Please note: Our services have been suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 situation. Please check back for updates.
Welcome to the website of the Navarre church of Christ
This church is patterned after the one you read about in the New Testament. It has no creed except the New Testament, no head except Jesus Christ, no organization other than that described in the Scriptures, and no political agenda except the proclamation of the Kingdom of the Son of God. We are not a denomination since no denominations were ever heard of in New Testament times. The worship here is centered upon the Scriptures and involves only those things authorized by the Lord and His apostles in the New Testament. You will not find innovations designed to appeal to the flesh and pride, or that tend to the exaltation of man. If you are looking to learn about Jesus Christ and become His disciple, we invite you to come learn with us.
Most Recent Articles
by Stan Cox
In the third chapter of Paul's first letter to Timothy, he explained to his young friend his purpose in writing. This explanation is contained in verses 14-16 of the chapter.
"These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory."
Entire Issue of March 15 & 29, 2020
by Mark Roberts
Thirty years ago the Exxon Valdez did the inexplicable. The huge tanker grounded on a reef, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. The effect on the animals, water, and plants was catastrophic and recovery continues to this day. How could a supertanker with all that navigational technology possibly ram head-on into a well-marked reef?
Last week, a friend asked me if I had heard the heartbreaking news that two Christians I knew had left their spouses and run off into adultery together. How is that possible? How could strong, faithful disciples ram head-on into scandalous, obvious sin? It certainly isn't a knowledge problem. No one is saying "Oh, I didn't know what the Bible said about adultery!" They know better and we know they know better. Why then do Christians keep hitting the big rocks of sin anyway? A few possibilities...
Entire Issue of March 1, 2020
Roy E. Cogdill
We have called attention to the teaching of the New Testament that the Church of our Lord universally is made up of individuals and is not composed of "churches." Universally it is a relationship between the saved of the earth and the sacred three of the Godhead. The New Testament also teaches just as definitely that "churches of Christ" in their own locality are organic, functional entities. These "churches" were independent of the other, each had its own organization, carrying on its own work and was a complete entity or body in itself. If there had been but one on the face of the earth, it would have been the "church of Christ."
These "churches of Christ" not only were independent of each other and were not federated or amalgamated in any manner, but they had no denominational organization of any kind. They were congregational in both government and function. In New Testament scriptures there is nothing to indicate any "intercongregational" function or relationship. The members of the church at Philippi (were not members of the church at) Ephesus, or Rome. Likewise the elders at Ephesus were not elders of Rome, Corinth, or the church in any other place. The relationship that existed between the elders of the church at Ephesus and the members of the church there did not exist between these elders and any members of any other congregation on earth, and the members of the Ephesian church did not sustain the relationship they had to the elders of that church to any other eldership on earth.
Entire Issue of February 16, 2020
by Jeremiah Cox, via Watchman Magazine 9-7-2018
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)
The profundity of Jesus' words must be taken into consideration. We often skim over this statement without stopping to ponder its deep spiritual implications. We take it to be one of the simpler statements of inspired truth. Yet, the waters of this statement run deep. A plunge beneath the surface gives greater insight into the essence of true worship.
Entire Issue of January 12, 2020
by Larry Rouse
We do not forget great turning points in our lives. It may be the memory of meeting and falling in love with the one that eventually would become our mate. It could be the loss of a parent whose memory continues to inspire us to serve God and never quit. These and other critical points in our lives should both humble us and inspire us to draw more closely to the God that provides for us beyond what we could ever know (Rom 8:28).
The greatest turning point for any of us is the day that we entered into fellowship with the God of heaven. This was a point of our turning from our sins and finding the forgiveness that makes a relationship with God possible (Acts 3:19, 26).
Entire Issue of December 29, 2019
by Connie W. Adams
Nothing can create more havoc in a home or a congregation than immoral behavior on the part of Christians or their children. Webster defines immoral as "Inconsistent with purity or good morals." Immorality is defined by Webster as "the quality or state of being immoral: wickedness, esp. unchastity." It is immoral to steal, lie, cheat and a host of other things opposed to righteousness. But the term is often used of illicit sexual intercourse, including incest (1 Cor. 5:1), adultery (Matt. 5:32; 19:9), homosexuality (Jude 7), and cohabitation of the unmarried (1 Cor. 7:2).
Immorality was a common problem in the first century, especially among Gentiles. "For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries" (1 Pet. 4:3). This had been a pattern of life among some of the Corinthians before their conversion. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Entire Issue of December 15, 2019
By Stan Cox
I recently had a discussion with a young man with a Baptist background, who was advocating the position that a man is saved at the point of faith. He used typical arguments that I have heard many times before. As we talked I asked him if he thought repentance was necessary for salvation.
