Tag Archives: Bible

A CHURCH THAT DOES NOT EXIST


William Andrew Dillard

The title is paradoxical. To say that there is a church is to say that it exists, but to say there is a church that does not exist is a contradiction of thoughts. Yet, I have read about such a church, and I am sure you have, too. In newspapers and magazines, it will not be unusual to read of “the Baptist church.” This reflects a thought pattern of the church being universal. Of course, expressions of “the Catholic church,” the Methodist church,” etc. are more nearly correct since Catholic and Protestant churches consider themselves to be universal. Catholic theology points to a universal, visible church while Protestants point to a universal invisible church.
So, to which of these lines of theological thought do Baptist churches generally subscribe? Neither! It is the Bible presentation that the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are both visible and local. Each church is totally independent under the headship of Christ Jesus. There is no ecclesiastical (preacher) authority. There is no hierarchy. There is no little church/ big church difference in the eyes of the Lord. All are local assemblies, answerable only to God, with the full weight and responsibility of carrying out the commands of Christ as though they were the only congregation on earth. The only headquarters of the Lord’s churches is in heaven. His churches have equal authority to win disciples, baptize them, teach them, and administer the ordinances according to the Word. A church simply cannot get any more independent than to have the independence God gave to it to represent Him on earth. But, a church can get a lot less independent by subscribing to false doctrines, practices, and acquiescing to the designs and schemes of men. The purpose of such is usually for the sake of “business advantage” and/or to capture congregational power to enhance economic, political, and strained theological activity that God never commanded or intended.
There is no such thing as a biblically recognized, universal church on earth whether visible or invisible! Jesus set in motion a local congregation and empowered it to do likewise in carrying out the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. I understand “Johnson Street Baptist Church” or a church by some other name that distinguishes it as a local assembly in a specific location or in a specified dedication of service. I do not understand nor will I accept the terminology of “The Baptist Church.” It is a church that simply does not exist.

Leave a comment

Filed under dillard

The Lord’s Church


A Bible-reading church is an informed church.

An informed church is an interested church.

An interested church is an acting church.

An acting church is a serving church.

A serving church is the Lord’s church.

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

DEFINITELY DIRT ROAD — AND DETERMINED TO STAY THAT WAY!


By Jim Harris

Several years ago I read a sermon by a Missionary Baptist preacher, entitled, “A Dirt Road Church In An Interstate Society.” It was delivered at a pastors’ and laymens’ meeting and reprinted in “The Baptist Monitor”, the newspaper published by the Texas

Baptist Institute in Henderson. The article was not what I expected, based on the title. (Of course, I realize that I think differently than most folks.) I expected the article to extol the virtues of being a “dirt road” church in a society that is taking the fast road away from God. Instead, it was critical of the “dirt road” mentality, even suggesting that because

the “mind-set” of our society has changed, we must change our thinking and methods in order to reach people in the twenty-first century.

Well, I am not ready to change! I believe there is a great deal of value in being a “dirt road” church in today’s four lane, superhighway society. In Matthew 7:13 Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait, gate: for wide is the gate., and broad is the way., that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat.” As I understand this verse, Jesus was not speaking of salvation, but service. (After all, the Sermon on the Mount was delivered to Christ’s disciples, saved ones.) According the article, a “dirt road” church is one that says things like, “Well, listen, we’ve got the truth, and we’re gonna offer it to ’em. If

they want it, they can come get it,” “We’ll stand on the Bible plan,” and “Well, we don’t want to use the world’s method for growing a church.” (He then suggests that the world is not interested in growing a church. Yes and no. The world is not interested in growing a true, Biblically sound New Testament church, but I believe Satan and the world want

something, some form of “religion” that will ease the mind of mankind concerning his spiritual condition.) The article suggests that because the world is saying, “We like a little variety,” or “That’s the time that I’d rather be leaving out of town to see my grandmother,” that the Lord’s churches must change their method of doing things in order to accomodate its whims.

If I understand the Bible, the worship service is primarily for church members, who have a Scriptural obligation before God to be present — Matt. 16:19; Heb. 10:22-29. The early churches often met secretly and were wary of “strangers” in their midst because of persecution. However, they did not fail to witness. Because we have the freedom to meet publicly and announce the times and place of our meeting, we seem to have relegated most, if

not all, of our witnessing to the worship service. God has a plan for that witnessing., and Jesus gave it in Matthew 28:19 when He said, “Go” (or, “in your going”), and He expects every one of us to witness at every opportunity, bringing those that are saved into a true, New Testament church where they can be taught the “dirt road” doctrines of the Bible.

