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WHO ARE THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST?

WHO ARE THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST?



This short but comprehensive informative will help those drawn to Christ grasp a better understanding of what the Bible teaches with regards to the church that we read about in the New Testament. In other words, and as the Bible puts it; the church of Christ. Now we hear a lot about church denominations and various church councils voting for such things as women and homosexuals having rights beyond what the Bible will allow for and what have you. That's all well and good for those churches established on the merits and wisdom of men; but such councils has no part or say in anything that pertains to the church that is of God. The world looks to such churches for their arty solace and religious craftiness. Religious Christendom are experts in the art of deception and incognito. In fact, they ignore Bible authority almost on all fronts, and to that end, are utterly in bondage to Satan. In saying that, God, who is the Creator and setter forth of the laws that govern his church will hold all those who teach contrary to account. How long do men think they will live before they have to answer him with whom we have to do? It's estimated that at least 151,600 people die per day. That's a lot of people and should serve to warn us that longevity is not forever. Mainstream teach that we're living longer these days; but where is the proof? Such information is inconclusive and also contradicts the Bible. There's absolutely no credence to such claims only to serve an ulterior motive. Men lived longer before the flood and science has proven that. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that no man lives to himself and no man dies to himself - Romans 14:7Romans 14:7 [King James Bible]: 7. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.. Either way, we're going to answer to God whether we like it or not. Now wouldn't it be nice to answer God on his terms and with his blessing upon us? Well we can if we do what the Bible teaches. The Bereans of Paul's day searched the same scriptures to see if what Paul said was true - Acts 17:11Acts 17:11 [King James Bible]: 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.. Never take anything for granted, even what the preacher might say. We have the Bible, therefore, without excuse. The Bible, and in particular the New Testament, is the only authority in all things that pertain to the church and the doctrine. God has one church inasmuch as there is one God. Now one would think there are several gods given the number of religious denominations that exist. Mind you they all claim to worship the same god; but none of them agree as one on doctrine. I've even heard some of the Islamic faith say the same thing. You have to wonder what the motive is to say such a thing in the first place? The reality, however, is that the faith of Jesus Christ is standalone. Your either in or your out.


Now most of what we read today about the church of Christ is either fundamentally wrong, or just plain old hogwash. The following informative, however, is biblically correct. Therefore, the reader is encouraged to make up his or her mind in light of what the record teaches, instead of having their minds made up for them through divisive misinformation and the devilish politics of religous tradition we've all become so familiar with these days. No doubt Satan is behind this surge of religious confusion we have to contend with. As the saying goes, "Tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear." It's nothing new when we learn of the decitfulness that is in men. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's - Philippians 2:21Philippians 2:21 [King James Bible]: 21. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.. Now as touching on those things that have gone completely out of the way; we thank God for the record to touch on with regards to his will. We thank God for the record of the King James Bible.


The church of Christ is not a denomination as some claim. The church of Christ is the original church as declared in the scriptures. Moreove, the church or churches of Christ have no such thing as a council of churches, let alone, to be called "United or International." Yet there are churches of Christ who have formed to themselves such counsils of oversight; but they are the apostate exceptions. There is absolutely no authority before almighty God for such arrangements. Apostate churches are those who forsake the fundamentals of Bible doctrine - 2 John 10-112 John 10-11 [King James Bible]: 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. cf. 1 John 2:191 John 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.. Such things should serve to warn men and women that not all churches adhere to Bible doctrine. The Bible calls this the leaven of false doctrine and deception. It's worth noting, that without the Bible there would be no such thing as a Christian, let alone, a church. Therefore, the Bible is the final authority in all things to the Christian and the church. The fact is, there is nothing beyond the Bible that will direct men to heaven. That is why the church of Christ is the only church the Bible teaches.