In his absolute opposition to the idea God requires any acts of obedience (works), how did he deal with the Bible call to repent? His answer was interesting. He said, "I believe something different than you about repentance. Nowhere are we called to repent of our sins to be saved. We are to repent of unbelief!" His view is that we have to change our mind (repent) from unbelief to belief, to be saved.
Entire Issue of November 17, 2019
Gordon J. Pennock
Jesus was once approached by a lawyer, who asked Him this question: "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus replied: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matt. 22:35-39).
Here is declared the foundation principle by which men's relationships with God and with one another are to be regulated. That principle is love. It was so recognized in the law of Moses as is plainly shown in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, from which Jesus made his quotations. It is likewise basic and fundamental in the New Covenant through which men must serve God now.
Entire Issue of November 3, 2019
by Jeffery Kingry
A wise man once said, "A man's character is the sum of all the decisions he has made in his life." When we discuss character, and what makes people what they are, we overlook this simple fact. Have you ever wondered why some people are nothing while folks from the same background somehow turn out to be just the opposite. I believe the answer lies not in man's environment or his genetic makeup, but in each man himself.
Entire Issue of October 20, 2019
When my son, Caleb, was fifteen months old, he would babble and toddle and get into everything. (And he still does!) When I was in charge of watching him one day, he got away from me. Looking through the house I found him standing over the dog's dish staring at the food. Even then Caleb knew he was not supposed to touch it, so he was just hovering, thinking about what to do next. Coming closer, I said (tongue in cheek), "Caleb, you are supposed to flee from temptation, not stand there and look at it." (He tried to touch it anyway.) I got to thinking about that later and realized that is exactly what the Bible tells Christians to do: flee! Not to stand there and look at sin! But to flee!
The Greek "pheugo," used 31 times in the New Testament and often translated "flee," literally means "to run away," "flee," or "escape." By implication, it means "to shun." This word describes Joseph's, Mary's, and Jesus' flight to Egypt to escape Herod (cf. Matt. 2:13). Those who tended the swine took off when the Lord cast the demons out of the man and into the herd (cf. Mk. 5:14). When Jerusalem was surrounded by enemies, those in Judea were to run to the mountains for safety (cf. Lk. 21:21). And as Jesus was being arrested, His disciples forsook Him and fled (cf. Mk. 14:50). When this word is used, there are often at least hints (if not outright aspects) of confusion and peril. There is, however, always a sense of urgency and haste.
Entire Issue of October 6, 2019
by Lenny Chapman
How many times a day do you take a peek in a mirror? What would life be like if suddenly there were no more mirrors? Can you imagine getting ready in the morning without the time spent in front of the mirror shaving, getting our hair just right, and for that last look at the total outfit before we step out for the day? What about going to the store to buy new clothes? Could you deal with a system of trying on an outfit and then coming out of the dressing room asking people "How do I look in this one?" Recently I watched a group spend a considerable amount of time at a sunglasses display trying on glasses, looking in the mirror, trying on another pair, and looking in the mirror over and over. Imagine walking up to the display of sunglasses and pulling one off saying "These look good, I'll buy them!" If it doesn't matter how they look and feel why do we spend so much time picking "just the right" pair out?
Well, of course life would surely be different without mirrors. It is quite amazing when you think about it, how a piece of reflective glass can expand our vision so dramatically. Mirrors help us see behind and beside us while we drive our automobiles. When placed properly, mirrors can help one to see around a corner, or above us, or below us. However, one of the most important functions of a mirror and perhaps the most widely used purpose is to see the reflection of one's self! The time we spend in front of the mirror helps us to present ourselves in the best possible way to others, and also helps boost our own self-confidence. When looking in a mirror we can see in advance how we look (outwardly) to others! Wouldn't it be great if there were a way to see our reflection inwardly?
Entire Issue of September 22, 2019
by Robert F. Turner
The resurrection of Jesus is, of course, absolutely essential to the true meaning of Christianity. Without it Jesus was a teacher of great insight and ability, but self-deceived, and a deceiver. Without it Christianity becomes but another human philosophy, totally of this world. As Paul put it, "then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain" (1 Cor 15:14), and having only a this life hope "we are of all men most pitiable" (v. 19). Jesus Christ "was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). (Phillips says, "patently marked out as the Son of God by the power of the Spirit of holiness which raised Him to life again from the dead.") Cancel the resurrection, and you cancel the power that gives Christianity its life. Proofs therefore are tremendously important.
The Scriptures, as historic literature from the first century, record many proofs of the resurrection. His enemies knew very well His promise to rise again after three days and used every means at their disposal to make the sepulcher sure, lest "the last error be worse than the first" (Matt. 27:26f). Yet, at the appointed time the tomb was empty. The apostles and early disciples displayed incredible faith—even unto death—for what? A ruse they themselves had worked? But we do not plan to discuss such proofs in this study. Instead, we beg your attention to two proofs offered by the Apostle Peter, on the first Pentecost following the resurrection. One rested upon the testimony of believing witnesses; and the second, upon the experience of enemies who heard the witnesses. The first, His enemies were asked to believe; the second, they could prove to themselves by their own logic and experience.
