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Parental Abdication

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

“Past Due” Notices

I was thumbing through an office supply catalog recently when I found an entire page of collection stickers.…intended to “encourage” people who are delinquent in their bills to make their payments.…

People Are Impressed

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

Perils of the Soul

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

“Please Turn Up the Heat”

I have noticed that some people do not like to sit in the center section of pews during worship because they feel the cold air blowing directly on them. Some of the ladies who sit there have had to reach for their wraps or borrow a coat from their gentlemanly husband before the last “Amen.” Admittedly, this is somewhat of a problem.…

Practical Problems of Preachers

Preaching the gospel in a community, working with a local church, has its problems. If there are still any people so naïve as to think that preachers “have it made” since “they only have to work three hours a week and can do what they want to the rest of the time,” maybe I can help bring you along to reality.

Prayer Pointers

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

Prayer—to Whom and Through Whom

Prayer is the blessed avenue God has provided his children for talking with him. He has given us instruction, both plain and plentiful, concerning how to pray in a manner that he will be pleased to hear….

Preachers in Prison

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

“Preachers” or “Pastors”?

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

Preaching a Positive Gospel

More and more over the past few years we have heard how desperately we need to hear “positive preaching.” I would guess that there are few preachers around who haven’t heard people say this in their presence or suggest it to them. I agree.

Preaching on Church History

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

Preaching to the Brethren

I am noticing more and more that the very errors I was exposing in the denominational doctrine and practice in the 1960s and 1970s I am now having to expose in our brethren who have adopted them….

Preparing for Persecution

In America the heinous philosophies of Hedonism, Humanism, Atheism, and Liberalism (political, theological, and moral) and the climate for persecution of the opposing force of Christianity (in the broadest sense) have increased in parallels in the final quarter of the twentieth century. It seems likely that these trials and tests to our faith will only accelerate…

“Professional Preachers”

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

Public School and Bible School

It is such a widely acknowledged truism that strong churches do not exist without a strong Bible school that we need not even bother to document it. Generally, the stronger the Bible school, the stronger that church is going to be.

Purposes of First Century Miracles

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

“Put Things Right”

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

Re-Examining a Song

In 2007 I wrote a manuscript for the Bellview Lectures, Pensacola, Florida, titled, “Building up the Church Through Singing.” In it I briefly mentioned that some of the songs in the books we commonly use emphasize patriotism far more than praise to God and His Son. I cited the example of “America the Beautiful.” This song references God several times, but it praises our nation more than Him (if it does the latter at all)….

Re-Writing History

Some people do not like the facts of history, so they ignore them and write their own version. A case in point is the American Nazi Party that is constantly publishing denials that Hitler’s policies of genocide actually destroyed millions of Jews during the 1930s and 1940s.…

Rebelling Against God

As Israel approached Sinai on the way to Canaan they murmured against Moses and Aaron because of hunger (Exo. 16:1–3). It is important for us to notice that Moses correctly perceived that this murmuring actually represented rebellion against God: “Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord”….

Reject, but Don’t Deny—No.1

God has never forced anyone to obey Him. Similarly, Jesus Christ never coerced anyone to serve Him. Rather, He invitesmen to follow Him: “Come unto me…” (Mat. 11:28). Men may reject Him and His Word, but not without cost:…

Reject, but Don’t Deny—No. 2

It is a sad fact that the majority of humankind in every generation rejects God by rejecting His Word. Such was all but universal in the wicked age of Noah; all but eight persons of the ante-diluvian populace rejected God. Only two of those Hebrews who crossed the Red Sea later crossed Jordan into Canaan….

Reject, but Don’t Deny—No. 3

At only two moments of history has the majority of mankind revered the will of its Creator—in the Garden of Eden before Eve sinned (Gen. 3:6) and after the Flood cleansed the earth (7:17–23). Ever since, both sacred and profane history record the constant sad story of the rejection of God by most of mankind.

Rejecting Jesus

How do men reject Jesus? What attitudes or activities constitute such rejection? Jesus answers….

Relationship, Not Religion

Some time ago a denomination in Dallas, Texas, advertised its aim as “relationship, not religion.” When I read it, I thought, “At last, Truth… in advertising!”…

Religion by Majority

A Pew Poll of 35,000 Americans, released in June 2008, revealed some interesting statistics about religious beliefs. More than half (57%) of  “evangelicals” (strong in their belief in the Bible and in Jesus as God’s only begotten Son, right?), opined that Christianity is not the only way to Heaven…..

Religious Authority

The challenges of recent years to authority in home, school, marketplace and military were bound to have their parallels in religion….

Religious—But Lost

How can this be? Doesn’t religious equal saved? “It makes no difference what you believe as long as you’re sincere” is a very old slogan that implies as much….

Religious Controversy

What about religious controversy? Is it proper to “argue” about religious questions? Some will always be around who thrive on argumentation and disputation, always spoiling for a fight with those who disagree with them.

Religious “DINOS”

Acronyms have long been popular, especially in government and politics. Two of these in current use relate to the major political parties.… In religion, those who claim to be Jesus’ disciples, but who teach and act otherwise, may accurately be called religious “DINOS”—disciples in name only.…

Religious Pluralism

The term “pluralism,” when applied to religion, lauds diversity. Wickipedia states: “Religious pluralism holds that no single religion can claim absolute authority to teach absolute truth”…

Religious Titles

A great variety of titles and terms of address exist relative to those who occupy places of religious leadership, especially those who preach or hold ecclesiastical office…All that matters to devout Bible students, however, is what, if anything, the Bible says about them, which indeed it does, both explicitly and implicitly….

