Download Searching The Scriptures 1973 PDF

TitleSearching The Scriptures 1973
File Size5.2 MB
Total Pages145
Document Text Contents
Page 1

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature. He that be-
lieveth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15,16).

These are words we have committed to memory
and use them frequently to show what one must do
to be saved. But why do we fail in our mission to do
what we preach should be done ? To this question we
had better find an answer, and we had better find
the r ight one.

Dur ing the time it takes me to type this article
over a thousand souls will pass from time to eternity
from this continent. Of this thousand who will die
while I write this paper, perhaps one soul will have
at sometime in the past obeyed the gospel of Chr ist.
Among those who have obeyed the gospel of the Son
of God, perhaps one out of forty will be faithful unto
death to receive the crown of r ighteousness. T his is
a discouraging estimate, but the facts are in evi-
dence to support the statement.

Why is it that we can hold hope for about one out
of forty to fifty thousand souls who depart this life ?
Why can we not reach these thousands with the
gospel and br ing them to obey it and live by the will
of Chr ist ? These and a dozen more questions may be
asked, but a sober and thoughtful view of the antics
and promotional involvements of the religious lead-
ers of the day will answer these questions.


What makes success? T he answer depends upon
who asks the question and to whom it is asked. By
man's standard, success would be that which at-

tracts attention and gets the approval of the masses,
and shows increase in mater ial wealth. In a word,
man's success is man's greatest achievement and the
most popularity. A good proof of this is the use of
numbers present at a service and the amount, of con-
tribution to indicate growth of a congregation.

But success by God's standard is that simple and
complete obedience to the will of God that makes
men "new creatures" in Chr ist. This godly success is
descr ibed in such terms as: "then they that gladly
received his word were baptized: and the same day
there were added unto them about three thousand
souls" (Acts 2:41). "Howbeit many of them which
heard the word believed; and the number of men was
about five thousand" (Acts 4:4). "And believers
were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both
of men and women" (Acts 5:14). "And the word of
God increased; and the number of the disciples mul-
tiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company
of the priests were obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7).
"But when they believed Philip preaching the things
concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of
Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and
women" (Acts 8:12).

On and on it goes in the divine record: thousands
in one day, multitudes were obedient, and they were
multiplied greatly in Jerusalem. All this growth,
unmatched by the combination of the greatest ma-
chinery of men, was without "the greatest preach-
ers of today" being promoted, and without the gen-
ius of all the "specialists" we now have in the field
of preaching, and without all the gimmicks and de-
vices concocted by professed disciples to "promote
Chr ist." If it succeeded then, it will succeed now.

That which will insure genuine scr iptural success
is the plain, forceful preaching of Chr ist as the Son
of God and man as a sinner. This preaching must
include all that is revealed in the New Testament for
one to become a Chr istian, and not add one single
thing that is not revealed. T he gospel is the power
of God to save the believer (Rom. 1:16). It is by
obeying the truth that man's soul is purified (I Pet.


I do not want to imply that no success or spir itual
growth exists. T here is a healthy growth in many

Page 2

Page 2___________________________________________________________________________________________________

parts of the country, but by compar ison with the
first century preaching, and consider ing the ad-
vanced methods of communication we have today,
we are failing in the mission to go into all the world
and preach the gospel to every creature.

T here are a number of reasons why we continue
to fail, but I can attr ibute the wor ld wide failure to
two obvious attitudes that seem to have permeated
the entire church of the Lord. Until these are elimi-
nated or corrected we will have very little success.

1. The False Idea of Unity.
The newly developed concept of unity and the

ecumenical efforts, including the fellowship with
many denominations of the world, is one hindrance.
This has developed within the Lord's church during
the past 20 to 30 years. It stands to reason that a
Methodist sees no point in leaving Methodism when
some "Churches of Chr ist" join with them in their
r ituals and "good works" by which they confess that
Methodists are "children of God" also. Why should
they change?

