Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Gospel Meeting Sept. 24-29, 2006
The Mt. Baker
church of Christ
Invites you to our
(Camden, South Carolina)
Sept. 24–29, 2006
Learn about New
(From I-5 take Exit # 255
and go East 4.2 miles)
The apostles of Christ preached the “word of faith” (the gospel, the word of God) that produced faith in the hearts of sinners by which they called on the name of the Lord and were saved (Rom. 10:8-12, 16, 17). We must preach the same gospel today since the same need of salvation exists.
Paul went on to say, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (Rom. 10:13-15) The work of the preacher is to preach the “word of faith” so that sinners hear it, believe it, repent, are baptized and saved (Acts 22:16).
On more than one occasion I have been told of preachers who never even offer a gospel invitation to the lost when they preach. How can this be? Why is this the case? What kind of preaching is being done that fails to challenge sinners to repent and obey the gospel? Furthermore, what does this say about the kind of preaching people seem to want these days (2 Tim. 4:3-4)?
Gospel preachers must “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). That means much more than making a “motivational speech” or offering a few “inspirational thoughts” to your audience; it means persuading the lost with the power of the gospel (Acts 24:24-25; 26:24-29; Rom. 1:15-16).
Instead of boldly and urgently calling on sinners to repent, obey and be saved (Acts 2:36-40), we are hearing sermons from pulpits that conclude with, “If anyone has a need, come forward as we stand and sing.” Well now, I can think of any number of things I “need” (or at least, I think I need them). But, just because I think I need something doesn’t mean I actually need it. If that is true of my physical needs, it is more abundantly true of my spiritual needs. By the way, why should I “come forward” anyway? You haven’t told me why by saying, “if anyone has a need, come forward while we stand and sing.”
Fellow preacher, make the gospel call of Christ clear. Give the gospel invitation to the lost and dying with an urgent and understandable exhortation (Matt. 11:28-30; Acts 2:40). Be sure you tell them from God’s word that what they decide is a matter of their eternal life and death! Don’t leave your audience guessing about what they need or how to get it. Don’t assume your listeners know what they need. Preach boldly the words of truth – many do not know what they truly need (Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23; 2 Tim. 4:2).
The evangelist Philip asked a man, “Do you understand what you are reading?” and the man replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8:30-31). The man needed guidance from the Scriptures to know what he needed and how to get it. Philip supplied the answers by preaching Jesus to him (Acts 8:35). Once the man heard the gospel of Christ he knew what he needed. We can reasonably infer from the man’s question about baptism that Philip not only told the man who Jesus was, he also told him he was a sinner in need of the salvation Jesus gives. Philip told the man what to do to be saved because the man wanted to be baptized, and baptism saves repentant believers (Acts 8:35-37; 2:38; Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).
When we preach, if we do not exhort and urge sinners to repent and obey the gospel to be saved, how can it be said we have preached the “word of faith" (Rom. 10:8-17)? Do not leave sinners guessing what they need. If you do, you have not preached the gospel (Rom. 1:16).
Brethren, do not reduce the gospel invitation to be saved to a mindless tradition of men.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Luke 13:22-27
1. Bible rejects doctrine of “guilty by association”
(hereditary depravity & hereditary innocence are false, Ezek. 18:20); Lk.
15:1-2; 1 Cor. 5:9-10 (1 Cor. 15:33).
I. THE INFLUENCE OF THE RIGHTEOUS PERSON IS POWERFUL & NECESSARY.
A. In a Marriage, 1 Cor. 7:14.
II. THE INFLUENCE OF THE RIGHTEOUS PERSON DOES NOT REMOVE THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH PERSON, Lk.13:25ff
-In a marriage, unbeliever must obey (1 Pet. 3:1-2).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 17:32-37
1. Nearly everyone wants to be respected, including young
people. Many do not understand what respect is & what it takes to be worthy
I. LET NO ONE DESPISE YOUR YOUTH: THE EXAMPLE OF DAVID.
A. His Brother Scolded His Boldness as Evil, 1 Sam.
II. BE AN EXAMPLE, 1 Tim. 4:12.
A. Be an Example to Christians (Matt. 5:13-16).
III. SET THE EXAMPLE… (1 Tim. 4:12)
A. In Word, Tit. 2:8; Eph. 4:29; 5:3-4; Mt.12:36-37
The Price of Gas and Souls
High gasoline prices are driving a surge in scooter sales, especially in American cities. It is not hard to see why, when scooters get 60 to 80 miles to the gallon and many cars only get 20 mpg (“US drivers hop on scooters to dodge rising gas prices,” Virginie Montet, YahooNews, Sept. 4, 2006).
The high cost of gasoline is changing our driving habits. However, we continue to drive our cars (motorcycles and even scooters) just about every time we really need to be somewhere. And that gets us to the point of this column.
Christians should be on guard against the temptation to use the high cost of gasoline as an excuse not to assemble with the saints for worship (Heb. 10:25). If we catch ourselves beginning to say, “I won’t go to worship today because gas is so high,” it is time to stop and reassess what we value the most in life (Matt. 6:33).
What profit is it to a man if he gains a tank of gas, and loses his own soul? (cf. Matt. 16:26)
The high cost of gasoline does not keep us from driving to work. Would the boss accept high gas prices as a reason not to go to work? Why should we think God accepts it?
The high cost of gasoline does not keep us from driving to the grocery store or restaurant. We pay the high fuel prices to feed our stomach. Why should we consider gas prices too high a price to pay when it comes to feeding our soul?
We will find you a ride to worship services if you cannot afford the price of gasoline.
A lack of faith, not the price of gasoline, prevents some from regularly worshiping God. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Cor. 13:5)
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA