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The Pharaoh of Moses’ time ordered that every male Hebrew was to be slain at birth (Exo. 1:16, 22). He is remembered in Scripture (and by all right-thinking men) as an unspeakably cruel, immoral, and evil man….
There is a sense in which we do have a personal relationship with Jesus. We are indebted to Him for our salvation, which is definitely on an individual basis. However, the expression, as used by so many people today, is not a Scriptural concept at all….
I made my first miserable attempt at preaching a Gospel sermon in July 1954 to a Sunday evening assembly of the old Fourth and Bannock Streets Church in Boise, Idaho. My father, Henry Warden (“Red”) McClish, preached for this congregation and served as one of her elders at the time. I had worked hard on my sermon on “The Conscience,” and thought I surely had enough material to last at least half an hour…
There is no more exciting and thrilling ideal to those who hunger and thirst for ultimate Truth than that of being a part of the church of the Bible. The incomparable objective of restoring the church of Christ was necessitated by centuries of apostasy followed by earnest but doomed-to-fail attempts at mere correction of the evil monster of Rome and its apostate ancestors….
There is hardly a more important subject for mankind to contemplate—and understand— than that of faith. It is a subject (and word) that men widely abuse and misuse….
Several years ago I attended a debate on the issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. In the debate one of the antagonists foolishly contended that adultery merely means, “breaking the marriage covenant,” rather than sexual infidelity….
Recently I attempted to help a friend and fellow-Christian who was involved in a discussion with a co-worker concerning the question, “Can a child of God fall from grace?” or “Can a child of God sin so as to be lost eternally?”…
The prevailing attitude in society concerning morals and behavior in our time is tolerance (except, of course, toward those who dare to expose the fallacy of their misplaced tolerance)….
When the brethren opposed to congregational cooperation and orphan homes ran out of Scriptural positions several years ago, they attacked what they called “human reason.” Tom Warren’s devastating unanswerable syllogisms were ridiculed as “sillygisms,” but they remain unanswered to this day.
To speak of the attributes of God is to speak of His characteristics, His traits, His abilities, and, to a certain extent, His nature. Unworthy and finite human beings must ever approach such a study with unalloyed reverence.
Suppose a rich relative died and granted you $10,000.00 in his will. However, the will stipulated that you must bring a leather briefcase to the courthouse to pick it up and that failure to do so would cause you to forfeit the grant. The award would be no less free because the will stipulated a condition and you complied with it. Nor would complying with the will’s condition in any sense constitute earning the award….
In Mark 16:16 Jesus made one of the most explicit statements in the New Testament concerning baptism: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.”1 In spite of the plainness of His statement regarding the purpose of the act and its place in the Divine plan for man’s salvation, men still largely ignore and/or obstinately oppose Jesus’ teaching.
Of the three institutions ordained by God—the church, civil government, and the home—the home is the oldest. Its stability and health (or lack thereof) fundamentally affect the stability and health of the two other institutions. God created the first home when he created Adam and then Eve and brought them together in a Divine “wedding ceremony” (Gen. 2:21–22)….
A full-page ad appeared in the “Career Women” section of the Denton, Texas Record-Chronicle on March 29, 2000. The page was headlined, “Once upon a time…Women were housewives & mothers, but now we do it all!” I did not appreciate the implication that women who stay at home and take care of husband, house, and children do not work or are of less value than are “career women.”…
We are unique. Science is only now learning just how unique. The discovery of DNA, which contains all of the genes—the genetic code—that make up a human being, has brought about amazing knowledge.
Radical and lawless left-wing political groups that provoke and engage in behavior causing personal injury and destruction of private property are rightly labeled “militant.” Their violent antics have caused many sane folk to shrink from anything that resembles such temperament.
We are sometimes tempted to ask “Why is God doing this to me?” or even “Why is God allowing this to happen? Doesn’t He love me?” or “What have I done to deserve such pain and sorrow? Am I being punished? Why did God take my child or my husband?”…
The above title is that of a book by John Gunther chronicling the illness (a brain tumor) and death of his young son. I like to hope that death will not conquer me, as this quotation suggests, but it is unwise to boast of what I will do when I have not yet been tried….
Solomon observed that there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecc. 3:7). Perhaps all of us wish for the “wisdom of Solomon” to know just when to do which….
It is becoming increasingly popular to take the position that the Truth does not need to be defended. In their mad rush to avoid what they label “negativism,” some have taken the untenable stance that it is not even the Christian’s responsibility to defend the Truth.
When the Lord Jesus returned to the Father, He first entrusted the church to the apostles (Mat. 16:18–19; John 14:16–18), who had the responsibility of receiving the revealed Word (John 16:13) and delivering it faithfully….
Whenever the subject of hospitality is discussed, poor Martha’s name is alwaysbrought up (Luke 10:38–42). Yet what Martha was doing was important, too. She was being a good hostess. She wanted everything to be just right for the most important and beloved person she knew….
We are here getting into a delicate and touchy subject: how to handle money. This is a highly individual matter, and there is no set of rules that applies to any and every family. At the same time, we have to recognize that more church leaders’ families have probably been destroyed by money matters than by anything else (other than disputes concerning children).
It is obvious that many—some who have been in the church for decades—are merely playing at the job of being Christians. One tell-tale sign is their sloppy attendance habits—or none at all…
Perhaps there is no promise more clearly or consistently stated in Scripture than that God is attentive to the supplications of His faithful children: “The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous, And his ears are open unto their cry” (Psa. 34:15).
Rampant liberalism in churches of Christ has produced rampant apostasy over the past five decades. Hundreds of congregations that were at their inception strong in the Truth have become unrecognizable by New Testament standards. This phenomenon has produced a circumstance in which thousands of brethren, still faithful in their convictions in the Truth, have found themselves members of apostate churches….
One is not a child of God, a Christian, unless he is led by the Spirit: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). How does God lead His children by means of the Holy Spirit?….
I am a threat that is even more sinister and dangerous to mankind than political terrorism. The grave danger I pose lies partly in the fact that most people do not recognize me. I do not grab dramatic attention by attacking innocent people with hijacked airplanes or car bombs, causing immediate physical injury or death. Rather, I subtly attack the spirits and minds of men, undermining and eroding the very foundations upon which sane lives are built…. I am Humanism….
All of humanity profits from the accomplishments of those who have achieved advanced educations. Most of the advancements in technology and medicine and the modern “marvels” we enjoy every day have come from such folk. No thoughtful person will despise those who possess exceptional academic credentials merely because they have achieved them. However,….
It would be difficult to exaggerate the cursed consequences of ignorance. Various prophets explicitly blamed the downfall of God’s Old Testament people on their ignorance of God and His law. God’s indictment of His people through Hosea says it all: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:…
For several years an average of fifty percent of the couples in our nation who say, “I do” have later said, “I don’t.” In some states the ratio has been much higher. Until about forty years ago divorce was almost universally stigmatized, and it was difficult to obtain apart from the cause of adultery. Then the social engineers did their work….
In order to please God, the doctrine of Christ must ever control our desires. Conversely, men behave exceedingly dangerously when desire becomes the father of their doctrine. This very phenomenon is apparent in the several attempts that have been made in recent years to escape the restrictive nature of Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:9 relating to marriage, divorce, and remarriage….
The Forest Hill congregation (FH) in Memphis, Tennessee, oversees and is the home of Memphis School of Preaching (MSOP), both of which have for years commanded my utmost respect, support, and commendation. Brother Barry Grider is the FH preacher and is also on the faculty of MSOP….On February 10, 2009, brother Grider published an article in The Forest Hill News titled, “I Got Used to It” It is evident from his article that he has “got used to” some things that he at one time had not “got used to” and that he did not learn to “get used to” from either the New Testament or from his instructors at MSOP several years ago….
Never has anyone on earth been more successful than Jesus of Nazareth. He accomplished exactly what He came to accomplish:…
All right, I admit it: I am a “change agent”! Unquestionably, there are some things about and in the Lord’s church that need to be changed, and I want to do my best to change them. The Lord’s people should not be afraid of change—of the right kind.
Is obedience to Christ optional or unnecessary? Are belief in and love toward Christ the only things required of sinners to be saved?…
Josiah, the sixteenth king of Judah after Israel divided, began to reign at the extremely young age of eight years. His father and grandfather before him were wicked and idolatrous, whose influences he rejected. Instead, he instituted a great restoration of true worship and service of Jehovah….
The news media gave wall-to-wall coverage to the illness and … death of John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Pontiff. I do not recall hearing anything, whether from local or national radio, television, or newspaper coverage, that did not praise him. Without controversy, he was an international figure and wielded great influence, among both Catholics and non-Catholics….
The fundamental Truth that since the cross none have been accountable to the Old Testament excuses no one from carefully studying it. The God Christians worship is the Creator God of Genesis 1:1, the God of the Patriarchs, and the God of Israel. His attributes, attitudes, and incomparable power…are changeless from eternity….
We call the twelve authors of the short prophetic books “minor prophets.” In actuality there are no minor prophets among those who have been faithful to God. Not all of God’s prophets wrote their messages for posterity and we know almost nothing about some of them except a brief mention of their faithful work. Among these little-known, non-literary prophets was Micaiah….
