Brief Articles–1

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Music Fundamentals for Song Leaders

Congregational “singing schools”…provided training for song leaders for several generations. These had already begun to disappear by the 1960s. Observing that void prompted me, in 1965, to prepare a booklet for those who lead singing in our worship assemblies…I was…prompted to pull my old, age-yellowed copy from its file when a young, inexperienced song leader indicated that he woujld welcome such help. My copy was so unattractive and inadequate in many ways that I was too embarrassed to give it to anyone. Rather, I decided to produce a “new and improved” version, thus taking advantage of attractive printing, type, and graphics, as well as improving its content…

40 Years of Monstrous and Murderous Abortion

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….

2021 Is…

The year 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…

Abundant Life

Even if there were no Heaven to gain and no Hell to suffer, the Christian life would still be the most noble, satisfying, happy and abundant life on this earth.

A Candidate’s Connections

PLEASE NOTE: This article was written prior to the Presidential Election of 1984.

It is surely a legitimate concern of Christians to be aware of and concerned with the convictions of those who are running for public office…

A Church With No Elders

The question is sometimes asked, “Can a church scripturally exist if it has no elders?” This is a very practical question that deserves a scriptural answer.…

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 20th Century Parable

Behold, three prominent denominations of a certain city determined to conduct “union” services for three weeks during the summer months on Sunday evenings. Now a “union” service is ”a service in which the agreed participants meet together as one at designated intervals.”

“A Different Kind of Christian Evidences”

“If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”Many Christians have probably heard or seen this question before, but just how often do we, think seriously about it?

A Digger or a Watcher?

No one has ever set out to accomplish anything without being criticized. What churches are commonly most criticized? Those that have dared to think, plan, and act “big.”

A Disturbing Trend

Am I just imagining things, or is there a trend among members of the Body of Christ to treat all of the church’s worship assemblies as optional anymore? If there is, it is indeed disturbing to me.…

A Few Kind Words to PWDABC

The Lord knew that the prevailing rule in child-rearing would always be that children are products of their training (Pro. 22:6). For this cause, Moses commanded Israelite parents to use every possible moment and method to teach their children God’s law

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 Handicapped Body

Sympathetic hearts are instantly and deeply stirred at the sight of a handicapped person…. While it is tragic enough for the physical body to be handicapped, it is a multiplied tragedy for the Lord’s spiritual body, His church to be handicapped….

A “Head Only” Religion

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven (Mat. 7:21). A “head-only” religion is vain.”

A Look at the You-Can’t-Legislate-Morals Myth

Every time someone wishes to perpetrate some kind of moral evil on society, their watchword is “You cannot legislate morals.” This has been true of the protagonists for open abortion, pornography, lax divorce/remarriage laws, legal sale of liquor and several other issues.…

A Most Excellent Way

Many miraculous powers were distributed among brethren in the first century. However, Paul teaches that there is a power or trait superior to all of these spectacular gifts…

 A 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.”…

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 Preacher You Would Not Tolerate

He consistently arrives a few minutes late for worship, disturbing others as he enters. He and his wife sit on the back seat. They sit stoically through the songs of praise, never opening their mouths….

A Primer on Baptism

Much of the religious division among those who claim to follow Christ centers on baptism. The New Testament teaches baptism, both as to form and purpose. It is ordained of

A Profile of Paul

While stopped at Miletus, Paul visited with the elders from nearby Ephesus. In his eloquent discourse to these men, we receive some remarkable insights:…

A Revealing Statement Concerning Sex.

An interesting article by John E. Gibson, entitled, “Do We Still Harbor Illusions About Sex?” appeared in Family Weekly magazine October 22, 1972. In this article, there are six propositions stated on the subject of sexual appeal and practice. The reader is asked to judge whether each statement is true or false.…

A Sabbath Controversy—John 5:1–47

Among the numerous lessons in this lengthy story concerning our Lord, I wish to emphasize the perfect balance between His compassionate love for men and His uncompromising proclamation and defense of the Truth….

A Sad Story That Hits “Close to Home”

I am reproducing a clipping from The Burnet Bulletin from 2002 that demonstrates the disastrous end of gradual compromise that an increasing number of brethren seem determined to take…The behavior of many still “identifying” themselves as part of the church of Christ is blurring the line in various ways between the church and unauthorized religious organizations.…

A Salute to the Faithful

It is easy to get “bogged down” in our evaluations of things that surround us. It seems at times that most of our elected officials are dishonest and self-seeking.

A Startling Statistic

Christians are the Lord’s “salesmen.” We would do well to look into the matter of how we treat our visitors in the classroom and the assembly. Do we expect the announcer or the preacher to do all the greeting or do we personally and warmly seek out visitors?

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 Symptom of Spiritual Sickness

Jack Walsh is not the first man to take a knife to the Bible. Jehoiakim, King of Judah, was the first to do so, 600 years before Christ came…

A Time to be Hardheaded

Elders and preachers have become intimidated by members who threaten to take their dollars to another congregation if the message in classroom, pulpit, and bulletin is not sweet enough to suit them.…As in Ezekiel’s day, the more hardheaded the listeners, the more hardheaded God’s preachers must be.…

While more and more denominational preachers are discovering the New Testament church and fleeing denominational fetters to enter it, several of “our own” preachers are wanting to move the church ever nearer to denominationalism.

A Vain and Useless Hope

Millions of people who profess faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son are entertaining a vain and useless hope concerning His Kingdom.

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.…

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Elders’ meetings, business meetings, committee appointments, and their meetings are all necessary. But we make a fatal mistake if we think they are all that is necessary for the church to be what God intended it to be.

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….