Entire Issue of September 8, 2019
by Donald Townsley
From time to time men set forth the doctrine that we should "preach Christ" and leave the controversial subjects of the plan of salvation and the church alone. Some say, "just preach the man and not the plan;" others say, "preach Christ and not the church." Their idea is that we can get more people to listen to us if we don't identify ourselves with the church of Christ; people are "turned off" by the church, they say. This doctrine is presently being propagated by some and needs to be examined in light of the word of God. Is it possible to "preach the man and not the plan," or to "preach Christ and not the church?" Let us see what we can learn from God's word.
Entire Issue of August 25, 2019
by Heath Rogers
On one occasion I was visiting an older man who was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. His wife and two grown children were in the room with him. As we were talking about his serious condition, he told me that he was not afraid of dying because he knew he would be in heaven. His son, sensing this was directed towards him, replied, "Dad, I'm not afraid of going to Hell when I die because at least I know I won't be alone."
I was shocked when I heard him say this. How could a person not be afraid of going to Hell? However, when you think about it, most people probably do not really know what the Bible says about Hell. If a person understood what Hell is like, they would never make a statement like the one cited above. Therein lies the problem: many people today are ignorant of what the Bible really has to say about Hell.
Entire Issue of August 11, 2019
by Irvin Himmel
No matter what your present belief, in this short essay I want to set before you the truth. Please study carefully the following points about belief and its relation to truth.
Believing Something Does Not Make It The Truth
The aged Jacob believed the story his sons told him which insinuated that their brother Joseph had been devoured by an evil beast (Gen. 37:31-35). So sincere was Jacob in that belief, and so emotionally moved by what he believed, he rent his clothes, put on sackcloth, mourned for many days, and refused the comfort offered by other members of the family. Young Joseph was not dead although his ;father sincerely believed he had been killed. Joseph was very much alive!
Entire Issue of July 28, 2019
I had a dog one time...how often have you heard that? Well, I had a dog one time who was the best fetcher I had ever seen. You could not distract him from looking directly at whatever it was that you were about to throw for him. Grown men have actually stood in my front yard exulting over the fact that they were able to get a ball past him just for a second or two. As the object left your hand his eyes were fixed on it until it was safely in his jaws.
Now this is not told just so you'll envy my dog's abilities, but because it makes a point about our goal, our prize.
Entire Issue of May 26, 2019
by Doy Moyer
Think about these two statements:
"Baptism has nothing to do with salvation."
"Baptism now saves you."
Which is true? I was studying with some who were adamant in their opposition to thinking that baptism was connected in any way to salvation: "baptism has nothing to do with salvation," they insisted. I clarified to make sure of what they were saying; I didn't want to misunderstand. They stressed it: "Nothing" to do with salvation. I wrote it down on a piece of paper, and they agreed. Then I wrote down a second statement: "baptism now saves you." They denied that statement in favor of the first. They were quite clear about it.
I asked them to open up 1 Peter 3 and read. They read out loud. "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you — not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience — through the resurrection of Jesus Christ...(v. 21).
Entire Issue of May 5, 2019
Victor M. Eskew
It comes as a shock to many that we in the churches of Christ do not celebrate Easter Sunday. This fact makes us seem strange to many. It causes them to think that we are something other than Christian. For them, this Sunday is one of the most important on the calendar. People will come out in droves to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Let us first establish why we do not celebrate "Easter" Sunday. The New Testament teaches that everything that we do is to be done "in the name of," or, "by the authority of" Jesus Christ. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, to all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Col. 3:17). Not one verse in the New Testament exhorts us to celebrate a particular Sunday as "the" resurrection Sunday. Not one time do we ever read of the church of the first century holding "Easter Services." Since we desire to pattern ourselves after the New Testament church, we do not hold Easter Services either.
Entire Issue of April 21, 2019
by Doy Moyer
Those claiming to be Christians will make the claim on the basis of what they believe the Scriptures teach. This is so, regardless of how far right or left on the spectrum of thought they find themselves. This is not to say that all interpretations are correct or that as long as they make the claim, they are fine. It's just a starting point.
Today, we might say, "the Scriptures teach" or something similar. This is essentially on par with the idiom, "It is written," recognized as the way Jesus answered His temptations (Matt 4; Luke 4). The "writings" (i.e., Scriptures) were considered authoritative by Jesus and the Jews of His time. To appeal to what was written was to appeal to authority. Scriptures were considered God's word to man, and "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt 4:4; Deut 8:3). Though the word of God was more than only what was written down (e.g., Jesus is the Word, the prophets, etc.), what was written down was nevertheless seen as God's word, and if God's word, then it carries the authority of God.