“Repent of Your Faith”

In one of the many church bulletins received at the office every week, there appeared the following words in an article on the subject of becoming a Christian. “Repent of your faith in him, be buried with him in baptism unto the forgiveness of your sins.”

“Repent” or “Perish”

Jesus twice stated, “except ye repent, ye shall…perish” (Luke 13: 3–5). His statement signals the indispensable place of repentance in the scheme of redemption. We will thus do well to understand its meaning and its relationship to other elements of the Lord’s plan of salvation.…

Resisting the Devil

Peter has a helpful statement on resisting the devil:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, . . . (1 Pet. 5:8-9)….

Respect for Scripture

If the Lord’s displeasure was clearly upon those who would break even the least com- mand of the inferior covenant (which was soon to pass away), how much more shall His wrath be upon those who disrespect the superior covenant of Calvary?…

Respect for Work

 A great paradox of our times is that millions remain unemployed while the newspapers are full of job opportunities. Another problem of employers is to find someone who knows how to work or wants to learn how. The problem among many people is that they have seldom been around anybody who knows what work is or how to work….

Respecting Authority—a Basic Principle

In every system there is a basic, nucleus principle that determines the spirit and operation of the whole. In God’s plan for man, the basic principle is respect for and obedience to appropriate authority….

“Return” Occurrences

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

Re-Writing History

Some people do not like the facts of history, so they ignore them and write their own version. A case in point is the American Nazi Party that is constantly publishing denials that Hitler’s policies of genocide actually destroyed millions of Jews during the 1930s and 1940s.

Righteousness Exalts a Nation

Our nation is in manifold difficulties that threaten to destroy the America the Founders envisioned and of which many of us have long been proud citizens. These troubles include dire economic woes at home and crisis conditions abroad. Even deeper problems relate to the loss of faith in God, in the Bible as the Word of God, and of a moral compass and core….

Roots of Forgiveness

Jesus taught the disciples to pray for God’s forgiveness as they were forgiving toward one another Mat. 6:12). Then he added that God forgives us only if we forgive others (vv. 14–15)

Ruled by Law or by Men

Only two kinds of civil government exist: The rule of law or the rule of men. When law prevails (assuming its nobility), all are treated equally because law is objective, and plays no favorites.… When men rule, they use the law only when it favors their cause or when it rewards their friends and/or punishes their enemies…

Salvation “Impossibles”

By salvation we refer to the forgiveness of sins whereby the sinner enjoys the grace of God and the hope of eternal life. Does God allow men their choice of saviors or other factors in their pursuit of salvation? The New Testament answers with a definitive “No.”….

Salvation by “Faith Only”

In spite of the plainest teachings of the New Testament, men persist in teaching the doctrine of salvation by “faith only.” History reveals that the doctrine was first given great emphasis, (if not invented) by Martin Luther in the 16th century.

Salvation, the End of Your Faith

Salvation summarizes the theme of the Bible in one word. There are many sub-themes in Scripture, but all must bow to the overarching theme of salvation.

Sanctification

Sanctify and Sanctification are New Testament words that are part of the same word family as holy, holiness, and saint. Saint is the common designation for Christians in the New Testament, appearing fifty-six times.

Satan and His Devices

Just as God is depicted from the beginning of the Bible as the source of all that is good, pure, and true, Satan is identified as a spirit-being who is the source of every malevolent principle, act, and consequence. Thus, it was Satan in the form of a serpent who sought and secured man’s first evil act and consequence….

Science, Ignorance, and Bias

…God ordered man to subdue the earth and to have dominion over fish, fowl, and land animals (Gen. 1:28). God thus authorized the experimentation and observation necessary to scientific studies. Clearly, the Bible believer has no cause to oppose genuine science….

Scriptural “Red Flags”— No. 1

The exhortation, Be not deceived, appears several times in the New Testament. Each occurrence prefaces some special danger and should serve as a “red flag” of warning. Accordingly, we will be wise to note some of these.

Scriptural “Red Flags”— No. 2

When we read, Be not deceived, in Scripture, a special “red flag” of warning is being given. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul raised one of these “red flags”:

Scriptural “Red Flags”—No. 3

In 1 Corinthians 15:33 is another be not deceived passage, sending up a “red flag” of warning: “Be not deceived: evil companionships corrupt good morals” (ASV)….

Scriptural “Red Flags”— No. 4

In Galatians 6:7 we find another “red flag” of warning: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”…

Scriptural “Red Flags”— No. 5

James 1:16 contains another “red flag,” warning us against deception: “Be not deceived, my beloved brethren (ASV).” This warning looks backward to what James had just written about temptation, sin, and death….

Scriptural Silence

Does Scriptural silence grant freedom to act in religious matters, as many allege? Does the silence of the Bible have a prohibitive force? How shall we deal with the silence of Scripture?

Scriptural Silence Sometimes Forbids

Those who divided the church over a century ago by forcing in the missionary society and the instrument had to deny the significance of Scriptural silence concerning both innovations.

Seek First the Kingdom

Jesus forever settles where God’s church, the kingdom on earth, should come in one’s list of values: “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness”…

Seeking Peace Too Soon

There are some perverted folk who enjoy strife and controversy. Some actually revel in a good fight or even in warfare. I am sure that most folk prefer peaceful relations with their family, neighbors, friends and brethren. This should surely be the aim of the Christian…

Selective Postmodernism

Postmodernism is the buzzword for today’s sophisticates who purport to have transcended the outmoded standards that have well served mankind from the beginning and Western Civilization for centuries….Postmodernism repudiates the concepts of objective standards and exclusive, propositional Truth claims….