Have you ever been in a foreign country? If you have, you know that to the natives of that country, you were a foreigner, an alien, because your citizenship was in another nation. Foreigners are distinguished easily by such things as the clothing they wear, their personal habits and their manner of speech.…

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, 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 Incontestable Bible Roots

To fill the vacuum left by removal of the Bible, the Ten Commandments, and prayer in our schools, we have sex education, evolution, metal detectors, illicit drugs, and violence. Is it any wonder our nation is in such an awful mess?…

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.…

Ancient Seeds Sprout

Why is the church changing before our very eyes and becoming unrecognizable in some cases? The answer is tied up in the “seed.”

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…

Antioch, the Evangelistic Church

The first great Gentile church was in Antioch of Syria, whose beginnings are described in Acts 11:19–30.…Antioch served as the springboard for evangelizing much of the first century world.…

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.…

Are They Really So Nice?

It is common knowledge that a serious new thrust is being made to create unity between the churches of Christ and the Independent Christian Church. It has been distinctly implied by some of our unity-happy brethren that the only ones among us who object to their plans are a group they style as “cantankerous,” “ignorant” brethren…

Are You Predictable

Have you ever known someone who was unpredictable? You never know what they will say, where they will go, what they will do. You would not dare depend on them for anything of importance.

Are You Tired?

Many people live through each day in a state of physical tiredness due to insufficient rest, over-exertion, illness, anxiety, or other factors. There is another sort of tiredness that we all experience, also.

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….

Assurances of the Triumph

Christ’s utter destruction of the last great weapon of the devil (death itself) by the resurrection of all of the dead will signal the fact that all lesser evil, harmful, and corrupting principles (and their instigator) have now likewise been utterly defeated.

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.…

Back to the Bible

Modern man is plagued with doubt, loneliness, immorality, and fear. It is little wonder that he is thus burdened, for on life’s stormy voyage he has thrown chart and compass overboard. In ignoring the Bible, he has lost touch with absolute standards, placing himself at the mercy of every destructive wind that blows.

“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.…

Baptism—What does it mean?

Few religious subjects have been more thoroughly discussed, debated, and preached and written about over the past 17 or so centuries than baptism. While it is interesting (and sometimes profitable) to read or hear what uninspired men say on this and other subjects, all that really matters to those serious about their souls is what the Bible says about it. 

Barnabas, a Good Man

The adjective good is applied to men very sparingly in the New Testament. In fact, it is used only in reference to Joseph of Arimathea and Barnabas and by the same writer in both cases

Be Faithful

Christ does not require us to be rich, good- looking, multi-talented, socially prominent, or formally educated. There is one thing He requires of every one of His servant—Faithfulness.

“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:…

Beautiful Flowers

Man can make flowers that not only look like real ones, but that also smell and even feel like real ones. But, you know, there is still a test that will forever separate the real flowers from the ones men make.

Before You Quit 

Quitters never win and winners never quit. Show me a man or woman who is a real achiever, and I will show you someone who has refused to quit when the hurdles were high, and the head winds were strong.…

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 Faith—No. 3

The Gospel is often called “the faith” in an objective sense. When so used, the faith refers to that whole body of doctrine in which men must invest their faith.

Biblical Faith—No. 4

Our faith in God (and in all things Biblical) has to do with the elements of belief, trust, confidence, assurance, and conviction. Hebrews 11:1 describes the true nature and meaning of Biblical faith:…

Biblical Faith—No. 5

Sometimes it helps us to determine what a thing is by learning what it is not. This is so concerning the faith that each person must have in order to be saved (Mark 16:15–16). Like many other Biblical words, faith has been variously misdefined.

Biblical Ignorance: Consequences

When a woeful ignorance characterizes the church, as I believe is now the case, dire consequences effect the whole body.

Biblical Ignorance: Cures

How can we overcome the great famine of Bible knowledge that is so prevalent among the saints? The few things suggested in this article may seem like treating surgery with a band aid, but perhaps they are worthy of consideration.…

Biblical Principles for Making 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…

Blessings in Christ

To be “in Christ” indicates fellowship and oneness with Him; it is to dwell in His Gospel and grace. This relationship brings certain privileges and blessings that are worthy of our study and quest.

Blessings That Are Burdens

Don’t fly off the handle when you’re full of prunes. Not bad advice, both for crows and humans.

Body–Building Exercises

Paul frequently speaks of the church as “the body” in his epistles. His constant concern is that it be healthy, growing, vital.  In his Ephesian letter (4:11–16), Paul describes the “exercises” required for spiritual body building. 

Bold as a Lion

Solomon wrote, “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Pr. 28:1). The lion is called “king of beasts” because he fears nothing. One of the qualities that was responsible for the spread of the gospel so dramatically in the beginning was the boldness of the saints.

“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?…

Can People See the Bible Alike?

It is obvious to the most casual observer that people do not understand the Bible alike. Besides the two major divisions of Christendom (Catholicism and Protestantism), which claim to follow the Bible, these are subdivided into countless other groups.

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).…

Casual Marriage, Casual Divorce

Divorce has become a casual, almost regular and normal occurrence. The only way that divorce could have become so casual is that somewhere along the line, marriage has come to be viewed as a casual relationship

Chapter 3, Verse 16

Survey with me some of the important doctrines taught at “3:16” of various New Testament books.

Cheering for Both Teams

If an intellectually challenged person cheers with equal zeal for both teams on the football field, it is understandable—perhaps the unfortunate fellow knows no better. If a fan with even average intelligence cheers loudly for both teams, it is irrational behavior and is not considered normal.

Children’s Games

Remember all those games you used to play as a child?…An interesting thing about these old games —it seems like some kids have never grown out of them. In fact, they appear to be very popular among some church members.

