The Demands of Discipleship

Plowing

We have been called to be disciples of Jesus, yet this is not an easy life. Discipleship is demanding. There are certain things required of us and not everyone will be willing to do what is necessary to be a disciple. In the following passage, Jesus encountered three prospective disciples:

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.

And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’

Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:57-62).

In Jesus’ responses to these individuals, He showed just how demanding it is to be one of His disciples. Let us consider what He said and how it applies to us today.Continue Reading

Regular Christians: Conclusion

Regular Christians

Throughout the Bible, warnings are given about pride. We are not to think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3). Instead, we are to learn to be humble. Referring to the words of the psalmist, James wrote, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; cf. Psalm 138:6).

Yet in combatting pride, we can easily fall into the trap of self-deprecation. This is not real humility; instead, this means we are overly critical of ourselves and see ourselves as being an unimportant part of the Lord’s church.

However, when Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he made it clear that each individual member was an important part of the body.Continue Reading

Regular Christians (Part 12): John Mark

Regular Christians

John Mark was one who departed, but returned to faithfulness. We can read about his failing during the first preaching tour of Paul and Barnabas.

Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but John left them and returned to Jerusalem” (Acts 13:13).

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The Name of “Christian”

Christian on chalkboard

The “Restoration Movement” is sometimes called the “Stone-Campbell Movement” after two principle men in that movement – Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell. They were two of many who endeavored to leave the churches and creeds of men and follow the Bible alone.

Stone was formerly a Presbyterian. Campbell had previously been associated with the Baptists. Yet they decided they were no longer going to use those names to identify themselves. So what would they be called? Campbell thought brethren should be identified as “Disciples” while Stone favored the name “Christian.” What does the Bible say? Notice what Luke recorded:

And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

In the verse above, disciples were called Christians. Let us consider what the Bible says about the name we are to wear.Continue Reading

Regular Christians (Part 11): Diotrephes

Regular Christians

Diotrephes was one who fell away because he wanted to have the preeminence. The only time we read about him in the New Testament is when John warned about him in his third epistle.

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them [have the preeminence, KJV], does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).

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Regular Christians (Part 10): Demas

Regular Christians

Demas was one who fell away because he loved the world. Paul mentioned his unfortunate decision in his second letter to Timothy.

For Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…” (2 Timothy 4:10).

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“You Have Killed Yourself”

Reuben Dooly: You Have Killed Yourself

The three previous Restoration History articles have focused on examples of some lesser-known preachers found in the biography of David Purviance – Purviance himself (1766-1847), George Shidler (1776-1828), and William Kinkade (1783-1832). In this article, we are going to look at another lesser-known preacher found in the same book: a man named Reuben Dooly (1773-1822) – sometimes spelled “Dooley.” In this account, we can read about the final sermon that he preached while battling with poor health.Continue Reading