Self Opposers

In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul urged his spiritual protégé to meekly correct “them that oppose themselves” (2:25). This statement is a striking one, and provokes the question, “Why would one be so foolish as to oppose himself?”….

Selfless Servants

When Jesus reminded the apostles of His own service to others, He used it as an example of how they should serve (Mat. 20:27). He taught them that true greatness lay not in being served, but in serving….

Separation

The Bible teaches the doctrine of “separation” throughout. God requires His people to recognize that they distinctly belong to Him and to behave accordingly. God gave Israel His Law through Moses to keep them distinct from the other nations until the promised seed should come…

Serving in Humility

The spirit of humble service is one of the great themes of the Bible. Jesus said, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Mat. 20:27). He also said, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted”

Shall We Have Deaconesses?

For several years it has been the practice of some religious groups (including the Independent Christian Church) to appoint “deaconesses.” Predictably, some of the “faddists” among us are adopting the practice. Is there Scriptural warrant for it?

Signs of Spiritual Decline 

A deadly disease attacked our beautiful native live oak trees a number of years ago called “live oak decline.…”A deadly disease that destroys Christians could well be called “spiritual decline.”…

Simple New Testament Christianity

The only thing that Jesus ever promised to build was His church …. It was of such exceeding worth to Him that He paid the ultimate price of His own blood for it …. He loved it so deeply that He “gave himself up for it”…

Sin—No Laughing Matter

Our world thinks sin is hilarious. The formerly suggestive lines and scenes in movies and TV have given way to the explicit. The dirty joke and four-letter vocabulary are sources of great fun to most people….

Sin—the Great Deceiver

The writer of Hebrews warned: “Take heed…lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (3:12–13). Deceit is the act of giving a false impression, by appearance, direct statement, or influence….

Sinful Surnames

I borrowed the idea for the following article from one Steve Gibson authored several years ago. At the time he wrote it, Steve was sound in his teaching and behavior.

  • Theistic evolution is wrong because evolution is wrong.
  • Social drinking is wrong because drinking is wrong….

Smaller Colleges Gone Rogue

Various other brethren and I have expressed grave concerns occasionally over the rampant apostasy of the large and prominent universities operated by members of the church (e.g., PU, ACU, DLU, HU, et al.). Inadvertently, in focusing on them, we have neglected to call attention to the same phenomenon occurring on the campuses of some of the small colleges in remote areas.

“Smooth and Fair Speech”

In connection with his instruction to mark and avoid those who divide the church, Paul warned that such employ “smooth and fair speech” to “beguile the hearts of the innocent”…

Some Observations on Masonry

Occasionally I am asked questions about the Masonic Lodge and whether a man can be both a faithful Christian and a faithful Mason simultaneously. It is a question worth considering, for it touches quite a few people. I freely admit that there are some noble men in Masonry and that the Lodge does some noble things and stands for some noble principles. However,…

Some Things We Should Not Fear

Fear is more often than not the cause of our failures. There is a wholesome side of fear. We must fear God and fear the evils of false doctrines and evil practices. Largely, however, it seems that we fear the wrong things.…

Some Thoughts on Funerals

I have often said that we preach our own funerals by the way we live. If I have not lived in such a way as to please God, all of the remarks a preacher may make over me will not change that….

Some Thoughts on Liberalism

It is apparent that Liberalism cannot be defined merely in terms of a list of theological positions, but that it is rather an attitude toward religion in general.…

Some Thoughts on Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Those who write, edit, and publish material for others to read have weighty responsibilities that “go with the territory.” This is especially true of those who produce religious materials…

Some “What-ifs” to Consider

What if the church where you worship met every day of the week instead of only two days a week? What if the sermon lasted four or five hours on Sunday instead of thirty or forty minutes? What if your food was taken away for an entire day the first time you forsook the assembly?…

Some “Why-Nots” of Worship

The worship of Almighty God is both an exalted privilege and an awesome responsibility. Failure to grasp this truth plunged the likes of Cain (Gen. 4), Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10), and King Saul (1 Sam. 13) into terrible calamities….

Some Wonders of Jesus’ Birth

The Biblical record of the birth of Jesus Christ notably omits the date of its occurrence and any record of a special observance of the occasion. Although twenty centuries distant, it is still a subject of great wonder for several reasons….

Sounds Like Some of Us

Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi, wrote a book titled, Who Needs God? According to reviewer, Don Feder, (a syndicated columnist) in Kushner’s view of deity and religion, “absolutely no one.” The book is typical liberal theology, which adapts god and religion to current behavior and thought patterns….

Sources of Temptations

In the drama of living the Christian life, temptation is an ever-present factor for those who serve the Lord. He suffered it (Mat. 4:1–11) and recognized the reality of it in our lives when by mentioning it in His teaching prayer (Mat. 6:13).…

“Spiritual Adultery?”

Just when I think I have “heard it all,” something else comes along to prove that I had not. This is particularly true of the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage….

Spiritual Freedom

Surely, one of the most appealing themes of the New Testament is freedom or liberty in Christ. Sadly, many have mistaken liberty for license, freedom for lack of law or restraint whatsoever.

Spiritual Leapfrog

Remember those “good old days” when we played our childhood games? One of the games every child plays is “leapfrog.” I remember it well.…Some people never outgrow this game but carry it from childhood right up into adulthood….

Spiritual Strength Is Available

Paul commanded, “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10). The fact that we are ordered to be spiritually strengthened necessarily implies that it is possible for us to attain such strength….

