Hugh’s News & Views (Does The Church Have . . .?)

DOES THE CHURCH HAVE AN OFFICIAL, EXCLUSIVE, PATENTED NAME?

In our contemporary world of many religions, including a multiplicity of denominations under the umbrella of what is called “Christianity,” it is exceedingly difficult for most people to think in terms of simple New Testament undenominational Christianity. It is hard for many people to conceive of there being a body of religious people on earth who have become Christians only, but who have not joined any denomination, who do not wear a denominational name, who are not governed by a denominational creed, catechism, or church manual, who do not have a denominational organization/structure or denominational headquarters, who eschew denominational status, but who seek to be just Christians as were the followers of Christ in New Testament times (Acts 22:26; I Peter 4:16). Continue reading

#church-names, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Bible Facts About The Church . . .)

BIBLE FACTS ABOUT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

1. It was established by Christ (Matthew 16:18).

2. It was purchased with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28).

3. It was the culmination of God’s eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:8-12). Continue reading

#church, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Great Gospel Preachers . . . Pt. 3)

GREAT GOSPEL PREACHERS OF THE PAST

(Part 3: B. C. Goodpasture and Marshall Keeble)

B. C. Goodpasture (1895-1977). In the 1960s, J. D. Thomas of Abilene, Texas published a series of twelve volumes of sermons by those regarded as the great preachers of the day. Fittingly, the volume by B. C. Goodpasture served as the climatic edition to the entire series. This book (which I have owned for fifty years) contains some of Goodpasture’s greatest sermons. One of my favorites is titled “The Unfinished Work of Christ,” a sermon I have endeavored to preach on various occasions.  Continue reading

#gospel-preachers, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Acts 20:7 And The Lord’s Supper)

ACTS 20:7 AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

“And on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7). This apostolic example sets forth the biblical precedent for observing the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week, every first day of the week, and only on the first day of the week, but there are those who question this conclusion. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #lords-supper

Hugh’s News & Views (Idols Of Christians)

IDOLS OF CHRISTIANS

What?! You mean that Christians are idol worshipers?! Well, yes, as a matter of fact, even in our supposedly highly enlightened and “Christian” world, idolatry of a certain kind is still, unfortunately, a real problem.

In the final verse of his first letter, John, the apostle of love, warned his readers (all of whom were Christians): “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I John 5:21). This warning would hardly be necessary were idolatry not a real possibility, even for the children of God. Paul reminded the churches of Galatia that idolatry, regardless of what form it might take, was a work of the flesh and would result in people being unable to inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20-21).

While Christians may not be tempted to bow down to idols of gold or silver or wood or stone, they nevertheless can be guilty of a more sophisticated form of idolatry. Consider the following. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #idolatry

Hugh’s News & Views (Great Gospel Preachers . . . Pt. 2

GREAT GOSPEL PREACHERS OF THE PAST

(Part 2: Foy E. Wallace, Jr. and G. K. Wallace)

Foy E. Wallace, Jr. (1896-1979). Foy Esco Wallace was born September 30, 1896 near Blanchardville in Montague County, Texas. He was not a Junior in the true sense of the word. His father, a prominent Texas preacher, was Foy Edwin Wallace. When young Foy began preaching at the age of 15, he soon became extremely popular, and since they both had the same middle initial, to distinguish him from his father he became known as Foy E. Wallace, Jr. On November 29, 1914, he married Virgie Brightwell when he was 18 and she was 16. As his passing in 1979, they had been married for 65 years. I first heard Foy E. Wallace, Jr. preach in the late spring or early summer of 1959 while living in Louisville, Kentucky. Continue reading

#gospel-preachers, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (On Dead Men Climbing Ladders)

ON DEAD MEN CLIMBING LADDERS

In an effort to downplay the necessity of taking the steps necessary for being saved from sin and becoming a Christian, it has been asserted that “dead men don’t climb ladders.” But what proves too much proves too little! Using that same “logic,” dead men do not go to the mourner’s bench. Dead men do not “pray through.” Dead men do not kneel down by their radio or television set and “receive Jesus into their heart.” Dead men do not walk to the front at a “Crusade for Christ.” Dead men do not “just believe.” Dead men do not say “the sinner’s prayer.” Yet, all of these are taught as things that a person can do to be saved.

