receive the Seek The Old Paths
new each month. I am a member of the church of Christ. Do I need to
send any money for this? ...Josie Williams, Oak Park, IL.
[NOTE: The paper is free. It is supported by the free-will
contributions of congregations and individuals.] Please
remove Cleatus Pollard from your mailing list. He is no longer
living. Thank you ...Idabel, OK.
Table of Contents
Bound Volumes (with a complete index) for the years
1995-2002 can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
Bible Page |
Seek The Old Paths |
Leoni Church of