Christ and Christmas

I received a letter from an out-of-state recipient of the Granbury Gospel. Enclosed was a copy of our paper in which I had referred to Christmas by using the abbreviated form, “Xmas.” The correspondent inquired, “What happened to Christ?”…

Christ Is the Fruit of My Life

The “fruit of the Spirit” is produced by allowing the Holy Spirit to control one’s life through His Word …When these characteristics are seen in us then Christ lives in us…

Christian Billboards

The function of a billboard is to advertise a product or a service. The Christian advertises both. The product is the Gospel and the beautiful life It produces. The service is the helpfulness he extends to his fellowmen and the careful obedience he expresses toward God.…

Christian Certainties — No. 1

We live in an age gripped by agnosticism. Agnosticism is the namby-pamby wishy-washy, spineless approach to the vital issues of life. In the realm of faith, it dictates a “wait and see” attitude; maybe there is a God, but maybe there isn’t.…

Christian Certainties — No. 2

In an age of doubt, cynicism, and agnosticism, the human heart cries out for something solid, certain, and sure. We live in such an age, and it is appropriate for us to consider some of those things of which we can be sure.…

Christian Certainties — No. 3

Because of the philosophies that deny absolutes and advocate relativism and nebulosity for all oral and spiritual issues, it is more necessary than ever that we understand that there are some things of which we can be certain.

Christian Certainties — No. 4

Despite the negative, skeptical philosophies that seem to control the minds of most of mankind, there are yet some matters that are certain and sure. Puny man will never overthrow the true and living God of Heaven, although he may deny the existence of the Supreme Being.…

Christian Certainties — No. 5

In a world that is constantly being bombarded with doubt and despair, there is a desperate need for some things that are solid and certain. More than anyone else in the world, the Christian can lay claim to numerous privileges and truths that fill this very need.…

Christian Certainties — No. 6

Life has many uncertainties. A person who seems strong and healthy one day may drop dead the next. Someone on whom we were depending may disappoint us; a trusted friend may betray us.…

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….

Christianity Evolved?

In a Bible class I attended several months ago, we were discussing some of the events that occurred in the period between the Testaments. This period of about four centuries is not recorded by the inspired writers, but the uninspired record makes for some informative and interesting reading for the Bible student.…

Christianity, a “First Hand” Religion

Sometimes a second-hand car gives good service; a second-hand religion never does. The religion of Christ must always be first-hand.…

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

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 Discipline—The Real Reason Why it is not Practiced

While cases involving the exercise of discipline in the church may vary greatly and may depend on many factors, I believe our failure to practice appropriate discipline may almost invariably be traced to a lack of love for the souls in need of the discipline.

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.”…

Churches with No Elders

The question is sometimes asked, “Can a church Scripturally exist if it has no elders/bishops?” This very practical question deserves a Scriptural answer.

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”—No. 1

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)….

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 2

When the “Babylon” of the first century was about to be destroyed, God’s faithful people were strongly warned: “Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 3

One of the stated purposes of this warning (which should be sufficient to motivate one to depart from such corruption) is to prevent any further fellowship with error and evil.

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 4

What are faithful saints who are in a congregation whose elders and preacher are not at all concerned with abiding in the “old paths” to do? The Lord’s answer is clear: “Come forth, my people, out of her,…”

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 5

This surely applies to one who wants to serve God faithfully, but who is in a congregation that has drifted into liberalism and apostasy.…

The clear warning of the Lord to His people in figurative “Babylon” of the first century applies to the Lord’s people in any age who are part of corrupt or apostate institutions…

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 7

In spite of the numerous compelling reasons why Truth-loving brethren should have nothing to do with an apostate religious body (even if it falsely still sports a Church of Christ sign on its property), a large number of them continue to do so. They offer various excuses for their behavior:…

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 8

Good people who are in bad churches need to hear the Lord’s warning in Revelation 18:4:…Faithful brethren who continue in liberal, apostate churches offer various excuses for doing so.

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 9

When brethren who are faithful at heart find themselves in a congregation that is no longer faithful, they often have great difficulty leaving.…

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 10

Some good brethren have become aware that their congregation, though once strong for the Truth, now practices the errors it once opposed and vice versa.…

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 11

Saints who want to be loyal to the Truth often find themselves in a congregation nowadays that no longer is.…

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 12

When Christians who love the Truth find themselves in a congregation in which the authority of God’s Truth is mocked by liberalism and apostasy, they sometimes find it hard to break free.

“Come Forth, My People”—No. 13

“This church has many problems in doctrine and practice, but so did the Corinthian church and Paul still called it a ‘church of God.’” Liberals have so often made this justification of apostate congregations that even some otherwise sound brethren now parrot it to justify remaining in a corrupt church.…


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….

Consequences of Premillennialism

The Premillennial view of the Bible holds that Christ will return to the earth, establish a literal kingdom in Jerusalem, and reign 1,000 years (a millennium) on David’s throne. “So what?”

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.…

Corinth, the Carnal Church

In the 1st century, Corinth was a cosmopolitan city of Greeks, Romans, and Jews, numbering about 500,000—a large percentage of which were slaves.Immorality invaded every sphere of life, including religion, as the temple of Aphrodite maintained over 1,000 prostitutes. Corinth was synonymous with corrupt even in that wicked era.…


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?…

“Dare to Go Bare”

The title above is taken from a recent advertisement in a national women’s magazine, according to an AP news story. It is part of a campaign by the American Sunbathing Association to attract the general public to the world of nudism.

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.…

Dedicated Parents

There are admittedly many factors, involving both inheritance and environment, that may affect the overall development of children. Surely, it will not be denied that there is no single factor more directly bearing on a child’s general development than his parents…


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 Jesus Have Long Hair?

