What you heard from the beginning: 1 John 2.24

“As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”

1 John 2.24

John follows up his warning about false teachers with this imperative and promise. Christians know the truth and ought to remain in it. In this faithfulness to the original gospel is the promise of eternal life, v. 25.

Many have left the original message for a false teaching. While what we heard from the beginning remains in us, we must call others to return to it. This is the restoration appeal.

#votd #faithfulness #restoration

Hugh’s News & Views (Requirements, Expedients . . . Pt. 2)

REQUIREMENTS, EXPEDIENTS, AND VIOLATIONS

(Part 2)

Christians are required to assemble for the purposes of worship, exhortation, and fellowship (John 4:24; Acts 2:42; 20:7; Hebrews 10:24-25). While we read nothing of church buildings in New Testament times, such are not wrong because they are expedient, convenient ways of doing what the Lord has authorized us to do. A place to assemble (including seats/pews, lights, etc.), whether in a private home, a rented hall, or a building constructed for that purpose inheres in and is authorized by the command to assemble. On the other hand, to fail to assemble and worship the Lord is a violation of His will, and therefore sin. Continue reading

#restoration, #worship

Hugh’s News & Views (The Old Paths)

THE OLD PATHS

The restoration plea is about calling people back to the “old paths” of first century, New Testament, apostolic (i.e., “as in the days of the apostles”) Christianity. In reality, there is no other kind of Christianity, for anything that differs from what was preached, believed, and practiced in the first century, during the days of the apostles, and as set forth in the New Testament is but a perversion of the “one faith” (Ephesians 4:4), “the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27), “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Those who preach “another gospel” are accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

As noted in an earlier essay (“The Restoration Plea: Is It Valid?”—September 19, 2017), in the days of Josiah, king of Judah (c. 640-609 B.C.), the prophet Jeremiah said to the people, “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’ ” (Jeremiah 6:16). How sad that many today do not desire “the old paths” as revealed by Christ and His apostles and as set forth in the New Testament. Any mention of “the old paths” brings a smirk to the face of some and a mocking, condescending comment from their lips. Now, as in the days of Jeremiah, people by their attitudes and by their actions are saying, “We will not walk in the good way of the old paths”! Rather, they seek their own way. Many are enamored by the latest fad in churches and that which appeals to their “felt” needs and their desire to be entertained. Simple, New Testament Christianity has little appeal to them.

As we continue our emphasis on the restoration plea, consider these thoughts concerning the “old paths” of biblical Christianity. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #old-paths, #restoration

Third time: John 21.17 VOTD

“Jesus said a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Feed my sheep.'”

John 21.17

Peter denied his Lord three times as Jesus was being tried. Now, the Lord allows him to affirm his love three times and points him to his future service in the kingdom.

What message is there for us in this restoration of Peter?

#restoration #forgiveness #VOTD

‘I am the one!’ John 9.9 VOTD

“Some people said, ‘This is the man!’ while others said, ‘No, but he looks like him.’ The man himself kept insisting, ‘I am the one!'”

John 9.9

Jesus healed a blind man and upset the abnormal human state of affairs.

When Christ restores us to God, how does that disturb people?

#VOTD #restoration #transformation

Encouragement Note: On failure, weakness, the way back

Note: The following text is from Chris Underwood, from Chicago. Chris is in SJCampos for three months working with Embraer. It’s been a pleasure to have him in the congregations here. He sends out a monthly “Encouragement Note” and graciously allowed us to share it here.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ―Mary Tyler Moore

Romans 5:2-4 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”

No one plans at an early age to lose a child, to become an alcoholic, fail in marriage, file bankruptcy, lose their faith in God, or find a point in their life trying to figure out how I got myself in this much trouble. Failure happens to all of us at some level physically or spiritually. Continue reading

#correction, #encouragement-note, #failure, #restoration, #weakness

The world is but a thought away

You probably know people who came to Christ late in life or saints who fell away and repented only after years had passed. All of them lament, to one degree or another, the time wasted in the world.

They know how short life is. They are also aware of how much there is to learn and to do in the kingdom of God. They don’t let their regrets immobilize them, however. They are often among the most dedicated servants of the Lord.

We should embrace these former time-wasters. They can help us to see the preciousness of opportunity, the value of time, the urgency of faith. Continue reading

#corollaries, #restoration, #upward, #zeal

Hugh’s News & Views (Reading Gleanings)

READING GLEANINGS

“The major division in biblical material is between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The law of Moses is addressed to all people that came out of Egypt (Exod 20:2). Neither I nor my ancestors came out of Egypt. The law was a controlling force until Christ came (Gal 3:19). Paul is explicit that we are no longer under the custodian (Gal 3:25). The bond was nailed to the cross (Col2:14). Hence, I do not determine in specifics what I should do by the law of Moses. At the same time, I recognize that there is much admonition of value in the Old Testament. It should not be thrown out. It should be studied and its admonitions heeded (1 Cor 10:11; Rom 15:14; 2 Tim 3:15-16)” (Dr. Jack P. Lewis, in the chapter on “Biblical Interpretation” from his book Basic Beliefs, p. 47). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #pattern, #restoration

Restoration in Africa

Dear Ron

How are you, your family and the saints at Sullivan church doing? I am pleased to inform you that our University has satisfied all the conditions to merit a permanent license from the National Universities Commission. We have passed the probation stage. Thank you for your prayers and support for this work.

I have attached a copy of the letter from the Commission here.

There is a question some one asked me and I could not deal with it satisfactorily. Will the church in our age or oncoming age restore the church fully before Christ comes? It will be a pleasure to hear from you. Greet the saints there for us. We plan to leave for Nigeria, the Lord willing at the end of this month.