If our worship service is nothing more than a performance to please the world and worldly, we will fail God. It is not big buildings, gymnasiums, orchestras, and sophisticated

programs that will bring people to salvation, but the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Neither will the things named above cause our witness to be more acceptable. Only the pure

and godly lives which reveal our hope of coming glory can do that (I Peter 3:15). Call me old

fashioned, but while the rest of religion is on the interstate heading away from God, I’ll be content to be “dirt road” in relation to the Master, the message, the mission, the method, the mind-set, and the ministry!

Landmark Forum — 7/4/11

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

Have I Done My Best for Jesus?


The following is adapted from Alfred Smith’s Treasury of Hymn Stories and other sourcesThe account by Smith said Ed Spencer was an Olympic gold medal winner, but this was not possible since the modern Olympic games did not begin until 1896.

__________


Edward Spencer was a student at Garrett Biblical Institute in Evanston, Illinois, on Lake Michigan.

On the morning of September 8, 1860, Ed heard the news that the Lady Elgin, an overloaded steamship, had collided with the lumber-hauling schooner Augusta, and had sunk. People were drowning, and nothing could be done because of the heavy waves and strong currents. 

Ed ran to the shores of the lake and saw that the situation was indeed serious. People were floating on pieces of wreckage in the waters, close enough to shore for their cries of help to be heard, but unable to swim to safety. 

Without hesitation, Ed stripped himself of excess clothing and dove into the rolling waves. He was able to reach the first person, a woman who had clung to a piece of wreckage for hours and was totally exhausted, and bring her to shore. He later said, “Then the struggle began, the huge breakers forcing us towards the shore, keeping us buried much of the time, and the strong undertow tending to carry us back out into the lake. It was a struggle indeed, and I was gaining but little when two tall, stout biblical students, to whom I had signaled, came to our relief” (cited from Josiah Currey, Chicago: Its History and Its Builders).

He repeated this heroic act several more times before onlookers and friends began to say, “Ed, you’ve got to stop. You’ve done all you can. You’ll kill yourself if you keep going!” Ed did not hesitate. He replied, “I’ve got to do my best,” and plunged again into the water. On one trip he was hit in the head and injured by a piece of wreckage.

Ed rescued 17 people in 16 trips in that pitching, rolling storm. After the 16th trip he collapsed unconscious on the shore, unable to go on. He lay there repeating, “Have I done my best fellows? Have I done my best?” All night he battled for his life in the infirmary, continually repeating, “Have I done my best fellows? Have I done my best?”

Ed Spencer had done his best, but it cost him his health. He lived the rest of his life as a semi-invalid due to injuries sustained during the rescue. It was in Phoenix, Arizona, in a humble cottage, that Ensign Edwin Young found him. Mr. Young, Dean of the School of Music at Hardin-Simmons University, had heard his story and heard that he could be found in Arizona. He found a man no longer a robust athlete, but a shadow of the strong man he once was.

During the course of their visit, Mr. Young commended him for his heroic action and asked how he had been recognized during his life by the people who’s lives he had saved that day. With tears streaming down the invalid’s cheeks, he replied, “Not one ever came back to even say thank you.”
It was the retelling of this story that led Ensign Edwin Young to write, “Have I Done My Best for Jesus?”

I wonder have I done my best for Jesus,
Who died upon the cruel tree?
To think of His great sacrifice at Calvary!
I know my Lord expects the best from me.

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?
I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?

The hours that I have wasted are so many
The hours I’ve spent for Christ so few;
Because of all my lack of love for Jesus,
I wonder if His heart is breaking too.

I wonder have I cared enough for others,
Or have I let them die alone?
I might have helped a wand’rer to the Saviour,
The seed of precious Life I might have sown.

No longer will I stay within the valley
I’ll climb to mountain heights above;
The world is dying now for want of someone
To tell them of the Saviour’s matchless love.

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?
I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

IT SHOULD BE IN THE BIBLE!


