“What Gospel Preaching Can Do”
Preaching Divine Creation stirs the Evolutionist.
Preaching the one true church stirs the denominationalists.
Preaching against liquor stirs the drinker.
Preaching on modesty stirs the immodest.
Preaching on attendance stirs those unfaithful in attendance.
Preaching on pure speech stirs the gossip.
Preaching on dedication stirs the uncommitted.
Preaching on honesty stirs the cheat.
Preaching against sin stirs the guilty.
Preaching on Christ stirs those who love Him.
Preaching on Heaven stirs the hearts of those who want to go there.
Come visit the Caneyville church of Christ and hear soul-stirring Gospel preaching (Acts 17:6; Rom. 1:16; II Pet. 1:13, 3:1)!!
Hearing Problems Or Heart Problems?
There are many that teach that in order to be saved, one must have faith that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 8:24; Heb. 11:6). Many agree also that repentance and confessing our faith in Christ is necessary just as the Bible says (Lk. 13:3; Rom. 10:10). However, when there is talk about a person being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), many people deny that baptism is necessary. Why is this? Could I suggest that when folks deny baptism’s necessity, it is because they have either a hearing problem or a heart problem. Why do I say this? Let us study Acts 16:14-15 and see this truth.
In Acts 16:14-15, we read, “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ And she prevailed upon us.” Notice that before Lydia was baptized, she “heard” the gospel being preached. Her hearing would have produced faith (Rom. 10:17). Not only did she pay attention, but the words she heard also opened her heart, and then she was baptized. She laid aside all preconceived ideas, and simply listened to God’s word. Therefore, as a result of the words she heard, and her open heart, she was baptized.
Thus it is today. When folks declare that baptism is not necessary for salvation, we see they either have a hearing problem or a heart problem. Let us make sure our hearing is sound and our heart is open to the word of God (I Pet. 3:21). This obedience to the Lord will result in our salvation (Heb. 5:9; Rev. 2:14)!
Some Questions To Ask BEFORE You Decide …
Sometimes folks have a hard time deciding what to do in specific situations that call for a clear decision. When “peer pressure” enters in, some decisions to do what is right become even harder! What ought I do? What would Jesus do? These are thoughts folks have, but it doesn’t mean we always choose the right thing! In light of this fact, below are seven questions we can ask ourselves when trying to make a proper decision. Each one of these questions are based on specific passages from the Bible, so read them carefully and live them so that might make decisions that are pleasing to God.
Before making that “final” decision, let us ask ….
1. Can you ask God to bless your decision (Prov. 10:22)?
2. Can you thank God for it (Col. 3:17)?
3. Are you doing this to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31)?
4. Will your decision be a stumbling block to others (I Cor. 8:13)?
5. Are you doing this to please God rather than people (Col. 3:23; Gal. 1:10)?
6. Have you thought ahead about the consequences of your decision (Gal. 6:7)?
7. Would you want to be doing whatever you decide when Jesus returns (I Thess. 5:2-3)?
Think seriously about these things, friends. I am afraid we forget just how important our decisions can be, and how our decisions affect others even after we are gone (I Tim. 5:24-25; Rev. 14:13; Heb. 11:4; etc.). What decisions are you making? How will they affect your soul and the souls of others (Matt. 5:13-16)? Choose wisely!!
Some Questions That Jesus Asks Of Us
Questions can be effective tools in teaching and learning. Jesus knew the power of questions and asked them often in His teaching.
When the Pharisees came to Jesus and tried to tempt Him, He asked them simply, “Have you not read …?” (Matt. 19:4). Friend, we will never know how to act or live unless we spend time reading the Bible (Eph. 3:4)! How sad it is to see people who seem to have it all, except a proper knowledge of the Scriptures.
We need to know what the Bible says because these words will judge us one day (Jn. 12:48). Having a proper knowledge of the Scriptures provides us with what we need to handle God’s word correctly; and be thoroughly furnished in all good works (II Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17).
How can we know the Truth if we never read the Bible (Jn. 17:17)? We will be confused and groping in darkness if we refuse to read God’s word and examine it daily (Ps. 119:105).
Jesus asked two vital questions in Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26). These two questions speak the same truth. What could one give in exchange for his soul? In truth, nothing! There is nothing we could exchange that would be equal in value to the human soul. Yet, many people exchange their soul daily for drugs, fleshly desires, power, wealth, etc. How sad it would be to pass into eternity knowing the Truth, and knowing you exchanged your soul for some temporary pleasure!
Hopefully, we can see how powerful questions can be. It was the asking of questions that brought Adam and Eve out of hiding (Gen. 3:9-11). It was powerful questions that confronted the Jews’ error in Jesus’ day (Ex. Matt. 21:23-27). Let us never forget these questions that Jesus asks us today. What are you reading? What will you give in exchange for your soul? Life is too short and eternity is too long to dismiss these essential questions!
What Is Your View Of Sin?
In a world of “relativism” and in a society where folks are discouraged from having standards of morality, it is hard to find people with a clear view of the dangers of sin and wickedness. Some seem to consider sin foolishness, or even some type of myth. This is not the case. Actually, “fools mock at sin” (Prov.14:9). It is sin which separates us from a relationship with God (Isa. 59:1-2). “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). What is sin? It is the breaking of God’s law, whether by going beyond, or falling short of what He has said (I Jn. 3:4, 5:17; Jas. 4:17). It results in our death (Jas. 1:14-15). Yes friends, sin is a serious thing
Yet, thousands died because they considered sin as nothing! Despite the pleading of Jeremiah, the Jews refused to walk in “the old paths” (Jer. 6:16). In the face of Ezekiel, they were hard-hearted and impudent as he pled with them to return (Ezek. 3:7). Others such as Elijah and Elisha, Hosea and Micah, Samuel and Malachi, as well as scores of others, both named and unnamed, (but all known to God) continued preaching God’s word for the purpose of getting people to repent of their sins. Some saw success (Jonah, Oded, etc.); while others died for preaching God’s will, and standing opposed to what the sinful people were doing (Heb. 11:37).
Therefore, we today have a choice. Will we consider sin as nothing, or will we stand with the Lord? The world will hate us for being God’s friend (Jn. 15:19-20), but God will reward us for standing up to sin and error and being His friend. Which will it be? Will we choose to follow God or Satan? Choose wisely. Your soul depends on it!