Home | Archives | Guest Book | Links | churches of Christ | Contact Us
Plan of Salvation
 | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Store | World Evangelism
Gospel Gazette Online logo

Serving an international
readership with the
Old Jerusalem Gospel
via the Internet.

Vol.  10  No. 9 September 2008  Page 20
powered by FreeFind
Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Walking About While Teaching or Preaching

Louis Rushmore

Is there anything wrong with a preacher walking around the auditorium while speaking? Does it matter whether he does this when teaching a class or preaching? Thanks! ~ Steve Foster

What would you think if the preacher sat down to teach or sat down to preach? Our Lord Jesus routinely sat down to teach or preach (Matthew 5:1; Luke 4:20; 5:3). Ezra stood on a pulpit of wood to proclaim the Word of God (Nehemiah 8:4); incidentally, the people stood also when the Word of God was read (Nehemiah 8:5). Customs respecting postures of either God’s preacher or the people to whom the Word of God may be preached varied, and God has not codified or made into a law within His Holy Word any particular posture for preacher or for those to whom the Word of God is preached. Consequently, neither should we make a law where God has not chosen to do so (1 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV).

The role of a preacher, one discerns from the original language words and their English counterparts, has to do with the message. The Greek word, kerux, means “crier” or “herald” and is translated “preacher” (1 Timothy 2:7). The Greek word, kerusso, means “to cry or proclaim as a herald” and is translated “preacher” (Romans 10:14). The Greek word, euaggellizo, means “to announce good news” and is translated “gospel preached” (Matthew 11:15); euaggelistes means, “a preacher of the gospel” and is translated “evangelist” (Acts 21:8).

As far as the circumstances under which the Gospel is taught and especially preached in the Lord’s Day assembly, things must be conducted “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40), i.e. to God’s satisfaction primarily. Yet, a wise preacher will be sensitive to or aware of the receptivity of his Gospel presentation to his listeners, and how various mannerisms may have no effect upon, help or hinder that presentation, since the object of preaching in the first place is to communicate the Word of God in such a way that it is comprehended (Nehemiah 8:8). However, the Christian in the pew needs to be wise enough to the best of his ability to ignore potential distractions or mannerisms that could lessen the impact on him by good Gospel preaching. Surely, through cooperation and common goals respecting the teaching and preaching of the Gospel of Christ, preachers and congregations can participate in the successful communication of the Word of God in teaching and preaching environments. We need to grant as much latitude toward each other as Christians as we can, especially in areas where no command or direct statement, biblically approved example or inference and implication corresponds to the object of discussion.

Praying for Non-Christians

A man in a congregation I attend believes that it is wrong to “pray for others” such as “my co-worker” [who] broke his arm at work…a neighbor [who] has cancer…a boy in school [who] broke his wrist, etc. …“without ever mentioning that fact that it might lead them to Christ.” …Is it right to pray for “non-Christians” problems without mentioning their spiritual welfare in any way? ~ Mark Phillips

The scenario of prohibiting prayer for non-Christians, unless in addition to praying for one’s health and welfare one also prays such would lead to salvation, is suspiciously similar to misguided affirmations that the church is prohibited from extending benevolence to non-Christians. Neither the affirmation that Christians or the church may not pray for non-Christians without including in that prayer that prayer for health and welfare result in salvation nor affirmations that the church cannot extend benevolence to non-Christians can be substantiated by Scripture.

Yet, the ultimate attitude of Christians (spoken or unspoken) toward non-Christians is (or ought to be) that their souls might be saved. “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Romans 10:1). However, though the overall purpose for Jesus’ earthly ministry was for the salvation of souls (Luke 19:10), our Lord acted favorably and benevolently toward persons, including Gentiles, where the biblical text does not record His proffering salvation to their souls (Matthew 15:22-28); the Gospel of Christ was not taught directly to non-Jews until about 10 years after the establishment of the church (Acts 10). Furthermore, God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45 NKJV).

Paul’s first letter to Timothy acknowledges that Christians ought to pray for non-Christians, first in self-interest for the welfare of Christians, and secondly, mindful overall that God desires all mankind to be saved.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Yet, the Christian’s disposition toward non-Christian rulers is to be favorable irrespective of whether those rulers become Christians. “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” (1 Peter 2:17; see also verses 13-17 and Romans 13:1-7). Therefore, (1) all Christians ought to whether spoken or unspoken desire lost souls to be saved, (2) Christians ought to pray for non-Christians irrespective of whether they ever obey the Gospel, and (3) to require spoken prayers to ask blessings for non-Christians only if those prayers include verbal references to the salvation of those same persons is to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6) or making a law where God did not make one.

Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20