It is a common misconception that Jesus wore shoulder-length hair. Many have used this myth to justify long hair on males today. What does history reveal about this matter?…

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:…

Digression and Division

A century ago, those who were determined to have what pleased them in religion (primarily musical instruments in worship and the missionary society) were willing to sacrifice respect for both the statement and the silence of Scripture to have their idols.…

Disinherited Children

Joan Crawford, the famous movie star of several decades back, left some of her children out of her will.…Can—and will—God ever disinherit His children?…

Do Elders Have Authority?

There is a strong element in the church which denies that elders have any authority in a local congregation, except that which inheres in their example (which equals no authority at all).

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 We Realize What We Have?

One of the greatest advantages that a person can be given in life is to be trained from birth as a child of God.

Do You Desire to Have a Home in Heaven?

If you have this desire, stop long enough to consider this: Will the religion you practice lead you to this reward promised to the Christian? I am sure you are firmly convinced that it will, however,…

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…”

Do You Really Love God?

Jesus said that the first and great commandment to men is to love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. If all righteous human conduct is compressed into this simple statement, it becomes essential that we comprehend what it really means to love God.…

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).

Dumbing Down the Message

Ought we not to so speak and write that, to the best of our knowledge and abilities, we “adorn the doctrine of God” (Tit. 2:10), rather than detracting from it by ridiculous and silly expressions?

Early Postmodernism

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

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 and the Unruly

There are three key passages of Scripture that place the responsibility of local church discipline upon the elders…To summarize, it is the duty of elders to watch for false teachers, to try to convict them of their errors, but if this is not possible, to silence them and prevent further conversions to their errors.…

Elders Are Not “Lords Over” the Local Church

Every context in the New Testament having to do with the responsibilities of elders of the church speaks of the authority of the eldership. This is plain enough in the English translations, but it becomes even more convincing when one studies the Greek terms involved….

“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.…

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…

Emphasis on Money

Sometimes the complaint is registered that “the church emphasizes money too much.” A preacher friend once told me of hearing this complaint from a family where he preached. The circumstances behind the complaint were …

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.).

Equal Responsibility

It is strange how many experts there are on preaching and teaching who have never done any of either one. As some would have it, it was all Paul’s fault (a dry, dull, lengthy sermon, no doubt) that a fine teenager like Eutychus went to sleep in the assembly…

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.”

“Evangelize! Evangelize!”

The English word evangelize does not appear in the common versions of the New Testament. Yet, it is an imminently Scriptural word.…

Excuse Hunting

It’s often been said that when a person does not want to do something, one excuse is as good as another. This is also true about things we want to do.

Faith and Works

Are men saved by faith or works? Roman Catholicism offers salvation based on works of merit. In 1517, Martin Luther rebelled against Catholicism specifically over the sale of indulgences (i.e., permits) to sin, but more generally, over the broader “salvation by meritorious works” approach of the Catholic church. His opposition to that unscriptural system caused him to swing to the opposite extreme and father the doctrine of “salvation by faith only.”

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….


Our English word “faithful” occurs 51 times in the ASV New Testament. Kindred ideas include constancy, steadiness, reliability, trustworthiness, loyalty and dependability. Since God is faithful, we are assured that He will keep His Word….

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:…

Follow the Pattern

Most of those who profess any degree of allegiance to Jesus believe each person has an almost unlimited freedom to choose his own doctrines and practices. Almost all labor under the devilish heresy that “it makes no difference what you believe (after you initially believe, of course) as long as you are sincere.”

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).….

For Faithful Christians

Too much of our writing, preaching, and visiting is directed to the weak and unfaithful.  We want to reverse that order. This brief article is not addressed to you who must be begged, petted, and pampered before you will attend Bible class and worship assemblies of the church, and still are absent as often as you are present.

For Parents of Teenagers

A few years ago, I wrote some lines on this subject prefaced by a confession of feeling inadequate since I had no children who were teenagers at that time. I also noted that I would likely feel even more inadequate when I had some teenagers….

“For the Truth’s Sake”

The title of this article appears in 2 John 2. John addressed this brief letter to one whom he and others loved “for the truth’s sake.”

“Forget the Church—Follow Jesus

Thus screamed the cover of Newsweek magazine (April 9, 2012). The cover pointed to an article inside (by Andrew Sullivan) titled: “The Forgotten Jesus.”

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 Fruits of Love

When Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them,” He was talking about true and false prophets (Mat. 7:15–20). The principle is one that we commonly apply to our varied experiences. I want to apply it to the quality called “love.”…

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)…

“Fringe Area” Christianity

In spite of the numerous TV transmitters that dot the map of our nation, there are still some remote spots that can only barely receive a picture. These are called “fringe areas”. The picture they receive is very poor and hardly worth watching.

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….

Get Involved in Worship

In recent years there has been considerable discussion among brethren about getting more people involved in worship. No one will question that anyone who pretends to be a servant of God must thus involve himself. I do, however, question what some have meant by “involvement.”

Getting Into Christ

Those who leave baptism and its Scriptural function out of the Gospel plan of salvation would do well to repent while they still have time.

Getting the Most From Your Bible

The Bible is a unique book. Of the millions of books that have been written, it alone is from God. While it is the revelation of God’s mind to men, it still has several things in common with all other books.

“…Give Him no Greeting

John wrote, “If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, . . . give him no greeting: for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works”….

