September 2, 2001
the Word of God through our church
bulletins and internet ministries excites
me! I am pleased to announce the url for
websites which teach the Bible and offer
Christians help for studying or doing
bulletins. However, I will not share
websites which teach false doctrine or
contain denominational links.
21 I started teaching one class of
English Composition at our community
college. I taught the same course
between 1981 and 1986. What surprises me
most is the change in the curriculum.
The literature book which my students
used twenty years ago has been replaced
by a book full of writings by
homosexuals, hippies, punk rockers, and
feminists. It saddens me to think that
hundreds of thousands of our young
people all over the nation are having to
read these articles and stories.
Brethren, if our children do not have a
sound foundation in God's Word when they
start to college, they are in danger! It
is up to us as parents and members of
the church to teach them what they need
to know for their soul's salvation.
Remember the words of the prophet: "My
people are destroyed for lack of
knowledge: because thou hast rejected
knowledge, I will also reject thee…
(Hosea 4:6). Jesus said that His Word
will judge us in the last day (John
Panning for more Gold
preacher's articles this issue
THE MIDDLE GROUND
by Bill Brandstatter
(Editor's Note: This article
is long, but the issue is very
important. Bill ran this as two parts
in two bulletins. You may want to do
Bush made a rather surprising
announcement last night. Many people
believe the President took "the middle
ground." He wants to withhold funding
from research that requires the
destruction of additional embryos. Yet,
he agreed to funding of ones already
extracted and grown in the lab. Although
the President's "middle ground" seems to
satisfy some, it angers others.
What about a
Christian taking the "middle ground" in
religion? There are some who refer to
"gray areas" in religion. However, the
Bible makes clear some areas that cannot
and must not be compromised. We must not
take the "middle ground" in many areas.
We cannot take the "middle ground"
regarding the church. Although we all
have friends who are members of
religious groups other than the church
of Christ, we cannot take a middle
ground. There is only one church
described in the Bible. (Eph. 1:18; Col.
1:22; Eph. 4:4). That one church
contains folks whose names are
registered in heaven (Heb. 12:23). We
must be willing to admit, as the Bible
does, that there are false teachers
(Matt 7:15; 1 John 4:1). We must also
admit that there are those who will
follow false teachers (2 Pet. 2:2). We
must not accept the idea that everybody
is going to heaven just by different
routes. Jesus never taught that (Matt.
7:13,14). The apostles' teachings didn't
indicate that (1 Cor. 4:`17; 7:17). We
must "earnestly contend for the faith"
(Jude 30). In so doing, there may be
some who disagree with us. Others may
not want to associate with us. But we
cannot afford to take the middle ground
merely to keep friends.
We cannot take the
middle ground regarding salvation. The
Bible teaching is plain on the subject
of salvation. In order to understand
what a person must do to be saved all
the Bible verses must be examined. The
Bible indicates salvation comes by
confessing and believing (Rom. 10:9,10).
The sacred writ also states, "whoever
calls on the name of the Lord shall be
saved." (Acts 2:21:Rom. 10:13). We are
also told we are saved by grace (Eph.
2:5,8). Yet, besides these a person must
believe. When the jailer asked Paul and
Silas the question: "Sirs , what must I
do to be saved?", the answer was
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
(Acts 16:30,31). Yet James stated that a
person is not saved by faith only (James
2:24). We know that without the blood of
Christ no person can be saved (Matt.
26:28; Heb. 9:22). Jesus added belief
and baptism into the equation (Mark
16:16). Jesus also indicated that
without repentance all would perish
(Luke 13:3,5). Paul concurred with this
(Acts 17:31). Yet, a person is not saved
just by repentance. Baptism is necessary
also for salvation. There are numbers of
Bible verses that indicate this, none
more plainly than 1 Pet. 3:21. There
Peter states, "baptism doth also now
save us" (KJV). Yet, we know that
baptism alone doesn't save. The Bible
does not teach anywhere that prayer is
involved in the salvation process. The
Bible does state, "Now we know that God
does not hear sinners" (John 9:31). Yet,
many today are claiming salvation based
on the "sinner's prayer. " Salvation is
a process involving all of the above
approved Bible statements. Any one taken
by itself cannot save a single person.
