SOME BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH

Posted by Mark Lindley on 28 February 2016

The term “church” is a term that has many different meanings today. Some may use the word “church” to refer to a building. For example, “I’ll meet you at the church,” which means I will meet you at the church “building.”  Another may use the term to refer to a specific denomination. A person might say, “In my church, we believe in having women preachers.” The word church, in this sense, would obviously refer to one of the denominations which have women preachers (cf. I Timothy 2:8-13).

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WORRYING AND PRECIOUS TIME

Posted by Mark Lindley on 14 February 2016

Time is a precious blessing not to be wasted. With each tick of the clock, the brief span of time we have in this world is passing. This is why Paul exhorts us to use our time wisely: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). We should “number our days,” making the most of each moment, living life to the fullest (Psalm 90:12).

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THE BIG QUESTIONS OF LIFE

Posted by Mark Lindley on 31 January 2016

For ages man has pondered the big questions of life. Questions such as, where did I come from? Why am I here? And where am I going? These are the questions some of the greatest minds of the ages have attempted to answer.

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Do Not Wait For The Kingdom

Posted by Mark Lindley on 6 May 2015

A few weeks ago a couple of nice gentlemen associated with a religious denomination knocked at my door. After introducing themselves, they got to the point they wanted to discuss: the kingdom of Christ. They insisted that the kingdom would soon be established. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning, and I had plans for the day. Nevertheless, I invited the men in and asked them if they would be willing to listen as I shared biblical information about the kingdom. I then set forth the following thoughts:

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A “TROUBLING” VERSE

Posted by on 26 April 2015

I recently heard a preacher on the radio say that a certain verse was “troubling” for some. The verse he referred to is Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The preacher said that this verse is troubling because it “seems to say that baptism is for the remission of sins.” His understanding was correct. This verse not only “seems” to say, but it actually “does” say that “baptism is for the remission of sins.”
    But why would that thought be troubling for some? The preacher explained that he did not believe baptism was necessary for salvation. He said that Acts 2:38 seems to teach that baptism “is” necessary for salvation. Therefore, he said this verse was “troubling.”
    However, there is no reason for any person to be troubled by the teaching of this verse. The solution is to accept what it teaches, and then there will be no reason for a person to feel disturbed by Peter’s statement.     
    Nevertheless, instead of accepting the clear teaching of the verse, some attempt to interpret the verse so that it fits with their view that baptism is not necessary for salvation. One such attempt is made by saying that the word “for” in Acts 2:38 actually means “because of.” If this is true, then the verse actually teaches that one should repent and be baptized “because one’s sins have been forgiven.”
    But this interpretation will not stand. The word “for” in this text does not mean “because of”; rather, “for” means “in order to obtain” the forgiveness of sins. Consider the following: Jesus said that He would shed His blood “for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). “For the remission of sins” in Matthew 26:28 is identical, in Greek and English, to “for the remission of sins” in Acts 2:38. If “for” means “because of,” then Jesus shed His blood “because of” the remission of sins? But that cannot be true. Jesus shed His blood “in order” for sinners to receive the remission of sins (cf. Hebrews 9:22).
    In addition, after Peter instructed his audience to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, he then urged them: “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40). However, if the people were saved already, then there would have been no reason for Peter to urge them to be saved.  This shows that the people needed to be saved, and, therefore, “for the remission of sins” means “in order to be forgiven.”
    Let us resolve that Acts 2:38 will not trouble us. Rather, let us “gladly receive” the Word (Acts 2:41)!

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“PROVE ALL THINGS”

Posted by Mark Lindley on 12 April 2015

The words above are recorded in I Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” The word prove means “to test, examine, prove, scrutinize, to see whether a thing is genuine or not” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). In matters of doctrine, then, God has placed the obligation upon all Christians to prove their beliefs and practices. This verse sets forth two vital points:
    First, the command to “prove all things” implies that there is a standard by which things can be proved. The standard is God’s Word. Observe Acts 17:11: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Note that the people “searched the scriptures.” Why? The answer is stated in the verse: to see “whether those things were so.” They realized that religious doctrines and practices should not be “verified” by family tradition, opinions, what “the preacher said,” or feelings, but by God’s Word, the Scriptures.
    Second, the command to “prove all things” implies that doctrines can be proved to be right or wrong. There is the popular notion today that two people may hold conflicting, opposing views; yet, both views are correct. “After all,” some say, “you have your interpretation and I have mine.” Though the notion that “everyone has the right to his own interpretation” is popular, it will not stand in light of what the Bible teaches. The command to “prove all things” suggests that in matters of doctrine, one may “prove” a doctrine to be right or wrong. Therefore, Truth is not determined by one’s personal, subjective interpretation. One’s interpretation of a verse (or verses) may be wrong.
    Friend, when it comes to religious beliefs and practices, can you “prove” yours by the Bible? Since the apostle Paul instructed Christians to “prove all things,” we cannot afford to do otherwise. Don’t rely on what fallible men may say. Prove all things by God’s Word.

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"I Feel Saved"

Posted by Mark Lindley on 25 February 2015

The Bible teaches that God wants His children to feel saved. David pled, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalm 51:12). Paul admonished: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Christians should have inner joy and peace, and should “feel” saved.

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Standing For What Is Right

Posted by Mark Lindley on 11 February 2015

Most people are taught from a young age to stand up for what is right. In dealing with various issues and problems, there is often a side that is right and a side that is wrong. To stand for what is right is not always easy. One who stands for what is right must have inner strength, true character, and integrity. The one who stands up for what is right will need these virtues because he may have to stand against others and resist the temptation to please them. The pressure to please others and compromise one’s convictions can be strong.

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Baptized Again

Posted by Mark Lindley on 28 January 2015

Does anyone ever need to be baptized again? On the occasion of Acts chapter 19, there were some who were baptized again. The following is the account of what happened: “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:1-5).

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"God With Us"

Posted by Mark Lindley on 17 December 2014

During the holiday season many reflect on the birth of Christ. Biblically, there is no precedent to celebrate December 25 as the birth of Christ because the Scriptures are silent about Jesus’ date of birth. Nevertheless, the Scriptures are not silent regarding His birth, and Christians should rejoice always that a Savior was born.

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