It is rather obvious that a person who is literally and physically dead can do nothing. Physically dead men don’t breathe, eat, think, talk, walk, or work! Neither do they read the Bible! And, it is true that the alien sinner (the sinner who has not been redeemed by the blood of Christ and who has not become a child of God) is said to be “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But, the fact that a person may be spiritually dead does not mean that he is physically dead and therefore incapable of doing anything to save himself. A person who is spiritually dead but physically alive is capable of hearing, believing, and obeying the gospel which is God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16). Continue reading

#calvinism, #hughfulford, #salvation

Hugh’s News & Views (The Indwelling Holy Spirit)

THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT

The New Testament is quite clear in affirming that the Holy Spirit dwells in Christians, God’s children. Jesus promised, “‘He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:38-39). Peter affirmed, “And we (the apostles, hf) are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32). Paul declared, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4:6). (It is important to note that in this latter text Paul does not say that the Spirit was given to make us sons of God, but rather that the Spirit has been given to us because we have become Sons of God!) Continue reading

#holy-spirit, #hughfulford, #indwelling-of-the-holy-spirit

Hugh’s News & Views (Great Gospel Preachers . . . – Pt 1)

GREAT GOSPEL PREACHERS OF THE PAST

(Part 1: G. C. Brewer and H. A. Dixon)

(Note: A few months ago I wrote several essays on “Great Leaders of the Restoration Movement.” I now begin an intermittent series on “Great Gospel Preachers of the Past.” It is my plan to discuss two preachers in each essay. I hope you will find these biographical sketches both interesting and informative. “Remember those…who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” [Hebrews 13:7]). Continue reading

#hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Forty Things . . . Bible)

FORTY THINGS WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BIBLE

1. The word “Bible” is from the Greek word “byblos/biblos” and means “book.” Because of its divinely inspired contents the Bible is rightfully known as “the Book.”

2. The Bible is a divine library of sixty-six books. [more]

3. The Bible consists of two divisions—the Old Testament (consisting of 39 books) and the New Testament (consisting of 27 books).

4. The books of the Bible were written over a period of some 1600 years, from Moses (c. 1500 B.C.) to the apostle John (100 A.D.).

5. In all, some forty writers were engaged in the writing of the Bible, with eight of these (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude) being responsible for the writing of the New Testament. The apostle Paul wrote at least thirteen of the New Testament books.

6. The Bible covers three major epochs (large time frames, sometimes referred to as dispensations) of God’s dealings with mankind: a) The Patriarchal Age in which the fathers (patriarchs) of families ruled (from Adam to Moses); b) The Jewish Age in which the Law of Moses governed the Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish people (from Moses to the death of Christ); c) The Christian Age in which the New Testament sets forth the will of God for all mankind (from the day of Pentecost [Acts 2] until the end of the world). Thus, the Christian Age is spoken of as “these last days” (see Hebrews 1:1-2).

7. The Bible also covers fifteen periods (smaller time frames) of God’s dealings with mankind: from the Ante-Diluvian (Pre-Flood) period (from the creation to the world-wide flood) all the way to the Early Church period (from the establishment of the church in Acts 2 to the close of the New Testament).

8. In reading the Bible, it is important to know in which of the above epochs (dispensations) and time periods one is reading.

9. The Old Testament consists of four major sections: a) Law (5 books: Genesis-Deuteronomy); b) History (12 books: Joshua-Esther); c) Wisdom Literature/Poetry (5 books: Job-Song of Solomon); Prophecy (17 books: Isaiah-Malachi).

10. The New Testament consists of four major sections: a) Gospels/Life of Christ (4 books: Matthew-John); b) History of the Early Church (1 book: Acts of the Apostles); c) Letters to Christians (21 books: Romans-Jude); d) Prophecy/The Ultimate Victory of God’s People (1 book: Revelation).

11. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew (with some small portions being written in Aramaic, a dialect related to Hebrew). The New Testament was written in Greek.