God and Caesar

The will of God and the judgments of men must inevitably clash. The servants of God are to render to each (God and Caesar) the things that are appropriate (Mat. 22:21). However, at times the rendering of obedience to civil government would cause us to ignore or disobey Divine law.…

God and Good Will Triumph

The Revelation was given to John to restore hope and strengthen resolve in the beleaguered and harassed saints at the close of the first century.  The message of that grand book is that despite tribulation, suffering, prison and even death for the faith, they could still triumph over their unbelieving enemies if they would be faithful…

God Blesses the “I Canners”

Think about the great servants of God through the Bible—people who really made their lives count. Every one of them was an “I canner.”

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 do….

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 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….

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’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 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 Plan of Salvation

If there is one thing that one must learn in life, it is God’s plan of salvation.…A counterfeit plan requiring either more or less than God’s Word teaches will condemn…


Contrary to popular belief, godliness does not mean “godlikeness” or to imitate God. Rather, it means to be devout or pious, to revere, fear, or worship God, to have a Godward attitude, to do that which is well-pleasing to God (cf. Vine, Thayer).

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.


Contrary to popular belief, godliness does not mean “godlikeness” or imitating God. Rather, it means to be devout or pious, to revere, fear, or worship God, to have a Godward attitude, to do that which is well-pleasing to God

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?…

“Good Bye, God”

Some people think they can attend church once on Sunday, wave “Goodbye” to God, and not give Him another thought until next Sunday. In the intervening days they may defraud, curse, falsify, and frequent places unfrequented by Christ, but they paid their respects Sunday and can dismiss God for the week.

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….

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.…

Growing Up

While on this earth, no person will ever attain a maturity beyond which he needs no further growth. Maturity among men is, therefore, always a relative thing. The process of maturing directly applies to the Christian life.

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?…

Have We Surrendered All Modesty?

I fear that many parents of youngsters in their teen years have failed to teach them any sense of modesty. Perhaps this is so because many of us didn’t learn much about it from our parents.…

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….

Hell Is a Reality!

A few years ago, major radio station in Dallas sent a reporter into the streets with the question, “Who’s going to hell?” Ninety-eight percent of the five hundred people surveyed could not think of anyone they knew who might be bound for the lake of fire.

“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).…


I have a few questions every American would do well to consider:…

How Do You Say “I Love You”?

Surely, the case does not need to be argued that the New Testament teaches Christians to be a loving people to all men. This includes not only our fleshly kin, our friends and those we know well, and our brethren in the Lord. It includes our enemies and strangers, too…

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….

How God Wants Us to Give

There is nothing more basic to Christianity than giving. Salvation through Christ and His church is the result of God’s inestimable gift of Christ (John. 3:16). God is a most generous giver by nature, and we can’t be His faithful servants without following His glorious example as closely as possible….

How Much Do You Know About the Bible

Just for the fun of it, I want you to take a little test of your Bible knowledge. Don’t use your Bible until you finish. Ready?…

How to Enjoy Being a Christian

Have you noticed that some people really enjoy being Christians and others seem completely bored by the Lord’s business? You may have also noticed that the former group is usually ready and willing to do anything they can to further the Cause while the latter must be begged or baited to elicit even a minimal level of service.

How to Handle the Gospel

Paul told Timothy to “handle aright the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). This passage also tells us that God’s approval depends upon our handling the Gospel properly. What does this involve?…I

How to Handle Those Empty Pews

I thought I had heard of every possible solution for dealing with the problem of empty pews. A while back, Your Church magazine carried an article titled, “Coping with Scant Numbers,” by Dr. John R. Scotford, which proposes some new ones.

How to Preserve the Bible

Surely, every Christian wants to see the Bible preserved. I speak not of its cover and paper, but of its words. The best-preserved binding and paper may indicate an utter neglect of the contents.

How to Study Your Bible

People often approach Bible study in a rather strange manner. One person said he just began studying wherever his Bible happened to open. With this approach, it is no wonder that people cannot understand the Bible.

How We May Triumph

God’s Word clearly teaches that each one of us can triumph over Satan and his snares. However, even those who understand and believe this sometimes err greatly in their conception of how the victory will be accomplished.…

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.”…

Hurtful Heroes

When people adopt the wrong heroes, they make a fatal mistake. We invariably become like the God we worship, and heroes can become our gods before we realize it.

“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….

I Like Drumsticks

I always did like drumsticks. I just can’t get along without eating one every 20 or 30 minutes. In fact, I like them so well that I eat one every morning before breakfast and another while I am dressing. I depend on them so much that I can’t sleep at night if I don’t have my bedtime drumstick.

“I Shall Not Be Moved”

These are times in which many, even some who have been strong in the past, are found moving with the ever-changing doctrinal winds and currents. We will do well to consider some of the many areas concerning which each Christian should say with determination, “I shall not be moved”:

“I Thank My God…”

Sometimes I get “bogged down” in thoughts about those who are careless about the way they live. Undeniably, there are many who can’t be counted on, who can’t be motivated to get really serious about being Christians,…

I’m a Hard-shelled Fundamentalist

A recent newspaper carried a column by Dick Kleiner, a Hollywood reporter, announcing the upcoming release of a new film entitled,The Rebel Jesus….if the news story is correct, The Rebel Jesus will out-blaspheme even the super-blasphemous Jesus Christ Superstar and its companion, Godspell.

“I’m Not Very Compatible with the Church”

Several years ago I was visiting with a young man who had attended worship and Bible classes frequently where I preached….I had not seen him at worship … so I mentioned this to him…. He replied,…“I’m not very compatible with the church.”…

I’m Sick of Progress

Progress is a relative term. To a skunk progress is squirting a hunting dog in the face and escaping. But the dog would not call that “progress.” So with humans. What is progress to one is the opposite to another.

“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 Any Man Willeth…

The most important factor in genuine obedience to God is found in the following words of Jesus; “If any man willeth to do His will, He shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself” (John 7:17).

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.

