Know Your Bible

VOL. 9                           May 16, 2010                           NO. 20

 Gospel Meeting Starts Today!


Sunday AM - Shirley Mullins - Blessings And Challenges

Sunday PM - Gary Mullins    - “Will You Also Go Away?”

Monday       - Phillip Mullins  - The Fragrance Of Christ: How The Christian’s Influence Works

Tuesday      - Glen Young     - Moral Courage

Wednesday - Tim Shepherd  - The Family Table

Thursday     - Chris Fleming   - Worshiping...In His Presence

Friday          - Kevin Kay         - “And He Appointed Twelve”


            (To The Members Of The Lord's Church At Wise.) Do your best to be present. All the lessons will be beneficial to each and every one who is present to hear them. Also, do your best to encourage someone else to come in order that they, too, might benefit. We must always remember, the gospel is God’s power to save mankind from sin. (Rom. 1:16)

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The Value And Importance Of

Gospel Meetings


            The value of gospel meetings has long been a subject of debate. On the one hand there are those that champion the philosophy that the gospel meeting of today does no good. There are those on the other hand that tell us that the value of gospel meetings to the overall spiritual and numerical growth of the congregation is substantial.  If we look only at the conversions to be numbered in the gospel meeting we may indeed claim that they have not been productive in recent years -- generally speaking. Surely the immediate number of conversions is not an inadequate devise for measuring the benefits of a gospel meeting, please notice the following:


1. THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED EACH SERVICE DURING A GOSPEL MEETING: 2 Tim. 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”  NKJV


2. BRETHREN HAVE OCCASION TO INTERACT TOGETHER: Eph. 4:3 “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” NKJV


3.  THE CONGREGATION IS STIMULATED TO UNITED EFFORT: Heb. 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”


4. OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET CHRISTIANS FROM OTHER CONGREGATIONS IS ENHANCED: 1 Thess. 1:8 “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” KJV


5.  THE LOCAL MEMBERSHIP HAS SPECIAL INCENTIVE TO INVITE OTHERS TO ATTEND THE SERVICES: Matt. 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” NKJV


6.  IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN TO WORK: Titus 3:1-2 "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work”, James 1:25-26 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.” KJV


7.  IT IS A TIME FOR PERSONAL AND CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER: 1 Thess. 5:17, 18 “pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”




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Godly Verses Ungodly Religion 


            Ungodly men may not be wicked men but may be not-godly men who do not have a God-ward way of thinking.


            Religion by its very definition would seem to involve God. However, there are those who practice a religion that is all about man rather than God. This is what we mean by ungodly religion -- religion that is not necessarily wicked but just not godward.


            Jesus described such people in His day in the words of Isaiah: "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:8,9). Paul writes of those who are "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" while at the same time "holding a form of godliness" (2 Tim. 3:4,5). Jude describes some who are in the church, but are "ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 4).


            Why would ungodly individuals continue to profess religion? Some do so, "supposing that godliness is a way of gain" (1 Tim. 6:5). Others, like Diotrophes (3 Jn. 9), love the preeminence that they have attained in the church. Or, like the rulers of Jn. 12:43, they may love "the praise of men more than than the praise of God."


Contrasting Churches: -- Local churches may be led either by godly or ungodly (not godly) men -- that is, by men who are most concerned for God and things of the Spirit or by men whose concerns are primarily human and temporal. Such churches can be distinguished by the following:


Goals: -- Godly leaders have as their goal "the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, but the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ" (Eph. 4:12-15). Ungodly men have as their primary goal increasing numbers -- a big church. They consider numerical growth proof of God's approval.


Doctrine: -- Godly leaders are determined to abide in the doctrine of Christ and not to go beyond it (2 Jn. 9). Knowing that most of the public "will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Tim. 4:3,4), ungodly leaders provide the teachers that will tickle their ears.


Discipline: -- Godly leaders insist that in harmony with God's instructions the church "withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly" (2 Thess. 3:6). Ungodly leaders advertise: "Come as you are" and boast that they are not judgmental, receiving everyone regardless of lifestyle.


Worship: -- Godly leaders insist that God be worshiped "acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Heb. 12:28) while ungodly men place great emphasis on "worship" that pleases the public. They seem concerned only that everyone leave "feeling good about themselves" and eager to return.


Preachers: -- Godly leaders are not nearly as concerned with excellence of speech or of wisdom as that preachers be "determined not to know anything, ... save Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:1,2). Ungodly leaders insist that preachers be entertaining and personally popular, even with the world.


Activities: -- Godly leaders test every proposed action by the Scriptures, determined to "do all in the name of (by the authority of) the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17) while ungodly leaders offer whateverpeople want -- sports, entertainment, education, feasts, travel -- with little apparent concern for what God wants.


Testing Ourselves: -- The Bible blesses those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Matt. 5:6). By contrast it condemns those who have "pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2:12). Our taste in churches will help us determine which we are.


            How will a person who has "pleasure in unrighteousness" feel about a church whose goal above all other things is to remake him into the image of Christ, whose doctrine is "the apostles' teaching," where he is put on notice that he must live a godly life or be disfellowshipped, where worship is designed exclusively to please God, where preachers preach only the Word of God -- reproving, rebuking and exhorting -- and where activities are altogether spiritual?


            On the other hand, how will one who is hungry and thirsty for righteousness feel about a church he visits where he receives nothing but entertainment, where the "sermons" are little more than jokes and pop psychology, where sin is never rebuked, sinners never convicted or exhorted, and where activities are the same as those offered at a public school, theater, or country club?


            What kind of church are you seeking -- the church of your choice or the church of God's choice? A godly church or a not-godly church?

                                                                                                                                                                            ---Sewell Hall

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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.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.

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