Brief Articles–1

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2021 Is. . .

…A brand new candle, barely lit, that will burn itself out in twelve fleet months, another volume in our own book of life, full of blank pages upon which we shall write with our words and deeds, a fresh garment without wrinkle, soil, or tear, an open door, behind which many paths will beckon before the door is closed…

A “Convenient” God

Two or three generations ago the vast majority of Americans believed in the one true and living God, Whose existence the universe declares (Psa. 19: 1–2) and Whose nature and will the Bible reveals (2 Tim. 3:16–17). These percentages have steadily changed so that most of our countrymen now give little thought to God in any sincere way.

A Good Minister

Paul declared at least one trait of all who would be “good ministers of Christ Jesus” in 1 Timothy 4:6… Let us briefly analyze this verse…

A Great Paradox

One might think that the soul that is shriveling and dying from spiritual starvation would experience a yearning for nourishment, but here is a great paradox: The soul that is stunted for lack of the necessary nourishment of the “solid food” of the Word of God (Heb. 5:14) is least likely to be hungering and thirsting after righteousness

A Gross Misapplication

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9). The foregoing words from the apostle Paul may be among the most frequently abused and misused in Scripture…

A Gruesome Anniversary

We call the ancient Greeks who “exposed” their unwanted and helpless infants to wild animals and the elements “barbaric” and “inhumane.” Even atheists justly recoil at the jealous blood thirst of Herod the Great as he murdered Bethlehem’s baby boys when Jesus was born…

A Plea for Doctrinal Purity

There was never a more devilish doctrine than that doctrinal purity is unimportant. None can read the New Testament with an unbiased eye and keep from seeing this emphasis. It begins with such representative statements from the Christ as, “If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples”….

A Strong Church

“Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10) applies to individuals and churches alike. Assuming that we all want the church to be strong, what are (and are not) these sources of strength?..

A Virtuous Athiest

The young man was an avowed atheist. He described himself as “capable of pristine thought and speech… moral, upstanding, conscientious, ethical, loving, and forgiving…and trying to do what is right.” He went on: “My strength of will and my concern with the principles and rules of right conduct are profound and unwavering….”

A Weighty Principle

Paul urges, “But I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple unto that which is evil” (Rom. 16:19b). There is a weighty principle of truth in this inspired exhortation.

Abortion—43=59,000,000

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 (Acts 7:19).…

Abortion—a Continuing Abomination

However, even Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were small time operators beside the perpetrators and advocates of legalized, casual abortion in our “civilized” nation. In the forty-six years since the heinous decision of the Supreme Court was handed down (Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973), 61,000,000 totally innocent, helpless, babies have been murdered…by abortion.

Affection for God’s House

“… I have set my affection on the house of my God” (I Chron. 29:3). David spoke the forgoing words to express his consuming desire to see a great temple erected in Jerusalem by Solomon….

All He Asks Is All We Have

Why do so many people fail in living the Christian life? While many answers have been offered, I believe there is one overriding reason that fits every case. People have failed either to understand or have been unwilling to surrender to the central requirement of faithful discipleship: Jesus must be absolutely first in our lives….

All or None

In an article on OneNewsNow.com, Peter Heck reviewed recent statements by Rob Bell, identified with “the hipster emerging church movement.” Heck discussed Bell’s suggestion of universal salvation, which implies a denial of the existence of Hell.

If one’s works are not the works God has authorized, they are all done in vain regarding God’s notice or approval (Mat. 15:9). That which God does not authorize, He does not accept or recognize.…

America’s Moral Decay

Fifty years ago, lasciviousness, adultery, and fornication, were almost universally deemed reprehensible; they hardly raise an eyebrow anymore. New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer, was forced to resign in 2008 for patronizing prostitutes. CNN rewarded him with a TV contract in 2010.…

An Abomination to God

On one occasion when Jesus was warning His disciples about the peril of riches and materialism, the money-loving Pharisees heard His teaching and ridiculed Him…

An Inspired Warning to “Change Agents”

Solomon long ago had some words of wisdom for all of those who think change for the sake of change is as necessary as breathing: “My son, fear thou Jehovah and the king; And company not with them that are given to change” (Pro. 24:21). Significantly, those who so eagerly urge change in our teaching and practice thereby demonstrate their lack of fear of Jehovah God.…

Animal “Rights” Extremes

Sadistic people visit cruel and senseless suffering on lower animal forms. Accordingly, there is a place for a voice against such. As is often the case, however, that which is good in moderation becomes bad when carried to an extreme. This has happened in the “animal rights” movement…

Anything to Be Different

Liberalism and disdain for the authority of the New Testament continue to infect brethren, and apostasy, the natural consequence of such, likewise continues to increase. A leading symptom of this phenomenon is the employment of terminology, which is ambiguous at best and anti–Biblical at worst.

Are Men Stronger Than God?

Those who believe the Bible believe that God is all-powerful. “Is anything too hard for Jehovah?” (Gen. 18:14) anticipates a negative answer. Scripture refers to God as “Almighty” 59 times. Paul mentioned “…the exceeding greatness of his power” (Eph. 1:19). Truly, the Bible abounds with claims of God’s omnipotence.…

Arguing with Jesus—No. 1

As strange as it seems, some who profess belief in Jesus Christ “argue” with Him by their doctrines. They do not consciously do so and will deny doing so, but, they do so, nonetheless….

Arguing with Jesus-—No. 2

As strange as it seems, some who profess belief in Jesus Christ “argue” with Him by their doctrines. Their doctrines also contradict the Lord’s apostles and other inspired men (which equals arguing with Jesus, since He supplied their words)….

Arguing with Jesus—No. 3

Did Jesus “argue” with Himself in some of His statements? Did Paul, Peter, and John, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, contradict some of the things Jesus taught? Did these inspired men argue with each other (or with themselves) in their teachings?…

Arguing with Jesus—No. 4

Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers, and others literally and personally argued with Jesus on various occasions. They lost every time (never learning!)….

Arguing with Jesus—No. 5

They never learned. The opponents of Jesus prepared their questions and hypothetical situations. Each time they conspired and lay in wait to “catch him in his words” (Mark 12:13), they came away licking their wounds in embarrassment….

Atheism—Is It Reasonable?

