What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 2 / No. 18”
What The Bible Says
Vol. II - No. 18 / Frbruary 2, 2020
WAS THE DEATH OF STEPHEN IS UNNECESSARY?
The title that heads this article may sound strange, but the actions and philosophies of some merit our consideration of such a question. It is true that we live in a country where we enjoy religious freedom. It is not against the law to preach Christ in our country; whereas, it was against the law of the Jews for Stephen to preach Christ. There is a vast difference between the attitude of the officials in government in Stephen’s day and the attitude of the officials in government in our day. Sometimes I wonder if there isn’t just as much a difference in the attitude of Stephen and the attitude of most preachers today. I don’t mean denominational preachers but those who claim to be gospel preachers.
How many “gospel preachers” do you know that would use the plain language that Stephen used in his preaching? Stephen said, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:51-53). Every person who claims to be a gospel preacher needs to examine those words very carefully. We need to ask ourself the question: Would we preach like Stephen did? Would we say what the said or would we water it down and soften it up? Would we reason that it would not be using good judgment to preach the way Stephen preached? If Stephen had used some of this good judgment that we are inclined to think about, he might not have been stoned to death. Couldn’t Stephen have used a little more of what we call diplomacy and possibly saved himself from being stoned to death? Sometimes I wonder if what we are doing, when we talk about good judgment and diplomacy, is excusing ourselves for compromising the truth. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not recommending that we do not use good judgment.
Could you image Stephen or Paul or Jesus Christ keeping quite when matters of truth are at stake? Would they excuse themselves from speaking out against unscriptural practices under the pretense of using good judgment or diplomacy? Preachers who never say anything against church support of human institutions, church sponsored recreation, church sponsored ball teams, and kindergartens should certainly ask themselves these questions. Also, the same holds true for preachers who are afraid to say anything about worldly practices, immodest apparel, and etc.
Taken from The Sunny Hill Bulletin, May 25, 1972
There are varied ideas concerning "commandment keeping". Some think only in respect to the “10 Commandments” and teach a person must keep the ten commandments to be saved. Others believe that if you were to keep all God's commandments, you would still not be saved. Let it be understand that by "commandment keeping", I am not referring to the "10 commandments". Despite these conflicting beliefs, let's see what God has revealed on the matter.
KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS IS THE EXPRESSION OF MY FAITH. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:17-18).
KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS IS THE EXPRESSION OF MY LOVE. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21).
KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS DETERMINES IF I AM TO RECEIVE THE THINGS I ASK FOR. "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. " (1 John 3:22).
KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS DETERMINES IF I ABIDE IN GOD'S LOVE. "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." (John 15:10).
Are we better than Jesus? He kept God's commandments. "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." (John 15:10)
To those who believe that faith alone is what saves, let us realize that even faith is a commandment. "And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (1 John 3:23)
Which is it? Is commandment keeping essential or non-essential? What does the Bible say?
—E.R. Hall, Jr.
Words are windows to the heart.
The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
Think right, act right; it is what you think and do that makes you what you are.
How good a parent you are may depend on whether you think teenagers HAVE problems or ARE problems.
Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.
You need long-range goals to keep you from becoming discouraged by short-range failures.
Many who expect to be saved in the eleventh hour die at ten-thirty.
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--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
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4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
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