Some time ago an announcement in the bulletin of a large (1,000+ member) West Texas “Church of Christ” caught my eye. The church had planned a special summer series of Wednesday night lectures on the theme, “Movement in Transition: A Vision for the Future.”…
The Gospel Journal (TGJ, henceforth) was not begun primarily to engage in direct confrontation with either periodicals or persons. However, it certainly does not contradict our published editorial aims to be confrontational when occasion demands. Such an occasion has arisen, and I cannot conscientiously ignore it,….
Perhaps there is no teaching of the New Testament over which more controversy has raged than the’ subject of baptism. This is not the case because the New Testament is ambiguous on the subject, nor because men are incapable of understanding its teaching….
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday [March 1, 2005] that the Constitution forbids the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes, ending a practice used in 19 states….
The word miracle is one of several Biblical words that have been “wordnapped,” redefined, and misused. Miracle is popularly used to describe a spectacular game-winning catch of a football in the end zone, a person who somehow escaped the wrath of a tornado, or the providential answer to a prayer. The “religious” con men on TV have amassed fortunes by confusing a gullible public with their pseudo claims of miraculous powers.…
Railroad tracks run parallel to each other, as do numerous other things (e.g., lines on a music staff, window blinds, prison bars, et al.). Such items are not only aligned; they go in the same direction and generally have the same terminus. Parallels exist not only in the area of physical phenomena, but in the realm of ideas as well….
There is little in the Word of God in the way of detailed and specific instructions for women of God. Therefore, these suggestions are simply that: possible ways of applying the Scriptures to our own needs….
No one can read the four New Testament accounts of the life of the Lord and come away doubting that He was a man of earnest prayer. His emphasis and dependence upon prayer must be a powerful and positive example for every ordinary son and daughter of God”….
As I travel about, I have opportunity to worship with brethren over a wide geographical area, both nationally and internationally. I thus hear a wide variety of prayers at the Lord’s Table. Unfortunately, these prayers often indicate misconceptions and ignorance about the Supper itself, as well as about the prayers to be prayed in connection with it.
God no longer thus calls or commissions men to serve Him. Nor does He inspire them, notwithstanding the claims of some. He still calls men to serve Him as Gospel preachers, according to their abilities and inclinations, but through His Word …
We can no more do everything we need to do than our husbands can. We must determine the order of importance, or, as the catch phrase says, “get our priorities straight.” No doubt we would all agree that God must come first, before any earthly relationship….
Sometimes faithful Christians needlessly bear a load of guilt because, while they know they are supposed to love their enemies (Luke 6:35), they do not feel a sentimental affection for them. Since they do not thus “love” their enemies, they then reason, they must not love God or their fellow man either. This concept of the word love is faulty….
There are only two possible positions relative to the existence of God: Either He does or He does not exist. The absolutely fundamental issue to Christians is belief in God. In the very nature of the case, Christians must believe in God….
While the wives of elders, deacons, and preachers (and the single women in leadership positions such as teaching) must be strong and self-sacrificing, we cannot afford to ignore our own needs.
In every system there is a basic, core principle that largely determines the nature and operation of the whole. In the business world, the guiding principle is to turn a profit. In the sports world, winning is the principal thing. In politics, getting elected and remaining in office are paramount….
The church as God planned it and as Christ built it is revealed in only one place: the New Testament. It is a Divine institution. It was no mere man—not even an angel or an archangel—who said, “I will build my church”… and then erected it on a bloody foundation….
Our English word pragmatic generally connotes that which is practical, that which “gets the job done,” sometimes to the exclusion of reasonable or artistic considerations…To call one a “pragmatist” in the general sense would generally be considered a compliment. It is an innocent word that conveys no evil in itself….
The subject of the one age-lasting baptism (Eph. 4:5; Mat. 28:19–20) has stirred discussion and controversy for centuries. Men have hotly contested various facets of the subject in countless conversations and thousands of debates….
Women are often given to feeling that we are inferior, that we are not important, that since we cannot lead in worship or work of the church, we are insignificant. Long ago Zechariah cautioned us not to despise “the day of small things” …. If a cup of cold water is all we have to give, and we give it with love, we will not lose our reward ….
My aim is not to find fault, but to call attention to (1) some of the practical aspects of these prayers that we may sometimes overlook and (2) some Scriptural principles that may apply to them. I am not offering my comments as “law,” but rather as brotherly suggestions, which I hope will be helpful.
