AM I A MEMBER OF A DENOMINATION?
(Note: This week’s essay is pursuant to a sermon I preached this past Sunday morning, June 3, at the Mitchellville (TN) Church of Christ on the question, “Why Do You Say That The Church Of Christ Is Not A Denomination?”) Continue reading
A BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF THE CHURCH
(Note: The following was posted on my FB page on May 10. With a few emendations, I send it out as this week’s edition of “Hugh’s News & Views.”)
When a person says he (or she) left the church of Christ (which they often will think/speak/write in terms of “Church of Christ”) to join the Baptist Church or the Catholic Church or the Episcopal Church or whatever the denomination might be so that they and their spouse “would be members of the same church” (or for some other “reason”), I immediately know that they do not have a biblical concept of the church of Christ, nor are they and I “on the same page” when speaking of the church of Christ. They have one concept in mind, and I have an entirely different concept in mind. (Note: Contrary to the thinking of some, “Church of Christ” is not “the fellowship’s name,” as the editor of one publication recently asserted. In reality, the church of the New Testament does not have an official, exclusive, patented “name,” but, instead, it is identified by a number of descriptors of which “church of Christ” is but one). Continue reading
THE “BEFORE” AND THE “AFTER” OF GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE
As a sequel to our two previous essays on God’s eternal purpose, it will be highly informative to observe the contrast of the before and the after of the making known of His eternally purposed scheme of redemption. This involves not only the status of the purpose itself, but also of humanity. Continue reading
GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE (Part 2)
“Before time began” God promised eternal life through Christ and the gospel (Titus 1:1-3; II Timothy 1:8-12). This is known as God’s “eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). Throughout the ages of the Old Testament this purpose remained hidden (a mystery), but it “has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Timothy 1:9-10). Continue reading
GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE
According to the Holy Scriptures, God in His infinite wisdom and marvelous grace conceived and formed an eternal purpose to redeem fallen mankind through Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:11). This purpose was formed “before time began” (Titus 1:1-3; II Timothy 1:8-12), and was gradually revealed down through the ages until it came to fruition in Christ, the gospel, the church, and the New Testament. To see the unfolding of this grand purpose is one of the most thrilling, exciting, and informative studies in which one can engage. Continue reading
FORTY THINGS WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHRISTIAN LIVING
The followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch (in Syria) in c. A.D. 41-43 (Acts 11:26). By the preaching of the apostle Paul, Agrippa, a Jewish king, was almost persuaded to be a Christian (Acts 26:28). The apostle Peter said, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter/name” (I Peter 4:16[NKJV; cf. ASV]). Continue reading
Jesus was born of a virgin by the name of Mary, being conceived in her, not by any man, but by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-35). After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph came together as husband and wife and several children were born to them. Scripture names four fleshly brothers of Jesus and mentions sisters, though the names and number of the sisters are not given (Matthew 13:55-56; Mark 6:3). Continue reading
I CANNOT GO TO CHURCH TODAY
In over sixty years of preaching the gospel, I have been both amazed and amused at the excuses people can make for not attending the services of the church. The following poem was posted by Tom Childers on the “Friends of the Restoration” Facebook page on July 21, 2016. According to Tom, it was adopted from “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. Continue reading
FIFTEEN TRAITS OF GENUINE CHRISTIAN LOVE
We Americans use the word “love” in a wide variety of ways. We “love” apple pie, banana pudding, hamburgers, French fries, and sweet tea. (When I lived in Selma, AL and ate at the Downtowner, I became convinced that “sweet tea” was really just one word with two syllables!)
We “love” our country, the state we are from, our hometown, summertime, springtime, fall (some of us even love wintertime and snow!), the mountains, and/or the beach. Continue reading
FORTY THINGS WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SALVATION
(A JOYOUS PRELUDE TO THIS WEEK’S “NEWS & VIEWS”: Carson Fulford, our sweet and beautiful fifteen year old granddaughter, was baptized into Christ by her father (our son) this past Sunday night at the church of Christ in Mentor, Ohio. We are so happy for Carson and so proud of her! Our son, his wife, and our two grandchildren are now all faithful members of the body of Christ. What more could a mother and father and a grandmother and grandfather ask for?)