12. From its original languages, the Bible has been translated into 2546 languages and dialects (as of 2009). (See Once Delivered Forever Established: The Certainty of the Holy Scripture, Dr. Doug Burleson, p. 83, a book I highly recommend for all who have an interest in learning more about the authenticity and reliability of the Bible.)

13. Some of the better known English versions of the Bible are the King James (1611), the American Standard (1901), the Revised Standard (1946, N. T.; 1951, entire Bible), the New International (1973, N. T.; 1978, entire Bible), the New King James (1972, N. T.; 1982, entire Bible), the New American Standard (1963, N. T.; 1971, entire Bible), the New Revised Standard (1989), and the English Standard (2001). The Douay-Rheims Version (1508, 1609, 1610) was long held as the standard English version for members of the Roman Catholic Church, but Catholic editions of some of the above English versions are used by many Catholics.

14. The books of the Bible were divided into chapters by Archbishop Stephen Langton, an English scholar, though Cardinal Hugo also has been given credit for doing this, both in the 13th century.

15. The chapters of the Bible books were divided into verses by a French printer by the name of Robert Estienne (Latin name, Stephanus) in 1551 for the New Testament and 1555 for the Old Testament. (Note: Chapter and verse divisions facilitate the location of particular passages, e.g., “John 3:16,” rather than, “The Bible says in John that God so loved the world . . .”

16. Year after year, the Bible remains the world’s best-seller. 100 million Bibles are printed every year and 20 million of these are sold in the United States.

17. The Bible is comprised of “all Scripture . . . given by inspiration of God” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

18. Though men were the human instruments used by God for writing the Bible, the Scriptures exist because “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirt” (II Peter 1:21).

19. The writers of the Bible were conscious of the fact that they were writing the word of God (Exodus 17:14; II Samuel 23:2; Jeremiah 30:2; I Corinthians 2:13; I Corinthians 14:37; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Peter 3:15-16; et al.)

20. There are literally thousands of manuscripts and ancient versions that verify the accuracy of the Bible (more than 5300 Greek manuscripts for the New Testament alone), so that “The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries” (Sir Frederic Kenyon [1863-1952], British biblical and classical scholar, as cited by Dr. Neil Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible, Abilene, TX: ACU Press, 1986, p. 126).

21. Being the word of God, and because it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), the Bible is absolute truth (John 17:17).

22. Jesus relied on Scripture to resist Satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).

23. Jesus read and quoted the Old Testament Scriptures and recognized them in their entirety as being the authoritative word of God (Matthew 5:17; John 10:35; Matthew 19:1-9; Matthew 23:34-35 [the equivalent of saying “from Genesis to Malachi”]; Luke 4:16-21; Luke 24:44-47).

24. During His personal ministry Christ referred to and gave credence to the creation of man in the image of God (Matthew 19:4-6), the flood (Matthew 24:38-39), the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 10:12; 17:28-29), the story of Jonah and the great fish (Matthew 12:39-41), the writings of Moses (John 5:46), the writings of Isaiah (Mark 7:6-8), the writings of Daniel (Matthew 24:15), and other Old Testament prophets and events. He did not view them as folklore, fairytales, myths, or legends.

25. Being comprised of “all Scripture . . . given by inspiration of God,” the Bible “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for

instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

26. In the Bible God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (II Peter 1:13).

27. The Bible sets forth the “one faith” (Ephesians 4:5), “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). There is no authentic revelation from God outside of the Bible.

28. The Bible sets forth commands to be obeyed (I Corinthians 14:37; John 14:15; I John 5:3), examples to be followed (I Peter 2:21; I Timothy 4:12; II Timothy 1:13), warnings to be heeded (Acts 20:31; Colossians 1:28), and promises to be enjoyed (II Peter 1:2-4).

29. The Bible is not to be tampered with by addition, subtraction, substitution, or modification (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19; Galatians 1:6-9; Psalm 119:89).

30. As the word of God, the Bible is “a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path” (Psalm 119:105).

31. We should love the Bible, read and study it, memorize great portions of it, laying it up in our hearts so that we will not sin against God (Psalm 119:97, 11).

32. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit with which we are able to conquer all moral and spiritual foes (Ephesians 6:17).