Now the terms church and churches of Christ are interchangeable, in that, they mean the same thing. The churches, referring to the plural form of what makes up the church as a whole, such as, what we observe in the synecdoche principal, which is a part for the whole and a whole for the part, is the church we read about in the New Testament. The individual churches that make up the church of Christ are entirely independent of each other in terms of accountability to the Lord. They are also independent of general oversight, that is, apart from the Lord. Yet they observe and teach the same doctrine because the Bible is the only doctrine that is authorised to be taught in the Lord's church, hence, the church of Christ - Galatians 1:8Galatians 1:8 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed., cf. 1 Timothy 6:3-51 Timothy 6:3-5 [King James Bible]: 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.. The church of Christ is unlike all other churches, in that, becoming a member depends entirely on one's obedience to the gospel - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., cf. Romans 6:17Romans 6:17 [King James Bible]: 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.. Faith, including confession of faith in Christ, repentance, and water baptism; are of the first principals of the oracles of God. After all, the Lord is the one who does the adding to that number, which is the church - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. The scriptures testify that the word of God is absolute, and absolute in terms of unchanging. The record also declares, that the number of saved is a matter unto the Lord alone, and therefore kept in heaven.


Now a congregation is formed when more than one person has obeyed the gospel; which must include at least one man for obvious reasons. They, then, become the church in that area, that is, if there is no local church of Christ. The church of Christ is the only church that believes, obeys, and teaches Bible doctrine as one under the commmandment of almighty God. The churches leadership is patterned after the New Testament; such as, elders, deacons, and evangelists (who are preachers). Women are forbidden to take up such roles - 1 Corinthians 14:341 Corinthians 14:34 [King James Bible]: 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.. The same things distinguish the church of Christ from all others churches. No one man has authority over the church, save Christ alone - Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.. The church of Christ has no central administration here on earth (headquarters), such as, Rome is to Roman Catholicism. The head of the church is Jesus Christ, hence, the church which is of Christ. The Bible teaches that Christ presides over the church from heaven - Luke 22:69Luke 22:69 [King James Bible]: 69. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. cf. Matthew 28:18Matthew 28:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.. Any authority within the church is delegated authority, such as, elders (who are older men) having the oversight of God's heritage (which is the church) - 1 Peter 5:1-31 Peter 5:1-3 [King James Bible]: 1. The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3. Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.. Deacons serve under the authority of the elders, and also serve the church. The qualifications for the officeship of elders and deacons is outlined in the New Testament - Titus 1:6-9Titus 1:6-9 [King James Bible]: 6. If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers., cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-71 Timothy 3:1-7 [King James Bible]: 1. This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3. Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6. Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil., 1 Timothy 3:8-138. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus..


Evangelists, who are preachers (and not pastors); serve under the delegated authority of the elders. No one man, such as, the so called "pastors" we observe amongst denominationalists; have authority over the Lord's church; save that of the elders. Elders, given in the plural form, are the one's who have the pastoral oversight of the local church. Anything that goes beyond that refuses to acknowledge Bible authority as the final authority. Men have absolutely no say in the matter apart from what the Bible record declares. The church of Christ is the only church the Bible authorises. All other churches apart from the churches of Christ are false churches - Psalm 127:1Psalm 127:1 [King James Bible]: 1. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.. None of them are Christian, and none of them can account for even one saved soul. What they offer up is strange or unauthorised, such as, that of the sons of Aaron - Leviticus 10:1-2Leviticus 10:1-2 [King James Bible]: 1. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.. The churches of Christ - Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you., and the kingdom of heaven - Matthew 3:2Matthew 3:2 [King James Bible]: 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.; are the selfsame thing. The Bible also uses those terms interchangeably. Now the church of Christ had it's origins on the first Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. No other church save the church of Christ can claim this. Moreover, no other church except the church of Christ is mentioned in the Bible. That speaks for itself.


OBEYING THE GOSPEL



The gospel demands one's obedience if they want to be saved. If one doesn't want to be saved then he doesn't have to obey the gospel. Obeying the gospel is a personal choice that has an eternal outcome. Gospel obedience is also necessary for one to become a member of the church of Christ. One of the first principles of the oralces of God is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he came in the flesh - 1 John 4:151 John 4:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God., cf. John 3:18John 3:18 [King James Bible]: 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God., 1 Corinthians 15:1-81 Corinthians 15:1-8 [King James Bible]: 1. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6. After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.. To believe requires faith. Paul said, that without faith it is impossible to please God - Hebrews 11:6Hebrews 11:6 [King James Bible]: 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. Once faith has been accomplished; then the doing of the faith must follow. James said, be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves - James 1:22James 1:22 [King James Bible]: 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all declare the gospel of Jesus Christ. God had four men to write for a record the life and times of his Son, Jesus Christ. One gospel, four accounts.