Entire Issue of April 7, 2019
by Larry Rouse
The Lord's design for His people is that they be "knit together in love" (Col 2:2). "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it" (1 Cor 12:26). We cannot serve God and be separate from people, but rather we are called to serve others. The power of love was such a firm purpose of our Lord that He described this characteristic, above all others, as the identifying mark of His people. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).
Only the gospel has the power to bring Jew and Gentile, slave and freeman, the rich and the poor into the same local congregation and make that group a close-knit, loving family (Gal 3:28). When men are humbled and see the gospel as their only identity, then educational differences, racial differences and any other man-made distinctions will be laid aside as rubbish — they view their brethren not just as equals, but as better than themselves. It is in this spirit that service to others becomes a privilege! "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil 2:3-4).
Entire Issue of March 24, 2019
After an article about Ai, I had a dear friend ask me how God could kill thousands upon thousands. He said it was hard for him to believe that God would want this. I appreciate this question and respect him for asking it. When we examine the Scriptures, we see that God wants folks to examine, test, and ask questions like my friend did (Isa. 1:18; Matt. 11:29; Acts 17:11; Eph. 5:10; I Thess. 5:21; Rom. 12:2). Below is my answer to my friend's question. I print it here in the hope that perhaps this answer might help others who have had the same question.
It is hard to imagine God telling the Israelites to kill another nation, but I have to remember that this is part of a larger context. It is not God randomly saying He wants to kill one group or another for no reason.
Entire Issue of March 4, 2019
"They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, 'See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.'"
The word of God (and His Creation as well) is filled with things that point to spiritual and eternal things. The case is magnified in the Lord's instructions concerning the making of the Tabernacle, that is the tent that Moses was commanded to make in order that God might dwell among Israel (Exodus 25:8).
This was a copy of a heavenly thing. It is not until the revelation of God's word is complete that we see clearly what the Lord was saying to us by causing this tent to be made.
Entire Issue of February 17, 2019
by Heath Rogers
There is much confusion and ignorance in the religious world regarding different aspects of the Holy Spirit. While we have an understanding of the work that is done by the Father and the Son, we are not always as clear about the role and function of the Holy Spirit.
There are some things about the Godhead that will remain a mystery to us. However, we can know those things that have been revealed in Scripture concerning the work of the Holy Spirit. Understanding these things can strengthen our faith, give us a greater appreciation for the Holy Spirit, and equip us to teach others.
The Spirit's work can be divided into the following categories: Entire Issue of January 20, 2019
by Jon Quinn
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven" (Eccl. 3:1). We live in a world of constant change. Time changes everything we see and touch. Things that were "in" yesterday are "out" today. I remember when I was a boy seeing all my father's old ties hanging in the closet. They were wide and colorful, full of intricate designs. He never wore them so I asked why. He said no one wears ties like that any more but he expected that if he waited long enough that they would come back in style. I doubted that anyone would ever wear anything like those ties again, at least not unless forced to do so at gun point! But sure enough, by the time I was in high school I was able to borrow his old, outlandish ties and let everyone assume that I had paid big bucks for them at the store.
The state of the world is different than it was ten years ago; far different than forty years ago. What will it be like ten years from now? As we read the Bible we see that it has always been so. We see changes in society; apostasy and return; dynasties thought eternal crumble and new ones take their places. Individuals age and grow closer to God, or sometimes grow away from God. We are accustomed to seeing things change.
It seems as if everything changes but such is not the case! Our link to Abraham, Moses and Paul is that we serve exactly the same God as they did. We may live in a different time, under a different government, but we build our relationship with the very same God, and for that reason the lessons they learned will find application in our lives today. God does not change. Let us consider this idea.
Entire Issue of January 4, 2019
By Jeff Smith
I had the chicken pox when I was about six years old and I can still recall the horrible, Jobian itching that resulted. In my memory as well, however, is the soothing sensation of that lotion which was applied by my mother to the sores on my back and chest, which eased the misery until the illness was gone.
Most everyone realizes our souls often contract a disease just as painful to the conscience, the disease of sin. What will soothe our misery then? The answer is nothing but the unparalleled mercy of God, wrought through the death and resurrection of our savior and his son, Jesus Christ (Romans 7:24-25).
Entire Issue of December 16, 2018
This is the time of the year where millions celebrate the birth of Christ. Even the name implies its relation to Christ. “Christ’s Mass” was a special time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The idea of the mass is that Christ is offered again in sacrifice each time the mass is said.