All forms of atheism (e.g., anti-theism, naturalism, humanism, evolutionism, materialism) allege that Christianity is unreasonable and irrational—its adherents all dupes of “blind faith.” Atheists aver that believers in God, the Bible, and Jesus as God’s Son, are such not because of any evidence, but in spite of it.…

Authority in Religion

Only two sources of authority exist in religion. Authority is “from heaven  [Divine] or from men [human]” (Mat. 21:25). Human authorities consist of such things as the rulings of one man or a council/convention of men, creed books, the majority vote of members, and personal conscience.…

“Automatic” Membership Placement?

Through the years I have come across brethren who believed that merely visiting with a congregation for a few weeks or months thereby made them members, with no request on their part and no announcement to the congregation.…

“Balanced” Preaching

The quality of balance lends grace, order, and beauty to almost anything. The work of preaching the Gospel is no exception. God’s Word contains descriptions of the balance with which God wants His preachers to preach, and men had better not tamper with it.…

Baptism and Jesus’ Blood

With few exceptions, religious bodies professing belief in Jesus as the Christ, the only begotten of the Father, treat baptism as inconsequential. Some ignore it as if it were not in the New Testament, while others consider it “important,” but not essential to please God, with various views in between.…

“Be of Good Courage”

Of all of Satan’s weapons, his favorite may be discouragement. It is certainly one of his most powerful weapons. He has used it relentlessly on the Lord’s finest servants…

Be Watchful and Resist

The New Testament frequently urges vigilance toward things that would spiritually hinder us. One of the clearest of these warnings is from Peter:…

Ben Franklin Spanks Tom Paine

Tom Paine was a colonial patriot, credited by some with being the “Father of the American Revolution.” He was given this moniker chiefly for his January 1776 pro-independence pamphlet, titled, Common Sense, which advocated revolution against the British crown. It quickly swept the colonies, selling 100,000 copies in three month’s time ….

Bible Baptisms Digest

The New Testament mentions several baptisms. Failure to understand and distinguish between them leads to confusion and error….

Biblical Baptism—No. 1

Baptism has long been a subject of controversy, especially in respect to its purpose and its action. Uninspired men have written perhaps hundreds of books and millions of words about baptism. Many of these things we can read to our profit, but the only book on this subject that matters is the Word of God….

Biblical Baptism—No. 2

Mere men did not invent the Bible doctrine of baptism. Jesus, in the Great Commission (Mat. 28:19–20; Mark 16:15–16) is its author, and He alone has the right to specify its element, purpose, antecedents, action, candidates, and every other facet of it.

Biblical Baptism—No. 3

“Will there be anyone in Heaven who has not been baptized?” When one stresses the New Testament’s clear teaching on baptism, a question similar to this often arises….

Biblical Baptism—No. 4

If one were to decide to concoct a plan, promising salvation upon that single act apart from all others, the most reasonable choice would not be “faith only,” which is what most of the Protestant world advocates. The book of Acts records more than one case of conversion in which faith is not mentioned…

Biblical Baptism—No. 5

Controversy over the Scriptural action involved in baptism has raged for centuries. However, all such controversy would end if all men respected the authority of the Bible. It explicitly tells us the action of baptism….

Biblical Baptism—No. 6

“Does the New Testament say what baptism is for?” Acts 2:38 states (KJV): “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…”

Biblical Baptism—No.7

Clearly, the Bible teaches that one cannot be saved by “works”: “For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Eph. 2:8–9, emph. added). Just as clearly, however, the Bible teaches that one is saved by “works”: “Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith…

Biblical Baptism—No. 8

For failure to grasp the connection between baptism and the blood of Christ, many people woefully misunderstand the role of baptism in God’s plan. Those who understand this relationship do not question the necessity of baptism….

Biblical Baptism—No. 9

The Bible tells us, by implication, when one should be baptized. When the multitudes on the day of Pentecost heard the Gospel, Luke records the response as follows: “They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls”…

Biblical Faith—No. 1

Faith and belief (in their various cognates) are among the most frequently found words and concepts in the Bible. They are also among the most misunderstood and abused Biblical words. Without controversy, the Bible requires that all who would be saved from the condemnation of sin must possess faith in God and His Son:…

Biblical Faith—No 2

 Faith and belief are so much the basic response God requires of men that one or the other is often used as a synecdoche (i.e., a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole) for all that one must do to be reconciled to God

Biblical Principles and Moral Decisions

Confronting temptations to “cross the line” that separates moral from immoral behavior is as old as Adam and Eve. Temptation may involve money, deceit, pride, sex, power, or other elements….

“Big Tent” Religion

Members of both major political parties talk about “big-tent” policies. By big-tent they mean inclusion of those who hold views diverse from and/or contradictory to core party principles—if they will vote the party ticket…

Born Again Christians

 “Born Again” is the title of a movie that was shown nationwide a several years ago, tracing the alleged “conversion” of one of the Watergate principals. It is not enough to be a Christian anymore. Unless one is a “born again” Christian, he apparently is only second rate.

Burger King and God

What do a hamburger corporation and God have in common? Nothing really, but BK and man’s conception of God is a different matter. Even among those who believe in God, most apparently think that He operates by the BK slogan: “Have it your way.” 

“Bye Bye Baby”

A few years ago Hayes Carll wrote “Bye Bye Baby,” a country music song lamenting a broken romance. This title would serve well for a song about the Pharaoh who ordered the death of all Hebrew baby boys…. It would also fit Herod’s decree that resulted in the murder of all the baby boys in and around Bethlehem…. Even irreligious folk right-y recoil at such inhumane blood lust….

Cafeteria Theology

Does God operate a theological cafeteria? Are all of the world’s religions (e.g., Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, et al.) on His “steam table”? Is Christianity on the menu as merely one among many choices of access leading to God and salvation?…

Can Paperclips Talk?

Most folk believe that only human beings and parrots can talk, but that’s just not true. Although paperclips are not very high on the intelligence scale (and while they don’t actually form and speak words), they nonetheless can “talk.” What then do they say?…

Cart Before the Horse 

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), identified both the “horse” and the “cart” in regard to the respective obligations of all mankind: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself ” (Mat. 22:37–39).…

Christian Haters

The title above is admittedly ambiguous. It can mean “Christians who express hatred,” or it can mean “those who hate Christianity.” The latter meaning describes a growing “norm” of attitude and behavior. A broad-based coalition would banish every vestige of “Christianity” from our national identity.…

Christian Evidences

The Study of Christian evidences is the study of matters that give substance to the claims of the Gospel and its principal figure, Jesus Christ. Such evidences are usually divided into two major fields….

