Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 10, 1961
NUMBER 14, PAGE 8,13b

Ask Your Preacher

Jack L. Holt, Cullman, Alabama

Jesus was the perfect preacher. He is our example. Our Lord did not shun controversy, nor was He afraid to be questioned. He not only proclaimed the truth, but He was ready to defend it. He never winked at sin and error, but condemned it. (Matt. 15:7-9) These facts reveal the "spirit of Christ." The modern idea that a hinting, speak softly, namby pamby who never condemns anything or anyone has the spirit of Christ is false. His opposition to error is evidence that He did not believe the old error, "it makes no difference what you believe so long as you are honest." Nor did Jesus ever teach that it is right for "you to go your way and I'll go mine." He very definitely stated: "He that believeth not (the gospel) shall be damned." (Mk. 16:16)

All who are intellectually honest, know that two different doctrines cannot both be right or true. When two preachers preach different doctrines one or both is wrong. Both cannot be right and be different. And those who follow the preachers are either right or wrong, and will either be saved or condemned. Jesus declared: "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. 15:14) Does your preacher preach only the Gospel? Can you find what he preaches in the Word of God? Is he willing to defend or affirm what he teaches in open controversy? Is he willing to be questioned? If not, he does not have the "spirit of Christ." We have suggested, since preachers are suppose to have a good knowledge of the Bible, that you ask your preacher some questions. Surely there can be nothing wrong with such. The Lord said: "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess 5:21)

Let me suggest that you ask your preacher where the Bible says: "One church is as good as another." Many preachers preach this, and as a result many people believe it. But the question is: "where does the Bible teach it?" This teaching appeals to many people because they think it implies that they are tolerant and broadminded. And because they think this is the way it ought to be, then they think this is the way God has arranged it. It is a case of the creature trying to inform the creator as to what is right. Men still fall into the age old error of thinking that God must think as they think. The psalmist declared against this error saying: "thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." (Psalm 50:21) Isaiah said: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9) To believe God is to believe His revelation of Himself. God has nowhere revealed that one church is as good as another. Hence, one can't believe God and believe this error.

The great trouble in the religious world is a rejection of God and His will. God has revealed Himself, His church and His way, but because this does not appeal to the wisdom of men, they reject God's way, draw up their own and expect God to submit to it. To them, God is to believe man, and they hold that His word is "narrow" because it condemns their unbelief. True, acceptable faith in God comes by hearing the Word of God. (Rom. 10:17) Nothing is true merely because we believe it. God's word is truth and we either believe it or believe error. True preaching demands of men that they submit to the will of God. I do not appeal to men to be a member of my church, but of the Lord's church. I want no one to follow my way, but the Lord's way. Jesus said: "I am the way ...." (John 14:6) Does this verse teach many ways to heaven? Ask your preacher.

The Lord built His own church. He promised to build it and did build it. In Matt. 16:18 we read: "I say unto thee that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church...." This church was established on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Christ, and men were added to it that day. (Acts 2:47) This church was purchased with the blood of Christ. Paul told the Ephesian elders: "Take heed unto yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:28) This church is the body of Christ. In Col. 1:18 we read: "And he is the head of the body the church...." There is only one body saith the Lord: "There is one body and one Spirit even as we are called in one hope of our calling." (Eph. 4:4)

Now let me request that you ask your preacher where the Bible says there are two bodies, or where the Bible teaches that one body is as good as another. One may as well affirm that one head is as good another, or one builder is as good another. If one head is as good as another, or one builder is as good as another, how can Christ have the preeminence? "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Col. 1:18) But, according to the teaching of men, Christ is no better than any other builder and the church purchased with his blood is not one whit better than the churches built by men! My friends, do we believe this? Is it wrong to ask men to be members of this church?

Ask your preacher if salvation is not in the church built by Christ? The church is His body and the Bible teaches: "....Christ is the head of the church being himself the savior of the body." (Eph. 5:23) What does Christ save? The body. What is the body? The church. Ask your preacher where the Bible teaches that one can be saved out of the church of Christ. Ask your preacher to find the passage of scripture where the Lord promises to save those who are out of His church. Can he do it? If not, why does he preach it? And if you can't find the passage why do you believe such teaching? If your preacher tries to dodge the question by saying the church is non-essential, then ask your preacher why the Lord gave His blood to purchase a non-essential? Did the Lord buy a gold brick? The Lord is the head of the church. Is he the head of a non-essential? The church is His body. Is his body non-essential? Ask your preacher.

The Lord has not only revealed His church, but He has also revealed how men may become members of His church. We become members of the Lord's church by doing today exactly what men did in New Testament times to become members. If we do what they did we will be what they were. The same Lord that added them to His church will add us. God is no respecter of persons. (Rom. 2:11) On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the eleven and preached the Gospel of Christ. He spoke of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He told his hearers, "that they had taken and with wicked hands had crucified the Son of God." But that God had made that same Jesus whom they crucified both Lord and Christ. When they heard this they were pricked in their hearts and cried out saying, "men and brethren what shall we do?" Then Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then they that gladly received his words were baptized and there were added unto them that day about three thousand souls. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (See Acts 2:36-37) In verse 41 the record says "the baptized were added." In verse 47 the "saved were added." Thus the baptism of verse 41 were the saved of verse 47. If we do the same things they did will we not be what they were? If the Lord added them to the church will He not add us? Does your preacher preach what Peter preached? Are you a member of the church built by Christ? Why not obey the gospel and be added today?