If you go by any denominational church building this time of year, you will probably see slogans on their outdoor signs like, “Let’s put Christ back into Christmas” or “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Some preachers really like to ring this message out. Some will even ask, “What are you going to give Christ on His birthday?” Even some liberal churches of Christ will have messages like these emblazoned on their buildings. A lot of groups will organize and hold Christmas programs for the community.
The term “holiday” comes from the Old English and it means “Holy Day.” Since Christmas is recognized by most people as a religious holiday, it would be good for us to study its meaning. Considering Christmas has the word “Christ” in it, it should have some connection with our Lord. If there is a connection with the Lord, then we should be able to turn to our Bibles and read of this observance. However, what you read today may shock you.
Entire Issue of December 2, 2018
The most important question man will ever ask is: What must I do to be saved? The ramifications of the answer given are eternal. Therefore, it is imperative one allows the author of man's salvation (Hebrews 5:9) to give the answer. God has provided man with everything he needs in relationship to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). This knowledge comes through the Bible, which is His inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16). Since all Scripture is inspired, whether spoken by the prophets of the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:1), Jesus (Hebrews 1:2), or the apostles (John 16:13), one must use all of Scripture to find the answer. No new revelations from God have come since the Bible was completed (Jude 1:3; Revelation 22:18-19). Therefore, the Bible is the only source of information qualified to tell man what he must do to be saved. Since the same inspired Word is to be the standard by which man is judged on the last day (John 12:48), it is the final word on man's salvation.
What does the Bible say in answer to the question, "What must I do to be saved?"
Entire Issue of November 18, 2018
In the first ever mention of the church, the Lord said to Peter that He would build it and the "gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16.18).
These are some of the most picturesque words in all of scripture, but they are also loaded with meaning and comfort.
Gates throughout ancient history have been associated with the power of the city they protected. They were the means of entrance and exit, a place of counsel, and where armies exited to conduct war and entered afterward either in victory or defeat. The bigger the gates, the more prestige and power the king behind them supposedly possessed. And as we consider the seemingly innumerable members of Satan's followers, both spiritual and earthly, we are tempted to fear and forget this promise of our Lord (Matt 7.13-14).
Entire Issue of November 4, 2018
("he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" Hebrews 5:9)
God the Father's Part: Grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). God the Father's part in man's salvation might be summed up in the word grace (favor of God). Man did not deserve to be saved, however, God's grace has been extended to us (the whole world) that we might be saved. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11).
Entire Issue of October 21, 2018
Bobby Graham (The Gospel Guardian, July 16, 1970)
The problem of which Christians are probably more conscious now than any other, is that of dress. Most recognize it to be an issue, but few are really aware of the principles involved. Many who once decried such wanton disregard for the will of the Lord and the consciences of others apparently now have little concern. The violations sometimes result from a lack of teaching, but more often they are the fruit of an unwillingness to accept what the Book teaches. Many who claim to be the Lord's people hearken more willingly to the call of style than to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Instead of setting examples to enlighten a sin-darkened world, most follow the trends that lead into darkness. Surely the Lord has spoken on this subject that attracts us: will we not listen?
Entire Issue of October 7, 2018
by Doy Moyer
Sometimes I am struck with the beauty of a passage while, at the same time, humbled by the fact that its fullness and depth is out of my reach. The passage becomes a never-ending source of thought, ideas, and encouragement.
Such is the case for me with 2 Corinthians 5:21 — "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Who can understand the depths of this? Who can explain all that this passage sums up? I cannot. Even so, I often dwell on it, seeking to know and understand more of what it says. So brief a passage packs more power than I can fathom.
Entire Issue of September 23, 2018
Paul asked the Galatians, "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?" (Galatians 4:9, NASB.) It is absurd for men who have breathed freedom through the gospel to fall back to a system which enslaves the soul, whether Judaism, heathenism, denominationalism, or worldliness.
Why do people who have known the Lord in the forgiveness of sins allow themselves to slip back into their old way of life? Some turn back not long after they are baptized; others serve God for years before drifting away from the truth. What are the reasons?
Entire Issue of September 9, 2018
by Larry Ray Hafley
Noting and quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34, the Hebrew writer (we will assume it was the apostle Paul) said:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away (Heb. 8:8-13).
Some are confused by Paul's statement that the old covenant was "ready to vanish away."
Entire Issue of August 26, 2018
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
These verses clearly indicate that there are times when gospel preaching is in season and out of season. History indicates the same. In the first century in most places it was in season; in the middle ages it was out of season. There was a thrilling season for the gospel in middle America in the early nineteenth century, while at the same time it was largely out of season in France and Europe.
Entire Issue of August 12, 2018
Imagine for a moment something that completely disgusts you. Something that makes you feel repulsed and offended. It may be something physical like a corrosive disease, or moral like an abusive crime. You know the feeling –that feeling of being so sickened that you unintentionally furrow your brow and frown from distaste. Have you thought of something yet?