This false concept of unity has weakened the con-
viction and conscience of the majority of those who
have been baptized into Chr ist and they no longer
really feel the need to change religious people in
error. Why should they ? If all these are "children of
God" in var ious ways, why try to change them ?

The pseudo-promoters of denominational unity
have little or no respect for the divine author ity of
the word of God. It would be impossible to expect
them to draw a line between truth and error because
the moment they do so they are in trouble with their
concept of unity. This is one great reason we are not
growing as in New T estament days. I am speaking
of success as revealed by God, not the success as
viewed by men.

2. T he Attitude Toward Sin and the Wor ld.
T he attitude of most people toward sin and the

world has left little difference between the lives and
influence of members of the church and the world.
The evils of the wor ld have so infiltrated the habits
of professed disciples of Chr ist that preaching has
no longer any influence upon those of the world.

Galatians 5:19-21 lists the works of the f lesh and
concludes with these words: "of the which I tell you
before, as I have also told you in time past, that
they which do such things shall not inher it the king-
dom of God."

Romans 6 plainly shows that the person who is
dead to sin, bur ied with Chr ist by baptism into
death, and raised in the likeness of his resurrection
to walk in newness of life, should no longer allow sin
to reign in his mortal body. If we turn from serving
r ighteousness to serve sin, we become the servant of
sin, and the end is spir itual death. This is the whole
point of Romans 6.

Jesus said that his disciples would be hated by the
wor ld (John 15:18,19). In fact, he taught them that
if the world loved them they would be of the world,
because "the world would love his own: but because
ye are not of the word, but I have chosen you out of
the wor ld, therefore the wor ld hateth you."

James said: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know
ye not that the fr iendship of the wor ld is enmity
with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of
the wor ld is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).

If one has difficulty defining what the world is in
these passages, John makes it plain: "Love not the
wor ld, neither the things that are in the wor ld. I f
any man love the world, the love of the Father is not
in him. For all that is in the wor ld, the lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not
of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:15,16).
E veryone is of the wor ld who is not in Chr ist and
not walking in the light (I John 1:7; Matt. 12:30).
Demas, once a fellow worker with Paul "hath for-
saken me. having loved this present wor ld ..." ( I I
T im. 4:10).

All these passages establish this one point: No
man can give allegiance to the god of this world to
any degree and be a true servant of God. But this is
the very problem that hinders our success as we try
to use the powerful sword of the Spir it, the word of


One of the most concise and direct passages that

Page 72

Page 10

James P. Miller

T he proof texts given by brother Goodpasture
prove just the opposite to any mater ial rewards. It is
amazing that he would use them.

I Cor inthians 9:25, "And every man that striveth
for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they
do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we have an
incorruptible crown." Check where cokes, cupcakes
and Halloween parties belong.

I T hessalonians 2:19, "For what is our hope, or
joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the
presence of our Lord Jesus Chr ist at his coming."
Brother Goodpasture would have us rejoice in mate-
r ial rewards. No verse could be further from cokes
and cupcakes.

I I T imothy 4:8, "Henceforth there is lain up for
me a crown of r ighteousness, which the Lord, the
r ighteous judge, shall give me in that day: and not
to me only, but to all them also that love his appear-
ing." Here the crown of r ighteousness is the pr ize
and who could compare it with cokes and cupcakes ?

James 1:12, "Blessed is the man that endureth
temptation; for when he is t r ied, he shall receive
the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to
them that love him." In this passage we have the
crown of life given to the Chr istian who endureth
temptation. How does this prove mater ial reward? It
proves just the opposite.

I Peter 5:4, "And when the chief Shepherd shall
appear, he shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth
not away." T his is wr itten to the elder s and ought
to read, blessed is the elder who hands out the most
cokes for he shall receive a crown of glory.

Matthew 10:42, "And whosoever shall give to
dr ink one of these little ones a cup of cold water in
the name of a disciple, ver ily I say unto you he shall
in no wise lose his reward." This admonition is to
quench thirst and given to a little one because he is
thirsty, not to get him to ride the bus.