The gospel teaches that men are separated from God by sin. It also teaches that sin can and will be forgiven if one should seek forgiveness for their sins. Sin itself is a transgression of God's law - 1 John 3:41 John 3:4 [King James Bible]: 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.. A transgression is something that violates. Wrongdoing, for example, is to violate. All wrongdoing is sin. Now the gospel teaches, that by Jesus Christ, men can be reconciled with God, that is, if they do according to what is written. One would be forgiven for thinking that the Bible was written by men, and it was; but the words came from God. Men were moved by the Holy Ghost according to the record - 2 Peter 1:212 Peter 1:21 [King James Bible]: 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost..




INTRODUCING BIBLE DOCTRINEPost Augmentation 2018


Copyright © 2018 Carrick on Shannon church of Christ - Overture and Doctrinal


It behooved me in no uncertain terms to aggregate the following dissertation with the sole intention of teaching men and women how to obey the gospel and to live faithful in Christ thereafter. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the least embraced of the fundamentals of salvation, and more often than not; cast asunder for the sake of private interpretation and wilful ignorance. Yet none of those things are authorised, let alone, will they qualify for obeying the gospel. I'm hard pressed to see how anyone that claims to be a Christian can do so without ever obeying the gospel as the Bible teaches. The gospel was delivered to us for a reason. We have the Bible that contains the gospel for a reason. Therefore, let us reason.


Anything outside of what the gospel teaches amounts to nothing more than dangerous speculation and misinformation. The vast majority wade about in their own beliefs and religious traditions without ever realising the eternal consequences. The Bible is clear that one must obey the gospel to become a Christian. If you have not obeyed the gospel then you are not a Christian. That said, it grieves me to think that there are some who consider themselves to be Christians apart from the blood of Christ. Now since God is the judge, then men must wholly accept their responsibility in verity of covenant and conduct. In fact, the Spirit said that ignorance would no longer be overlooked as it was in times past - Acts 17:30-31Acts 17:30-31 [King James Bible]: 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.. We are all free agents to believe whatever we want to believe, but unless we believe what God said to believe, then we'll just believe our way to hell. The nature of belief itself being faith must utterly adhere to the fundamental truth of the scriptures, that is, of the doctrine of the faith of Christ. In other words, the religion of Jesus Christ. It seems that men have forgot that the word "Christian" means follower of Christ - Matthew 4:19Matther 4:19 [King James Bible]: 19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men., cf. Luke 10:2Luke 10:2 [King James Bible]: 2. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.. Apart from scripture there is absolutely no grounds for faith, or should I say, the faith that saves. When men are wholly given to hearing the gospel they purchase to themselves a good degree. It's what men do upon hearing the gospel is what counts - James 1:22James 1:22 [King James Bible]: 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.. The age old putting off tomorrow what can be done today won't wash with God. Men are without excuse - Romans 1:20-21Romans 1:20-21 [King James Bible]: 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.. That's why I personally have a vested interest in procuring the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. After all, the foundation of the Christian faith is built on these - Ephesians 2:20Ephesians 2:20 [King James Bible]: 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;.


We employ every effort to avoid any and all associations with religious organizations and those who teach after the doctrines of men. Neither have we any interest in procuring beyond what the written record has determined. At the end of the day, it's how we handle the word of God that will determine the outcome in the thereafter - 1 Corinthians 3:131 Corinthians 3:13 [King James Bible]: 13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.. Advocating upon the first principles of the oracles of God is certainly a challenge, not to mention, a life long commitment. Unlike religious mainstream, we, and those of our faithful brethren from around the world; have an unction to procure the gospel of Jesus Christ as one under the commandment of almighty God - Mark 16:15-16Mark 16:15-16 [King James Bible]: 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.. Those who choose to be unfaithful have no part in that which pertains to the word of God, such as, women preaching and usurping the authority of men, and digressive attitudes in favour of musical instruments in worship. The Bible forbade such things in the long ago, and still does - 1 Corinthians 14:341 Corinthians 14:34 [King James Bible]: 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. cf. Ephesians 5:19-21Ephesians 5:19-21 [King James Bible]: 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.. Nor do we form to ourselves any other doctrine save what the Bible teaches. Mind you, I often wonder why some of the so called Christian apologetics and Wikipedia parade the church of Christ in such as fashion as if there's something wrong with it. They claim by the sound of it, that a group of like-minded people got together to form a religion they claim obeys what the Bible teaches. In part it may sound right; but it fails to acknowledge the origins of the church, and by what means one becomes a member. If the same would care to read the New Testament once in a while they might well have less to say. Then again, that's probably asking too much. Ever since the church was established on the first Pentecost it has had it's enemies. I dare say that's going to change anytime soon. Futhermore, if any man would to challenge what I say; then let him come and do so. He'll have to refute the Bible too - 1 Peter 4:111 Peter 4:11 [King James Bible]: 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. It's one thing to labour for Christ and another thing to sow - Matthew 9:37Matthew 9:37 [King James Bible]: 37. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;. The only problem is all the weeds of false doctrine we have to contend with. It's also interesting to note what Paul said in - Hebrews 12:25Hebrews 12:25 [King James Bible]: 25. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: concerning those who reject God.