Have you ever wondered what makes God feel that way? I suppose we could say that all sin causes a proverbial furrowing of His brow and frown on His face, but in Proverbs 6 we find a distinct list of sins that are an absolute abomination to Him. Among all the sins which one is capable of committing, these things are listed among those that totally repulse God. Proverbs 6:16-19 is where we find this list, and amongst these horribly repulsive acts against God we find what might come as a surprise. There the writer of Proverbs says this: “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood…” (Prov. 6:16-17, NKJV). When reading this list, I find it to be much different than I would expect. My list would likely include things much more, as I would see it, consequential. But what is it about this list that comes as a surprise?
Entire Issue of July 29, 2018
by Dennis Abernathy
Robert Fitch, Philosopher of Ethics, is quoted by Ravi Zacharias in The Harvard Veritas Forum as follows:
“Ours is an age where ethics has become obsolete. It is superseded by science, deleted by psychology, dismissed as emotive by philosophy. It is drowned in compassion, evaporates into aesthetics, and retreats before relativism.
The usual moral distinctions between good and bad are simply drowned in a model and emotion in which we feel more sympathy for the murderer than for the murdered, for the adulterer than for the betrayed, and in which we have begun to believe that the real guilty party, the one who somehow caused it all, is the victim and not the perpetrator of the crime.”
Vulgarity is becoming the norm in society among young and old, male and female. Cussing is becoming very much mainstream! Expletives, once banned in public discourse, are now increasingly turning up in literature, television, the news media and political speech. A recent study by Parents Research Council found the use of profanity during the so-called “family hour” (8:00 to 9:00 Eastern Time) is up fifty-eight percent from two years ago. And the nature of the language (e.g., sexual explicitness) is getting qualitatively worse. William Barclay wrote: “There can never have been a time in history when so much filthy language is used as it is today. And the tragedy is that today there are many people who have become so habituated to unclean talk that they are unaware that they are using it.” These comments were written nearly fifty years ago. If such was the case then, what is it now?
I don’t know about you, but I still believe profanity is profane and that certain words should not be used in everyday, public discourse. I still believe that higher standards of communication correlate with higher standards of behavior. But we are being told that such profanity and vulgarity does not signal a decline in manners or morals, but, that it’s all about “individualism” and “self-expression.” We are told that we should be happy, because the violation of norms gives people greater permission to express what they feel and how they feel it. Now, I’m all for expressing yourself, but if you want to express yourself, relying on vulgarity, obscenity and profanity is not a good way to do it! If the way I express how I feel and why I feel it is vulgar, obscene, and profane, then my moral standard has declined!
Entire Issue of July 15, 2018
By Edward Bragwell
The difference between miraculous and providential events is a topic of discussion for many Christians. We often have difficulty understanding how God can be active in the day by day affairs of this world without performing miracles. Likewise, we find it hard to grasp the idea of God granting a request for a specific temporal blessing without performing a miracle.
Because of this dilemma, some are prone to shout “it’s a miracle” when they see any natural wonder. A person survives a horrific airplane or automobile crash – “it’s a miracle.” Or, one falls 100 feet on to a concrete pavement, receiving only superficial wounds – “it’s a miracle that he was not killed.” Or, one is seriously ill, the doctors are doing their best, yet little or no noticeable improvement. Prayers are offered, the patient begins feeling better and is pronounced completely well – in about two weeks or so – “it’s a miracle.”
Entire Issue of May 13, 2018
“A laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7). In this passage Jesus is describing how 70 disciples were to go to various cities and teach. Among other suggestions, Jesus told them to eat what they would be provided, not look around for the best meal.
Jesus presented a more detailed look at the value of labor in Matthew 20:1-16.
He relates the parable of the harvest, in which a man who owned a vineyard went out early in the morning to hire people to harvest his crop. He may have had a ready supply of workers who only needed to be told to work, or he may have approached a group of men whom today we might call day laborers. He agreed that he would pay each a penny a day and the men went to work.
Entire Issue of April 29, 2018
Do you recall the classic image of supposed advances in evolution of man? At the side of the drawing is a fish, which comes onto land and grows legs, then becomes a bent-over apelike creature, eventually turning into an upright Homo sapien?
This fabricated time-line represents the supposed biologic evolution of man, starting with a small, simple creature and advancing in complexity to an alleged highest form of animal. It is accepted in scientific circles as a graphical representation, if not accurate in minor details, and is presented as scientific proof of the theory of evolution.
In fact, this is someone’s guess as to how evolution proceeded. In the same fashion, physical recreations of what animals looked like are largely based on guesses. We have valid evidence via fossilized bones of some portions of various creatures and with care experts can assemble those fossils (or casts of the fossils) into a partial representation of creatures. But skin, hair and other visual aspects of external features are even more guesswork than that drawing we spoke of earlier.