Spiritual “Welfare”

The last several years have seen our nation move increasingly closer to becoming a “welfare state.” Few are those who object to helping those who truly need help and are not able to help themselves.

Spirituality

“Spirituality” is the state or condition of being spiritual, that is, of attending to and being influenced by the spirit world, rather than merely by the material world.…

Stand Fast and Fight

The whole point of a soldier’s being well-armed is not for the parade ground, the reviewing stand, or mock maneuvers, but for the field of combat. The reason we are to “take up the whole armor of God” is that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand”

Stewardship—a “Life and Death” Matter

When God called the hoarding, selfish farmer a “fool” and told him he would die that very night, He asked a soul-piercing question: “And the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be?”

Still Not Convinced?

Some seem to think that those of us who continue to warn of the perils of militant atheism and humanism are merely alarmists. They reason, “Surely, it couldn’t be all that bad.”…

Strange Things

Once the Lord healed a man of palsy and the reaction of the bystanders was amazement as they said, “We have seen strange things today” (Luke 5:26). While the days of miracles are past, the days of “strange things” are still very much with us….

Strength for Sufferings

Satan will see that “. . . all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Peter wrote some words designed to produce courage in the face of persecution:

Strength for The Fight

Just as God’s people in the Old Testament had their physical armies to wage war against the enemies of God, so His New Testament people are figuratively depicted as soldiers engaged in the never-ending battle against iniquity and error.

“Strong in The Lord”

Paul commanded, “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10). The fact that we are ordered to spiritually strong necessarily implies that it is possible for us to attain such strength. The Lord does not press orders upon His people that are beyond our accomplishment….

Success in the Lord’s Work

The two elements involved in success in the Lord’s work are. 1) A singularity of purpose to grow, go forward, progress, and abound in spiritual activity; 2) The need to let our work be governed by the Lord….

Suffering for Jesus’ Sake

Faithfulness to Christ cannot be measured apart from willingness to suffer for His sake. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said: “Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake…”.

Symptoms and Causes

It is universally accepted that in the practice of medicine it is both wiser and more effective to treat the cause of a disease rather than merely the symptoms. The best doctors are those who can diagnose the cause of an illness accurately and give proper medicine or treatment for it.

Taking Things “Personally”

A preacher preached on profanity, knowing of at least one brother who would be there who was a notorious offender. After plainly denouncing the sin of an evil tongue, he hoped to see some sign of penitence in the offender.

Temptation

The aim of our arch-Adversary from the beginning has been to persuade us to abandon God’s perfect standard of behavior to walk in his unprincipled paths. Temptation describes the tool by which Satan encourages our involvement in forbidden, albeit pleasurable fulfillments of fleshly desires.

That Stuff Called “Time”

Many of our words are related to the passage of time. We have the precise measurements of seconds, minutes, hours, etc. We also use many words to approximate time lapse (“whiles”, “moments”, “bits”, “later”, “soon”, “sometime”, “jiff”, etc.)

That’s What You Get

Do you ever look at your friends and neighbors and wonder how they have nicer clothes, a bigger car, a finer house, take an expensive vacation every year and eat better than you, and yet, they make about the same salary?…

The Adequate Cause

We live in a cause-effect universe—every effect must have a cause, yea, an adequate or sufficient cause, to explain it. A wristwatch implies a watchmaker. A house implies a designer and builder. The computer on which these words are being written required great wisdom and skill to conceive, design, and build.

The Appropriateness of Warnings

When compared with his letters to the Corinthians, the Galatians, or to Timothy and Titus, Paul’s letter to the Philippians is couched in very mild terms.

The Barren Fig Tree Cursed and Withered

When Jesus cursed the fig tree on the way to Jerusalem from Bethany it appears that his principal intent was to demonstrate God’s   judgment upon fruitlessness and hypocrisy, especially as they were exemplified by official Judaism….

The Bible and Work

It is interesting to observe differences between older and younger generations of people. One of the most striking differences has to do with moral values of the respective generations.

The Bible Doctrine of Faith

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.

The Bible’s Great Claim of Inspiration

The Bible claims to be the exclusive revelation of the true and living God. The Old Testament prophets enjoin, “Hear the word of the Lord,” or like expressions, hundreds of times. Paul declared that God revealed the long-hidden “mysteries” relating to human redemption (i.e., the NewTestament) to the apostles by means of the Holy Spirit…

The Blending of Fear and Love

Is God a being of wrath to be feared or Is he a benevolent person to be loved? What is the proper response of man to Jehovah: fear or love? Or is it possible that both motives of response are appropriate?…

The Blessings of Baptism

Baptism is a frequent subject of the New Testament. When its function and purpose are understood, it is not surprising that it receives so much emphasis.

The Blessings of Unity

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psa. 133: 1). If God’s people in any community are to accomplish anything worthwhile, unity is not only good, it is  absolutely necessary!…

The Blight of Beverage Alcohol

The news media are constantly informing us of the terrible results of drunkenness. Over a recent holiday season several state officials issued frequent reminders that drunken drivers are the chief culprits in highway fatalities.…

The Book of Books

Secularism, atheism, and humanism are arrayed against the Bible as never before in our nation. They seek to stamp all Biblical influences from public life. There could hardly be a greater irony, given the general faith of the Founding Fathers and the Biblical influence present in our founding documents….

The Career Woman

“Career” connotes a type of work or a profession for which one prepares, and which one pursues. The term usually implies a job or profession outside of the home.

