I am a young man. But by the title of our weekly bulletin I am reminded of some inspiring stories that I have heard, and read. Stories that I have based a lot of my teachings on. Stories of brethren that were serious about the task of teaching, preaching, and worshipping God. Men and women that had true dedication to the Gospel. These are those that have been great instruments in the Restoration Movement. Those who held to the saying “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent”. Yet the Old Paths that I am referring to are the ones that Christ has given us. The same that all, faithful brethren, have stuck to and thus we have the Church surviving in the same detail as in the first century.
It was not long ago that I had a brother in Christ say to me that in the congregation he attends the elders have decided that the preacher could not preach harsh things. He said that 52 weeks a year they hear a positive sermon. If they were faithful brethren then all scriptures would be positive. All sermons supported with book, chapter, and verse would be encouraging. He stated to me that they had a people preacher. I thought through this conversation that those thoughts were condemned by the inspired word of God. (Galatians 1:10-11) “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.” Understand what Paul says here by inspiration. He says that he is not a servant of man. The same Paul made a statement in the book of Acts chapter twenty. He says to the elders in Ephesus, that he has declared all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27-28) “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Then he tells them to protect the flock. That is because they now know the Gospel. He reminds them that the Church they our members of, had been purchased by the blood of the Lamb, and needs to be protected in a way to keep it pure. The Bible teaches many things, and we ought to balance our teaching to try and cover the entire Gospel as Paul stated he did.
The Old Paths would have the Church stand for the truth. (2 Timothy 4:1-5) “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” The elders at this time would not have a preacher stand in the pulpit and simply teach half the Gospel. If we tell folks that all is well with their souls, then what should salvation save them from? We must teach that there is a place that those who do not know Christ will be sent to in the final days. We need to tell the horrors of hell, and the glory, which is in Heaven. One of my favorite sections of reading is found in (Revelation 21:1-8). The first seven passages speak of the glory of Heaven, then the doom of Hell is mentioned in the last.
The Old Paths would have us tell folks that there
is one Body. That Body is the Church and that is the only gate to
Heaven. (Ephesians 4:4) “There is one body, and one Spirit, even
as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” (Ephesians 1:22-23)
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over
all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth
all in all.” (John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Copyright 2000 by Brian
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