Truths Believed Among Us
It is not unusual, during home Bible studies, for someone to ask, "What does the church of Christ believe about ___________?" Obviously, the question should be, "What does the Bible teach about ___________?" There are, however, some truths that should be believed among us.
It is truth that God is: Paul wrote, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) God is the ever present, all-powerful creator of the universe. God knows everything about us and He cares deeply about our eternal destiny. How tragic that god is so often ignored. God is ignored in the political, social, scientific and educational realms of life. Evidence for God is so strong that one would be a fool to deny His existence. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” (Psalms 14:1)
It is truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Lamb of God: Peter said, "We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) Jesus died, was buried and rose again to make our salvation possible. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Jesus lived a perfect life and therefore serves as our example. His teaching was with authority. (Matthew 7:29) He is “the Lamb of God.” “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
It is truth that the Bible is the word of God: In John 17:17 it is declared that God's word is truth, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." Scripture must be studied with a desire both to learn and obey. No book can ever have such an impact on your life as the Bible. It is the inspired word of God!
It is truth that sin is man's problem: The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) The miseries of this life are caused by sin. Sin brings a terrible payday. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Be on constant guard against sin! Give the Devil a fight!
It is truth that all should obey the gospel: Christ saves all that obey Him and only those that obey. "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9) Gospel obedience includes hearing God's word, believing in Jesus, repenting of sins, confessing Christ, and being baptized. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47) Disobedience is a tragic thing.
It is truth that Satan tries to cause Christians to be indifferent: Complacency or indifference is a terrible spiritual state. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:15-16) There is no such thing as pleasing God while being just a casual Christian.
It is truth that not everyone will be saved: The Bible teaches that few will be saved and many lost. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14) Only those that have learned the truth and been obedient to it will be saved. Let's face the fact that the majority will be lost. You cannot expect to enter that narrow gate without living the Christian life.
It is truth that Christ has only one church: The church is Christ's body. God "put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23) "There is one body (church) and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6) If you are not a member of the church mentioned in the Bible you certainly should be! Christ purchased it with His blood.
It is truth that how you live is important: The way you live your life will determine what reward you receive at judgment. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10) How people think, talk, hear and do will determine their eternal destiny. How are you living? "Are you living right, should you die tonight, is it well with your soul?"
It is truth that God desires and deserves our worship: John wrote, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24) God desires, God deserves and God expects our worship. Singing, praying, preaching, giving and the Lord's Supper are the items of worship ordained by our Heavenly Father. (Ephesians 5:19; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Matthew 26:26-30) Christians must worship faithfully!
It is truth that life passes quickly: In James 4:14 life is said to be like a vapor. "Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Think of the funerals you have attended. Read the death notices in the newspaper. Think of those that have gone on. As they are today we all shall soon be. Life passes by quickly and there is only a short time in which to prepare for eternity.
It is truth that there will be a Judgment Day after this life is over: The Bible teaches both an appointment with death and the judgment: "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) Each person is accountable to God for his life. (Romans 14:12) Can you even imagine what that great day will be like -- that great Day of Judgment and accountability?
It is truth that there will be no second chance after death: The rich man of Luke 16 proves this fact. There was no second chance. It was too late. "Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he many dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us." (Luke 16:24-26) Do not wait until it is too late!
Do not put off doing what you know you should for God. Opportunities to serve Him pass quickly. Are you doing that which meets with God's approval? Is your life built on His truth? Our only hope is through God!
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037