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Gospel Gazette Online

Vol. 11 No. 10 October 2009

Page 3


Editorial
God Is No Respecter of Persons

Rodney Nulph

Given mankind’s frail humanity, there are times when he fails to treat others equally. God in His infinite wisdom knew such could be the case, so God warned Christians to not be respecters of certain persons while mistreating others (cf. James 2). There is no greater example of equal treatment than that of God Himself (cf. Matthew 5:45). Peter, preaching to the household of Cornelius, learned this truth as well, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). Fine houses, lands, money and clothes may win the respect of man and cause the one who has these things to be esteemed, but not so with God. The Lord is impartial, and He shows His impartiality in many ways.

First, all are invited to come. The words of the Master prove this impartiality, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, emphasis added). Contrary to the false doctrine of Calvinism, which says that God only chooses certain “elect” individuals to come to Him, God invites all! At the close of New Testament cannon, this truth is explicitly stated again, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). God is impartial! You, as well as any and all, are invited to come!

Secondly, all are expected to observe His teachings. Jesus, about to leave this earth, said to His apostles, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Wholehearted obedience to the Master’s teachings is expected and demanded for all, not just some! Not one single soul is exempt from the teachings of our Lord! If we fail to do those things that Christ commands, we are sadly, unprofitable servants (Matthew 25:24-30). No one is above the Law of Christ! You, as well as any and all are expected to observe His teachings!

Thirdly, all are commanded to attend worship. How some Christians believe that they are only “required” to attend the services of their choice is beyond my comprehension! If some are commanded to attend all the services, then why is not everyone (Hebrews 10:23-25)? The early church had “daily” services and seemed to do so gladly (Acts 2:46). If their zeal prompted them to assemble daily, surely our zeal should get us out to worship at least two times on Sunday and once on Wednesday evening!* Our bodies are to be “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1-2), and yet it sometimes strains us to just “fill a pew” for a couple services each week. How must God Almighty feel about that! Maybe our souls ought to blush, when we consider what we do each week to “sacrifice” for our Lord! You, as well as any and all are commanded to attend worship!

The Lord shows no partiality! God will accept those who revere and respect Him, by doing those things He has commanded. However, He will not accept any who fail to do what He has asked. Dear Reader, expect no exception or exemption, for God is no respecter of persons!

*The elders or men in the majority of congregations of the churches of Christ in the United States have selected additional times for coming together for studying the Bible and worshipping God, besides the New Testament requirement of assembling to worship each first day of the week. These periods of worship and Bible study, typically on Sunday and Wednesday, as well as additional periods of study and worship from time to time (e.g., Gospel meetings), are intended to provide a healthy, spiritual diet of God’s Word for the Christian. These local decisions are authorized by passages that inform us of the responsibility of elders to feed the flock of God over which they are shepherds (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-2), and Christians are obligated to obey elders who watch over souls (Hebrews 13:17). The early church met often beyond the required first day of the week worship (Acts 2:42, 46), and contemporary Christians benefit likewise from frequent interaction with other Christians to help offset living in an unrighteous world (John 17:14-16). Of course, inside the United States or especially outside of the USA, local congregational decisions will determine on which days and respecting opportunities when a neighborhood church provides these additional opportunities for worship and Bible study (and church members have a responsibility to avail themselves of these meeting times). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor


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