No doubt our efforts will accomodate those already in the church to further their understanding of the more difficult things that pertain to the word of God. The Bible calls it the meat of the word - 1 Corinthians 3:21 Corinthians 3:2 [King James Bible]: 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able., cf. Hebrews 5:1212. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.. In saying that, our hope is that this somewhat at length expository will help in introducing the following dissertation which is composed of several studies on the fundamentals of Bible doctrine. Besides, teaching men the word of God is a matter of utmost importance, even to the saving of the soul. You see, very few nowadays possess a proper understanding of what the Bible teaches, let alone, the eternal value of their own soul. With so many churches emerging out of nowhere (without scriptural authority), and wannabe preachers all professing the name of Christ and claiming to teach the way of salvation, and what have you? No wonder there's so much confusion. All confusion does is generate more confusion, and that's why we have so many denominations all professing the name of Christ. The thing is, only one of them can be right. Now he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him - 1 John 2:4-61 John 2:4-6 [King James Bible] 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.. Now since the Bible only teaches one church, inasmuch as it teaches one faith, one baptism, one Christ, and one God - Ephesians 4:4-64. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.; then where have all the other churches come from? The answer is simple. When the ordinance of religion is left to man then we are faced with that existential threat of non-compliance to the religion that saves. Just by merely existing, Roman Catholicism and the Protestant denominations contradict the scriptures on all fronts. Therefore I pray you, inasmuch as it is possible, to approach the following lessons with an open mind, and a willingness to learn of those things that can save your soul - James 1:2121. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.. Solomon well said, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." - Proverbs 12:1515. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise., cf. 18:1313. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him..


UNDERSTANDING CHRISTIANITY



Now it's in everyone's interest that we first procure with a general conspectus of those things that pertain to the religion of Jesus Christ. That includes the disparity that exists between those who are indeed Christians (those who have obeyed the gospel) and those who call themselves Christians (without ever having obeyed the gospel). Like oil and water, they don't mix. It's also noteworthy to mention that not all who profess to be Christians are actually Christian. Christianity is not a matter of blind religion and foolish traditions; but rather, a taught religion, and by the revelation that is contained within the record of the volume of the scripture. Now in saying that, one of the more subtle and indeed wilful ignorances to beset mankind in more recent times is the near all out and comprehensive rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed it is the rejection of salvation itself. And no wonder, with all the media drivel and anti-Christian sentiment that abounds. In more recent times, however, we have to contend with the likes of the Islamic religion which is another, and all out, enemy of the cross of Christ. Should we be surprised when we see that the world loves its own - John 15:19John 15:19 (King James Bible): 19. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.? Is it not another sign of the forsaking of the first principals of the oralces of God? Yes it is! You can thank Roman Catholicism and the protestant denominations for that. I'm sure you've read - Galatians 6:7Galatians 6:7 (King James Bible): 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.. Moreover, when men speak as if they know God and yet they know not God; they speak of themselves and make themselves liars. They know not God because they do not according to the first principals of the oracles of God. Their faith is not of the faith of Christ, therefore, they have not God. Now in spite of that, the unlearned and ignorant hearken to such men as if they spake that which pertaineth to the oracles of God. See where it got them - Matthew 7:13-14Matthew 7:13-14 [King James Bible]: 13. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.. Then men wonder why God is displeased?