33. God’s word (the Bible) is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

34. The Bible is like a mirror into which one may look to see what changes he/she needs to make in order to be right with God (James 1:18).

35. God’s word is “like a fire” and “like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces” (Jeremiah 23:29).

36. The word of God “is able to build [us] up” spiritually (Acts 20:32).

37. It is through the word of truth (the Scriptures/Bible) that one is “brought forth” (born again) to be “a kind of firstfruits of His (God’s) creatures” (James 1:18; cf. I Peter 1:22-23; John 3:1-5).

38. The Scriptures are to be studied and searched diligently to see if the things that are taught and believed religiously are so (Acts 17:11; cf. I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1).

39. The word of God is indestructible (Matthew 24:35) and will be the standard by which all will be finally judged—not our opinions or what we have always felt, thought, believed, or been taught (John 12:48; Romans 2:16).

40. In summary, the Bible is not a self-help book designed to make its readers healthy, wealthy, happy, or successful (though within its overarching purpose there are broad principles that contribute to these matters). It is not a book of “codes” and “prophecies” as to when the second coming of Christ will occur and the world will end. Neither is the Bible a disjointed book of disconnected and unrelated documents. Rather, it is a book that gradually and systematically, from beginning to end, sets forth God’s grand scheme of human redemption from the time of its conception in the mind of God before the foundation of the world (Titus 1:1-3; II Timothy 1:8-11; Romans 16:25-27), through its being made known by Christ, the gospel, the church, and the New Testament (Ephesians 3:1-12; I Corinthians 2:1-13), to its ultimate fruition of the redeemed in heaven—“receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (I Peter 1:9).

Hugh Fulford

September 18, 2018

Speaking Schedule:

September 21-23: Gatlinburg, TN

#bible, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (How To Stay Married . . .)

HOW TO STAY MARRIED FOR SIXTY + YEARS

On September 7, Jan and I celebrated sixty-one years of marriage. We were married in Loudon, Tennessee in 1957 by James Matthews, professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and minister of the Loudon Church of Christ. How do people stay married for sixty or more years? I do not have all the answers to this question, but by virtue of having been married that long, perhaps I have a few insights that will be helpful. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #marriage

Hugh’s News & Views (A Father’s Toolbox)

A FATHER’S TOOLBOX

(Note: Only rarely have I used an essay written by someone else. The following article was written by Edd Sterchi of Campbellsville, KY and appeared in the July 8, 2018 bulletin of the Watertown, TN Church of Christ. It contains great spiritual truths, and in the light of Labor Day I think it is appropriate). Continue reading

#fatherhood, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (A Few Personal Matters . . .)

A FEW PERSONAL MATTERS AND UPDATES

KARNS CHURCH OF CHRIST, KNOXVILLE, TN: On Sunday, August 19, I had the privilege and honor of speaking at the Homecoming and Open House of the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, Tennessee. The church was celebrating sixty-five years of existence as a congregation and also hosting an open house for their newly expanded auditorium and a new two-story classroom and office building for the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies, a work of the Karns church under the oversight of its six very wise and capable elders. Continue reading

#hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Parachurch Organizations)

PARACHURCH ORGANIZATIONS

Several months ago, a faithful and able preacher of the gospel emailed me about his concern over the direction the Lord’s church is taking with reference to parachurch organizations. I hasten to say that this brother is not a reactionary, a hobbyist, a crank, an opposer of good works, or one who is hypercritical. He is a veteran, seasoned, balanced gospel preacher who spent several years teaching Bible in a Christian high school. But he is concerned about the direction he sees the church going in “outsourcing the work of the church to human organizations.” Continue reading

#hughfulford, #parachurch-organizations

Hugh’s News & Views (Requirements, Expedients, . . .)

REQUIREMENTS, EXPEDIENTS, AND VIOLATIONS

(Part 1)

Through His word, the Bible, God has set forth His will for mankind. By various kinds of statements (declarative, imperative, hortatory, interrogative, etc.), approved apostolic examples, and implications (from which we draw logical inferences or conclusions), God has communicated in an understandable way what He expects of us as rational, responsible, and accountable human beings. “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17, NASB). Continue reading

#expediency, #hughfulford