The Church Gathered Together

Two Men Praying

Togetherness is a characteristic seen in the Lord’s church throughout the book of Acts. Let us briefly consider the examples of the church gathering together and see what lessons we can learn.
Continue Reading

Congregational Cooperation

Cooperate

From time to time, it is good to revisit questions that brethren have debated in the past. If we fail to do this, there is a danger that the next generation can fall into the same errors that faithful brethren once opposed. A lack of understanding leads to apostasy. This was what happened to the Israelites after Joshua and his generation were gone: “There arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals” (Judges 2:10-11). We should try to prevent such apostasy through teaching.

The question we will consider here is this: Can local congregations work together? If so, how? This issue has been called congregational cooperation or church cooperation. In this article, we are going to consider what the Bible has to say that will help us answer this question.
Continue Reading

Church Membership

Church Attendance Board

The term “church membership” is not used in the New Testament. However, it is certainly a Scriptural concept. Paul clearly taught the concept of church membership in his letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:14-30). Notice the following verses in particular:

For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14).

But now there are many members, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12:20).

Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

In this article, let us consider the topic of church membership. As we do, we will ask three questions: (1) What is church membership? (2) How do we become members? (3) What are members to do?
Continue Reading

Thoughts on the Bible-Minded Cities Report

2015 Bible-Minded Cities

The Barna Group released a report on “Bible-Minded” cities. The report ranked the “Bible-mindedness” of individuals in the 100 largest media markets in the United States. According to the criteria of the Barna Group, an individual is “Bible-minded” based on two qualifications:

  1. They “report reading the Bible in a typical week.”
  2. They “strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches.”

It is interesting to read reports like this one. Regardless of how “Bible-minded” the cities are in which we live, there are some points we should consider.
Continue Reading

Why Being Non-Denominational Is Not Good Enough

Church steeple

In the past, more emphasis was placed upon one’s denominational affiliation. But for many today, this is less important. This shift in mindset has given rise to the number of “non-denominational” churches we see in the religious world.

For years, faithful brethren have rightly condemned denominationalism. So is the trend toward non-denominationalism a good thing? Maybe not. Why not? Simply being non-denominational is not good enough.

The church in Sardis was a dead church, though they had a reputation that they were alive. Jesus said to them, “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). This shows us that a church can seem to be good in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of the Lord, their status is completely different. In the eyes of many, “non-denominational” churches look appealing. But like the church in Sardis, many of these churches simply do not measure up to the Lord’s standard.
Continue Reading

The Future of the Church

Pews

This phrase is often used to refer to children growing up in the church. All parents – and everyone else involved – want to see these children grow up to be Christians. But even if they do, they are only part of the future of the church. In this article, I want us to consider the future of the church – in particular, as it relates to each local congregation – and notice what we can do in the present to help the future church.
Continue Reading

The Preaching Demanded by the Gospel

Preacher

God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Salvation and knowledge of the truth are not two separate desires that God has for man, but are necessarily linked together. Knowledge of the truth is necessary for salvation because “the gospel…is the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16). When the Lord returns, judgment will come against “those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

God calls us to Him through the gospel. Paul told the brethren in Thessalonica that they were “called…through our gospel” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). The call of the gospel is spread through preaching (Romans 10:14; Mark 16:15).

Understanding the importance of the gospel and the necessity of preaching to spread the gospel, what should characterize our preaching? Let us notice a few characteristics of sound gospel preaching.
Continue Reading