Religious and denominational Christendom do not represent the cross of Christ and never have. In fact, they only represent what they want to believe, even if it means to alter the written record in the process. What they call faith is not faith in God per se; but rather, faith in gods, even of their own making. We all know what the Bible says about that - Isaiah 42:8Isaiah 42:8 [King James Bible]: 8. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.. The only time their kind is mentioned in the Bible is to rebuke false teaching. You see, no church (assembly of people) outside the church of Christ is entitled (or authorized) to represent God. Not one of them account for even one saved soul because the Lord doesn't add souls to other churches - Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. cf. Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Nor indeed am I surprised to hear of the widespread ignorance of the gospel that exists in our time. They either laugh it off as something outdated and archaic; or they try to dispute the authenticity of the scriptures. What they fail to acknowledge are those things that testify to the unseen - Hebrews 11:33. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.. Yet they want to be called Christians and refuse to believe. It doesn't work like that. The modern ideal is to embrace all religions regardless of what they represent. Whilst some claim that God can be found in all religions; others attempt to alter the scriptures in such a fashion as to render them according to their own religious beliefs. Now that's all well and good until the judgement. Actually, judgement begins at the moment of death (when we deapart from this earthly habitat for the realm of the unseen). The day of judgement itself is the official handing down of judgement, hence death and hell delivering up the dead which were in them - Revelation 20:13Revelation 20:13 [King James Bible]: 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.. Then no amount of gospel, or anything for that matter will save them. They'll just end up where all those that went before them are. They are what the Bible calls "the lost." Lost into eternity and torment. Now the Bible is clear regarding one of the elements of the torments of hell, which is fire. Irrefutable unquenchable fire. Just like Sodom and Gomorrah which were made an example to those that should live ungodly thereafter - 2 Peter 2:66. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;. They were the homosexual cities of the plain which God destroyed. Thus condemning the sin of homosexuality in all its deviant forms - Leviticus 18:2222. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination..


Now another reason for the lack of take up on the gospel is the sheer number of divisive denominations that seem to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. With their foreign ideologies after the doctrines of men and not after God; is it any wonder that men are put off? No wonder the unsuspecting and ignorant are caught in that fiery spit of delusive contentment, which in the end will spell their condemnation. If only they'd look to the Bible once in a while. In any case, just by merely existing, that is, denominations; well, they fly in the face of biblical authority and the only wise God - Romans 16:2727. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen., cf. Jude 1:2525. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.. Moreover, God said that he's not the author of confusion - 1 Corinthians 14:3333. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.. The God of the Bible is no respector of persons - Acts 10:34-3534. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.. If you want to be numbered with those who are being saved; then you do it God's way. That means, not your way, or any other way. After all, who do you think does the saving?


Needless to say, that one's fidelity to God is invariably demonstrated in keeping with the doctrine of scripture, and in particular; that of the New Testament. James, the brother of Jesus, said, "...be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves - James 1:2222. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.." That said, it also depends on what kind of doing is being done. Those that opt for the lukewarm with regards to the Christian faith, and there's a lot of that, well, that's indicative of false teaching - Revelation 3:1616. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.. There's no such thing as shortcut religion with God. The only shortcut you'll find in relgion is to hell. God never intended for man to do nothing. Ever since the garden, my friend; God has given man to do - Genesis 2:1515. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.. To do, implies, that there is doing to be done. Those who are familiar with the Bible know well that not only the believing rests with us; but also the doing of the believing. Mind you, belief is a work in itself because God said it is - John 6:2929. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.. Moreover, God said, that without faith (which is to believe), it is impossible to please him - Hebrews 11:66. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. What's more, if a man refuses to believe; then how can he know what to do; if he refuses to believe what to do? Sounds to me a lot like what Jesus said in - John 10:2626. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.. The Bible teaches that a time will come when men will refuse sound doctrine - 2 Timothy 4:3-43. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables., cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1010. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.. I'm afraid that time has come.