Ignoring Scientific Methods

A brief article in a newspaper attracted my attention recently (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 11/24/76). Headlined “Death of Russian Scientist Told,” and datelined Moscow, it told of the death of Trofim Lysenko, November 23. The one-paragraph article states that his theories were “more sound politically than experimentally.…”

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.”


The Bible says much about influence, both that which we have on others and that which others have on us.…How careful must we be concerning influence, both our own upon others and that of others on us.…

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….

Ingredients of God’s Grace

In the New Testament, the “grace of God” refers to the unearned and unearnable favor God has extended to men. In the classical Greek literature, this grace was extended only to friends.

Instrumental Cravings

The controversy over mechanical instruments of music in Christian worship began when they were first introduced ten centuries too late to be employed with Divine approval in the church of Christ.

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 the humility they may have once had.

Invitation Etiquette

There is no time quite so crucial in our periods of worship as when the Invitation of Christ is being extended. This is a time when souls are being urged and persuaded to become obedient to Christ.


It is a lofty and Scriptural aim to have every member in each local congregation of God’s people actively serving…. In spite of such exhortations, most congregations still have only 20-30 percent of their members really “involved.”

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 Anybody Going to Hell?

Anybody who thinks we are not living in an age of super tolerance just hasn’t been keeping up. The philosophies and reasonings of men have convinced most of the world that they can believe anything they want to on any subject or believe nothing at all and they are still all right with God.

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 It Worth the Trouble?”

The question of our title is one of dismay, discouragement, frustration and perhaps other negative emotions. It is usually provoked by some unsuccessful, unrewarding, and unpleasant experience. It is the prelude to defeat and abandonment of effort.

Is Jesus Coming Soon?

For many years, every time a major political crisis between nations has arisen, especially if it involved the Biblical area of Palestine,… the cry has arisen that these events signal the return of Jesus.…

Is Religious Unity Possible?

Most men say, “No.” The New Testament says, “Yes.” God’s Word not only teaches the possibility of religious unity among those who have faith in Christ, it teaches the necessity of unity.…

Is Sincerity Alone Sufficient?

One of the Devil’s favorite deceptions has always been, “It makes no difference what you believe, as long as you are sincere.”

“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 Important?

The only way to have the New Testament church in existence in any age is to carefully reproduce what the Scriptures teach concerning it. Christ alone knows what He wants His church to be and to do and He has revealed this only in His Word.

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!…

Is Undenominational Christianity Possible

To most people, “denominationalism” and “Christianity” are the same thing. Do modern men have the courage and objectivity to accept and face what the Bible teaches about the New Testament church and denominationalism?

“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 Finished”

The end has now arrived; a final request for drink (another prophetic reference) and Jesus could no longer hold the brittle thread of life together. “It is finished,” has been variously interpreted:…

“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…”:

It’s That Time Again

The end of the school year always brings with it the school prom, reviving the question of whether dancing is appropriate behavior for a Christian. Whether the older “cheek-to-cheek” style or the modern “disco” styles are considered, the issues differ little.…

Jerusalem, the Model Church

Jerusalem is where the church began. It was no accident that the first Gospel sermon was preached there, resulting in its establishment…

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 Called Himself “The King of Kings and Lord of Lords”

In John’s vision of the victorious Christ the Lord had “… on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”…These titles are fraught with some weighty implications….

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 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”):…

Was Jesus Christ merely a “good man” or was he more than man?…The Bible provides both the claims, and the evidence to support the claims of His Deity.

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—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—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.…

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”

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?

The name of John Calvin is still nearly a household term although he has been dead over four centuries. As a religious reformer, he rode the crest of the sixteenth century reformation, a little younger, but contemporary with Luther, Zwingli, and others less notable.
Based on a misunderstanding or misapplication of certain passages , Calvin concluded that before creation, God chose (elected) certain ones to be saved and all the rest to be lost.
The second major platform of Calvinism has to do with the atonement of Christ for sin. Calvinism teaches a limited atonement, denying that Christ died for all men or for the whole world. This is absolutely required by the prior assumption of the Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional election or predestination.
The third foundation principle of Calvinistic theology relates to the nature of man.…The doctrine simply argues that the “original” sin of Adam and Eve has been inherited by every human being, causing us to be sinners from birth and incapable of doing any good things.
The fourth plank in the Calvinistic platform relates to the grace of God and the free will of man. This point flows naturally from the previous one. If man is born in sin, incapable of any good, then his free will has been taken from him to serve God if he chooses.
The final point of Calvinistic theology relates to “Perseverance of the saints.…” This doctrine, commonly termed, “One saved, always saved,” is based upon one of John Calvin’s prior erroneous assumptions.

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.…

Jonathan Livingston Seagull:A Critical Review

In the mid-1970s, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a diminutive book by Richard Bach, captivated American readers, breaking sales records in both hard back and paperback editions, and the movie version played to packed theaters.

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.…

Just what the Patient Ordered

Suppose a patient who had some sort of ailment he could not overcome with home remedies went to the doctor for help. Suppose this patient tells the doctor about his problem, the doctor does an examination, makes his diagnosis, and is ready to prescribe the treatment.

Kids, Avoid the Plague

Yesterday I wrote a note to a dear friend whose seventeen-year-old son was arrested last week. He was booked for possession and sale of marijuana. He is out on $5,000 bond. This young man was reared in a fine Christian home.

Kingdom in Matthew 13:41

Jesus said, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity.” To what does the “kingdom” here refer?

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 Grace

If God deals with men through law, does this exclude God’s grace? If God is gracious toward men, does this mean that men are not under any law to God?