If truth were told, denominationalists and their first cousins (liberal brethren) do not know the meaning of Biblical grace. To them it is little more than a free, unconditional ride to the Gloryland. If ever there was a prostitution of a Scriptural doctrine, this is it. And, how could there be a more crucial, salvation-jeopardizing doctrine than that of perverted grace?….
Acceptable worship must be God-centered, rather than man-centered….However, some who would never consider introducing any strange worship practices behave in worship assemblies so as to indicate their inattention toward God….
An anticlimax is a reversal of direction, thought, or status from the superior to the inferior or from the sublime to the ridiculous …The behaviors of people in religious matters frequently demonstrate this phenomenon.
The whole point of a soldier’s being well-armed is not for the parade ground, the reviewing stand, or mock maneuvers, but for the field of combat. The reason we are to “take up the whole armor of God” is that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand”….
A recurring metaphor in the New Testament likens the church to a spiritual army and its members to soldiers ….. God’s people are engaged in spiritual combat….
The spirit of humble service is one of the great themes of the Bible. Jesus said, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Mat. 20:27). He also said, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (23:12). Serving in humility has to do with our attitude and behavior both toward each other…
Among other things that love, grace, faith, elect, and miracle have in common is that they are all words that have been “wordnapped,” redefined, and misused. Miracle is loosely used in reference to a spectacular catch in the end zone of a football game, a person who somehow escaped the wrath of a tornado, or to the providential answer to prayer….
I believe I have produced Scriptural evidence that elders (as a group; never independently of his fellow-elders) possess authority over the local church. I further believe I have shown that there is both implicit and explicit teaching in the New Testament that elders are to meet and make decisions concerning the work of the church they oversee. Rebellion against the Word of the Lord is rebellion against the Lord himself (John 12:48)….
If you were to guess the verse of Scripture more people (even those who are not Christians) can quote than any other, which one would it be? Surely, there are many who can quote John 3:16. Many can also recall John 11:35 (“Jesus wept”) when put on the spot to quote a verse.
A childish trait that many seem never to outgrow is the desire to have certain things “both ways” when it is not possible to do so. In all such cases, the choice of one item, course of action, or result immediately and automatically excludes the other—one cannot have it both ways in such matters….
While fighting a war against terrorism that seeks to destroy our nation from without, it is also in the throes of a crucial civil war…..It is a philosophical and ideological engagement; its weapons are ideas and words. The assaults are aimed at the very heart of that which constitutes the United States of America—that which makes our nation unique….
Is the church Jesus promised to build a “new kid on the block” in God’s eternal purpose? When Jesus announced to the apostles, “I will build my church” (Mat. 16:18), was He introducing something only recently conceived in Heaven? Is the church a mere afterthought in the mind of Deity?…
The church of Christ is not only constitutionally non-denominational, but anti-denominational….The truth in the title of this essay is so basic and obvious that every member of the church of the Lord should know and understand it.
“Even though I don’t believe In ‘speaking In tongues’ or in other claimed miraculous gifts identified with Pentecostalism, I don’t see what it hurts if someone does, as long as he doesn’t try to influence others.” It is not uncommon to hear members of the Lord’s body making such a statement. Does it really do any harm either to the individual or the church to hold such views?…
Among the many attractive and ennobling traits of character urged upon servants of God and followers of Christ are the twin virtues of compassion and kindness. These sweet attributes are appreciated and admired even by the uncompassionate and unkind….
Scriptural accuracy includes “the Man and the plan.” Men who choose one in favor of the other are apostates. Our Lord, by self-imposed limitation, cannot/does not save apart from His plan….
As with all parables (indeed, with all statements of Scripture), consideration of context is most important in arriving at the correct understanding and application of this parable.
Whether we like it or not, whether it is fair or not, we must face facts: Many, many people in the church consider the preacher’s wife an employee (albeit unpaid) of the congregation with which her husband works.
Churches should have goals and aims. In this sense every congregation of the Lord’s people should be driven by purpose rather than stumbling along haphazardly….
The worship of God is at once an exalted privilege and an awesome responsibility. A failure to grasp this has cost many much….
During the years when her children are young, motherhood is the Christian woman’s number one job, after her duties to her husband. If she fails, entire generations will be affected, and the sad results will be perpetuated.
Occasionally I review some of the sermon material I preached as a young man three or four decades ago (and am still preaching). I am often impressed with a striking phenomenon: Several of the Biblical principles which I fervently preached then to those who were outside of Christ are the very principles which we must now aim directly at our errant brethren….
As awful as the Bible depicts it to be, it is only right for us to consider another fact about Hell: Along with its evil environment … and unending torment,… it is nonetheless a place of eternal shelter and relief. It will provide a haven for its inhabitants from many of the things that so greatly irritated them and that they despised and rejected in their earthly sojourns….