Entire Issue of April 15, 2018
It is commonplace today that people are distracted in their everyday activities. Much of that distraction is driven by modern technology – wireless devices that can be used anywhere, from sitting at home to behind the wheel of a car (we hear regularly of “distracted driving”) to walking down the street (termed “distracted walking”). And because that distracting behavior can disrupt others’ lives, the distracted people are criticized, sometimes unjustly but sometimes deservedly.
Distraction is not a new phenomenon. Once upon a time, when automobiles did not automatically come with amenities such as radios and heaters, it was not uncommon that drivers would not play the radio for fear of not hearing an approaching police or fire siren, or because their interest in the program might keep them from noticing a crossing pedestrian. (Multi-tasking was not a word or even much of a concept in those halcyon days.)
But distractions occurred long before automobiles were popular. In fact, the Bible recounts several examples of distractions among God’s people that resulted in sin.
Entire Issue of April 1, 2018
In taking away the Law, did Jesus take away all law?
We are hearing a lot lately about how we, living under the dispensation of Christ, are under grace and not under law. The implication being that Jesus died to free us from law – period – not merely the Mosaic law.
Much is made of the fact that, in many translations and manuscripts, the article, the, is not present. Hence the new dispensation is said to be one of grace without rules to be obeyed. It is alleged that our freedom in Christ is freedom for all law – any system containing commandments or rules to be observed.
Entire Issue of March 18, 2018
People often become stressed out in this modern world. They worry about making the car payments, paying the mortgage, feeding and clothing their children, doing a good job at work so they will be promoted or receive a raise.
They worry a lot about matters they can’t always control. They are concerned about political activities, the condition of wars around the world, whether a gunman will shoot up a school or a business, how much traffic exists on their way to and from work.
People, including Christians, become stressed about having stress.
Entire Issue of March 4, 2018
In the previous issue we discussed the beginnings of worship by Christians in and following the first century, and the eventual use of buildings used specifically for worship. We also saw a contemporary account of what second century worship was like.
Because the word was designed to be spread throughout the world (Mark 16:15), we can understand that not all nations, times and civilizations would have (or be able to have) buildings like we use today. Throughout countries even in modern times, because of economic or political considerations, Christians may meet in open-air concrete buildings (that is a usual location in Nigeria), in private residences (Romania is one country where Christians may not meet or teach publicly), or in secluded woods away from cities (China still forbids any unauthorized meetings).
Entire Issue of February 18, 2018
Christians enter an auditorium designed for the purpose, take a seat on a padded pew, chat among themselves and with visitors, settle down as the established time to worship occurs and announcements are presented. Then they sing, pray, take the Lord’s Supper, make a contribution, hear a sermon, sing an invitation song and are dismissed with a prayer.
With relatively minor variations, this is how Christians worship each Sunday. Since we present the argument that we should follow the Bible as it was revealed as late as the First Century A.D., it is natural that we think that the way we worship today is the way it has always been.
Entire Issue of February 4, 2018
(The following article was written by Wes McAdams, an evangelist living in Plano, Texas, who writes a religious blog at www.radicallychristian.com, and who discusses current issues through his articles. Since a shooting at a building used by a church of Christ in Tennessee last September, several congregations have tried to increase their physical security by means of everything from hiring security guards to installing attack-proof doors. This is, in part, a reasoned response to those actions.
Bro. McAdams focuses on the prophecy Jesus cited. In light of the September tragedy, we also need to think of the same prophecy and its meaning for us. There was not the sense of urgency among our brethren to create a fortress mentality when other church-related killings happened to denominational groups. But when the Tennessee event happened “too close to home” in terms of the name of the group attacked, it was somehow easier to foster a defensive posture. Let us determine that we will live according to God’s word and God’s will and God’s way.)
It’s time for us to resume our “Re-Examined” series by considering Luke 22:36, in which Jesus says, “Let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” Many Christians use this passage as a proof-text for the use of deadly force in self-defense. But is that really what Jesus was talking about in this passage? Is Jesus commanding all of His disciples to arm themselves? Let’s take a look at Luke 22:36.)
Entire Issue of January 21, 2018
(This article is based on a recent Wednesday Bible class.)
The Bible teaches us about God, Jesus and how to return to a covenant relationship with Deity. Although the following subjects are not proof of how we can be saved, they do teach us a great deal – the Flood, about King Solomon, the various captivities of the Jewish people, and many other events.
The Bible does explain that not all events are covered within its pages. As one example, John writes in John 21:25: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.”
Entire Issue of January 7, 2018
We are taught to plan for the future – study for your schoolwork, put aside some money for retirement, set the coffee brewer to turn on just before we awake. Indeed, if we don’t plan for those secular things, our lives could well become chaotic.