The Church and its Widows—1 Timothy 5:3–16

First Timothy 5:3–16 has long been problematical. Perhaps the biggest problem revolves around what seems to be an arbitrary age limit governing widows who can be “enrolled” (v. 9), and, as generally concluded, whom the church can therefore support.

The Church and the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic

As some have probably learned from visiting various church Websites, our brethren are responding in different ways to the current COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic. Some have canceled Wednesday night meetings while continuing all Sunday meetings….

Secularism is from a Latin term, meaning “relating to an age or period.” When used in a religious context, the secularist stands not only apart from, but also opposed to religion.

It is a sad experience to be in a crowd and not feel welcome. Those of us who visit congregations in other places have sometimes found ourselves wondering if they would rather not have visitors; but these experiences are surely the exception.…

If the church Jesus built (Mat. 16:18) is to exist in any age, there are certain principles to which men must be committed. As surely as men abandon any of these commitments, so surely will the New Testament church cease to exist.…
Secularism is from a Latin term, meaning “relating to an age or period.” When used in a religious context, the secularist stands not only apart from, but also opposed to religion….

Jesus promised, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18). The “rock” to which He referred was the fact, just confessed by Peter, that He is the “Christ, the Son of the living God”….

The Church of the Bible—No. 2

Jesus promised to build His church (Mat. 16:18). He also promised it would be established in the lifetime of His apostles (16:28; Mark 9:1)….

The Church of the Bible—No. 3

The church/kingdom Jesus promised to build (Mat. 16:18–19) became a reality in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost day after His resurrection and ascension (Acts 2:22–47). Although we can pinpoint the time of its historical beginning, it was in the mind of the Godhead from eternity (Eph. 3: 10–11)….

The Church of the Bible—No. 4

The Bible clearly reveals both the nature and work of the church, implying the significance of both. Unarguably, as to its nature, the church/ kingdom of Christ is a spiritual entity, as Jesus stressed in His kingdom parables….

The Church of the Bible—No. 5

The church of the Bible was/is not just whatever men want it to be. Jesus did not build His church on the basis of a community survey of what His contemporaries desired. He built it as it pleased Him….

The Church of the Bible—No. 6

The church of the Bible is not time-or earth-bound. Its destiny reaches beyond both. The church/kingdom of Jesus Christ has an eternal destiny….

The Church Should Have Failed

By all human standards the church Jesus established through His apostles should never have “gotten off the ground.” Everything seemed to be against its success and survival.

The Church Was Not an Afterthought

Many anti-Scriptural concepts of the church exist (e.g., denominationalism, that one can serve Jesus apart from His church [Jesus, yes—the church, no], that the church’s principal work is to supply the physical and/or social needs of mankind, etc.). Another egregious misconception depicts.… 

The Conflict Is Real

Many go through life not realizing that a conflict between good and evil, Truth and error, is raging about them. Some do not perceive the conflict, having become convinced that evil is not so bad, good is not all that good, and error is about as good as Truth.

The Conversion of Saul

Saul of Tarsus is a fierce persecutor of Christians when he first appears in the New Testament record (Acts 7:58–8:3). His change from cruel crusader against the church to Jesus’ ardent advocate as the apostle Paul is one of the remarkable narratives of history, with significant implications….

The Cross of Christ

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

The Curse of Apathy

Perhaps you’ve heard of the college professor who asked a rude and disinterested student what the meaning of the word “apathy” was. The student replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.” Even if unintentional, his definition was right on the mark.…

The Danger of Discouragement

Given the wickedness of the world and the mounting attempts to drive underground those who dare publicly profess faith in the Bible, it is difficult to avoid becoming discouraged. Further, when we observe the chaotic state of the church of the Lord we could easily become depressed. Of all of Satan’s weapons, his favorite may be discouragement.

The Doctrine of Divorce—Ancient and Modern

Carl Rowan, syndicated newspaper columnist, wrote an article appearing in the SanAngelo [TX] Standard-Timesedition of February 18, 1970, titled, “Divorce Increase Cause of Troubles.” In his article Rowan discussed the trend toward liberalization of divorce laws and correctly, I believe, connects the disintegration of morality and general disrespect for authority with the instability of modern family and home life.

The “Easter” Season—From God or Man?

The “Easter” season, involves much more than “Easter Sunday.” It begins with…“Mardi Gras” (French for “Fat Tuesday,” also called “Shrove Tuesday”), referring to the day before the beginning of the traditional season of “Lent,” which is called…

“The End of the World”—Again

The Mayan calendar said it would end in 2012. Mr. Harold Camping boldly predicted it would end May 21, 2011. Every few years some seem compelled to predict the time of the return of Jesus Christ, the end of the world, and the Judgment Day….

The “Failure” of Jesus

If this system of theology is true, Jesus failed at His first coming. If He did not fail, this system is false. To even imply that Almighty God was “surprised” by the rejection of His Son is to blasphemously deny His omniscience.…

The Gift of Tongues

One of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10, 30; 19:6; 14:2; et al.). What were these tongues in which some of the early saints were empowered to speak?….

The Gospel and Conflict

Even a simpleton could hardly fail to under-stand that God’s way is one that seeks peace among all men and between mankind and Himself. One of the most compelling attractions of Heaven is the promise of its atmosphere of perfect, everlasting peace….

The Gospel and Subjectivism

Religious convictions based solely upon feelings and experiences characterize our times. These traits have always been trademarks of Pentecostalism and Holiness groups, but they now affect all of the sects—and not a few brethren. Most religionists trust their eternal destiny to a mere hunch or feeling….