Is everything that we call “tradition” bad, dangerous, or even prohibited? Is there such a thing as “good” or even “mandatory” tradition? This word occurs thirteen times in the New Testament (ASV), and we still frequently employ it in religious discussions. Since it is often misunderstood, it is worthy of our attention….
The mere mention of the inspiration of the Bible, the authority of Scripture, baptism, the church, repentance, worship, the Lord’s supper, the virgin birth, the Deity of Christ, the resurrection of the Lord, Heaven, Hell, and many other subjects reminds us that men have utterly abandoned the Scriptures concerning them….
From my earliest remembrance of the content of Gospel sermons, God-fearing men have exalted the inspired, written Word of God (the New Testament specifically) as the “road map” to Heaven. Mind you, faithful brethren have not set it forth as one among a few or many others, but as the only way by which sinners may reach eternal glory.
We learn much from the Gospel sermon Peter preached on Pentecost, and from the response to it. His answer to those who cried out, “What shall we do?” are clear, plain, and unambiguous.
When the women who discovered the empty tomb of the Lord brought the news back to the apostles, they were at first incredulous, labeling it “idle talk”…. This provoked Peter and John to race to the tomb to find it empty as reported….
As beautiful and desirable as unity is, it is not the “be all and end all” in religion. Jesus did not say, “Ye shall know unity, and unity shall make you free,” but “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)….
No doctrine is more fundamental to true religion than that of the inspiration of the Bible. Rejection of the Bible’s inspiration is tantamount to rejection of the Bible itself, and therefore, rejection of the religion and of the God Whom it claims as its source….
The foregoing title seems appropriate when we hear and read what some say about elders. When elders refused to let brethren teach their “anti” hobbies in the mid-20th century, they attacked the authority of those elders by labeling them as “pontifical bishops.”…
The July 2000 issue of this publication carried my article titled “What Are We Teaching Our Children?” The thrust of that piece was that Christians (parents, teachers, and others) need to be very careful and thoughtful about the kinds of messages we send to our children regarding the importance of Bible study, worship, and godly living….
All conscientious Christian parents have a keen sense of their responsibility concerning the spiritual training of their children. Bible classes in conjunction with the regular assembly periods of the church are designed and provided to help parents with this responsibility. The efforts of faithful teachers everywhere should be recognized, appreciated, praised, and encouraged….
To speak of “first principles” in any field of endeavor is to speak of things basic, elementary, fundamental, and rudimentary. The Hebrews writer referred to “the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God”….
The term, change agent, has been in use at least since 1947 in social psychology circles in reference to those whose task it is to facilitate change in organizations. Lynn Anderson is generally credited with being the first to apply the term to the church,….
“I am trying to think my way out of a sectarian attitude. I grew up in the context of one. I learned a sectarian spirit. I breathed a sectarian spirit. I exhibited a sectarian spirit. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. I have repented. I am trying to outgrow it.”….
Several years ago, a family visited the Lord’s day morning assembly where I preached. In conversation with them afterward they asked some questions: “What sort of program do you have for teenagers? Do you take them on skiing trips and have other such activities for them?” It was their first—and last—visit. They did not like my answer….
Several rich and beautiful Biblical words have been “wordnapped,” redefined, misused, and abused. Among them are grace, faith, miracle, elect, and predestined. Love is another of these words….
When we study the sad history of the cyclical apostasies of the descendants of Jacob, it is difficult not to be harshly critical of their folly. God never did before or ever will again so choose and bless a nation as he did Israel when He, with a mighty hand, brought her out of Egypt and gave her a wonderful land. How disgracefully she began to squander her place of privilege….
Paul commended Phoebe (Rom. 16:1–2), who was a succorer of many,including himself. We read nothing about her husband. If she had a husband, he was apparently not a Christian, or perhaps he had died. Yet that did not stop Phoebe from serving the Lord and her brothers and sisters in Christ….
Who or what is the “Man of Sin”? Is he a specter of the past, is he yet to appear, or is he presently stalking the earth? The Thessalonians apparently understood this passage. Its specific application has been more or less enigmatic to every generation from the second century forward….
There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death (Rom. 8:1–2).This grand statement at once calls attention to mankind’s need of a means by which he might be saved from “the law of sin and death” ….
God has “changed His mind” on occasion …. If God never “changes His mind” about anything Deism is justified, and many of our prayers are vain. Often the very aim of our supplications is to persuade God to intervene providentially in situations that (as we understand from the Bible) would not contradict His immutability….
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