Now as pertaining to the oracles of God, well, like it's said, there's only one place you'll find them, and that's in the Bible. There's no other text given amongst men, save that of the volume of the record which was written by the holy men of God in the long ago - 1 Peter 1:2121. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost., cf. Hebrews 1:1-21. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;. Those texts are forever immured within the pages of what we call the Bible. The word Bible itself comes from Middle English, and means books. Moreover, the Bible is made up of sixty six (66) books. Thirty nine (39) in the Old Testament, and twenty seven (27) in the New. Mind you, the Bible is an exceptional book given the fact that God, and not man, is the author. There was a time, however, when God chose to use the earthen vessel of man to reveal his will to his beloved creation. Thereafter the onus rested with man to teach men the gospel of Jesus Christ, which, after all, is essential to understanding the will of God. We use thoughts, do we not, to communicate? Words are the expression of thoughts. Thoughts are conveyed through the words that make up the language we use to communicate. Therefore, before creation was created it was in the mind of God. What God has revealed about the creation and a certain part of the history of mankind are in his word. The word is the revelation of the thoughts of God. However, it's said, that men forget their way after the third generation, and I believe it. It seems that men forget their way in the absence of sound instruction. History reminds us that the fruits of ignorance belongs to the shambles. When morality dissipates, a nation has lost its way. You see, gone are the days when children were allowed to be children. Nowadays they proclaim that's it's all right for boys to wear girly dresses as if that's normal. Well it's not normal. It's weird. However, let's not forget what the Bible has to say about wearing clothes of the opposite gender - Deuteronomy 22:55. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.. Ireland is become a real test tube of antipathy with regards to morality. Whatever the next generation will produce remains to be seen.


So why does ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ still prevail? Well just look around you. Very few want to hear anything that has to do with the gospel these days. Mind you, some even refer to the gospel as offensive. Now that's a hard saying, however, I understand it to some extent because of the untold damage that unauthorized churches and their false Christians have brought about. All clamouring and claiming to teach the way of salvation without the Bible ever having a look in. This is typical of the religious denominations we see today, not to mention, their lack of accountability when it comes to teaching the doctrines of men. Now since none of them can agree in terms of doctrine; they have cunningly devised the term "unity in diversity." That's like saying a white blackbird. No doubt a sign of the times. Tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. Such teachings denote the devilish doctrines of liberal hypothesis. Now it's one thing to have a desire to worship God, however, it's entirely another thing to worship God in a manner that is acceptable to him. You see, God has given specific instructions in how we are to worship. Failure to observe the exhortations of almighty God is detrimental to one's salvation. The thing is, most people just want to be entertained like those who enjoy revelling to excess of riot. They look to get something out of worship rather than to just worship. Worship is to reverence, venerate, give thanks, honour, praise, exalt and glorify. On the other hand, worship to those without has all the hallmarks of ignorant bliss. Now it remains to be seen whether this spiritual constipation on the part of religious Christianity will ever change. I don't think it will. In saying that, the Bible is utterly silent concerning the agent of change. The devilish and dividing leavens of false doctrine are fashioned in such a way as to lure both the weak an ignorant after the doctrines of men and not after God. Jesus well said, when he knew what was in man - John 2:2525. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.. Mind you, so does the devil.


Moreover, it seems that every man is for himself these days, and that's not a good sign of things to come. When it comes to faith, well, everyone has their own opinion. One will say this and the other will say that. All it amounts to is a confused pastiche of that form of godliness which the Bible spake, even that. But what is faith? Well the Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen - Hebrews 11:1-61. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2. For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. If one claims to be a Christian he doesn't invent faith as he goes along, but rather, pursues faith in the realm of revealed knowledge and revelation. As I said before, we have that in the form of the Bible. Now the affimation is, that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost - 2 Peter 1:2121. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.. Besides that, God has made it clear that without faith it is impossible to please him - Hebrews 11:66. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.. It's also worth noting that what the Bible condemns is for our good. God would that all men were saved; but on his terms - 1 Timothy 2:44. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth..


GOD, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE



The modern definition of marriage is more of a caricature than a sacred covenant. I suppose what began in America has become a hornet's nest of vile euphoria for that which defiles the marriage bed. Marriage is no longer revered as sacred. Moreover, the gravity of divorce and remarriage is something the vast majority appear to ignore. Whether ignorance, or wilful ignorance is the cause; will carry little weight in terms of the judgement. Marriage is one of the few institutions that is held sacred in the sight of God. Why? because the Lord God created marriage - Geneis 2:22-24Genesis 2:22-24 [King James Bible]: 22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.. What's more, God instituted the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman that their coming together might be acceptable in his sight. That said, they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh - Mark 10:8Mark 10:8 [King James Bible}: 8. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh..



LIBERALISM IN RELIGION



Liberalism in politics is bad enough; but liberalism in the church, well, that's something else. There is absolutely no place for liberal thinking in the church of Christ.



TRUE RELIGION SERIES