William Andrew Dillard

I am very certain there is good reason, perhaps known only to God the Author, but one wonders just why the word “Enthusiasm” is not in the Bible.
Think about it! The word consists of three parts: “En” (in); “Thus,” (God), and “Ism” (the noun ending denoting state of being). Hence, “enthusiasm” literally means, “The state of being in God.” But what is commonly associated with the term? It is excitement, energy. Is that not what one finds in a close relationship with God? Surely it is! So much the more, then why the word should be in the Bible, as least to the mind of this writer.
However, there are words in the Bible that are synonyms of “Enthusiasm.” Words as “Fervent,” “Zeal,” “Zealous.” These words come from the ancient Koine Greek term “Zeo” meaning boiling liquids or glowing hot metals.
Illustrated from childhood experience, a small amount of turpentine dabbed on a cat’s behind would cause the animal to erupt into a racing, super speed. It was a show and tell demonstration of enthusiasm. But that is far afield of what the term should mean, and what its synonyms do mean in the Bible. 
Enthusiasm in spiritual matters is not self induced excitement or an attempt to create enthusiasm by that means. Such is easily seen and diagnosed. The problem is that it is false, and in reverse of the true process.
Enthusiasm in proper spiritual matters may indeed spill over into physical expressions. True happiness also shows, and it is detected as being genuine.
So, how may one come to possess the high degree of excitement and joy that is associated with the term “enthusiasm?” How about simply engaging in the activity that the term specifically denotes? “The state of being in God.” There is no other way to know this blessed state than a specific, complete surrender to God as personal Creator, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. As the writer of Hebrews so pointedly noted, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
When sobriety claims the mind and heart; when knowledge of one’s natural state permeates the mind; when realizing the presence of the new birth, and opening the divine presents of faith, hope, love; when basking in the myriad promises so applicable both here and hereafter of peace beyond understanding, then a resounding “Praise the Lord” and “Amen!” will not be sufficient expressions of the soul. Moreover, those will be fulfilling expressions of enthusiasm that are genuine and acceptable to the saints, and to the One Who gave it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

THE BIBLE


Preach the whole Bible.

The Bible is not full of holes.

Adrian Rogers

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

READING THE BIBLE


Read the Bible

It’ll give you a check up

from the neck up,

help you avoid stinkin’ thinkin’,

and totally eliminate

hardening of the attitude.

Adrian Rogers

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

THE BEST PLACE TO SEE JESUS


William Andrew Dillard

Well known by children and adults, alike, is the Bible story of Zacchaeus and the sycamore tree, related in Luke 19. Here it is recorded that Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, a singular event for Him.
Now Zacchaeus was a man small of stature, and the fame of Jesus had already spread abroad. A crowd gathered along the street as many, including Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. But it was obvious that something had to be done if short Zacchaeus were to succeed.
So, Zacchaeus climbed a nearby sycamore tree, enabling him to see over the crowd, thus achieving his objective. But this would be no normal day for the little man. As Jesus passed that way, He paused and commanded that Zacchaeus come down. Not only did Zacchaeus get to see Jesus, he had the unthinkable blessing of entertaining Him in his home.
There are some important things to note about this historic event that are applicable to men everywhere in this precious age of grace. 1.) A desire to see Jesus was in the heart of Zacchaeus. 2.) He did what he could do in climbing the tree in order to see Him. 3.) He responded to the call of the Master to come down and meet Him personally. 4.) He had a penitent attitude not only toward God, but also toward his fellowmen whom he may have dealt with deceitfully in the past. 5.) He gladly received Jesus into his home, gaining an awesome, unimaginable blessing for time and eternity. In summation, these five things that graced the life of a little Jewish man some 2,000 years ago are the same ones that have graced the lives of millions of ensuing believers. Furthermore, they are those which will still grace the lives of Holy Spirit convicted seekers of the Master and His righteousness.
Truly, it is God Who puts a desire in a person’s heart and mind to want to see Jesus. It is He who calls for men to come down out of their perch and meet the Master, not high in a tree, but low on bended knee. It is He Who graces men with a penitent attitude, and changes life so that it may be lived honestly and separately unto the Lord. Furthermore, it is God who causes us to want to have Him as the Head of our home. It is so true that in His presence is fullness of joy, and the more we learn of Him and His Holy Word, the more we see Jesus in our heart of hearts. Zacchaeus is one of “whomsoever” that Jesus is calling to “come down.” He would abide at your house! Blessed are those who are listening, and responding! They will see Jesus first hand as he is!

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

ARGUE WITH GOD?


Tell it to them like it is in the Bible,

and if they want to argue about it

tell them to argue with GOD.

Adrian Rogers

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

Bible Messages


There are two messages

in the Bible:

Come and Go

Adrian Rogers

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes