Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                          January 27, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 52



One cannot become a friend of Christ by going "to the altar and praying through to salvation." Advocates of the "praying through" theology never give a Scripture that teaches that alien sinners can be saved from their past sins by going to the altar and praying. No where in the Scriptures do we find where any alien sinner was ever told to "come to the altar and pray."

Neither does one become a friend of Christ by "picking out some good church" he likes and joining it. Every denominational church is destined to "be rooted up." (Read Psalms 127:1 which says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it," and Matthew 15:13 which says, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up".

A religious "experience" does not make one a friend of Christ. There is no Scriptural evidence that one is a friend of the Lord just because he may have had a religious "experience." 

Giving so-called "testimonials" about how good the Lord is and how much one loves Him does not make one a friend of Christ. The fact that one lives an upright moral life does not necessarily mean that he is a friend of the Lord.

In John 15:14 Jesus told His disciples: "Ye are my friends IF ye do whatsoever I command you." It is quite obvious from this statement of Jesus Christ that one can not be, and thus cannot become a friend of His unless he does what Jesus commands. To do what Jesus commands one must learn and believe what Jesus says. Only then can he truly do what Jesus says. The source of information must be the Scriptures. As we study the Scriptures we learn that FAITH, REPENTANCE, CONFESSION, and BAPTISM are conditions set forth by the Lord that we must meet in order to become His friends. 

Please read and study carefully Heb 11:6; John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17; Acts 17:30-31; Rom 10:9-10; Mark 16:15-16 and Gal 3:26-27. Do you believe what these verses say? If so, you will become a friend of the Lord when you obey them! 

To continue to be His friend, you must continue to learn, believe and obey whatever Jesus commands. This is how one becomes and remains a friend of Jesus Christ. 

---Carrol R. Sutton

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Worldliness is eating us alive. Like cancer that destroys the organs and then the whole body, worldliness is destroying God's people. Oh, I'm not talking about the "ugly" worldliness that involves the forbidden things like drinking, cursing, lying and immorality. But we must also realize there is worldliness that involves things that are not wrong within themselves. That makes it "respectable." As long as what we are doing is not forbidden, we feel comfortable in doing it. Let's explore the thought.

Demas had a problem with worldliness. Paul said, "Demas has forsaken me having loved the present world" (2 Tim. 4:10). There is nothing in this text to suggest that Demas loved anything that was sinful in and of itself. It was just that his love for the present life (the temporal over the spiritual) was misplaced. His priorities were wrong.

More and more I'm seeing Christians who wouldn't think of participating in the forbidden worldliness like dancing, drinking, or immodesty, but are being consumed with another form of the same problem. Maybe the parable of the sower would help us better appreciate the point. Some seed fell among the thorns which represented those who are "choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life" (Luke 8:14). The cares, riches, and pleasures are not wrong in themselves, but they crowd out spiritual things in our lives.

The rat race we live in has robbed families of time that they need together just to be families. Our involvement in sports, school activities, our jobs, and our care for our-selves at times crowd in on our service to God. Evidence is seen in attendance. We miss for things that wouldn't keep us from work or school. As I travel in meetings I see more and more occasions when the local members don't show up during the meeting. They have other things to do. 


Minor aches and pains keep us away from the service. If we are tired or have a slight sniffle that's enough to not be at worship. When we keep our children home for "sickness" that they themselves know is minor or not contagious, they are learning how to be worldly.


We see this spirit displayed in the apathy that some have. When our care and concern for material things like cars, clothes, houses, and money exceeds interest in the gospel and spiritual things, worldliness has already taken its toll. When greater preparation is given to see that our children have their homework than to learning their Bibles, we are worldly minded.


In meetings I'm disappointed to see that members think nothing of taking their vacation time during the meeting and miss most, if not all, of the services. We allow our teenage children (whose working is for extra spending money) to work and miss services during meetings (to say nothing of the regular times on Sunday and Wednesday).

In some places it is difficult to find to a good time to schedule a meeting or VBS. If it conflicts with ball games or other personal plans, attendance may be slim or some of the young folks and their parents may be frustrated.

Learning to get our priorities straight would go a long way toward solving our problem. Jesus said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). Peter told his readers to "sanctify the Lord God in your heart" (1 Pet 3:15). May we grow in our fear of God. As someone said long ago, "The main things is to keep the main thing, the main thing!" I say, "Amen!"

---Donnie Rader 

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Several years ago, a reader of The British Weekly wrote this provocative letter to the editor:

"Dear Sir:  It seems ministers feel their sermons are very important and spend a great deal of time preparing them. I have been attending a church service quite regularly for the past 30 years and I have probably heard 3,000 of them. To my consternation, I discovered that I cannot remember a single sermon. I wonder if a minister's time might be more profitably spent on something else?   Sincerely, ..."


For weeks a real storm of editorial responses ensued, The uproar finally was ended by this letter:

"Dear Sir: I have been married for 30 years.  During that time I have eaten 32,850 meals-mostly of my wife's cooking.  Suddenly, I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal.  And yet, I received nourishment from every single one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago. Sincerely, ..."


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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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