And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume 20, Number 02

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rich Brooks
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Deafening Silence of the Preachers
Joe R. Price

Jeremiah was set in place by God to be His prophet to Jerusalem, Judah and the nations. Using God’s word, Jeremiah was commissioned by God “to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:4-5, 9-10). When he was severely persecuted for speaking God’s word to rebellious Jerusalem, Jeremiah considered being silent rather than speaking “anymore in His name” (Jer. 20:9). God’s prophet was tempted to refrain from speech that was sure to bring him rejection, mockery, imprisonment, and death threats. He did not yield to this temptation. Instead, Jeremiah was emboldened in faith to continue to open his mouth and speak the inspired word of God: “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not” (Jer. 20:9). Although friends and foes were against him, he rested his confidence in the Lord’s presence, power and justice (Jer. 20:10-12).

Jeremiah sets a worthy example for every Christian today. We live in an age of moral defiance and open rebellion against God, and His holy standards of conduct. Marriage is being redefined to include “same-sex” relationships. The murder of innocent life has been redefined to be a woman’s “right to choose” concerning “reproductive health,” while the unborn are relegated to little more than a footnote, an appendage, a mass of cells. Mind-altering substances like marijuana are being legalized, joining the ranks of alcohol and other drugs to help people cope as they try to “escape” reality. In religious circles, sin is being redefined out of existence. The Scriptures are ridiculed and dismissed as mythical, outdated and irrelevant. Faith has been reduced by many to a money grab as they preach a prosperity theology that serves the flesh (1 Timothy 6:6-10). People are cynical of religion, and many times, for good reason.

The question for Christians is, will we raise our voices against the prevailing winds of sin and unbelief? Or, will we fear men and be silent? 

Will we, by our silence, publicly “go along to get along” with this present evil world? Or, are we prepared to suffer reproach for the name of Christ, like first-century disciples (1 Pet. 4:16; 3:13-17)? What would Jeremiah say and do today? (If you are familiar with the life of Jeremiah, you know the answer to that question.) 

Jeremiah is a worthy example for gospel preachers, too. These are men who devote their lives to proclaiming the word of God to a lost and dying world. These are men who are obliged before God to “preach the gospel” without fear or favor (1 Cor. 9:16; 2 Tim. 4:2-4). Gospel preachers are to boldly speak the whole counsel of God, not avoid its full proclamation (Acts 20:27). They are not to be hirelings who remain silent in the face sin, error and spiritual danger (Jno. 10:12-13).

The apostle of Christ said, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:1-2). Too often, we are left to wonder what a preacher teaches and where he stands on the soul-effecting topics of the day. Jeremiah did not have that problem. Like Jeremiah, a gospel preacher must stand against the tide of public opinion and unfaithfulness among God’s people. This is not only true of gospel preachers. It is also true of elders, teachers, and all who have the Christ-given work of building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16).

Preachers are silent today when they ought to proclaim God’s word. God’s warnings ought to be heard against sin in all its forms, including false teaching and immorality. No preacher (or elder) should ever be heard saying, “There is no need to preach on that subject, because we do not have that problem here.” That is exactly what our adversary the devil wants – the silence of the preachers! Be assured fellow-preacher, if you are not preaching on subjects because they are not currently problems where you live, they will eventually become problems. Furthermore, the brethren will be ill-equipped to address them and overcome them, in part, due to your silence (Jas. 3:1). Consider these applications to illustrate this poignant, if not prevailing, problem. 

Bible authority and the local church. Brethren have told me on more than one occasion that how to establish and how to apply Bible authority is not being preached today as in times past. More and more congregations are becoming ill-equipped to prevent innovations from creeping into local churches. We now see “non-institutional” churches of Christ advertising the social activities of their members (from picnics to youth “lock-ins”) on church websites, in gospel meeting flyers, bulletins and on bulletin boards. Some churches have taken to announcing summer youth camps. (For example, I was recently asked by a Florida College booster club to at least post an announcement of their youth camp on the church’s bulletin board.) By what Bible authority does a church advertise social activities? Where are the preachers who are warning brethren against violating Bible authority by adding a social work to the spiritual labor of the local church (Col. 3:17)? Fellow-preachers, when was the last time you preached on Bible authority and the differences between the individual and the congregation (1 Tim. 5:16; Matt. 18:15-17)? The silence of the preachers is deafening!

Marriage, divorce and remarriage. Now, that’s a topic from which many preachers run. When was the last time your preacher preached on divorce and remarriage from the pulpit? There are preachers who simply will not do so. They reason like the world: “That is a subject for classes or private study, not the pulpit.” Perhaps Jeremiah should not have preached publicly against the adultery of his day (both physical adultery and spiritual adultery, i.e., idolatry, Jer. 3:8-9; 7:9; 29:23). From time to time I am asked what a preacher teaches on divorce and remarriage. More than once I have had to rely, “I do not know; they have nothing in writing or on record to go to and find out.” That should not be the report concerning one who preaches the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:20, 27). I know, not every preacher writes, and not every preacher has his sermons recorded for public distribution. But, when a preacher is published and prolific on many other Bible subjects, yet nothing can be found on controversial subjects like divorce and remarriage, it is mighty strange. Such silence enables the spread of doubt, sin and compromise with error. Furthermore, when one does speak up and preach the truth of God on the subject he is liable to be branded a “radical,” a “troublemaker,” and an unloving “extremist” unworthy to be heard. That sounds much like how Jeremiah must have been described by the opponents of the truth (Jer. 26; 37:11-21; 38:3-6). For some preachers, it seems, it is safer to be silent. Yes, the silence of the preachers is deafening!

Space fails to speak of the silence of the preachers on immodest clothing, social drinking, fellowship with error and those who teach it, and more (2 Jno. 10-11; Gal. 1:6-10). Jeremiah’s warning remains relevant: “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jer. 5:31) 

Is your preacher being silent when he ought to be preaching the truth of God? If so, ask him why. Help him fulfill his ministry to preach the whole counsel of God. Jeremiah had a fire in his bones that compelled him; he had to preach God’s word. He could not be silent (Jer. 20:9). May this be said of every gospel preacher, as well. 


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Joe R. Price

If you are reading this on or after September 24, 2017, then the most recent prediction of the end times has proven to be false. According to David Meade, the rapture was supposed to occur on September 23, 2017. His viral, 4-minute YouTube video, said so. With a fanciful interweaving of the location of stars and planets, a reliance on fanciful Biblical numerology, and twisting figurative passages like Revelation 12:1-5 (which has nothing to do with the second coming of Jesus), Meade settled on September 23, 2017 as a pivotal date in world history (“September 23, 2017: You Need to See This,” YouTube). 

Meade said, “The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending," he said, adding later: "A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October.” (“The world as we know it is about to end - again - if you believe this biblical doomsday claim,” Kristine Phillips,

1) The doctrine of a rapture is not in the Bible. The Bible says that when Jesus returns, all the dead will be raised in the same hour (John 5:28-29). The rapture doctrine puts 1000 years between the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked. But, living Christians will be caught up in the air, there to join Christ and the resurrected saints, “and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). After all the dead are raised, this world will be consumed by fire (2 Pet. 3:10-12).

2) No one can predict when Jesus will return. That has not been revealed. It will happen suddenly, “as a thief in the night” (2 Pet. 3:10; 1 Thess. 5:2). Only God, who knows the end from the beginning, possesses such knowledge (Psalm 46:10; cf. Acts 1:6-7). Always be prepared for the Lord’s return, because no one knows when it will happen (Matt. 24:42-51; 25:13).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  09/20/2017

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