Last summer we did three essays (not consecutively) on Forty Things We All Need To Know About The Church, Forty Things We All Need To Know About Christ, and Forty Things We All Need To Know About The Holy Spirit. Periodically throughout this year we plan to do three or four additional “Forty Things We All Need To Know . . .” articles. This week we identify Forty Things We All Need To Know About Salvation. It is important to note that in the Scriptures salvation is attributed to a number of factors. No one passage sets forth everything that is involved in one’s salvation, but while more may be required than a single passage states, nothing less than what is stated in a passage is necessary for salvation. For example, we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), but that does not negate the fact that we also are saved by baptism (Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21). Following are forty things we all need to know about salvation. Continue reading
NOTATIONS, OBSERVATIONS, AND QUOTATIONS
Preachers should be kind, gracious, and loving in their presentation of the gospel. They need to be thoughtful and respectful of their audiences. There is never a time to be rude or discourteous in the pulpit (or in everyday life, for that matter). The apostle Paul said to the young preacher Timothy, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (II Timothy 2:24-26, NKJV).
At the same time, the faithful preacher cannot and must not compromise the truth of God’s word. Paul also told Timothy to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2, KJV). Preachers must not hold back the truth of God for fear of making some of their hearers angry. Paul asked, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth” (Galatians 4:16)? Unfortunately, that sometimes happens. Continue reading
SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
19. T. B. LARIMORE (1843-1929). Theophilus Brown Larimore was born July 10, 1843 in Jefferson County, TN. Little is known of his father. When he was some eight or nine years old, Larimore, his mother, and two sisters moved to the Sequatchie Valley near Dunlap, TN. When he was little more than a child, Theophilus hired himself out to a farmer for $4.00 a month to do the work of a man as a plow hand. When he was sixteen years old, he entered Mossy Creek Baptist College near his birthplace in Jefferson County. While there he tried to “get religion” according to the Calvinistic views of the day (the “mourner’s bench”), but failed to do so. Continue reading
RADIO & TV PREACHING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
(Note: This is the final installment of a speech I gave at the Friends of the Restoration luncheon on February 5 as part of the 82nd Annual Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectures. The full title of the speech was “The Power Of Radio And Television Preaching In The Restoration Movement”).
In 1936 a 14 year old boy in rural southern Oklahoma began listening to W. L. Oliphant’s radio program out of Dallas, TX. He determined then and there that as an adult he would become a gospel preacher and would use radio to reach the masses. God, of course, had bigger plans for Mack Lyon. Continue reading
RADIO AND TV PREACHING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
(Note: This week we resume with Part 2 of a speech I gave at the Friends of the Restoration luncheon on February 5 as part of the 82nd Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectures. The full title of the speech was “The Power Of Radio And Television Preaching In The Restoration Movement”).
So far as I have been able to determine, the longest running radio program among churches of Christ is that of the Central church in downtown Nashville. In fact, according to reliable sources, the Central church hosts the U. S. A.’s longest running religious broadcast. I understand that in the lobby of the Central church building there is a certificate indicating that the radio program began a couple of months before the launch of the Grand Ole Opry which had its first broadcast on November 28, 1925. Continue reading
Billy Graham—dubbed by the press as “America’s Pastor”—is dead! He passed away on Wednesday, February 21, at the age of 99. He was an American icon and the friend and counselor of Presidents. America and the world are extending their love and sympathy to the Graham family—as well they should be doing. Unlike that of so many others, Billy Graham’s ministry was untarnished by either sex or financial scandals. His message of morality and upright living which he passionately proclaimed for almost six decades should be embraced by all who seek a better life for themselves, their families, our country, and the world. Any truth he set forth from scripture should be believed and embraced.
While I had great respect for Mr. Graham, there is much about his teaching and practice with which I disagree because I find it contrary to the Scriptures. While Mr. Graham preferred to be addressed simply as “Billy,” the media insisted on referring to him as “Reverend,” and he accepted that title. Yet, I find this specific word only once in our English Bible, and there it is used to refer to God, not man (Psalm 111:9, KJV). More determinative, however, is the fact that Jesus spoke against the wearing of religious titles. He emphatically stated, “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:8-9). Furthermore, the distinction between “clergy” and “laity” is of man and not of God. The apostle Peter explained that all Christians constitute “a royal priesthood” (I Peter 2:9). Continue reading