The Sect That Is Spoken Against Everywhere

Paul in Rome

When Paul came to Rome as a prisoner, he was permitted to meet with the Jewish leaders in that city. The apostle used this opportunity to explain why he was there – not as an enemy of the Jewish people but that he was suffering “for the sake of the hope of Israel” (Acts 28:17-20). The Jewish leaders had not heard about Paul, but they had heard about the church.

They said to him, ‘We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are; for concerning this sect, it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere” (Acts 28:21-22).

The church was this “sect…spoken against everywhere.” Why was this the case?

When we study the book of Acts, we find several reasons why the church was “spoken against everywhere.” As we follow the same pattern that they followed, this will often happen to us as well. We will be “spoken against” by others. It is not that we should seek out trouble or conflict. Paul told the Romans, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). However, we do need to be prepared for this reality.Continue Reading

How to Discuss Contentious Topics

Argument

Most have noticed that the world in which we live has become more divided and contentious in the past few years. Many topics that come up for discussion – both in person and especially online – can elicit strong emotional responses from individuals. Because of this, we may be tempted to avoid any type of discussion on potentially controversial issues, especially if we know (or are reasonably certain) there will be disagreement.

However, for many controversial topics, there are Biblical principles that apply to them. Therefore, discussions on these sorts of issues can provide a way to direct others – especially those who are not Christians – to what the Bible teaches. So we should not avoid discussing such things altogether, but we do need to understand the proper way to discuss contentious topics.Continue Reading

The Way (Part 2): Learning About The Way

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, ‘When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case’” (Acts 24:22).

When Paul stood before rulers on trial, some knew nothing of the background of his teaching or the church. However, Felix had “a more exact knowledge of the Way.” Because of this knowledge, he was in a better position than others to believe Paul’s message and accept the gospel as the truth. As far as we know, Felix never did obey the gospel (cf. Acts 24:24-27); but he did start in a better position than many others did when they first heard the gospel.

In order for “the Way” to be of any benefit to us, we must know of it. What people had to know in the first century about “the Way” is the same as what we need to know about it. As we noticed in the previous lesson, Jesus is “the way” (John 14:6). Furthermore, He does not change: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, “the Way” has not changed.

The Way” described to us in the New Testament is still “the Way” we are to go. We need to develop “a more exact knowledge about the Way” (Acts 24:22). So let us notice what the Scriptures teach us about “the Way.Continue Reading

Two Philosophies

Two Men Talking

One person says, “Look at all of the people in all of the different churches. They all have different beliefs and practices. Surely they can’t all be wrong.”

Another person says, “Let’s look at the Bible because the Bible is right, even if I am wrong.”

The first person begins his reasoning with the beliefs and practices of men. The second person begins his reasoning by examining the Scriptures.

Which philosophy should we have? The following passages are helpful in answering that question:Continue Reading

Abner Jones: “I Hid My Light Under a Bed of Calvinism”

Abner Jones - I Hid My Light Under a Bed of Calvinism

Abner Jones (1772-1841) was a doctor in New England who would eventually abandon his medical practice in order to preach the gospel. This journey – which resulted in him being regarded as an early figure in the Restoration Movement – began when he started questioning the Baptists for having a name, articles of faith, and church covenants that were foreign to the New Testament.

“When I presented these things before the minister…he could not recollect the passages of scripture that proved these things, but said they were necessary. The reason why he could not remember them was, because they were not in the bible.

“When I mentioned these things to my brethren, they seemed almost as much astonished, as though I had denied the bible, saying that I was wild, &c.

“At that time I viewed myself alone on the earth, not knowing of any one that believed with me” (Abner Jones: A Collection, p. 60).

Continue Reading

Different Perspectives (Sermon #23)

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Different Perspectives (Sermon #23)

We’re in between season 8 and season 9 which will start on January 23rd. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on September 24, 2017 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

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Characteristics of Truth (Season 8, Episode 7)

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Characteristics of Truth (Season 8, Episode 7)

While it is important that we understand that the word of God is truth (John 17:17), it is also important that we appreciate various characteristics of truth. Certainly there are those who do not accept the Bible as truth; but of those who do (or claim that they do), many simply do not understand the nature of this truth. It is not whatever we want it to be. Truth is from the mind of God whose ways are infinitely higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:25). In this episode, we’re going to consider six characteristics of truth.

Article: Characteristics of Truth

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.