Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 9 September 2015
Page 3

Editorial

Every Light in the Meetinghouse Is On

Rodney NulphIn 1996, song writer Kent Robbins along with country music artist Trace Adkins released an amazing hit titled, “Every Light in the House Is On.” While it is the case that I rarely endorse secular music, often the lyrics to certain songs “hit” me and cause me to think. A brief understanding of the lyrics will introduce this article. The song’s message is essentially this: A man’s wife decided to leave the relationship for “greener” pastures. Obviously, the husband was heart-broken. As such, he illuminated the house and property as a welcoming gesture to the wife. If she ever decided to come back home, she would be easily able to find the house where love once thrived. Although at first glance this gesture seems wonderful, my thought is this; if the husband really loved the wife would he not leave the illuminated house and search for her and try to “restore” her back? As I contemplated this thought, I wondered, is this not the same mentality that we sometimes have regarding those who have left the “house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15) for the world? Consider…

The Possibility

It is a real possibility for those who were once faithful to become unfaithful. The false doctrine of “once saved always saved” or “Perseverance of the Saints” may be pleasing to the ears, but it is condemning to the soul. Over and over God warns that unfaithfulness is always a possibility. Using Israel of old as an example, Paul warned Christians, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12; cf. Romans 11:20; 2 Peter 2:20-22).

The Problem

One of the greatest heartaches I have seen and experienced is to witness a Christian become unfaithful, only to have others fail to ever do anything except gossip over the unfaithful person’s condition. Upon arriving at a new congregation to preach, I had a fellow member ask me what I was going to do to restore the unfaithful of that local congregation. I sincerely asked, “Well, what has been done thus far?” The response was, "Nothing." Nothing had been done! What about the elders? What about the members? Nothing! Dear friends, a great spiritual problem exists when we do nothing to restore a fallen brother or sister! Someone has affirmed that if we even restored half of the fallen members in most congregations our buildings would be filled. Can we really love one another (John 13:35) if we fail to be concerned about each other’s spiritual well-being? How many unfaithful members of the Lord’s kingdom do you know? What are YOU doing to restore them?

The Parable

Of course, one of the greatest parables ever spoken on the subject of restoration came from the lips of the Great Restorer (Luke 15:1ff). Jesus rhetorically asked, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” (Luke 15:4). Notice carefully, Jesus did not say to wait until the sheep came back, walked down the aisle and repented! He said clearly that this man left the flock and searched to find the lost sheep.

There is no question that our “church buildings” stand boldly on the street corners of our world, just waiting for someone to need us, and then we will help. Yet, dear friends, that is not what Christianity is all about. In fact, Christianity has little to nothing at all to do with a building! It is about those who belong to Christ following in His footsteps (1 Peter 2:21), seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). Remember Jesus did not say, “Let your building light shine,” but instead our Lord said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)!

[Editor’s Note: The reason for the existence of the Lord’s church is all about saving souls—our souls, the souls of our family members, the souls of friends, neighbors, coworkers and as many people as we may be able to persuade with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to become Christians (Ephesians 3:9-11). An introverted, creature comfort seeking disposition that cannot see beyond carpeted floors, padded pews, AC and paved parking lots does not correspond at all to biblical Christianity. No, don’t rip up the carpet or shutter our meetinghouses, but identify with the essence of the church for which Jesus Christ died to establish, over which He is the Head and for which one day He will return to retrieve and take with Him back to heaven. Our Lord is not coming back for even one solitary brick, church bell or any other memento from our church buildings. He is coming back for souls! ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]


Enter By the Narrow Gate

Thomas Baxley

Thomas BaxleyThe simplest teaching of Christianity is also the most unpopular: not all paths lead to God. To be the people of God, we must be on the right path (i.e., the narrow one). Jesus told us in Matthew 7:13-14 that there are two paths, a broad one that leads to destruction and a narrow one that leads to life. Only one of these leads to God; the other leads away from Him. This is becoming more and more unpopular to teach by the day. Every day that passes sees some new attempt to destroy the truth and lead countless droves away from God.

There is no way around it, and there is no alternative. There is only one path that leads to God. There is only one way that leads to everlasting life with the Father, and that is through submission to Jesus Christ. It is not merely calling on Jesus to come into one’s heart, but rather obeying His words and accepting His free gift of salvation on His terms. We all have a choice to make. Are we going to listen to Jesus and teach the truth, or are we going to be intimidated by those living in error who are trying to take as many as they can with them? When are we going to stand up for the truth?

[Editor’s Note: The narrow way about which Jesus taught is inclusive and exclusive. Irrespective of what man wishes were the case, only the saved walk that narrow path only. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]


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