Let us teach, believe and practice the
truth regarding salvation. We should
never take the middle ground of
salvation. (continued next week)
Brandstatter preaches for the Vienna
church of Christ in Vienna, Illinois
By Bill Brandstatter
(continued from last
must not take the middle ground
regarding who is or is not a Christian.
The word " Christian" is a very special
term. James described it as "noble"
(James 2:7). Many in the religious world
of our day refer to themselves as
"Christians." Yet, in the Bible, only a
very select group of people had the
right to where that name. The name
"Christian" is God-given. Some believe
that name was given by enemies of
Christianity. They say it was given as a
name of derision. However, the Bible
indicates that God picked the name. The
Messianic Prophet Isaiah indicated God's
people would be called by "a new name
which the mouth of the Lord will name"
(Isa. 62:2). Obviously that name was one
other than Jew. Isaiah goes on to
indicate there would be "another name"
that would refer to God's chosen (Isa.
65:15). When would this happen? Isaiah
indicates when the Gentiles shall "see
your righteousness" (Isa. 62:2). We
first see this happening in Acts 10 with
Cornelius. He and his family were
commanded to be baptized (Acts 10:48).
As far as we know, they obeyed that
command. Luke records in chapter 11 of
Acts "Now the apostles and brethren who
were in Judea heard that the Gentiles
has also received the word of God (Acts
11:1). Isaiah's prophecy began to be
fulfilled. Then in Acts 11:26, the new
name that Isaiah mentioned is stated. At
the great Gentile center of Antioch the
disciples were first called Christians
(Acts 11:26). There is only one group of
individuals who have the privilege to
where the name Christian. If people
today would hear and obey like people in
the New Testament times did, they can
proudly wear the name "Christian."
There is no middle
ground. We must not take the middle
ground regarding the church and its
organization. The organization of the
Lord's church is marvelous and majestic.
God has ordained that elders be
appointed (Acts 14:23). Further, the
church should have deacons as well.
(Phil. 1:1). The church is also to have
evangelists and teachers (Eph. 4:6).
Many misunderstand the word "pastor" as
used in scriptures (Eph. 4:11). The
origin or the word "pastor" has the idea
of feeding or shepherding. It is the
same word used in Acts 20:28-"shepherd
the flock that is among you" (NKJV):
"feed the church "(ASV). Also when Peter
wrote about elders in 1 Pet.5:1-5, he
used the word translated "pastor." Paul
wrote to "the elders that are among you"
(v.1). Then he indicated their duty to
"Shepherd the flock of God that is among
you." (5:2). This is the same command
Paul gave in Acts 20:28. The word
"shepherd" carries the same idea as the
word "pastor." A pastor, therefore, is
an elder, not a located preacher. Many
in the church of Christ are unaware of
the significance of this term. President
Bush taking the middle ground may seem a
wise move to some. However, the
Christian should never try to take a
middle ground in those areas that have
been mentioned. Paul admonished, "be
steadfast, immovable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord, knowing that
your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Cor. 15:58).
Brandstatter preaches for the Vienna
church of Christ in Vienna, Illinois
by Steve Higginbotham
I'm sure you
heard the one about the husband who
bought his wife one of those "mood
rings?" When she's in a good mood, it
turns green, and when she's in a bad
mood, it leaves a red mark on his
While we may get a
chuckle from this joke, failing to
control one's anger is a serious
spiritual problem. I've sometimes heard
people brag at how they lost their
temper and really let someone have it.
Such attitudes stand in stark opposition
to one who has a Christ-like spirit.
Please don't lose sight of the fact that
gentleness, longsuffering, kindness, and
self-control are fruits of the Spirit.
You say I don't know your spouse, your
in-laws, your children, or your boss,
and what they put you through? Well,
you're right. I don't know to what
extent your patience is tried. But I do
know that the spiritual disciplines of
gentleness, longsuffering, kindness, and
self-control, when put into practice,
allow Christ to be reflected in your
life. The next time someone threatens to
ruin your mood, instead of leaving a red
mark on their forehead, allow Jesus to
leave his mark on your life.