“Law and Love Combining…”

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 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 Ark

The Bible story of Noah and his ark is not for little children alone. The closer I examine this event and its surroundings the more impressed I become with its basic lessons for people of all ages. The ark demonstrates that evil is intolerable to God. 

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?

Preachers have a heavy responsibility, but so do listeners. Jesus warned, “Take heed what ye hear.” Not only the blind leaders “fall into the ditch,” but the blind followers do also.…There is a great need for discriminating listeners in the pew…
Those who listen to preachers have the responsibility to listen carefully: “Beloved, believe not every spirit but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The hearer has no less responsibility than the preacher. Those who listen to a message concerning their souls must very carefully weigh it against what the Bible says. If it is not according to God’s Word, they must reject it, for receiving it will cause them to be lost.

Little Foxes

All of us will make at least a few big decisions in life.…Despite the importance of these big decisions, I am convinced that it is the little, everyday choices and decisions that are critical. They determine our daily direction and, in the final analysis, what we shall do about the big decisions.

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 Is Not…

Numerous Biblical words have been wordnapped, hijacked, redefined, and misused (e.g.,grace, faith, miracle, elect, foreordained). Love is another of these much-abused words.

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?…


Ann Landers once quoted Elbert Hubbard in her column. She was replying to a question about bad-mouthing one’s employer and his company.

“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: What Is He?

There is no higher and nobler view of man than that found in the Bible. In the Sacred Text he is presented as the special creation of a loving, all-powerful Supreme Being—God

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 From…”

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.…

May We Never Rest…

UNTIL every soul on this earth in our age has heard the pure Gospel at least once.

UNTIL we have made every effort possible to relieve the human misery we see around us every day.…

Militant Christianity

The radicals and liberals in our society have put the term militant in bad company for many of us. In their militant campaigns on college campuses and in street demonstrations, their nasty and noisy tactics, usually resulting in bloodshed, they have caused saner souls to shrink from anything that resembles their temperament.

Miracles Have Ceased

Many thousands have been caught up in the resurgence of “Pentecostalism” in the past few years. …The claim for which Pentecostals are most noted is “baptism in the Holy Spirit,…”

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….


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….

Moses, Jesus or Both?

Most of nominal Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant, attempts to combine elements of both Old and New Covenants in their doctrine and practice. Which, if either, is the correct approach?

Murmurers, Beware!

What is “murmuring”? HarpersAnalytical Greek Lexicon defines the Greek word from which “murmur” is translated as “a muttering, a low and suppressed discourse, the expression of secret and sullen discontent, complaint.”

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 Kind of ‘Summit'”

In August, 1984 a meeting styled “The Restoration Summit” was held in Joplin, MissouriIt was attended by about 50 each from the Independent Christian Church and the churches of Christ. It consisted of several brief lectures and small group discussions that tip-toed around a few of the many issues that separate the two groups.…

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.…

“Narrow” Teachings of the New Testament

Truth, whether historical, scientific, philosophical, mathematical, or religious is always narrow and exclusive.…One cannot take the Bible as the supreme and only religious authority without recognizing the narrowness and exclusiveness of its teachings.…

“Narrow” Truth

Our age is dominated by broadmindedness and super-tolerance. Things that were done in the dark corners a few decades ago are now openly done because of this “anything goes” attitude. About the only thing our liberal super-tolerant world will not tolerate is what it calls “narrow-mindedness.…”

Needless Burdens

It occurs to me that as we travel through life toward the judgment and eternity beyond, we humans often carry with us needless burdens that both weigh us down and make the journey itself unpleasant.

“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”…

New Heavens and New Earth

This inspired passage speaks of the utter disintegration of the physical universe, as do several other passages…What are the “new heavens and new earth” for which the saints look and hope?

No more practical and important material can be found in the Bible than the accounts of people being converted to Christ and His saving Truth.While  

New Testament Conversions—No. 2

The Gospel in its fullness was first preached on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. The record of this historic day and its dramatic results is found in Acts 2.

New Testament Conversions—No. 3

After Stephen was stoned to death for his bold proclamation of the Gospel, a great persecution erupted in Jerusalem, scattering disciples in all directions

New Testament Conversions—No. 4

While  Philip was in Samaria, the Lord directed him through an angel to travel to the road leading southward from Jerusalem to the deserted town of Gaza (Acts 8:26). Upon arriving there, he encountered the treasurer of the nation of Ethiopia in his chariot, returning home from worshiping in Jerusalem.…

A man named Saul is introduced to us as a co-conspirator in the murder of Stephen and a hater of Christ and Christians. His zeal was so great in persecuting the saints that he asked for authority to travel 13.5 miles north to Damascus to arrest and persecute Christians there…
Cornelius is introduced to us as a man of rank in the Roman army and resident of the city of Caesarea. He was an unusually spiritual man, described as God-fearing, devoted to God, generous with his wealth, and prayerful. Despite such admirable traits, he was not saved, not a Christian…
As far as we know, the first attempt to preach the Gospel on European soil was made by Paul and his companions in the city of Philippi.…
While in the Eastern European city of Philippi, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison (Acts 16:19–24). Instead of bemoaning their unjust treatment, they were praying and singing God’s praises, even at midnight when a great earthquake shook the prison, freeing all the prisoners…
It was the apostle Paul’s custom upon entering a city where he had previously not been to seek out the Jewish populace first and reason with them about Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.…
When Paul arrived in Ephesus, he discovered some disciples (about 12 men, Acts 19:7). He quickly realized through conversation with these men that their baptism was irregular, not according to the Gospel…
This survey covered nine distinct cases of conversion recorded in the book of Acts, in which we are given the detailed information either about what the lost were told to do to be saved, what they did to be saved, or both.

