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

Quaking mountains, swaying hills

The Scripture for today, April 24, is Jeremiah 4:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“I looked at the mountains and they were quaking, all the hills were swaying.”

We have expressions that something is “as eternal as the mountains” or “as old as the hills”. Perhaps earthquakes are a good reminder to us that nothing on earth is eternal. That also includes things, people, power, position, belongings. Eventually they quake and sway and are gone. Only that which is spiritual is forever.

Mum Katheryn Haddad

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/godfind/info

#earthquakes, #eternity, #spiritual

David Kinnaman author of You Lost Me a…

David Kinnaman, author of You Lost Me, a book on young adults drift away from church and president of Barna Group, a Christian research firm, says, “Jesus is getting lost in the data stream” among our youngest adults. Instead of followers of Jesus, they are followers of 5000 unseen unmet friends on Facebook and Twitter. He estimates 70% of young adults lack religious or spiritual influence. They are so focused on the here and now that they never pause for a here-after. For them the Almighty is off the radar and an eternity somewhere is shoved aside by mortgages, tailgating and texting. But just as this developing phenomena concerns us all, let us remember that those trained in the way of the Lord, will return to it when they are old. This is Just-A-Minute

#just-a-minute, #spiritual

What is the fastest growing religious group in…

What is the fastest growing religious group in the US? It is the “nones”, those with no religious affiliation. Since 1960 mainstream denominations have lost a full one third of their members. Evangelical churches are losing members too. In fact 75% of young American adults aged 18 to 29 identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious”. With this has come a steep decline in Bible study and a weakening of traditional Christian morality and teaching. The home and family have taken it on the chin while homosexuality and same-sex marriage have increased support. Unless we return to the Bible and open our ears to what God has to say, this trend will continue and increase. This is Just-A-Minute

#just-a-minute, #religious, #spiritual

What Lies Behind the Materialism of Christmas?

Christmas is a time of peace on earth and good will toward men. Or so we are told.

Rather, in our modern day, it is a time of insane commercialism and insatiable greed. We spend all of our money for gifts and fight on, tossing future earnings, plus interest, into the melee. All of this to buy gifts for our loved ones, no matter the cost or physical harm that may come to our bodies.

I wonder why we never pause, reflect and ask why. Why do we damage our health and finances to find the perfect toys or electronics? What lies behind our behavior?

Continue reading

#christmas, #fleshly, #gifts, #materialism, #spiritual

TV & spirituality – JAM

Television programmers either respond to public interests and trends or lose percentage points in the ever important ratings. Have you noticed the production of  programs with spiritual overtones or context in the last several years? Touched by an Angel, It’s a Miracle, and Beyond Chance, for example. In addition, there have been several specials like Moyers’ Genesis and Hugh Hewitt’s Searching for God in America. Twenty-five years ago you would never have seen such shows. The programmers are simply responding to a trend that has developed the last decade – a genuine searching for spirituality. Man is both body and spirit and as the body needs food, the spirit needs God. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

#just-a-minute, #spiritual

Spirituality – JAM

In 1996 the Yankelovich Group surveyed attendees of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ annual meeting and they discovered, quote, “a remarkable 99 percent of them thought religious faith helps patients respond to treatment.” Spirituality helps you keep fit physically. Why? Because man is more than flesh and fiber, blood and bones, cartilage and corpuscles. Man is also spirit. While this cannot be proven scientifically, both scientists and physicians are admitting it is true and turning toward more spirituality in their lives. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

#just-a-minute, #spiritual

God Deserves Genuine Worship

One of Judah’s most serious problems was it worshipped God ritualistically, not with the heart.

By inspiration, Isaiah gave voice to God’s complaint against them. He wrote, “Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God,” (Isaiah 58:2).

 

(Read the remainder of this article at http://wp.me/p11jAq-29.)

#spiritual, #truth, #worship

Poison or Pure Milk?

There are some really poisonous substances in the world.

Some frogs and reptiles can be poisonous. All spiders have venom, but only a few are toxic to humans.

There are greater poisons out there. Deadly toxins can kill the body and the soul.

Peter talks about some of these poisons in 1 Peter 2:1: evil, deceit, hypocrisy, envy (and jealousy) and unkind speech are the ones he mentions. If Satan had a storefront selling poisons, these would surely be prominently displayed.

But, just because there are poisons in the world and animals that can inject poison, it doesn’t mean we have to drink poison or expose ourselves to it.