Christianity Comes in Cans

Are you aware that Christianity comes in cans? I am sure that I have met some people along the way who would be glad to “get some religion” if they could just get it in a small, inexpensive, easily-accessible package—like a can….

Christians Regardless

By the time Paul wrote to the Philippians he had learned the lesson of being content to serve Christ faithfully regardless of the hostile circumstances or forces he faced

Christmas—That Time of Year Again—Andy McClish

The birth of Christ is certainly among the most important (supernatural) events in the overall history of the world. It was/is a cause for great joy—something which God saw fit to have recorded in His Word….

Church Growth

There is a principle observable that explains both rapid growth periods and non- growth periods: The fields are not equally ripe for harvesting everywhere at all times. Some places are “in season” while others are “out of season”…

Church Renovation

“Church Undergoes Renovation,” the newspaper headline read. The words were positioned above a photo of a church building surrounded by scaffolding, with workmen on its roof. The article described the modernization of a church building, which the article referred to in common—albeit mistaken—parlance as a “church.”…

Cleansing the Temple

When brethren decide they do not like some activity that is being practiced in the church building they will sometimes say, “We need to cleanse the temple” and cite these examples of the Lord…

“Come Forth, My People…”

When John heard the angel announce the impending doom of “Babylon,” another heavenly voice warned, “Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4)…. 

Compassion

Among the many attractive and ennobling traits of character urged upon servants of God and followers of Christ is compassion. Even those who possess no compassion admire and appreciate this trait in others.

Compassion Fruit Juice

Compassion means “to feel with.” The Gospel accounts frequently call attention to the Lord’s compassion….

Contributions You Can Make

Some members of the church are far too modest in their assessment of what they can do to help the Lord’s cause. Many have convinced themselves that they cannot do anything, since they cannot lead singing or preach, and they become quite content to do little or nothing. However,… 

Conversion Confusion

Conversion is the theme of the New Testament. It embraces redemption, forgiveness, and salvation—the purpose of Jesus’ coming. To “convert” means to change/turn from one’s present course. One’s salvation depends upon his conversion (Mat. 18:3; Acts 3:19), so we must understand the New Testament’s teaching concerning it.…

Criticism

Jesus warned that some would reproach us and say all manner of evil against us (Mat. 5:11–12). How should we respond to criticism?

Darwinism and Morality

Until about fifty years ago in America, lasciviousness, adultery, and fornication were almost universally deemed reprehensible. Divorce was shameful, pornography was underground, and homosexuality was illegal. These elements are now on open display and enjoy wide approval—and participation.…

Denominationalism

Denominationalism refers to a “denominational or sectarian spirit or policy; the tendency to divide into denominations or sects” (Random House College Dictionary). In religion, the term refers to the multitude (some count thousands) of religious bodies professing belief in Jesus the Christ as the only begotten Son of God….

Denominationalism in the New Testament

When Jesus said, “I will build my church,” the farthest thing from His mind was the prevailing denominational structure by those who would profess belief in Him. This structure includes Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant institutions with their profusion of names, doctrines, and practices and their resultant sectarianism.

Denominationalism or the Church?

Thoughtful Bible students realize that denominational “churchianity” bears no resemblance to New Testament Christianity. It is not only fundamentally undenominational; it is anti-denominational….

Destructible Deities

When a Buddhist temple burned in a Texas city, the image of Buddha, their object of worship, melted. While none should rejoice in the property loss our fellow-citizens sustained, the melted Buddha provokes reflection on the great contrasts between Christianity and the pagan “world religions”…

Did Jesus Believe in Hell?

Hell has fallen on “hard times.” It is rarely mentioned except in a context of cursing, swearing, or deprecation. Some claim to believe it exists but profess to know no one sufficiently evil to deserve it….

Did Jesus Die in Vain?

The entire Christian system centers around the death of Jesus on the cross. He “died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6, 8). He “laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). In spite of numerous like statements of Scripture, certain things, if true, would mean that Christ died in vain….

Did They Do Rightly?

Is it a sin to forsake (abandon, intentionally keep oneself from) the public meetings of the church? Hebrews 10:25 bears directly on this question:…

Disinherited Children

Joan Crawford, the famous movie star of several decades back, left some of her children out of her will. Let it be observed, however, that such disinherited children do not cease to be the children or offspring of the withholding parents; they simply are left out of the will, cut off from receiving any of the estate.…

Do Numbers Equal Strength?

The Bible urges Christians to grow and mature in the faith and to thereby become strong (Eph. 6:10, et al.). What God desires for His individual saints, He also desires for the local congregations of His church….

Do You Love Jesus?

The apostle Paul lent significance to the question above as he wrote: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema…”

Doctrine and Unity

Some say, “It is not doctrine that unites us, it is love.” Scriptural unity surely involves love between the parties concerned, but it requires far more….

Down with “Doters”

Paul warned of those who consent not to the sound doctrine of Christ, but who are “proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions . . .” (1 Tim. 6:3–5).

Early Postmodernism

“Postmodernism” is the ascendant philosophy. To mention postmodernism implies its antecedent, modernism. Modernism attempts to explain all things by nature.

Easter Season—From God or Man?

The “Lenten season” (celebrated by Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and many Protestant churches), is a time during which celebrants are urged repent of and abstain from some vice and/or make some “sacrifice.” Mardi Gras is the Lent-observer’s last chance to engage in excess and uninhibited behavior before the self-denial of Lent limits his or her behavior.

Eating in The Church Building

The apostolic church enjoyed common meals in their places of worship, and these meals were formally designated by the term, “love feasts”….

Editorial Responsibility

Editors and publishers of religious material have a weighty responsibility. I have in mind editors of church bulletins, periodicals, and books and publishing houses.

“Elders in Every Church”

The words of the title above are from a passage in which Luke describes work that Paul and Barnabas did as they made their way back to Antioch on Paul’s initial preaching trip.

Elders — Must All Have All the Qualifications?

Among the clever and devious devices brethren have come up with to avoid the force and stringency of the pastoral qualifications is the claim that as long as the entire group of elders possesses all of the qualifications of Scripture, the qualifications are thereby satisfied.…

Elders—Their Crucial Role

Preachers, elders, deacons, and all other members are precious to the Lord and important for the church to be what He desires. However, the elders in any congregation occupy a crucial position more than any others.