New Testament Worship

Worship is man’s expression of love, praise, and thanksgiving to God. In the very nature of the case, man does not know how to acceptably worship God apart from His revelation. To worship according to the teachings or feelings of men is worthless

How could preaching or teaching and hearing the Word of God be called “worship”? When it is remembered that worship of God is that which praises and exalts God, it is obvious.…

New Testament Worship—the Lord’s Supper

Men build great buildings, towers, or statues as memorials to their fallen heroes. We garnish the graves of our loved ones with flowers, and, more permanently, tombstones. Jesus instituted a spiritual Supper to memorialize His atoning death

A true Christian considers the giving of his money to the Lord a privilege. While it is a privilege, it is also depicted in the Bible as a responsibility.

New Testament Worship—Worshiping in Prayer

Anyone who knows anything about the New Testament understands that the church of the New Testament was often found in prayer.
The singing of “Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” was an important part of worship in the New Testament church. The joy and thanksgivings that Christians felt because they had been redeemed by Christ were expressed in appropriate songs.

“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.

“Nobody Ever Visits Me”

Occasionally some member of the church remarks, “Nobody ever visits me!” It is almost always a complaint, sometimes uttered in bitterness….

Not Everybody’s Doing It!

Does it sometimes seem that everyone drinks and cheats on his or her spouse, has no real scruples about honesty and curses like a peg-legged pirate? To non-smokers it seems that everyone else smokes. Beyond debate, many people do these things and think nothing of it….

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….

Notes on Musical Instruments in Worship

Perhaps the most often asked question about the belief and practice of churches of Christ concerns this issue. This subject relates to our acceptable worship of God.

Notes on the Pentateuch—No. 1 (The Book of Genesis)

Genesis means “beginning.” It reveals the beginning of everything except God. Unless one understands and believes the message of Genesis, his understanding of and belief in the rest of the Bible will be faulted.

The theme of the second book of the Bible and the source from which it draws its name is in Exodus 19:1: “In the third month after the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.” Exodus means “going out.”

Notes on the Pentateuch—No. 3 (The Book of Leviticus)

Leviticus is the center book of the five books of the Law of Moses, both numerically and by subject matter. Its name derives from the priestly tribe of Levi and literally means, “pertaining to the Levites.” It contains the system of laws (religious, ethical, criminal, and social) to be administered by the priests in Israel.

The Old Testament book of Numbers is named after the four important censuses of the Israelites which it records. It could also appropriately be called “The Book of Wanderings” since it traces the wanderings of Israel from Sinai to Canaan.
Deuteronomy means “second law,” not in the sense of an additional body of law besides the one revealed in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, but in the sense of a repetition of the original Law.

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…

Through books, movies, magazine articles, television programs, and other media, the public is constantly bombarded with the evolutionary theories concerning the origin of the universe and the life within it. 

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.…

Ominous Forces and Unfair Advantages

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram once reported that WFAA-TV (Channel 8, Dallas) had canceled the James Robison telecast. The reason? Robison preached on homosexuality and pointed out that the Bible calls it a sin.

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 Godspeed—No. 1

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 Bidding Godspeed—No. 2

The apostle John clearly warned about complicity with false teachers: “For he that biddeth him God speed is apartaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9). This includes offering support, in word or deed, to men, congregations, orschools that have compromised the Truth.

On Capital Punishment

The death penalty has been a topic of much debate in recent years. A few years ago, some pressure groups…were able to carry enough weight to succeed in having most (if not all) state death penalty statutes ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

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? 

On Counting Heads and Hearts

I would like to see every one of our classrooms full every Sunday morning. I wish we had to put chairs in the aisles of the auditorium every time we meet. I think everyone who is the least bit interested in the Lord’s cause shares in these desires.

On Criticism and Critics

Jesus warned that some would reproach us and say all manner of evil against us (Mat. 5:11–12). While this context warns of outright persecution, we all experience criticism of lesser degrees from time to time. How should we respond to criticism?…

On Developing Like Christ

Luke tells us more about the first thirty years of Jesus’ earthly life than the other three who wrote about His life. Even with what Luke tells us, we still know very little, however.

On Dogs and Cats

For several years, we have had dogs and cats as family pets, giving me an opportunity to observe both of these animals quite closely. Moreover, I have been observant of dogs and cats that belong to others and have generally found them to have rather well-defined traits common to their respective species.

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 Elders and Preachers

While freely admitting that preachers sometimes cause problems for good elders, it does not change the fact that many good men (and their families), and the Truth they are determined to preach, are made to suffer because of weak and carnal elders.

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 Ignoring “Issues”

There is a rather persistent cry being made by some members of the church that preachers and writers should not bother the brethren with all of the “issues.” I have heard them say, “Why do we have to hear about the problems?…

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 Seeds and Harvests

A bountiful, but bitter harvest of dishonor, immorality, profanity, drug and drink addiction, and blatant secularism have become commonplace in our beautiful USA. These behavior patterns extend from the powerless poor to the wealthiest and most powerful figures in government and business.…

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 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?…

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…..

One Thing Christ Hated

One cannot love something without hating its opposite. The Scriptures duly honor this axiom..It is not wrong to have strong feelings of hatred, depending on the object of our hate.

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….

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.

Much publicity has been given the illicit traffic in drugs that plagues America. LSD, heroin, marijuana, “uppers” and “downers” are now familiar to all where once they were known to only a few.…As grave as these problems are, in our zeal to stamp them out we usually overlook the most sinister of all drugs at the present…

Our “Objective” News Media

There is no doubt about it. The news media, for the most part, are biased and prejudiced. Neither is there any doubt about the direction of their bias. Whether it be in sociology, science, economics, morals, theology, politics, or whatever, the bias is predominantly toward liberal dogma.…

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