In Christ
*************
Here is my reply to him:

Moses, Thank you, brother for the information. It is great to hear and it is great that the work is going that good for recognition.

With regard to the question, it is my view that the structure of the church is clearly restored. That is, the NT order of elders, deacons, and the various members of the church carrying their load to serves the Lord in the congregational setting. If a congregation is fortunate enough to have a preacher who works alongside the members, then that is all the better (a lot like Paul left Titus in Crete or Timothy in Ephesus).

Now, if there is a compromise of NT teaching, then to that degree (or point) there is no proper restoring taking place.

In another respect, with regard to the life of the individual saint, there will always be a “work in progress” with regard to restoring NT Christianity (cf. 1 Peter 2:21-25). Along this line, we all rely on the Lord’s mercy to make up the difference (for we lack much) when He returns.

I hope this helps, brother. If I can be of any further help, I will be at the ready to serve you.
Have a great day, brother!

#church-structure, #restoration, #spiritual

Most think of Christianity in a way foreign to Scripture

buffet-religion“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” Ephesians 4:4-6.

Many like buffet restaurants that give us a good excuse to eat as much of our favorite foods as we want. We pick and choose what we like while rejecting what we don’t like.

That’s how most think of Christianity—that Jesus is the vine and denominations are the branches. We think it picky to point out teachings that oppose other groups or the Bible because if you don’t like a particular dish, just load up your plate from another. Continue reading

#church-of-christ, #devotionals, #restoration

Full circle

A church with roots in our fellowship is urging prayer for different countries by including links on Twitter to a missionary society.

Yet another example of how far from the biblical pattern people will go once they surrender a commitment to be true to the Word.

Afterthought #1: This post has been sitting for a day. I wondered if it was worth posting. I don’t like pointing out negative things. That I posted it ought to answer the wonderment.

Afterthought #2: This morning I latched on to Pro 14.14 for my daily thought: “Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.” Maybe I shouldn’t try to connect it with this post?

#digression, #restoration

mm

Psalm 102

Vs. 1-11 describe feeling of suffering;

Vs. 12-22 speak of the hope that God would act on their behalf;

Vs. 23-28 acknowledge that only God can help.

Though the author of this Psalm is unidentified, the reference to “Zion” (Jerusalem) needing to be restored (verse 13) places the time frame at the end of the Babylonian Captivity (2 Chronicles 36). Psalm 102:25-27 are quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12 as an address to the “Son” of God (Hebrews 1:8). Therefore this reference in Psalm 102 was far-reaching toward “the generation to come” (verse 18), and the work of the eternal Son of God (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 2:1-21).

Verses 1-11: This begins with an urgent appeal for God to hear (verses 1-2) because: (verse 3) life is brief as smoke and fire; (verses 4-5) the heart is burdened and body aches; (verses 6-7) loneliness is like the “pelican,” “owl,” “sparrow” all out of their element, and keeps the Psalmist “awake;” enemies are active (verse 8); food doesn’t appeal (verse 9); the feeling of alienation from God (verses 10-11) is like a lengthening shadow.

Verses 12-22: God, however, is capable of helping because He: is timeless (verse 12); has reached the end of the 70 years of exile for Judah/Israel (verse 13; 2 Chronicles 36:15-23; Jeremiah 25:8-14); sees His people seeking to return to the Promised Land (verse 14); preserves His people (verses 15-17); will see that this return is preserved in Scripture for all time (verse 18; Ezra-Nehemiah; Haggai; Zechariah; Malachi); is merciful and forgiving (verses 19-22).

Verses 23-28: Our lives are in the hand of God (verses 23-24a), but God is above all time constraints (verses 24b-27), and eternity is for those who faithfully serve Him (verse 28; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 1 John 2:17).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #discipline, #god, #jesus-christ, #prophecy, #restoration

Restoration Christian Church?

I’m wondering if anyone in The Fellowship Room has ever heard of the “Restoration Christian Church”? I’ve heard of the Christian Church, but not the “Restoration Christian Church.” The following link comes from a Twitter posting: http://www.faithfulpreaching.com/index.html

#anyone, #christian, #church, #heard, #link, #posting, #restoration, #twitter, #wondering

What needs to be restored?

Pardon my tardiness on responding to the daily nudge, “What needs to be restored?” I’ve been on business travel, but did want to respond. I think this is a very important question and one we should be constantly asking ourselves. After all, we are commanded to examine ourselves.

I believe one of the biggest things that needs to be restored is zeal and enthusiasm for Christ, His church, and His mission. It has been said that 80% of the work in any congregation is done by 20% of the members. Sadly, this does seem to be the norm. So many seem to think that showing up when the doors are open (or worse, once a week to take the Lord’s supper) is all that is required of them. Zealous people are not pew-warmers. Zealous people will be as the early church, teaching everywhere they go. If we are on fire for the Lord, then the church WILL grow. I fear we as God’s people are very much lukewarm and complacent. That needs to change, or the Lord will spew us out of His mouth!

#enthusiasm, #lukewarm, #restoration, #restore, #zeal, #zealous

What needs to be restored

In Matt. 28:19 the disciples were commanded to “Go make disciples”. This does not mean for us to invite them to our building to worship with us as is being practice by many congregations. Large magnificent building are built for the purpose of attracting people. We need to go back to the “Go” in making disciples. A lot more preachers and missionaries could be supported if some congregations would do with less grandeur.

Another area we need to go back to is in the area of benevolence. Paul made benevolence a secondary mission of the NT church. It seems the only time we see the church as a whole get excited about benevolence is when there are disasters from hurricanes or earthquakes. However the sending of a few dollars to help a Christian family is ignored. I have come to believe some of the difference is grandeur. Just my two cents. Late but…..

#restoration, #restore