The “Gospel” of “Magic”

In the 1980s, “Magic” Johnson obtained great fame and wealth by his basketball exploits with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been named one of the fifty greatest basketball players of all time. In 1991, he contracted the HIV virus, which forced his immediate and premature retirement when he was at the top of his game….

The Gospel—a Message of Peace

There is no atmosphere so wonderful and attractive as one of peace, whether in the home, the church, or the nation.

The Grace of God

Gracemay be the most beautiful and significant word in the Bible, for none will be saved except by the grace of God (Eph. 2:8). This word refers to God’s bestowal of undeserved favor upon men. While the concept of God’s grace is so very important, it is also one of the most misunderstood and perverted Bible doctrines….

The Graces of Compassion and Kindness

Among the many attractive and ennobling traits of character urged upon servants of God and followers of Christ are the twin virtues of compassion and kindness. These sweet attributes are appreciated and admired even by the uncompassionate and unkind.

The Great Final Victory

Just as our individual struggles and triumphs over evil will not be accomplished by carnal forces or conflicts, neither will the overwhelming victory of Christ. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…”

The Greatest Commission

God has given some great charges to various men through the ages.  He commissioned Noah to build the ark and Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage….

The Greatest Entities

Few verses in the Bible are as well-known as John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life” (ASV). This statement so fully embodies the theme of the Bible that some have called it “the Bible in miniature.”

The Hardest Gift To Give

In our affluent economy of the past few generations many luxuries have become common place. With the steadily increasing power of television and its commercial pitch, our children have come to desire, yea demand, more and more things…

The Heart or the Head?

Heartin our title refers to feelings, (e.g., joy, sorrow, fear, anger, hate, love, et al.). Head refers to reasoned conclusions based on evidence..Only when the head triumphs over the heart will one seek, find, and obey the Gospel….

The Infallible Manual for Marriage and Family

And he answered and said, have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?…

The “Isaiah” Attitude

Seven centuries before the Christ came, God had a job that needed to be done. He asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah replied, “Here am I; send me”

The Joys of Soul-Winning

Soul-winning is the most important work in the world. It alone was the sufficient cause for the Word to become flesh and dwell among men

The Kind of Preaching We Need

Bible preaching. “Preach the word” is Paul’s command (2 Tim. 4:2). The Bible must be the content and focus of our preaching, for such alone can be called “sound [healthy, health-giving] doctrine” ….

The Land Promise

One of the pillars on which every variety of premillennialism rests involves the “land promise.” God first promised the land of Canaan to Abram and his descendants and then repeated it to Isaac and Jacob….

The Mission of Gods People

In speaking of “mission” we refer to more than activities in which we might legitimately engage. We refer to the purpose and aim of one’s activities. Upon what principal point is all of our work to be focused? What is the main function of God’s people?…

The Most Dangerous Sin

If you were asked to name the most dangerous sin, would it be murder, lying, adultery, slander, or perhaps some other? All of these are dangerous, both to the victim and the perpetrator. However….

The Myth of Relativism

Is 7 the sum of 2+2? Is “up” above us or below us? Does the law of gravity operate only in certain cultures? Is the rape of a seven-year-old child good, neither good nor evil, or evil? Can black be both black and white simultaneously? Is truth, like beauty, only in the eye of the beholder….

The Narrow Gate

A multitude of brethren (and most all of the world) would almost rather be shot than be called “narrow-minded.” However….

The Nature of God

The Bible speaks of the hand, the arm, the finger, the eye, the ear, the face, and even the “hinder parts” of God. Are we to take these literally or are these figures of speech the inspired writers employed to help us relate to the Infinite?

The Need for Vigilance

While guarding against over-suspicion, we must also guard against its opposite extreme. Many problems that beset the church may be traced to this root. If some brethren are hyper-suspicious, perhaps more are hyper-naive about everybody and everything. Some have chosen the course of a carefully premeditated ignorance….

The New Testament Church

If the church as God planned it and Christ built it is to exist in any age, there are certain principles to which men must be committed. As surely as any of these principles are abandoned, so surely will the New Testament church cease to exist….

The “No-Fault” Mentality

The past few years have seen the burgeoning of a philosophy that threatens to utterly demote mankind to the level of brute beasts. For lack of a better term, I refer to it as the “no-fault” mentality. Simply put, it seeks to absolve everyone of any personal blame or guilt for anything….

The Objective Gospel Versus Subjectivism

There has always been a strong tendency in men to base their religious convictions upon feelings and experiences. Perhaps this trend has never been stronger than at present.

The Offender and The Offended

We human beings are cruel at our worst and faulty even at our best. Since this is true,we sometimes offend our fellow man. Even two people who love each other deeply will sometimes offend each other….

The Older I Get

Growing older has its disadvantages. Someone has quipped that it’s better than the alternative, even so…Now, I don’t consider myself to be elderly yet, by a long shot. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who did.…

The Only Adequate Cause

We live in a cause-effect universe: Every effect must have a cause—yea, an adequate or sufficient cause—to explain it. A wristwatch implies a watchmaker. A house implies a designer and builder. The computer on which I am composing these words required great intelligence, skill, and power to conceive, design, and build….

The “Open-Ended” Approach

It has become popular to take an “open-ended” approach to the Truth and the church. This has been the denominational approach to Scripture increasingly in direct proportion to the influence of theological liberalism in recent years. “Open-ended” means…

The Open Heart

The “heart” of man in the Bible is often used interchangeably with the “mind” of man.   The beauty and virtue of the open heart/mind are often extolled in Scripture….

The Pattern for Our Life

Luke tells us more about the first 30 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.