The Bible has a different take on planning.
Entire Issue of December 17, 2017
by Heath Rogers
We live in a world that embraces tolerance. "Live and let live" seems to be the ruling spirit of our day. Our culture tells us that we can have and hold our own views, provided they don't condemn the views of other people. When Christians point out and object to the sin and immorality in the lives of other people, we are quickly reminded that we can't do that because our Bible says, "Judge not."
Indeed, Jesus did speak these words of warning to His disciples. Here is the entire quotation: "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you,: (Matt. 7:12) A careful look at this passage shows that Jesus did not forbid His followers to make judgments about others. He warned them against making harsh or hypocritical judgments. He stated a general truth, that we will be judged according to the same standard that we use on others.
Entire Issue of December 3, 2017
"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,” according to English playwright William Congreve, who died almost 400 years ago. The precept lives on today; it also was an accurate concept for thousands of years before Congreve.
One form of music, singing, according to a scholarly paper from Lawrence University, is basic to man and predates spoken language. “The voice,” the paper continues, “is presumed to be the original musical instrument, and there is no human culture, no matter how remote or isolated, that does not sing.
Entire Issue of November 19, 2017
Everything and everyone has a name. We identify by names. “Paul” could be the boy in the neighborhood. “Mrs. Jones” may have been our fifth-grade teacher. “Exxon” may be the place where we buy gasoline.
Using names is a necessary and convenient method of identification. Imagine, instead of saying “tree,” we would always be forced to say “that large plant with a whole bunch of flat green things all over it.” Or, rather than saying “Paul,” we had to stretch our conversation with “that red-headed boy who wears blue jeans and a sweater and lives four houses down.”
Entire Issue of October 29, 2017
With current issues of sending aid to victims of recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida, it may be appropriate to review what the Bible says about taking care of others.
The subject involves both those who benefit and how money or donations are acquired.
Entire Issue of October 15, 2017
If you have been a member of the Lord’s church for any length of time or have been associated with any number of denominations, you probably have been taught that the Godhead is made up of three persons – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Godhead also is usually referred to as the Trinity.
Even if you firmly believe that the Trinity exists in the form stated above, you may have trouble understanding what it is. You are not alone.
Entire Issue of October 1, 2017
by Rick Liggin
Modesty aside, do you think you're attractive? Do you think you're beautiful, if you're a woman, or handsome, if you're a man? Are you concerned about being beautiful, staying beautiful, and being around beautiful (handsome) people? No one wants to be ugly. All of us, to some degree, want to be beautiful or handsome...or, at least, attractive. But how do you determine who is or who is not beautiful? How do you define beauty and attractiveness? For many people, and especially for men, attractiveness and beauty are judged purely by what we see physically—by what a person looks like; by his or her outward appearance.
This was Samson's problem!
Entire Issue of September 17, 2017
What does an angel look like? What does an angel do? Are there guardian angels?
What are angels?
We all have mental images of what angels look like. Even though we may not believe in some of the concepts the world ascribes to these heavenly beings, our mind’s eye sees them as dressed in flowing white robes, with long golden hair and white feathered wings on their backs. We see them as either male or female. If you’re a movie fan, you may see them as depicted in Angels in the Outfield, where archangel Christopher Lloyd directs a number of them in assisting the hapless Los Angeles Angels (after all, what other team would they help?).
Apart from Hollywood depictions, artists and sculptors have created enough works of art based on the Bible that we see many images of angels hovering over the baby Jesus in the manger, or walking up and down a ladder in Jacob's dream, or poised at the entrance to Jesus' tomb the day he rose from the grave.
We can't help but form that impression of an angel because that's what the world wants us to see. And the Bible gives us little, if any, detailed picture of how they appeared to men.
Entire Issue of September 3, 2017
A single word may have different meanings. For instance, “stick” may mean a long, thin piece of wood. Or it may mean adhering to another surface, or a tackle in football. The meaning depends on the context of the discussion.
We all recognize that the same word may have different meanings, and that’s important for us to understand what others are talking about. When we misunderstand the meaning by the speaker, we misunderstand what he is trying to tell us.
So valuable conversations are two-way streets: The speaker must be clear in the thought he is trying to convey, and the listener must pay attention without misinterpreting what he hears.
The New Testament uses two words in particular to teach important lessons: first, to anyone who will listen; and, second, to Christians who need to understand the roles they play among believers.
Entire Issue of August 20, 2017
by Morris Fraser
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24, KJV
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Proverbs 23:13 KJV (see also Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 29:15)
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 KJV (see also Colossians 3:21)
The first verse above is the goal of raising children. The second and third are the methods. The fourth warns of poor discipline.
Entire Issue of August 6, 2017