Hugh’s News & Views (A Falling Starr)

CAN WE CATCH A FALLING STARR?

(Note: The title of this week’s edition of “Hugh’s News & Views” is taken from an article by the same name that appeared in the June 2016 issue of The Gospel Gleaner. The article was written by John T. (Johnny) Polk II whom I have known since he was in his mid-teens at the Allen and Edgewood Church of Christ in Jackson, TN where I served as minister in the early 1960s. With permission from Andy Erwin, editor of The Gospel Gleaner, I am using the title of the article and some information from it for my article that follows. Read it and weep, but also read it and be informed.)

Recent weeks have witnessed a political correctness brouhaha over transgenderism involving the use of either male or female restrooms. But, another problem we are increasingly facing in our pluralistic society is what I call transreligionism, the practice of leaving the Lord’s church for a denomination, then often hopping from one denomination to another, depending on where one lives at the time, by whom one may be employed, or how well one’s (or one’s family’s) “felt needs” may be met. Continue reading

#apostasy, #denominationalism, #hughfulford

Apostasy Acrostic

Use it however you wish, as long as it’s used to teach the truth (2 Timothy 4:2).

I reworked this outline from an original by another author in an acrostic outline book and from a sermon that I preached last week. I think this version works much better.

    demAs (2 Timothy 4:10)

            Possible (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

         wOlves (Acts 20:28-31)

            Simon (Acts 8:18-23)

    burnT branches (John 15:1-6)

          liArs (Revelation 21:8, Acts 5:1-3)

 seriouS warning (1 Corinthians 10:11-12)

         mY self? (2 Corinthians 13:5)

#acrostic-lesson, #apostasy, #sermon-outline

Can the leopard change its spots by the vote of man?

The complete mockery of God that comes from creeds and councils has reared its ugly head according to an article on AOL which begins by saying:

“[the] top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted by large margins to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”

I guess the “top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)” has apparently decided to get into the work of the saddest sorts of comedy. Whether or not it is unbeknownst to them, this “legislative body” has just proven that they’re every bit as spiritually depraved as those who practice the newly sanctioned (not to be confused with sanctified) abomination of homosexuality within their church.

When it comes to what is “Christian” it is Christ who determines what is and what isn’t Christ-like. And the Christ of Christianity has spoken on the matter of marriage and who may and may not enter the God-ordained union (Matthew 19:1-9). The situation has not been left open for mankind to decide, for God has never taken a vote from humanity to determine what is and what is not moral, especially for his people, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to read Jesus’ “epistles” to Pergamos and Thyatira amongst the other churches of Asia addressed in the letter better known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ. A council can change whatever words they like in a creed or some supposed constitution, but not a single word has been changed in the word of God concerning the issue.

Can depravity become moral with a majority vote? No more than a majority vote can change what is moral into depravity! And as Isaiah’s letter so plainly says, woe to those who think to the contrary (Isaiah 5:20).

And by the way, in case you may be wondering why the vast majority of people who make up the churches of Christ are so adamantly against councils and creeds, listen to this quote from the article; particularly to the description of the “constitution” under consideration. While speaking about the coming change to the “church constitution”, Bill Norton, of the Presbytery de Cristo, said:

We are laying hands on something that is holy, that God has given us, so we need to be sure any changes we make are in accord with God’s will revealed in Scripture,

If the will of God has been revealed in scripture then why is any other book, page or paragraph needed? And if it comes from God it cannot be changed by the will of man (John 10:34-36).

What will you say when He punishes you? For you have taught them to be chieftains, to be head over you. Will not pangs seize you, like a woman in labor? And if you say in your heart, “Why have these things come upon me?” For the greatness of your iniquity your skirts have been uncovered, your heels made bare. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil. “Therefore I will scatter them like stubble that passes away by the wind of the wilderness. This is your lot, the portion of your measures from Me,” says the Lord, “Because you have forgotten Me and trusted in falsehood. Therefore I will uncover your skirts over your face, that your shame may appear. I have seen your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your harlotry, your abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! Will you still not be made clean?”” (Jeremiah 13:21-27)

Related Article:

#apostasy, #councils, #creeds, #homosexual-marriage, #morality, #presbyterian-church

Basic Outline for “Lessons from Demas”

Here’s my basic outline from my sermon yesterday morning:

Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.” (Philemon vs. 23-24)

Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.” (Colossians 4:14)

Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.” (2 Timothy 4:9-10)

Lesson #1 from Demas – Don’t ever think you can’t be a Demas (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Lesson #2 from Demas – Don’t let down your spiritual guard (Hebrews 2:1)

Lesson #3 from Demas – If all we’re looking for out of life is “Thessalonica” then “Thessalonica” is all we’re going to get (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Lesson #4 from Demas – When someone leaves, don’t stick your head in the sand (Galatians 6:1-2)

If you find it useful, use it to God’s glory!

