A SACK FULL OF “GOLD NUGGETS” FROM MY READING
From time to time I post on my Facebook page some “gold nugget” that I have run across in my reading. This week for my “News & Views” I am sharing several “nuggets.”
“The story (of Christ and salvation, hf) was plain and easy to tell. There was nothing to do but open my Bible and let it tell to a perishing world the way of salvation. It was not necessary to warp or twist a single sentence” (Samuel Rogers [1789-1877], pioneer gospel preacher, Biographical Sketches of Gospel Preachers, H. Leo Boles, Gospel Advocate Company , pp. 52-53).
“Prayer is misunderstood by many of us who call upon God. We think of prayer simply as a fire escape. Prayer to us is something to be used only in an emergency. Prayer is to be used by us only when sickness and sorrow come into our lives. We should understand that God did not give us the privilege of prayer to be used only in time of trouble. It is not simply a ‘fox-hole’ comfort” (G. K. Wallace, Autobiography and Retirement Sermons, Sermon on “Prayer,” p. 165).
“It did not take long for me to discover (at the university in which he was then teaching, hf) a type of ‘underground movement’ that embraced a denominational view of grace and a pluralistic view of the church of Christ and denominationalism” (The Life of Tom Holland: The Sadness and the Gladness, The Trials and the Triumphs, Thomas H. Holland, Ph.D., Ramah Books, Brentwood, TN , p. 190).
“At school (again, the university in which he was teaching, hf) I was identified by the ‘underground’ as a legalist. When a student told me that he had heard that I was a legalist, I asked him to tell me what made me a legalist? He was having trouble explaining who a legalist was, so I replied, ‘May I tell you?’ He seemed anxious for me to tell him. I said, ‘A legalist is a person who keeps law for law’s sake. I don’t believe in that, but if by legalist you mean that I believe that we must obey God, then I am guilty” (Ibid., p. 192-193).
“Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 1:13). Note: In order for Timothy to hold the pattern of sound words there must have been a pattern.
“We can in fact know, understand, and perceive the truth of Scripture. Having come to know, understand, and perceive it, we can be confident that we have done so. The key is to abide in his word by keeping his commandments and speaking nothing but the entirety of the word of God. / Preachers, we especially must do this. In recent years I’ve observed a hesitancy among some of us to state some biblical precepts with confidence. I’ve increasingly heard, ‘We’ve all been wrong before,’ and ‘No one has everything figured out.’ The charges of arrogance and dogmatism are easily and increasingly made against those who speak biblical truths authoritatively. Less attention is given to Scripture and more is given to theologians both within and outside of the Lord’s church. Doctrinal differences are increasing[ly] downplayed as ‘matters of opinion’ and ‘not salvation issues,’ even though we are commanded to ‘speak the truth in love’ and unrepentant failure to do so would result in spiritual death (Eph. 4:15; Rom. 6:23). Speaking ‘with all authority’ (Tit. 2:14) seems to be decreasing, while uncertainty seems to increase” (Jon Mitchell, Editor, Carolina Messenger, October 2019, p. 12).
“How To Lose Our Young People (In Three Words) / ’Cater to them.’ / Instead of teaching our children God’s plan for marriage, the home, the church, worship, etc., cater to the least knowledgeable members of a congregation—regardless of their age. Why should an old, dusty book matter as long as people are finding what they think they want out of life? Let’s teach that ‘the here and now’ is really all that matters. Whatever comes after that (if anything) will take care of itself” (Jim Faughn, via The East Main Messenger, Bulletin of the East Main Church of Christ, Murfreesboro, TN, November 17, 2019).
I hope that someday I may see
The mansion Christ has prepared for me.
It’s a city that’s foursquare;
Through gates of pearl one enters there.
The city walls are precious stone;
Their beauty has not yet been known.
I hope a robe of white to wear,
And sing with saints God’s praises there.
I want to walk the street of gold,
And the rainbow ’round the throne behold.
The tree of life I hope to view,
And taste some fruit that on it grew.
These hopes are built on faith and love
From words that come from God above.
Another scene I hope to view
Is to see you there in a mansion too.
Note: Grace Lowrey and her late husband, James Hulan Lowrey, were faithful members of the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Mobile, Alabama where I preached from 1972 to 1976. Grace and Hulan (those of us who knew him well called him “Shorty” in deference to his well above 6’ height) were humble, dedicated, hard-working Christians who devoted many volunteer hours to working in and around the church building. Grace spent many hours in the teachers’ resource room and to maintaining nice, attractive bulletin boards throughout the building. Hulan spent many hours keeping the grounds looking nice and things repaired. They were generous in their support of the local church, of mission work, and of benevolence work. Hulan has been gone for many years. I wrote a “News & Views” about him several years ago. Grace was and is a multi-talented lady who has written many poems over the years. She is now 99 years old and living with a nephew and his wife in Fayette, Alabama. Other than being somewhat hard of hearing, her health remains good. The above poem is taken from the bulletin of the Regency Church of Christ (formerly Pleasant Valley) of August 11, 2019.
“Eternity is a long time to think about what you should have done” (message on a church sign)
Hugh Fulford, November 19, 2019