We have another choice: the pure, spiritual milk of 1 Peter 2:2. This milk comes from a heavenly source. It is capable of growing spiritual people.

So, which will we drink?

#drink, #poison, #spiritual

The Prophesied Savior

John’s disciples came to Jesus with a troubling question from their master.

“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3 NET). The answer Jesus gave them was an almost verbatim quote of Isaiah 35:5-6. The interesting thing about the answer is that it had a spiritual and a physical meaning.

Certainly Jesus healed the blind, the lame, the deaf, and raised the dead. But, he did more than that. He healed people spiritually. He gave the spiritually blind true sight. He gave the spiritually lame support on truly strong legs. He gave hearing to those who had been lost in sin. And he raised the spiritually dead to life in him.

Could anything be more indicative of the prophesied Savior?

#blind, #lame, #spiritual

Name An Item Or Habit

From a spiritual perspective, the following are some of my observations regarding items or habits no longer in use today (comparatively speaking) as they were three to four generations ago:

1) The Bible is no longer habitually read, studied and used by members of the Lord’s church like it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s (we used to be called “walking Bibles” by those outside the church – http://cedarparkchurchofchrist.org/cpcofc/index.php?n=Articles.2010DailyBibleStudy).

2) Looking at all of the immorality in our society today, we can plainly see that Interest in spiritual values and principles are no longer “in vogue.” If they were, children would be taught these values at home and our society today would be less immoral as a result.

3) Hell fire and damnation sermons are today rarely heard from the pulpit (I grew up hearing these type of sermons on a regular basis back in the 1940’s). And guess what? The Lord’s church grew dramatically.

4) Home Bible studies with others are virtually non-existent today (no time to study, folks say).

5) Personal bible study at home is virtually non-existent today. Too many worldly influences (too many digital “toys”), thus, no time to study.

6) In the 1940’s and 50’s, folks habitually assembled to worship the Lord – so much so, that two to three week gospel meetings were not uncommon (I attended some of them). Today, they are unheard of. If we can get members to come to a three-day gospel meeting, we count ourselves successful.

7) Pews are not being filled today as they were three to four generations ago. The testimony of the “empty pew” is a testimony to our lack of focus on spiritual things (Colossians 3:1-2): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/08/09/lessons-from-an-empty-pew/

I could go on and on and on (like the energizer battery bunny), but the above are enough samples to let folks see the fact that spirituality has greatly waned in our country and in the Lord’s church.

What’s the solution to all of the above? Open the Book! (read it and do what it says do – James 1:22-25): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/01/08/lets-open-the-book/

#bible, #children, #church, #habit, #home, #meeting, #member, #principle, #read, #society, #spiritual, #study, #value, #vogue, #worship

One Thing To Do Before 2010 Closes

Pray that our country’s moral and spiritual values will improve in 2011 due to the teaching of the saving gospel of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16), and that brethren be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”: http://www.just1word.com/bible/verse/1-corinthians_15:58?version=kjv

And all of the above starts with ME!

#close, #gospel, #improve, #moral, #one, #pray, #save, #spiritual, #teaching, #thing, #value

The smallest congregation I’ve been to …

The smallest congregation I’ve been to is the one I’m presently a member of – the Montana St. congregation. We run between 15-20 members each Lord’s Day. In the 1960’s the congregation had over 600 members – standing room only – filled both the auditorium and balcony. We can plainly see the decline in spiritual priorities over the past 50 years. A sad commentary indeed.

#auditorium, #balcony, #commentary, #congregation, #decline, #member, #priority, #room, #small, #spiritual, #standing

An Example Of Ecclesiological Hypertrophy?

Acts 2:41 and Acts 4:4 would be good examples of ecclesiological hypertrophy.

As Ron pointed out in his post, the principle for spiritual growth in the body of Christ is found in Ephesians 4:11-16. The key verses being vs. 15 & 16. We can only “grow up” into Christ when we “speak the truth in love” (vs. 15) and by the “effective working by which every part does its share” (vs. 16 – NKJV). The key word is the word “work” (vs. 12) and “working” (vs. 16). Note Nehemiah 4:6.

Bottom line: No work, no growth.

#ecclesiological, #effective, #growth, #hypertrophy, #part, #principle, #share, #spiritual, #working

One example of self-destructive behavior…

One example of self-destructive behavior in the New Testament is Judas. He not only committed physical suicide, but spiritual suicide as well.

#behavior, #committed, #destructive, #judas, #physical, #self, #spiritual, #suicide