The Perfect Role Model

Either consciously or unconsciously, everyone has one or more role models whom he seeks to imitate. Jesus Christ alone has the right to be such because He lived a flawless life….

The Place of Sincerity in Religion

It is beyond dispute that hypocrisy is intolerable to God. Hypocrisy literally means to put on a mask and pretend to be what or who we really are not. Jesus openly condemned those who practice their religion merely to be seen andpraised by men, and He said that the praises of men would be their only reward

The Plague of Self–Pity

It is possible for one to be too hard on oneself, unnecessarily reproaching and condemning oneself. However, it is also possible to be too easy on oneself. This often takes the form of self-pity….

The Poison of Religion

Christopher Hitchens, renowned British atheist, titled his 2007 book, God Is Not Great (subtitled, How Religion Poisons Everything). Both are solid thwacks at the mazards of believers. He knows how to get our attention.

The Power of Jesus’ Blood

In 1927, blood was drawn from the veins of Asibi, a 28-year-old African. From subsequent cultures of that blood, scientists developed yellow fever vaccine. The blood of that man provided power and hope, likely preventing millions of deaths. The blood of Another—Jesus Christ—is far more powerful and hope-filled….

The Principle Of “Ought”

Among the “new wave” of stellar militant, belligerent infidels is the British Oxford scholar, Richard Dawkins. His 2006 book, The God Delusion, boldly aims at converting every believer to his atheism. Obviously, either too few have read it, or he didn’t do a very effective job. Many millions (whether odd or not-odd) still believe in God.…

The Quest for Spirituality

“The church is not spiritual.” “That man (perhaps an elder is named) is not spiritual.” “Our worship is not spiritual.” Such statements may be true, but they may also be no more than reckless opinions….

The Reality of Sin

The very appearance of Christ on earth was predicated on the reality of sin in all men, its destructive consequences and man’s helplessness to overcome it without a Savior.

The Rejected Christ

Seven centuries before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that He would be “despised and rejected of men” (Isa. 53: 3). The Gospel accounts undeniably record the fulfillment of this prophecy.

The Religion of Secular Humanism

Most Americans do not even know what “Secular Humanism” is, yet, ironically, most Americans living today (especially those under 40) have been greatly influenced by it. What is it?

The Requirements of Scriptural Baptism

One cannot be taught incorrectly about baptism and be baptized correctly! For baptism to be Scriptural and to do what the Lord designed it to do, all four of these requirements must be met.…

The Right Rod

When God specifies that which man is to do, he must do it or incur Divine displeasure. Man may not add to, omit, or substitute anything in the place of that which God specifies.

The Road to Repentance

The goodness of God refers to His favors and expressions of love. Such goodness does not overpower or miraculously “lead,” but when duly considered, will influence us to repent.

The Same Old Jews and Greeks

In 1 Corinthians 1:22 Paul describes the prevailing characteristics of the Jews and Greeks of his day: “Seeing that Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek after wisdom.”

The “Santa Claus” Syndrome

The song I was taught as a youngster said, concerning “Santa Claus,” “He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, gonna’ find out who’s naughty or nice.” Somehow, that view of the old fellow has almost disappeared completely….

The Scandal of the Church

In worship, organization, work, and other features, the faithful churches of Christ in the first century and in the twenty-first century are identical….

The “Silly Syndrome”

I once read a paragraph in a bulletin exchange describing some of the wonderful blessings of God, to which the writer concluded, “Ain’t God good?” By using such a silly and disgusting expression the writer almost ruined the good things he/she had written about God’s blessings.

The “Sloppy Syndrome”

I preached in a Gospel meeting a few years ago where I had not been before. I was told in advance by the preacher that the brethren were “laid back” in the way they dressed for worship.

The Spirit of Judas

Six days before the last Passover our Lord would keep, he was anointed with costly ointment by Mary in Bethany (John 12:1–8). The context gives the record of how Judas began a murmuring campaign against her for such a waste,…

The “Supreme Court”

Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States, names the Supreme Court as the ultimate judicial power of the United States of America. Some of its rulings have crucially affected the moral foundation and direction of our nation.

The Thousand-Year Reign

The vast majority of Protestants believe the “thousand years” of Revelation 20:1–7 refers to the tenure of Christ’s reign in an earthly kingdom upon His return. Since He will come before His alleged millennial reign, this theological system is called “premillennialism.”…

The Tragedy of One Lost Soul

One of the striking things about Jesus’ teachings is the way He gets to the heart of every issue in a few simple words. There is no better illustration than the one covered in this article…

The Truth About Beer

Beer consumption is considered by the average citizen to be an innocent pastime for every “good ole boy” and every “good ole girl” in town.  Some parents have heaved signs of relief when their kids were caught guzzling beer instead of drinking whiskey or smoking “pot”…. 

The Ultimate Perversion

A new movie was thrown on the theater screens September 23, 1988 from Universal Studios in Hollywood. Unscrupulous, money-hungry, amoral movie producers have produced some awful things in the past, but this one surpassed them all.…

The Unique Book

Unique means one of a kind, having no like or equal, incomparable. These terms accurately describe the Bible. Consider some of the characteristics that make it unique:….

The Uniqueness of Jesus’ Birth

The Bible is the only source of information on the birth of Jesus, and it has two notable omissions:

 1) When it occurred—it could have easily been specified, but it was not

2) Any religious observance of the occasion in all the first century

“The Way Of Cain”

In his brief New Testament letter, Jude wrote of “the way of Cain” (v. 11). Genesis 4 tells us that Cain was the first human being to be born, the eldest son of Adam and Eve. He was a farmer by occupation, and he was religious….

The Weak Weapons of Men

In the contest with evil we must remember that, while we oppose men who serve Satan, our real foe is Satan: “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, …but against the spiritual hosts of wickedness …”

The Well-Adjusted Person

The enjoyment of peace of mind or good mental health is one of the most desirable blessings for any human being. The Christian ought to have more of this enviable element than any other person,…

The Wickedness of Pride

“The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride and arrogancy…do I hate” (Pro. 8:13). The Bible deals with few sins more explicitly than with pride. Scripture is piled upon Scripture to show God’s abhorrence of it.

The Wonder of His Birth —A Poem

We know not on what day it was,

     The Savior-babe was born; 

We only know that this event 

     With wonder is adorned….

The Word Christian

Love, faith, grace, pastor, and baptism are Biblical words that are habitually (and grossly) abused and misused. Another such word is Christian….

The Words of Jesus

Jesus Christ was remarkable for His “mighty works and wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22). Those who heard Him were also “astonished at his teaching” (Mat. 7:28b). He was fully conscious of the significance of His words, as indicated by His repeated reference to “the words I have spoken.” Consider now His words….

The Work of The Church

The Lord’s church is the spiritual body of Christ (Eph. 1:22–23). It cannot be seriously argued that the work of the spiritual body of Christ should or can be different from the work Jesus came to do (and did) in His physical body. Most would not argue such verbally, but many strongly argue it practically.

“They Made Light of It”

In a parable, Jesus depicted a king who made a feast for his son. When the servants went out with the invitation, the ones invited “made light of it” (Mat. 22:1–5). The point of the parable is to predict the way most men will respond to God’s invitation to honor His Son and to reveal the dire outcome of their rejection….

“They…Believe a Lie”

For generations, millions of otherwise rational beings, claiming to be disciples of Jesus, have mouthed the slogan: “It makes no difference what you believe, as long as you are sincere in following that belief.”…

Things That Keep Me Going

No person ever lived that never became discouraged, including such spiritual giants as our Lord and the apostle Paul (Mat. 23:37; Acts 28:15; 1 Cor. 2:3; et al.). When perverse men and women hate you and try to destroy you and the good work you are doing, what keeps you from just giving up? When trials are many and sore, how do the faithful keep on being faithful in spite of them?

Things Which Make for Peace

In Romans 14:19, Paul exhorts:  “So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.” Every local church needs      these words today, as the church at Rome needed them originally….

“…This Conscience Thing”

In 2015, Pro-life, anti-abortion members of Congress  proposed the “Protect Life Act” in an effort “…to prohibit the provision of federal education funding to state or local educational agencies that make health services available to students through school-based health centers unless those centers certify that they will not provide students with abortions…Nancy Pelosi, described such prohibition as “savage” (an amazing irony!).…

Those “Arrogant” Apostles

To the Corinthians Paul wrote: “If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord”….

Thoughts on Attendance

There is more to being faithful to God than “church attendance.” However, does faithfulness require it (to please God, to grow spiritually, to be saved)? I am not asking if merely the preacher and/or elders and other members care, but does God care?….

Thoughts on Easter

The first celebration of Easter, according to Williston Walker in A History of the Christian Church, was in A.D. 154 or 155 in the city of Rome. This perhaps comes as a surprise to many who believe that Easter in its entirety is but a continuation of the Jewish Passover. Perhaps it is also a surprise to the great majority of the religious world that has been led to believe that its origin is in the Bible.

Thoughts on the Gospel

Gospel occurs 97 times in the New Testament. The Gospel (and the salvation it provides, Rom. 1:16) is the New Testament’s theme. What does it tell us about the Gospel?

Thoughts on the “Rapture”

To those enthralled by dispensational premillennialism (perhaps 98% of Protestantism), the Rapture is the next pivotal event on God’s prophetic calendar. Is the Rapture Biblical fact or theological fiction?

Thoughts on Truth

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth” (John 18:38)? Many today echo his question. Many have been persuaded to believe there are no absolutes, but that all principles and values are on a sliding scale.

Three Ds of Fruitful Service

Often a matter that seems overwhelmingly complex can be seen in a truer perspective when its basic elements are revealed. I believe this is true of bearing fruit in the Lord’s vineyard.

Time Will Tell

The passing of time has a great way of putting things in true perspective. A president may be hated and cursed by his contemporaries, but his administration may be given a saner and truer evaluation in time.

To Eat or Not to Eat 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” (or agapais in the Greek language).…

Too Many “Onlys”

The billboard beside the church building contained six words, setting forth the congregation’s basic creed….Apparently, these words were also intended to convey the means by which men might come to God for salvation through His Son….

Too Social, Too Frivolous

In a recent Ann Landers column, she printed a letter in which someone complained about how “social” and “frivolous” worship meetings had become in the Protestant church of which he is a member….

“Topsy-Turvy”

We may generally characterize the tumultuous, topsy-turvy times of the present as the elevation of fiction over facts, the abnormal over the normal, willful amnesia over history, fantasy over reality, subjectivity over objectivity, romanticism over reason—and man over God..

Trials of Our Time

Hebrews 11 is a record of triumph over trials through ages past in the lives of men and women who lived by their faith.…

Truth under Assault

Pontius Pilate asked our Lord, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Perhaps we will never know whether Pilate was sincere or sarcastic. However, there is no excuse for anyone who has read the New Testament to have any doubt whatsoever that Jesus recognized the existence of absolute, objective, immutable spiritual Truth.…

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