Elements of Conversion

Jesus said: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 18:3, KJV). It is thus imperative that we comprehend and fulfill the requirements of conversion…

Emphasizing the “Basics”

Any time men stray very far from “the basics,” they fall far below their potential. A football team can have splendid athletes but neglecting crisp blocking and sure tackling neutralizes its superior athletic ability….

“Enemies of the Cross”

In the mildest of his epistles (in terms of rebuke and correction), the apostle Paul nonetheless warned the Philippian saints of “enemies of the cross of Christ” (3:18–19),… Notably, Paul here made the cross the apex, summary, and symbol of Jesus’ earthly life and work (His purpose in coming, His doctrine, His church, et al.).

“Equal Opportunity”

Businesses often include in their advertisements for employees that they offer “equal opportunity.” This statement means that they do not discriminate against applicants/employees on the basis of immutable traits (race, gender, age, disability, etc.).

Ethics and Morals

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote the classic novel, The Brothers Karamazov. Whatever else might be said of Dostoyevsky, he grasped one of the essential implications of Atheism, Humanism, and Naturalism. He had Ivan (one of his characters) observe: “If there is no God, everything is permitted.”

Faith in the Bible

Biblical faith is not mere wishful thinking, wherein one wishes for something so much he convinces himself it exists. This concept is one of “pie in the sky,” leap-in-the-dark desire with no reason or evidence for it. Biblical faith is not mere probability that God exists, Christ is the Son of God, or the Bible is the Word of God. This is agnosticism….

Fellowship and Family Members

Perhaps no Christian family has escaped seeing a family member depart from the faith, either in doctrine or behavior (or in both). When a husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, or sister falls away or becomes involved in doctrinal error or support of a false teacher, what are the faithful family members to do?…

Fickle Subjectivism

Our times are characterized by religious convictions based solely upon feelings and experiences. This phenomenon has always been a trademark of Pentecostalism, but it now infects and affects all of the sects (and not a few brethren, as well). Multitudes of religionists trust their eternal destiny to no more than what they like or their feelings….

First or Twenty-first?

A pressing question for all who are serious about Christianity is, “Did the Son of God intend for His church to remain in its inspired, apostolic form only for their time or for all time?” Does the assertion, We don’t need a first-century church, but a twenty-first century church, represent Biblical teaching or human opinion?…

Flawed Principles for Making Moral Decisions

Making moral decisions has to do with confronting day-by-day temptations and behavior options. Everyone operates by some set of “moral standards” that determine his/her behavior, even if they are immoral. Some of the faulty principles men follow are:…

Fools—Ancient and Modern

In Romans 1:19–21, Paul, the irrepressible apostle of Christ, described the Atheists, Humanists, and Secularists of ages past, declaring of them, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (v. 22). To such folk, he said that God had manifested His existence clearly in the things He had created. However, they rejected the abundant evidence in their vain and senseless reasoning, thereby corrupting their hearts….

“Forget the Church”…

“…Follow Jesus,” screamed the cover of Newsweekmagazine (April 9, 2012). The cover pointed to an article inside (by Andrew Sullivan) titled: “The Forgotten Jesus.” Its subtitle encapsulates the article’s thrust:…

Fornication and Adultery

Fornication and adultery were once, without hesitation, deemed “sinful”—forbidden by God and sources of shame and disgrace to the vast majority of US citizens. Lamentably, such behavior has become commonplace, promoted relentlessly by the industries of entertainment, advertising, fashion, and public education—and even some churches.…

Four Hearts

The title above doesn’t refer to a “hand” in a card game. Rather, it relates to Jesus’ parable about a farmer who sowed seed in his field (Luke 8:5–15). Of the thirty or so parables He told, this is one of the very few that He explained in detail. He tells us plainly: “The seed is the word of God” (v. 11)…

From Heaven or From Men?

Jesus’ once asked the Jewish rulers if the baptism of John was of Heaven or of men (Mat. 21:25). In doing so, he exhausted all possibilities. The wicked Jews knew better than to argue that there was a third possible source of authority. Every doctrine and practice in religion is either authorized by God—or it is human in origin.… 

Fully Armed

Because Satan is such a formidable foe, and we are so weak by ourselves, we must be well-armed. The armament which the Lord supplies is sufficient, both for protection and for attack….

God Cannot Do Some Things

The Bible abounds with claims of God’s omnipotence, yet because of His very nature, there are some things God cannot….

God Does Not Know Some Things

In numerous statements the Bible proclaims God’s omniscience—He knows all things (Rom. 11:33–34; 1 John 3:20b; et al.) In spite of these plain averments….

God…Hath Spoken

God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds….

God Is No Respecter…

In the house of the Gentile, Cornelius, the apostle Peter arrived at a dramatic conclusion for a biased Jew: “God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34–35). He then did the unthinkable for a Jew, offering salvation to his Gentile audience through the Gospel….

Godliness Pays!

The Bible constantly exhorts its readers to godly living. The worldly-minded ridicule godliness, believing it only means hardship and deprivation. The Bible says it pays: “Godliness is profitable for all things…” and “Godliness…is great gain” (1 Tim. 4:8; 6:6). Millions who have tried it through the centuries know it is so. How does it pay?…

God’s Grace Is Exclusive

While God wills that all men be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), this is the statement of his ideal will. His ideal will and His conditional will are not the same, however. He created us with free will, and our free will stands between these two….

God’s Grace Is Inclusive

God does not desire that only some be saved, but He “would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth”….He is longsuffering, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”…. To this end, the Christ “gave himself a ransom for all”…

God’s Grace—What It Does Not Do

Grace in the Bible refers to God’s favor men do not deserve and cannot merit. Few subjects are more widely misunderstood—or perverted. It is imperative that men understand this Bible doctrine, for our salvation depends upon it.

Good Worship Manners

The God we worship in our assemblies is not a God of confusion, but One who wants everything done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:33; 40). Perhaps with a little more consideration for this principle, for others, and for our own behavior, we can improve our “worship manners,”….

Goodness and Severity of God

God was severe toward His chosen people, the Jews, because they “fell” in unbelief. In His goodness, however, He accepted the Gentiles because of their faith, but warned them that He would also reject them if they fell….

Grace and Moser—Misunderstood

On March 3, 2010, I delivered a lecture on the closing night of the Spring, Texas, Contending for the Faith Lectureship. The lectureship was devoted to reviewing books (in one case, a sermon) produced by men who have veered from the Truth,…

Grapes of Thorns?