Higginbotham preaches for the church of
Christ in Glascow, Kentucky. http://www.glasgow-coc.org
by Steve Cordle.
remember an old expression people would
use when surprised by something: "Well,
I'll be a monkey's uncle!" Though it has
been years since I heard anyone actually
use that phrase, I think there are many
people who want to make our relation to
monkeys more that just an expression.
Over time, many religious people have
given into popular ideas that exist in
society. Some do it on the basis of "If
we can't beat them, join them." Others
lose faith in the message of Scripture.
The concept of evolution is one area
many professing believers have caved to
Cordle has preached for the Ontario Street
Church of Christ, St. Catharines, Ontario,
for three and a half years.
In a 1997 broadcast,
radio newsman and commentator Paul
Harvey said Italian newspapers were
carrying a story in which Pope John Paul
II announced that the theory of
evolution is compatible with the
Christian faith. I don't know just what
it was that caused the Pope to make this
declaration, but I know it was not the
Scriptures. When God was creating the
earth He set in place the natural laws
governing reproduction. Genesis 1:24
tells us: Then God said, "Let the earth
bring forth the living creature
according to its kind: cattle and
creeping thing and beast of the earth,
each according to its kind; and it was
so." In other words, cattle are to
reproduce cattle, monkeys are to
reproduce monkeys and humans make other
humans. Two verses later, Moses records:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our
image, according to Our likeness..." Man
is in the image of God and always has
been. Man was never in the form of an
ape. Acts 17:24 tells us God made the
world and all that is in it, as does
Romans 1:18-22. The Bible nowhere
endorses any theory that man or any
other part of the creation evolved. God
set the creation in motion and created
the world just as the Bible describes.
Over the last
century, many have looked at the idea of
evolution and decided that it is
acceptable to God, but the whole concept
denies what the Bible says concerning
God's work. Thus, one who objects to the
teaching of the Bible is in fact showing
a lack of faith. But, if we are to serve
God we must have faith or there is no
way we can please Him. We must believe
God's word in its entirety, not just
part of it. When it comes to God's Word
and actually living the Christian life,
let's do it and stop monkeying around.
Now go take on the week,
Hearts of Gold
by Rose Ann Noey
Give me Lord, Thy Living Water.
Give me what I need to drink.
I'm so thirsty for Salvation; Fill my
cup up to its brink.
Wash me, Lord, so clean with water. Wash
my feet, my hands, my head,
With Thy stream of crystal water Whence
the tree of life is fed.
Dunk me down into the water. From its
depths I then will rise.
Pour upon me tender mercies Gushing from
Your Heavenly Skies.
Ann Noey lives in Logansport, Indiana,
and attends the Yorktown Road church of
Christ at 406 Yorktown Road, Logansport,
A little girl with shining
eyes, her little face aglow,
Said, "Daddy, it is almost time for
Bible Class. Let's go!
They teach us there of Jesus' love, of
how He died for all,
Upon the cruel cross to save those who
on Him will call."
"Oh, no," said Daddy, "not today. I've
worked hard all the week,
And I must have one day of rest. I'm
going to the creek.
For there I can relax and rest, and
fishing's fine, they say.
So run along, don't bother me. We'll go
to church some day."
Months and years have passed away; Daddy
hears the plea no more.
"Let's go to Bible Class;" those
childhood days are o'er.
And now that Daddy's growing old, when
life is almost through,
He finds the time to go to church, but
what does daughter do?
She says, "Oh, Daddy, not today. I
stayed up all last night.
And I've just got to have some sleep;
besides, I look a fright."
Then Daddy lifts a trembling hand to
brush away the tears,
As again he hears the pleading voice
distinctly through the years.
He sees a small girl's shining face,
upturned with eye's aglow,
She says, "It's time for Bible Class.
Please, Daddy, won't you go?"
& sayings for bulletins and signs
vitamin for a Christian is B1.
It isn't difficult to make a
mountain out of a molehill--just add a
Feed your faith, and your
doubts will starve to death.