As further proof the question has been raised in
regard to ref reshments at V.B.S. T his is to prove
the bus promotion. T hese refreshments are given to
attract the children. No scr ipture is given for none
exists and many of us have learned better years ago.

In the second paragraph Bibles, balloons and rul-
ers are suggested but cokes and cupcakes and Hal-
loween parties are practiced. A free fishing tr ip is
suggested only for the child who can get the most
children to r ide the bus.

Brethr en, we are not wr iting this because ther e
is any hard feeling between brother Goodpasture and
the wr iter but to warn of the social gospel that is
sweeping the land. T he idea that the end justifies
the means is everywhere. T he thing missed is that
BOT H have to be scr iptural. Unless something is
done to move the churches back to a chapter and
verse basis all is lost.

to a friend when you renew your own sub-
scription ? It is a gift that lasts all year long.

We are saddened to learn of the death of Paul Foutz,

faithful preacher of the gospel for many years. He was
living in Houston, Texas at the time of his death. His
illness was lengthy and his hospital bills were in ex-
cess of $7,000. It is my under standing that
hospitalization insurance will not cover this amount.
Some congregations and individuals have undertaken
to relieve his wife of this burden. If any of you would
like to help, address such to Mrs. Paul Foutz, 7300
Clarewood, Apt. 60, Houston, Texas 77036.

Henry Smith, gospel preacher for 21 years, was

injured in an auto accident on March 16 and passed
away April 9. He was preaching for the church at West
Lafayette, Indiana at the time of the accident. He
leaves his wife and five children ranging from ages 8 -
19. After insurance settlements there will still be
expenses of over $12,000 to meet. A letter is being
circulated making an appeal for help. T he letter is
signed by Raymond E. Harris of Plainfield, Indiana,
Bob G. Nealy of Kokomo, Indiana and Cecil Willis of
Marion, Indiana. Any assistance should be sent to Mrs.
Carol Smith, 1820 Summit Drive, West Lafayette,
Indiana 47906.

The editor has just completed a good meeting at

Wellsburg, W. Va. where Thomas Icard is the local
preacher. The congregation there is making good
progress. A number have been baptized and restored
there r ecently. T he br ethren are in a ver y nice
building which is paid for and have recently con-
structed a very nice house for the preacher. At-
tendance ranges in the 140's with contr ibutions of over
$450 a week. There are a number of sound churches in
that general area which are making progress. There
are good congregations at Paden City, E lk Fork,
Moundsville, New Cumberland Heights in W. Va.,
Toronto in Ohio and Tomlinson's Run in Pa.

PLEASE SEND your news reports to the editor
at P.O. BOX 68, BROOKS, KY. 40109. Put them
in brief paragraphs with your name and address
at the beginning. Others are interested in what is
happening where you work.

Page 73

Page 11

There probably has never been a time since the
church of Chr ist was established in the 1st Century
that the Holy Spir it, and the subject of miracles,
has held such strong interest for so many people
as it does now. Traditionally, the var ious Holiness
groups have always claimed the direct, miraculous
operation of the Spir it. But more recently these
claims have also been heard from many other
sources including members of very formal denom-
inations, and even some brethren. Reports are heard
constantly of Holy Spir it baptism, speaking in
tongues, miraculous healings, and direct guidance
by the Holy Spir it.

While God's limitless power, and the miracles of
the Bible, are to be acknowledged as true, the same
cannot be said, however, of current claims for
modern miracles. T hey seem rather to be based on
at least two factors. Fir st, they are the result of
strong emotional reaction to the cold formalism and
meaningless r itual of traditional religion, as well as
to the logical conclusions of modern atheistic ma-
terialism. And second, but most significant, these
claims are based on misinformation and ignorance
of what a miracle actually is. In other words, people
are claiming things to be miraculous that do not
even come close to the miracles of the Bible. One of
the most tragic things about the religious fervor of
today is that it is based almost totally upon emo-
tionalism rather than facts. Consequently, many
people are unconcerned about what the word of God
says on the subject of miracles just as long as what
they want to claim makes them feel warm and good
inside. But realizing there are some who want to
serve God in the truth of His word, let us compare
these modern claims with what the word of God ac-
tually teaches.