In the process of warning about the grave dangers of listening to false prophets, Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Mat. 7:15–16). Jesus made a spiritual application of this general, axiomatic principle.…

Have Miracles Ceased?

Many modern religionists claim the power to perform the same miracles and signs as those recorded in the Bible. Claiming and doing are two different things….

Have You Started Your Retirement Plan

It’s important to realize that there is nothing un-Christian about preparing and planning for the future by saving some of our money today…However, with all the current emphasis on retiring comfortably in this life, is it possible that we are forgetting about another retirement that we all have to face some day?…

Heat and Light

During winter we are reminded of the need for heat. Without it we would freeze. As darkness approaches each evening we are reminded of the need for light. Without light, the ability to see would be useless and our eyes would eventually atrophy. For life to continue there must be both heat and light. What is true physically is no less true spiritually….

“Hell at Last”

Concerning the unrighteous and the righteous, respectively, at The Judgment, Jesus Christ, the loving, merciful Savior, stated: “And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life” (Mat. 25:46). To be consistent, denial of Hell demands denial of Heaven….

“Here’s How…”

A leaflet making the rounds purports to instruct us on the way to have “an eternal relationship with God.” The suggested four-point plan….

History Repeats…

A century and a half ago, a few brethren who were determined to have what pleased them in religion were willing to sacrifice respect for both the statement and the silence of Scripture in order to have their idols (primarily musical instruments and separate evangelistic organizations).…

Holy Spirit Baptism

The New Testament describes only two cases of baptism in the Holy Spirit. The first occurrence involved Jesus’ promise to the apostles. Just before His ascension, the Lord told them to remain in Jerusalem where, said He, “…ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence”….

Holy Spirit Baptism Q and A

Consider some common questions about Holy Spirit baptism and their answers from the Bible….

Honoring with the Lips

Pharisees and scribes once came to Jesus, chastising Him for not honoring the traditions of their forefathers (Mat. 15:1–2). He responded by accusing them of violating God’s commandments by their human traditions, and cited one of their traditions as proof (vv. 3–6).… 

How Does Your Garden Grow?

In the spring of year when many people just naturally feel like tilling soil, planting things, and growing things. The weather has turned warmer, the sun seems to shine more, and all of God’s wonderful creation has come back to life….

Humility and Service

In 1 Peter 5:5–6, we read the following significant exhortation: “Yea, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another; for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”…

“I Commend unto You Phoebe”

Paul wrote to the Roman brethren: “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, . . . that ye receive her in the Lord, worthily of the saints…” (Rom. 16:1–2). I conclude from this passage that as faithful saints move about it is both Scriptural and wise to take with them such a letter from respected brethren….

If and Only If….

The title above expresses a formula in logic and mathematics regarding compound statements (biconditionals). The formula (abbrev. as IFF) applies only when (i.e., “if and only if”) both statements are of exactly the same “truth value.” The IFF formula is a powerful way of expressing propositional facts and truths that are incontrovertible.…

If Darwin was right…

Charles Darwin was born 2 centuries ago (1809). Even those who reject his premises cannot deny the impact of them on mankind. Along with the “sea change” Darwinian evolution has wrought in science, its effect upon religion and morals has perhaps been even more incalculable.

Impartation of Spiritual Gifts

In 1 Corinthians 12:8–10, Paul listed nine miraculous “manifestations” of the Spirit. These gifts were scattered among various members, with some apparently receiving no gift at all (vv. 28–30). Since possession of these gifts was not universal among the saints, by what means were they imparted?…

Implications of Sin

Only a few decades ago, the majority of US citizens acknowledged the existence of and consequences of sin. A vast number of our citizens now deny sin’s existence—by their deeds, if not by their words….

Implied Principles for Making Moral Decisions

Every time we encounter temptation to do that which would violate our moral scruples, we must make a decision to resist or yield….

Impressed with Numbers

We notice it when a business or service attracts a large clientele. An advertisement recently stated, “15 million people can’t be wrong.” Likewise, when a religious group manifests rapid numerical growth in a short period, some say, “They must be doing something right.”

Ingredients of Evangelism

No subject is more vital to sincere saints than evangelism. Jesus made it our first responsibility when He issued the Great Commission  It is God’s means of saving the lost. It is the lifeblood of the church….

Intellectual Snobbery

The not-so-well-educated should not despise the well-educated, nor should the latter despise the former. Yet, so often those who obtain advanced degrees leave behind all of the humility they may have once had….

Involvement in Worship

In recent years there has been considerable discussion among brethren about getting more people “involved” in worship. No one will question that every Christian must involve himself in worship. I do question, however, what some mean by “involvement.”…

Is it Authorized?

One is not faithful to God who is not faithful to Christ (John 15:23). One is not faithful to Christ who does not honor His Word (John 12:48). God has given His Son “all authority” (Mat. 28:18); we must scrupulously submit to it.

“Is That All There Is?”

Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller wrote a song thus titled, and Peggy Lee made a hit recording of it in 1969. Its lyrics somewhat reflected the cynicism and cultural breakdown our nation experienced beginning in the 1960s.…

Is the Apple Likely to Fall Far from The Tree?

Responsible parents are naturally concerned about how their children are measuring up in the competitive environment of school. They will make sure that their children view school as a high priority and will encourage proper attention to all the required assignments, homework, and tests. 

Is the Church of Christ a Denomination?

There seems to be a strong general tendency to refrain from taking a firm position on certain doctrinal and moral issues and to ignore even fatally false positions as minor matters. Several pulpiteers among us now deem themselves wise enough to improve on God’s plan for the church and for man’s salvation….

Is There a Second Exception for Divorce and Remarriage?

Many grievously misunderstand the nature of revelation/inspiration. Some aver that only the words of Jesus (those in red letters in some Bibles) are authoritative, and the remainder of the writers reflect their personal human opinions. The 1970s militant feminists labeled Paul’s doctrine relating to the God-given respective roles of men and women) as the mere opinionated rantings of a disillusioned, male-chauvinist, woman-hating bachelor—unworthy of credibility; He was not Jesus!…

“It Fills a Space”

I have been reading church bulletins more six decades. I have served as editor of church bulletins for over five decades. At one time, the mailbox of the church where I preached received approximately 150 bulletins each week. I have literally seen almost everything there is to be seen in church bulletins.…

“It Is too Much”

Many things have changed since these events of almost 3,000 years ago, but human beings still behave in many of the same ways and make the same mistakes, especially in religion. Consider some modern examples of “the Jeroboam syndrome” regarding the New Testament of Christ. “It is too much…”:

Jesus’ Amazing Cross

The centerpiece of God’s plan to redeem sinful mankind—yea, of history—is the cross of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the “word of the cross,” which is “the power and wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:18, 23–24). Faithful preachers will preach the cross (2:2). Christians should glory in the cross (Gal. 6:14). The cross significantly demonstrates some extraordinary facts:…

Jesus and Socialism

Those who espouse certain social, moral, or political agendas sometimes invoke the Bible in general or Jesus in particular for their cause (notwithstanding their disavowal of both). They thus pander to the many believers who still believe in both….

