What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 17”
What The Bible Says
Vol. I - No. 17 / January 13, 2019
HOW TO EVALUATE A CONGREGATION
How do you evaluate a congregation? We all do it. We decide that a particular church is "good", another is "so-so", and yet another is not what we like at all. While we understand that such judgments are natural and necessary, our concern is about the basis upon which we make these choices. We have heard Christians who make comments like:
a. “That church is not friendly.”
b. “The preacher preaches too long."
c. “They keep the building too hot/cold."
Or, on the positive side:
1. “They have activities for young folks.”
2. “They have a lot of get-togethers."
3. "We like to hear that song leader."
Would you like to know the true basis for determining a "good" church? Let Jesus show you. Read the letters to the seven church of Asia (Revelation 2 & 3). Two of those seven churches (Smyrna and Philadelphia) receive high praise and no rebuke. Both of those churches were commended for their dedicated stand for the truth, even in the face of persecution. There's no hint of the superficial social activity that so many people are looking for. These were simply congregations that took a strong stand for the truth and demonstrated a die-hard conviction for what was right.
Would you have been happy as a member at Smyrna or Philadelphia? We can't guarantee that the folks there were overtly "friendly" or that there were lots of "get-togethers" or that the singing was topnotch. They were just dedicated Christians doing their spiritual work. Would this be enough for you? It was for Jesus!
Via THE BEACON 1-8-19
The outdoor signs, which many churches have in front of their buildings, reveal much about their beliefs and practices. One I passed the other day said, "By The Authority Of God's Word, I Am A Blood Bought Child Of The King". If I understand the meaning, they are saying that what they did to become a child of the King is authorized by God in His word. That is, indeed, a wonderful and beautiful statement; IF IT IS TRUE!
Being familiar with the denomination which made this statement, here is what they practice in the matter of becoming a child of the King: "The repentance which the Gospel requires includes a deep conviction, a penitential sorrow, an open confession, a decided hatred, and an entire forsaking of all sin. This repentance God has enjoined on all men; and without it in this life the sinner must perish eternally.” THE FREE WILL BAPTIST TREATISE, Chapter IX, Article 106,107. "All men are required to believe in Christ, and those who yield obedience to this requirement become the children of God by faith." Ibid, Chapter X, Article 114. Thus, their belief and practice is to be saved by repentance and faith.
Indeed, the Scriptures teach repentance and faith as a part of becoming a child of the King. Peter told those in Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel, KNOW ASSUREDLY that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Believing or knowing assuredly that Jesus was, indeed, "Lord and Christ", they replied in verse 37, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?". To which Peter replied in verse 38, "Repent". Thus far we see and have "authority of God's word" for repenting and believing in order to become a child of the King. This is what the church, which had the marque, believes and practices: repentance and faith to become a child of the King.
However, is faith and repentance ALL that Peter told them to do? Let's read verse 38 again: "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." In this statement, Peter is telling those who believe that Jesus is Lord and Christ to "repent, AND be baptized" for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. Whatever relationship repentance has to the “remission of sins", so does baptism!
It's the same thing expressed by Jesus in Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Whatever relationship "believeth" has to being saved, so does being "baptized". Thus we have Jesus and Peter joining baptism to faith and repentance. In order to be “saved" and to have "remission of sins", God's word teaches faith and repentance and baptism are necessary.
You cannot be saved before believing. Neither can you be saved before baptism. Belief and baptism come BEFORE a person is saved (Mark 16:16). You cannot have the remission (forgiveness) of sins before repenting. Neither can you have remission (forgiveness) of sins before baptism. Repentance and baptism come BEFORE the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
Therefore, we are not a child of the King before we believe, repent, and are baptized. For anyone to teach that a person can become a child of the King by JUST believing on Christ and repenting of their sins is not teaching by the authority of God's word. God’s word nowhere teaches that sins are forgiven by just believing and repenting.
No one, since the resurrection of Christ, has become a child of the King without: (1) HEARING God's word. For "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17); (2) FAITH in Christ. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6); (3) REPENTING of sins. "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) (Also, Acts 2:38, quoted above.); (4) CONFESSING Christ to be God's Son. "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37); and (5) being BAPTIZED for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38, already quoted).
Therefore, by the authority of God's word, we must sincerely declare those who believe they are children of the King by repenting and believing are not His children. The reason why this must be said? They are unwilling to take ALL that God has said on the subject. Therefore, they are without authority from God.
- E.R. Hall, Jr.
A mind with no spiritual inclinations makes no sense.
He who is waiting for something to turn up might start with his own shirt sleeves.
Your temper is like a fire. It gets very destructive when it gets out of control.
Conscience is God's built-in warning system. Be very happy when it hurts you. Be very worried when it doesn’t.
Although the tongue weighs very little, few people are able to hold it.
"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. 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 the next 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 you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. eastalbertville.org