A miracle is well defined as an instantaneous ef-
fect produced by the power of God in the suspension
or .alteration of natural law. T he accuracy of this
definition can be seen by examining any miracle in
the Bible. For example, Jesus' resur rection of
Lazarus (John 11:1-44) leaves no doubt that Laz-
arus was dead and bur ied. Lazarus' walking out of
the tomb was therefore unnatural, and contrary to
the rule of death. But Jesus, calling upon the Father,
raised L azarus in an instant as proof of His claim
' to be the resurrection and the life by Whom all men
can live and die in hope of eternal life.

When compared to the miracles of the Bible the
hokum practiced by the modern faith (fake) healers
looks very much like a carnival side show designed
to exploit the gullible. And even the claims of sin-
cere, non-mercenary persons pale into insignificance
like so much tr ivia. What these people claim as
miracles are not miraculous at all, but simply cir-
cumstantial, or even imaginary. T he man whose
tragic financial affairs unexpectedly turn out well
has not enjoyed a miracle, but simply improved
circumstances. The person who has internal diffi-
culties which suddenly improve may well be a psy-

chosomatic whose confidence in a supposed miracle
may relieve the emotional stress which caused the
malady to begin with. Let cease the claims that such
things are proof of miracles, and let the claimants
demonstrate instead works such as those recorded
in the Bible. Let them restore the withered limb,
make the congenitally lame and blind to walk and
see. Let them walk upon the water, or still the
tempest with a word, or feed the wor ld's starving
masses with such provisions as they have, even as
Jesus fed the five thousand with but five loaves
and two fish. LET THE M RAISE THE DE AD!

"But," one may ask, "if miracles were worked
when the Bible was being wr itten, then why not
now ?" Because these miracles were used to produce
the Bible, and to verify it as being God's word. Once
the Bible was completed the wr itten testimony of
those who saw those miracles (the wr iters of the
Bible) stands as evidence of its divine authorship.

When Jesus sent the apostles to preach the gospel
they went forth as His ambassadors to reconcile
men to God. They did not, however, have a written
record of the gospel by which to prove their teach-
ing because it was only then being revealed through
them. Thus, they were given miraculous power by
which to know and preach the gospel (the gifts of
revelation and inspiration), and signs and wonders
by which to confirm that what they preached was
God's revealed truth (Mark 16:15-20). The miracles
they worked, then, were their ambassador ial cre-
dentials by which they proved that they were sent
by divine author ity.

Further, when these miracles had served to re-
veal and confirm the gospel they passed from exist-
ence. I Cor inthians 12:7-11 Paul enumerates nine
different miraculous gifts, and then in the same con-
text, but in chapter 13:8-10, says these gifts were
to pass when "that which is perfect is come." T hat
which is per fect cannot grammatically refer to
Chr ist, as some have argued. It refers instead to the
perfection, or the complete revelation, of the gospel
of Chr ist. That gospel is now complete, and has been
since the apostles and prophets of the New Testa-
ment finished their work (James 1:25, II Peter 1:3,
I John 1:1-4, 2:20-27, Jude 3, Galatians 1:6-9).
That which is perfect has therefore come, and the
miracles which produced it have served their pur-
pose and ceased to exist.

Consequently, you do not need a miracle to make
you believe in Chr ist, or to bring you close to God.
You may, and must, build your faith on the revealed
truth found in the Bible; it comes in no other way
(Romans 10:17). In the words of John, "Many other
signs therefore Jesus also performed in the pres-
ence of disciples, which are not written in this book;
but these have been wr itten that you may believe
that Jesus is the Chr ist, the Son of God; and that
believing you may have life in His name" (John
20:30-31). P.O. Box 928

Bend, Ore. 97701


by W. E. Vine
Price $13.95

Similer Documents