Jesus’ Blood Keeps on Cleansing

Many years ago (when I was a very young preacher) I believed that unless one specifically named every sin he committed and specifically asked forgiveness of each one, as he became aware of such sins, God would not forgive them. Eventually, I came to see that this was an untenable (and unscriptural) position for various reasons:

Jesus Has a Law

The affirmation of my title is offensive to many theologians and pulpiteers. Those offended often hurl the legalist epithet at the affirmers. “No,” they say, “We are not under law, but under grace, in the Gospel age.” …  Let us study this subject of eternal implications by means of some questions:…

Jesus—More Than a Man

The centerpiece of God’s plan to redeem sinful mankind—yea, of history—is the cross of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the “word of the cross,” which is “the power and wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:18, 23–24). Faithful preachers will preach the cross (2:2). Christians should glory in the cross (Gal. 6:14). The cross significantly demonstrates some extraordinary facts:…

Jesus or JINO?

Various cults and sects foreign to the New Testament claim to “believe in Jesus.” When their doctrines are compared with the Bible, however, their “Jesus” is actually a “JINO” (“Jesus In Name Only”). A case in point is the “Jesus” of the Mormon cult (“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”):…

Jesus—Some “Why Nots” of His Coming

Jesus Himself tells us clearly why He initially came down from Heaven: “For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). At various times He also stated several things that He did not come to do. These “why nots” are as significant as the “why” of His First Coming.…

Jesus’ Testament

By means of a “last will and testament,” men indicate the desired disposition of their property at death. The title page of the latter section of our Bibles is called “The New Testament of Jesus Christ.” While uninspired publishers supplied this title page, the inspired text refers to itself as the will or testament of the Lord….

Jesus’ View of Scripture

Is the Bible a mere curiosity piece of superb, ancient literature? Is it an irrelevant document, good for its contemporaries, but now a mere relic without modern use or application? If we could sit down with Jesus and interview Him about the Bible, what would He say to us? Would His evaluation of it make any difference?

Jesus—Why He Came

In spite of the plainness of the singularity of Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth, men still misunderstand it. They have variously set forth such purposes as political revolution and healing the sick and ailing. Political liberals/progressives deceitfully invoke some of His words and works to bolster their program of socialism and social reform.…

John—Whom the Lord Called “None Greater”

Jesus gave unparalleled commendation to his kinsman, the prophet John: “Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist” (Mat. 11:11). Let us explore some possible reasons for this unique accolade.…

Judaism Restored?

While the whole premillennial system is contrary to explicit Bible teaching, the claim that the law of Moses will be reinstated has to be one of the most blatantly and outrageously anti-Biblical doctrines ever invented.…

“Judge Not…”

When Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Mat. 7:1), he was not merely uttering good advice, but a prohibition, a strong negative command. Unless we understand what kind of “judging” the Lord prohibits, we will do much abuse to this passage.

Judgment Day Surprises

One of the recurring themes of the New Testament is that of the final accounting that all men must make before their Creator—The Day of Judgment. Jesus described it in some detail (Mat. 7:21–23; 25:31–46). The final New Testament book emphasizes The Judgment near its close (Rev. 20:11–15). Hardly a New Testament book fails to mention it.…

Laid Back, Hip—and Irreverent

The general abandonment of decorum in society over a couple of generations has obviously had its impact on the Lord’s people—especially observable in our worship assemblies. I preached in a Gospel meeting several years ago before which the local preacher told me that the brethren were “laid back” in the way they dressed for worship….

Law and Love

Priscilla Jane Owens (1829–1907) penned several hymn poems, among them, “Give Me the Bible.” She wrote these lyrics in the 19th century before it became popular—even among theologians—to debunk, demote, and attempt to destroy the authority of Holy Writ.

Led by the Spirit

One is not 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 through the Holy Spirit?…

Legalism, Law, and Love

Is obedience to Christ optional or unnecessary? Are belief in and love of Christ the only things required of sinners to be saved? Some (the we-are-not-under-law-but-under-grace crowd) would have it so and thus teach.

Legalism or Love

Those who do not want to obey the teachings of the New Testament often accuse those of “legalism” who dare emphasize obedience to God’s commands. Legalism is defined as “strict, or excessive conformity to the law.” In the religious context, this definition refers to God’s Law.

Lessons from the Flood

The flood’s effects are yet seen in such things as the topsy-turvy fossil strata, the strange angles of layered stone often seen in exposed mountain sides, and the like.The astute observer sees the more important effects of the flood, however, in the lessons it provides concerning the nature of God….

“Let’s Party”

It has finally come to this. A few years ago, a brother asserted that worship should be a party, a “celebration”…

Life Begins at Conception—so Abortion Is Murder

To the pro-death abortion advocates, the content of the womb is little more than a wart, an appendix, or even a tumor—thus disposable. The crucial question then is, when does life and human personhood begin?

Little Word—Big Meaning

Jesus once said, “We must work the works of him that sent me…” (John 9:4). “Must” refers to that which is necessary, indispensable, required, or obligatory. What are some things we must do?…

Lost Souls on Pentecost

The first Pentecost Day after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven found a throng in Jerusalem from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). Of that number, 3,000 obeyed the apostolic message by their confessed faith, repentance, and baptism in order to receive forgiveness of their sins (vv. 37–41).… 

Love Letter or Law?

Is the New Testament merely a collection of “love letters” containing nothing more than polite suggestions of behavior?… Many professed believers parrot the view that the New Testament pertains exclusively to grace and love.… What shall we say to this averment?…

Mainline or Sidetrack

In a syndicated newspaper column a few years ago, William Murchison laid bare the insipidity of the liberalism of certain “mainline” Protestant denominations. He based his column on a poll involving the Methodist, Episcopal, and United Church of Christ (not to be confused with the church of Christ). The poll concluded:…

Making God in Man’s Image

The Mormon idea of “continuing revelation” (which various other religious groups also advocate) is about the most basic repudiation of the Bible as the Word of God that a man or a religious organization can make. Reduced to its simplest terms, it elevates the creature above the Creator….

