Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 14 No. 10 October 2012
Page 3


The Restoration Plea

Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor

Rodney NulphOne the most wonderful, refreshing things regarding the church that belongs to Jesus is our plea to return to the New Testament. Truth seekers desire above all else to please Almighty God! The only way to please God is to obey and follow His Word in all areas. Although many have forgotten what true restoration is, those who want to please God will continue to restore pure New Testament Christianity, which is found on the pages of inspiration. By “restoration” we simply mean “the act of replacing in a former state.” The restoration plea is a plea to restore or bring back the New Testament church, void of manmade creeds, opinions, human traditions or any denominational influence. The restoration plea ought to be the plea of everyone who loves truth!

Firstly, the restoration plea is a scriptural plea. In the long ago, God, through the prophet Jeremiah, directed His people to “…Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…” (Jeremiah 6:16b). Jesus reminded the people of His day, “…blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). What were they to hear; latter day revelations, confessions of faith, human traditions? No, but they were to simply hear and keep the pure Word of God! “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17; cf. Matthew 7:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; James 1:25; 1 John 5:3; et al.).

Secondly, the restoration plea is a sound plea. What logical person could justify holding man’s words equal or above God’s Word? Manmade denominations have all but completely forsaken the Bible. For example, where in the Bible could one possibly read of someone becoming a Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist or any other manmade entity? To go back to the Bible is to forsake all forms of manmade religion including manmade names. Doesn’t that make absolute sense? Since Christ died for us, should we not call ourselves after Him alone? Surely that is the sound plea that Paul made to a divided church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10ff). Although such is not preached in the religious world today, we should not wear the name of man but of Christ and Christ alone (Acts 4:12; Colossians 3:17, et al). We should never practice religiously that which came from man but of Christ and Christ alone (John 14:6)!

Lastly, the restoration plea is a successful plea. By adhering to and applying the teaching of Jesus one restores the simple New Testament church for which Jesus died (Acts 20:28). When the seed of God’s Word (Luke 8:11) is planted in honest and good hearts (Matthew 13:8), that seed brings forth Christians, nothing more and nothing less! Does the church of the first century exist today? It certainly does! We can successfully restore the New Testament church today, void of any manmade traditions, opinions or ideas. The divine formula is rather simple. We need divine seed, dedicated soil and diligent sowers. With a combination like that, the restoration plea will be a success.

Our plea is scriptural, sound and successful! We plead with all to leave the doctrines and commandments of men (Matthew 15:7ff), and cling to the pure, unadulterated Word of God. Are you a truth seeker? Do you want to please God? Then, help us as we preach and live the restoration plea! If what we have written is correct, accept it; if not, please tell us why.

When Upon Life’s Billows

Ed Melott

Ed MelottOn January 13th 2012, the Costa Concordia capsized off the west coast of Italy. About 4,200 people were evacuated from the sinking ship within two hours of the wreck. Not all survived this tragedy as many were missing and several people lost their lives. We recently passed the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (April 1912), notably the worst ship wreck in modern history. The apostle Paul said, “Thrice I suffered shipwreck” (2 Corinthians 12:25). He went on to say, “A night and a day I have been in the deep.” One cannot imagine what a single tragedy like these would do to the survivors! Perhaps most would have a fear of water or drowning; others would probably never board a ship again. The Lord’s servant Paul, however, did not allow such setbacks to keep him from traveling with the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). In this article, we will consider Paul’s shipwreck recorded in Acts 27 as a metaphor of your life. Please take a few minutes to open your Bible to Acts 27 and read that exhilarating account. We shall see from the text: (1) a bound prisoner, (2) a better possibility, (3) a biblical perspective and (4) a blessed person.

In the first place, we notice that Paul was a bound prisoner (Acts 27:1). Paul had been in a Roman prison in Caesarea for two years. The Jews made accusations against him, and he made his defense before Felix, Festus and Agrippa. However, because he appealed unto Caesar, he was sent to Rome. At times during this imprisonment, Paul was bound in chains (Acts 26:28-29). A prisoner is one under someone else’s control. Though most of our readers probably are not literally bound at this moment, it may be the case that you are in prison. Perhaps you are allowing a tragedy of life, such as the death of a loved one or an illness that you are fighting to keep you in a prison. Possibly you have lost your job or your marriage? Additionally, some are in prisons of their own making. Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day.”

In the second place, we see that they looked for a better possibility (Acts 27:8-20). They found out that leaving the safety of Fair Haven was not a better possibility. Others have discovered that leaving the safety of the church for the lure of the world is not a better possibility (2 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:15-17). The captain of the Costa Concordia left his ship while passengers were still onboard and could face over 10 years in prison. Never leave the church; she is not a sinking ship. Nothing that may happen in our lives or the lives of others should cause us to leave the Lord’s church. The Christian life is the best life and offers the best reward (Romans 6:23; 1 Timothy 4:8; John 10:10).

In the third place, we see a biblical perspective (38). This ship was a cargo ship with wheat from Egypt (Acts 27:6); however, when faced with losing their lives, the crew cast the wheat into the sea. This should remind us to keep our priorities straight with spiritual matters first (Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 6:6-10).

In the last place, we see that Paul was indeed a blessed person (Acts 27:25). God cares for His children (1 Peter 5:7). He lovingly provides for them as well (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:33b). Christian brother or sister, perhaps you are facing a terrible storm in your life, and you feel like a prisoner on a sinking ship. Let me assure you there is nothing in this life that you cannot face with God’s help (Philippians 4:13).

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