#apostasy, #demas, #faith, #faithfulness, #faithlessness, #learning-from-the-mistakes-of-others, #sermon-outline

Is A Christian’s Salvation Ever On The Table?

For those who still care about little things like sound doctrine, the topic of apostasy, once-saved-always-saved and falling from God’s grace is still a vital subject to consider from time to time…we are talking about Heaven, Hell and eternity after all!

There are two opposite extremes when it comes to the issue, both of which have done great spiritual harm to many souls.

The first extreme is that a Christian can never so sin that it leads to he or she losing the reward of their salvation – hence the term “once-saved-always-saved.” This doctrine has managed to convince untold numbers of people that the numerous admonitions of God’s word concerning repentance, sin setting up shop in a believer’s heart and the importance of learning from the major errors of God’s people in the past are actually only hollow warnings for God’s “true” child will never fall into these traps. Unfortunately the very mentality that says there are no traps has become a trap (Jeremiah 16:10).

The second extreme is that a Christian must walk on eggshells and live in constant anxiety concerning one’s judgment and the punishment of Hell. This doctrine has managed to convince untold numbers of people that the numerous scriptures of comfort concerning the assurance that one can have with God and his or her salvation are only hollow promises. Unfortunately the mentality that revolves around this doctrine ends up robbing people of the blessing that relies upon God for his or her perfection and exchanges it with a worrisome and burdensome and impossible task of making one’s self perfect.

The truth of God concerning the doctrine of one’s salvation and the peril of sin lies in between the two extremes found above. Any sin can send a person to Hell – no denying that (Romans 6:23). But God’s grace is also a huge concept – a concept that’s large enough through the blood of Jesus to capture sins that we don’t even realize we’ve committed. Do we need to confess our sins to be forgiven? Absolutely! But must all of our sins be confessed in “numerical” order? Who could ever honestly do such a thing like that every time? The simple truth is that if a person strives to avoid a lifestyle of darkness, strives to walk in God’s essential light lit path, strives to have a willingness that confesses sin of the known and unknown nature, and strives to avoid a self-righteous, I’m above sin, I don’t sin mentality that relies upon the justification and cleansing power of Jesus’ blood then that individual’s salvation is secure in God. Want to lose your security? Then do the opposite! (1 John 1:4-10)

Is a Christian’s salvation ever on the table? Sure it is! But only when we put it on the table and give it up for the world, for the gift of God’s salvation is something that no man can take from us if we keep our heart set on Heaven.

Let your desire be for peace with all men, and to be made holy, without which no man may see the Lord; Looking with care to see that no man among you in his behaviour comes short of the grace of God; for fear that some bitter root may come up to be a trouble to you, and that some of you may be made unclean by it; And that there may not be any evil liver, or any man without respect for God, like Esau, who let his birthright go for a plate of food. For you have knowledge that even long after, when he was desiring the blessing for his heritage, he was turned away, though he made his request frequently and with weeping; because the past might not be changed…But you have come to the mountain of Zion, to the place of the living God, to the Jerusalem which is in heaven, and to an army of angels which may not be numbered, to the great meeting and church of the first of those who are named in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of good men made complete, And to Jesus by whom the new agreement has been made between God and man, and to the sign of the blood which says better things than Abel’s blood.” (Hebrews 12:14-17, 22-24 – BBE)

#apostasy, #assurance, #christianity, #doctrine, #extremes, #falling-from-grace, #once-saved-always-saved, #religion, #salvation, #security

Conjured Up

Not long ago I received a challenge to a blog entry I made. I welcomed the challenge, and as I replied I got to thinking about something else: how Christians view the Lord’s church.

There are many Christians who are members of the Lord’s church, but not committed to a proper, and biblical, understanding of what He said about His body. The Lord’s church is not a man-made (denominational) church. It is a divine, blood-bought institution that includes only the saved. Thus, when people leave it because of conjured up reason, those same people leave the Lord whether they think they do or not! It is a serious thing and not one to regard lightly. 

When you gather with the saints to worship the head (God), just remember that attached to the head is His sacred body that is blood-bought.  RT

#apostasy, #leaving

Steady As We Go

A power point study of Ephesians 4:11-16 is at:
http://doverchurchofchrist.info/2012-power-point-sermons/steady-as-we-go-2

#apostasy, #ephesians-4, #hope, #hope-and-change