Man Must Obey God

As the Israelites approached Sinai on their journey from the Red Sea to Canaan, they murmured against God. This time they complained because of hunger, accusing Moses of bringing them into the wilderness to starve. Their fickle hearts had already forgotten the rigors of Egyptian slavery,….

Man, Woman, and Marriage

Popularity, agreement with my notions, convenience, political correctness, nor any other factors affect or determine the meaning of its words to the genuine believer….

Man’s Ultimate Quest

All men are seeking something; this is what keeps us going. Various ones seek fame, riches, pleasure, peace, power, and other things. There is only one quest that towers over all others in importance and that should govern all other pursuits. Jesus Christ set it forth in the Sermon on the Mount:…

“Mark” and “Turn Away”

Paul’s final plea to the saints in Roman was for doctrinal purity:…This statement is not merely a polite suggestion, but an earnest entreaty with the strength of a charge, an order, or a command….

Marriages —Simple Reasons Why They Fail

When a marriage fails, it is because the people involved have failed in one or more important characteristics. Marriage works as God intended, only when both partners behave as God directs.…

Matters Demonstrated by the Cross

By far, the most enduring symbol of the religion of Jesus Christ is the cross. It so represented Jesus’ life, work, and death that the apostle Paul said it was the only thing he would preach and of which he would ever boast. The cross demonstrates several matters of great significance,…

Miracles in Our Time?

Many modern religionists claim the power to perform the same miracles and signs as those recorded in the Bible. Claiming and doing are two different things….

Modesty

Paul commanded women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9). The Arndt-Gingrich lexicon says that modest here means “honorable,” “respectable.” We understand Paul to be talking about wearing clothing that indicates the moral chastity, purity, and sense of decency that Christians must have….

Movement in Transition

 Many of our churches are struggling with their identity, their mission, and their purpose. Scripture as well as church history teach us that we’re only one generation away from apostasy.” We offer a few observations ….

Murmuring at Marah

Exodus 15:22–26 gives the account of Israel’s murmuring at the bitter waters of Marah. At this very beginning part of their journey from the Red Sea toward Canaan, their water supplies were exhausted. They had hardly ceased their songs of thanksgiving and triumph before they raised a new cry….

My Aims as a Gospel Preacher

It is always helpful to have a roadmap when traveling, whether on literal roadways or on the journey of life. With this in mind, I present the following as the “map” I aim to follow in my life and work as a Gospel preacher:

My Bible and My Vote

Do believers in God, in Jesus Christ as His Son, and in the Bible as God’s Word have an obligation to evaluate candidates and/or political parties in light of Biblical teaching when they vote? Can a Christian be faithful to Christ if he votes for a candidate who champions anti-Christian causes and principles?…

My Way or God’s Way?

A survey has found that many Americans now take a mix-and-match, build-your-own approachin religion. Loyalty to a denomination—previously the norm—no longer prevails.… One observer likened the phenomenon to personalizing a “playlist” on an iPhone.…

“Neither Could They Blush”

A major factor in the destruction of God’s people in the days of Jeremiah was their shamelessness: “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush” (Jer. 6:15). Among the “works of the flesh” that will keep one out of Heaven is “lasciviousness”…

“No Authority Needed”

In the 1988 debate between Alan Highers and Given O. Blakely of the Independent Christian Church, Mr. Blakely attempted to justify the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship by arguing that no authority is needed. He based his argument on at least three assertions….

No Baptism—No Blood

With few exceptions, religious bodies professing belief in Jesus as the Christ, the only begotten of the Father, treat baptism as inconsequential. Some ignore it as if it were not in the New Testament, while others consider it “important,” but not essential to please God, with various views in between.

No Bible Heritage?

Humanists, Secularists, political Progressives, and assorted other anti-God, anti-Christ, and anti-Bible forces are doing their best to remove all Biblical connections to our nation’s history.… In spite of the best efforts of such forces, the Bible remains deeply ingrained in the public consciousness.…

“No Man is Common”

In the house of the Gentile, Cornelius, the apostle Peter arrived at a dramatic conclusion for a biased Jew: “God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him”(Acts 10:34–35).

No Thanks, Anytime

A frequently seen bumper sticker depicts a cocktail glass and the message, “No thanks, I’m driving” (I once saw one of these on one of “our” church vans!). This message is intended to warn other drivers of the multiplied tragedies that are daily caused by drunk drivers, a warning direly needed by the general public….

Noah, the “Legalist”

When theological liberals want to cast the strongest possible aspersion on those who still believe God said what He means and means what He says in the Bible, they call him a “legalist.” True Bible believers accept this term as a compliment.

Not Heard at the Judgment

The Bible teaches that there will be a great Day of Judgment when Jesus Christ returns and that He will be the Judge on that Great Day…He will judge us by “the Word he has spoken”… and according to the way we have lived… In light of these statements of Scripture, we will do well to ponder some statements that will not be heard at the Judgment….

Not or Now?

Changing a single letter of a word can create a statement that directly contradicts the writer’s intended expression. To misspell not as now well illustrates this fact. It is bad enough to unwittingly make such an error in a word relating to the Scriptures. It is manifestly worse when one intentionally makes such substitutions….

Now or Not?

A pesky stumblingblock to proofreaders is catching the “correct error”—the word that is spelled correctly, but is the wrong word. Failure to note these flaws can result in everything from nonsense to saying the opposite of one’s intent.… In Biblical matters examples abound wherein men intentionally substitute their own not for God’s now…

Occurrences Upon Jesus’ Return

The New Testament not only frequently and plainly tells us that Jesus Christ will return, but it also tells us what things will occur when He comes….

Offering the Invitation

After his sermon on the day of Pentecost, which concluded with the plan of salvation, Peter used “many other words” of exhortation, including the persuasive plea, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” About three thousand souls responded in obedience (Acts 2:38–41)….

Oh for an Honest False Teacher!”

Although many of the wolves were forced to wear sheep’s clothing (the Lord’s figure for hypocrisy and deception [Mat. 7:15–16]) for a few decades, their influence has become so pervasive….

Oh, How He Loved Her!

There is a structure and pattern to the work and worship of the church, which causes it to take on a distinct identity in the New Testament. Only when the church behaves as her husband desires is she that glorious and holy bride, having neither spot, wrinkle, nor blemish.…

On Being Broadminded

Broadminded connotes an ample tolerance of beliefs and/or behaviors other than one’s own. Modern philosophers have created a culture that exalts this trait regarding morals and all religions (i.e., apart from those claiming Bible connections!).

On Bidding God Speed

John wrote words of stern warning in 2 John 9: “For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” John was warning about our attitude toward those who advocate error. To offer support, in word or deed, to those who have compromised the Truth is to become their “partner in crime.”…

On Civil Disobedience

Generally, Inspiration charges us to obey civil authorities: “Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers,” and resistance amounts to withstanding God’s will (Rom. 13:1–2; cf. Tit. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13).… In light of the foregoing, can a Christian, with the Lord’s approval, ever resist the laws of his government? The Bible clearly answers that he not only can, but in certain circumstances, he must refuse to obey them—thus engaging in “civil disobedience.”

On Dumbing Down God

In recent years, dumbing down has entered the vernacular, meaning to diminish the original effect, power, or significance of an entity. Thus, one might say that the institution of marriage has been “dumbed down”….

On Freckles and Hairs

Some Christians fill such powerful roles in the church that they may be liked unto an eye or an ear (vv. 16–17). Others are like a hand or a foot (vv. 14, 21). However, many others are not so prominent and, and they are not to be despised. It takes all of the various parts to make up the body….

On Identifying False Teachers

As our Lord drew the Sermon on the Mount to a close, He gave the following warning: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them” (Mat. 7:15–16). Do we still need this warning?…

On Penknives and the Bible—No. 1

The sixth-century BC king of Judah, Jehoiakim, rebelled against the righteousness of his father, Josiah, and consequently against God. Jeremiah prophesied the captivity in Babylon God would soon visit upon His people….

On Penknives and the Bible—No. 2

Jehoiakim, the ungodly sixth-century BC king of Judah, unceremoniously took his penknife to the pages of Holy Writ as they were read to him, casting them into the fire…Some, who would not be so brazen as to replicate Jehoiakim’s blasphemous act literally, nonetheless do so figuratively….

On Penknives and the Bible—No. 3

After the fashion of Jehoiakim, the ungodly sixth-century BC king of Judah, many today do figuratively the same thing he did literally—take their “penknives” to portions of the Bible they find objectionable and cast them into the “fire”…

On Penknives and the Bible—No. 4

Secularists and humanists don’t bother with penknives; they toss the Bible in toto into the fire. They are therefore among the staunchest advocates of and/or sympathizers with behavior that is an abomination to their Creator….

On Penknives and the Bible—No. 5

…. In bold arrogance, Jehoiakim casually took his penknife to God’s Word, supposing he could thereby expunge the Divine judgment…

On the Fear of God

The 112th Psalm begins as follows: “Praise ye Jehovah. Blessed is the man that feareth Jehovah, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” This blessing upon the God-fearer is one of dozens of Biblical statements that either commends or enjoins our fear of God….

On the Intolerance of Tolerance

Generally, the Bible teaches the virtues of tolerance and forbearance. The Lord warned against harsh, hypocritical, hypercritical, and unmerciful attitudes that use a double standard in our judgment of others. Paul enjoined us to be longsuffering, and Peter set forth God as the ultimate example of same….

On the Loss of Shame

The populace of our nation have lost their sense of shame over shameful behavior. According to a recent report, even first and second graders are addressing their teachers by such foul names that school principals are taking the matter up with the parents….

On Wills and Codicils

The Son of God, Jesus Christ, has a will. It is called “The New Testament” to distinguish it from God’s Will as previously expressed in The Old Testament. Jesus’ Will went into effect when He died on the cross….

One Book or Many?

Is the Bible only one book, or is it several books? The Answer is “yes”…Perhaps a look at the “structure” of the Bible might enable us to know better how to read, study, and understand it…..

Our Cares and God’s Care

A verse that we all should commit to memory and upon which we should ever rely is the following: “casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you” (1 peter 5:7). When we learn to trust this promise, it will bring us great consolation and courage.

Our Cunning Foe

While our foe in the great spiritual warfare of life fully utilizes men and women who yield themselves to his service, our real battle is not with them, but with him who dominates their thinking and their behavior.

Our “Musty” Bible

Must is such a word. Jesus said, “We must work the works of him that sent me” (John 9:4), indicating that which is necessary, obligatory, indispensable, required, all of which are in this small word….

Parental Abdication

Some of the most pitiable people in the world are those whose personalities have been warped by ultra-strict, extra-harsh, unnecessarily restrictive parental despotism. Parents must be aware of the danger of abusing their children in this way.…

People Are Impressed

Some people are so self-conscious about what others think about them as to be unbalanced. They slink around, afraid to speak or act, for fear that someone will criticize them. They are right, of course. 

Perils of the Soul

Those who have experienced life-threatening situations understand the meaning of peril.… Few ever consider the fact that spiritual perils are far more consequential than physical ones. Jesus put these perils in perspective: “And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul….

Prayer Pointers

We all are subject to drifting into behavior and speech habits that convey unscriptural concepts. Sometimes such speech habits are manifested in the prayers in our assemblies. Such mistakes are doubtless made innocently, but they are mistakes, nonetheless….

Preachers in Prison

God’s preachers are in prison yet, But unlike Paul of old; The bars and chains God’s preachers get today, are manifold.…

“Preachers” or “Pastors”?

Pastor may be the word most frequently used to describe a preacher’s work (e.g., “John Smith is the pastor of the ___________ church”).

Preaching on Church History

The older I get and the more I observe what some brethren are doing and saying, the more convinced I become that the Lord’s people do not know much about church history.

Professional Preachers

It is not unusual to hear uncomplimentary remarks made about those who are supported by others while they preach the Gospel. Often we are referred to as “professional preachers” in a derogatory way.

Purposes of Miracles

Why did God empower men in the first century to work miracles? One of the Biblical words for “miracle” (semeion) provides a clue.

Put Things Right

After sending back stunning pictures of Saturn (1980), Uranus (1986), and Neptune (1989), Voyager 1 escaped the gravitational pull of the Sun, and in 1998, this high-tech machine became the most distant man-made object in space,….